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Art & Culture

Township and Pavilion look at possibility of Performing Arts Center

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS – At its May 22, 2019, Board of Directors Meeting, The Woodlands Township unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands (CWMP) regarding the possibility of creating a Performing Arts Center in The Woodlands.

CWMP, better known as The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, and the Township are discussing the possibility of entering into an agreement to build, maintain and operate a Performing Arts Center near the current location of the Pavilion.

In the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), members of the Pavilion Board of Directors and The Woodlands Township agree that they desire to explore further options to ascertain whether the construction, maintenance and operation of such a Center is a viable project for the Pavilion and Township to jointly pursue.

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The MOU is a non-binding approach such that due diligence may be conducted by the parties to determine viability of the joint development of the Center.

“This is a major step in furthering the development of performing arts in The Woodlands,” said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. “It feels right that on the day after acknowledging our founder George Mitchell’s 100thbirthday this week, we are moving forward with one of his wishes to have a performing arts theater in The Woodlands.”

Mr. Mitchell, founder of The Woodlands, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Interfaith, among many other accomplishments, was born 100 years ago on May 21, 1919. He founded The Woodlands in 1974.

The Woodlands Township’s Economic Development Committee, chaired by Dr. Ann Snyder and with members Bruce Rieser and Carol Stromatt, have been working with Township consultants since late 2016 regarding the needs of additional cultural facilities in The Woodlands.

“The Woodlands is known for its arts scene, especially as it relates to the performing and visual arts,” said Dr. Ann Snyder, pointing to the Pavilion being top 5 internationally, The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival and the establishment of The Waterway Arts District.

The Woodlands Township contracted with global design firm Gensler, in collaboration with Webb Management, an expert in cultural arts feasibility studies, to conduct a Cultural Arts Feasibility Study for the Township from 2016-2018. During Phase I of the Cultural Arts Feasibility Study, Gensler and Webb Management reviewed previous studies, conducted market analyses and trends to determine viability, conducted meetings and interviews and gathered information from community members and stakeholders and considered potential locations.

In early 2017, the consultants personally interviewed approximately 70 community leaders and stakeholders to gain their opinions and ideas on cultural arts needs in The Woodlands. In addition to the interviews, and at the request of the Township Ad Hoc Economic Development Committee, Webb Management developed a public survey that was posted on the Township website to gain insight from the community at large. This survey was heavily promoted through Township communication channels and was online for 30 days with 1,270 respondents.

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The consultants’ recommendation was for a set of facilities that would respond to local and regional demand, that does not currently exist in the region and that will serve the cultural development of The Woodlands.

Webb Management did not view the recommendation as a menu of items to be selected, but rather as a comprehensive set of facilities that can and should be developed over time. The question then became where to begin, or which one(s) is/are the highest priority for The Woodlands Township Board of Directors.

For more information about The Woodlands Township, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov or call 281-210-3800.

Township and Pavilion look at possibility of Performing Arts Center
PHOTO: Artist’s rendering of the proposed Arts Center at the Pavilion

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