CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE A VIDEO ABOUT THE ARTS CENTER.
Future community meetings will be held on a proposed privately-funded arts center which will serve as a home for High Valley Arts with space for community arts groups to perform.
AN ARTS CENTER NEAR MEMORIAL HILL WILL ALLOW
A FOREVER VIEW OF MEMORIAL HILL FROM THE STREET
Midway Village Arts Center Foundation (MAC), the non-profit organization which will build and operate a privately-funded Arts Center if the project is approved by Midway City. The Arts Center will be part of a European Village which will have a 300-feet-wide entry corridor, a forever-view of Memorial Hill from Main Street, Midway, and will keep Midway’s rural ambiance.
The beautiful European Village will have multi-use structures along with pastures, ponds and open space in front of Memorial Hill.
To preserve the view of Memorial Hill from Main Street, most commercial development has to be moved off of Main Street to the back of the Village. An Arts Center near the Hill with a European-style plaza in front is the perfect attraction to entice residents and visitors to drive into the Village. The plaza will become a gathering place for the community where families can shop, eat, and gather with friends before attending a children’s production, a recital, a ballet, or a Broadway musical. An arts center in Midway will give Wasatch County the incredible, ongoing gift of the arts close to home, will attract arts-loving tourists to our beautiful City, and will give the City needed added funds without destroying Midway’s rural character..
Feasibility studies indicate that the Village will yield $238,000 first-year new tax revenue to the City that will grow to an average $350,000/year over a 30-year period, for a total of $10.5 million over 30 years.
Since the land in front of Memorial Hill has been purchased for development and open fields are no longer an option, many Midway and Heber City residents are hoping to avoid the “Orem II” look which current zoning permits: 347 dwelling units, 1,725 car trips per day, and commercial buildings located all along Main Street, forever blocking the view of Memorial Hill. The planned Village and the Arts Center, will very significantly reduce the number of dwelling units and car trips.
MIDWAYS FINANCIAL FUTURE
By Randon Wilson and Sue Waldrip
Published March 21, 2018, in The Wasatch Wave
Midway City has come a long way — from the first settlers who arrived in 1859 to the 80,000 visitors who come each year for Swiss Days. With wonderful patriotic programs, outdoor painting competitions for artists, musicals, Swiss Bells, Heber Valley Orchestra and a plethora of programs for children, Midway is truly a wonderful city.
In some ways, however, Midway is at a crossroads. The cost of maintaining roads and infrastructure, the cost of fire protection, law enforcement, trails, legal counsel, staffing, etc., loom as a burden that may not be met under the current economic situation. More residential growth will not help the City’s bottom line.
So what can be done to broaden the financial base to allow Midway City to comfortably operate into the future?
Much of Midway’s income comes from sales tax, resort tax and some from real estate taxes. The answer to Midway’s future economic well-being is likely to come from broadening its commercial base so that more visitors come and spend their dollars in Midway’s restaurants, hotels and stores and then return home.
Not all businesses in Midway thrive. Many, many small Midway businesses have come and gone over the years. With so few retail outlets scattered up and down Main Street, there’s not a compelling reason for visitors to leave their cars and shop in one store, get in their cars, drive a bit, and shop at another.What is needed is a beautiful, brilliantly-conceived commercial center that is carefully planned to be sensitive to Midway’s desire for open space.
Add a performing arts center to a mixed-use commercial area and a vision of something very important for Midway’s economic future begins to take shape. There are estimates of as much as a 50% increase in Midway’s current budget with such a commercial center.
Midway is a healing place, a place of peace and beauty. It will not be enhanced by more gas stations, night clubs, liquor stores or even by big box stores. But by adding the right stores, an arts center presenting concerts, plays, and musicals and selling art by local artists, more visitors will come to Midway, stay a few days in our bed and breakfasts, hotels or motels, go shopping, attend the theatre, Cowboy Poetry, Swiss Days, visit Memorial Hill, attend a patriotic program, buy art and attend Soldier Hollow events and then go home. With our already vibrant outdoor activities, Midway’s proximity to Salt Lake Valley, Utah Valley, and Park City almost assures us of plenty of visitors by adding evening arts events, wonderful little shops, and intriguing restaurants.
Yes, Midway is at a crossroads, it can limp along as it now seems to be doing or it can put down an anchor that will provide assurance of its future financial well-being.
LET FREEDOM RING, A NEW HIGH VALLEY ARTS PROGRAM
WHAT THEATER MODEL WILL THE ARTS CENTER FOLLOW? Highly successful arts centers have a resident theater company to provide many events to “brand” the facility with an expected quality. High Valley Arts Foundation (HVAF) will be the resident theater company and will perform on the Main Stage about 70% of the available time. Community arts groups and other events will have access to the MainStage, the Black Box, and the Recital Hall.
WHAT NEW PROGRAMS DOES HVAF CONTEMPLATE? Live theater can be an effective teaching tool. As Brigham Young said, “If I were placed on a cannibal island and given a task of civilizing its people, I should straightway build a theater.” HVAF plans to feature “Let Freedom Ring!” a powerful dramatic program to promote freedom. Included will be a 2-week summer festival, which, along with Broadway musicals, will feature original musicals/children’s theater, etc. telling spellbinding stories of freedom as well as year-long Family Freedom Firesides in the Recital Hall with stories/acting for kids and adult presentations on freedom topics.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY TO BUILD THE ARTS CENTER COME FROM? Private donors will provide the funds to build the Arts Center and will receive naming rights in return, thus giving them a lasting legacy. The principal donor will determine the name for the center.
WHAT WILL THE BUILDING LOOK LIKE? Main Theater (450 seats), Black-Box Theater (225 seats), and Recital Hall (125 chairs). The structure will only be two-stories high with a beautiful reception area on the second floor with large windows overlooking the Valley. The typical 70-foot-high fly theaters have which allows scenery to be lowered from above the stage will be replaced by a LED wall, similar to a TV screen, which can be programmed to allow an endless variety of scenery. The LED wall will avoid the need for a 70-foot-high fly.
HOW EXPENSIVE WILL THE BUILDING BE TO RENT? The estimated maintenance costs of $600-$800/day will price local groups out of the picture. So the non-profit corporation which will build and own the building will seek $2-4 million dollars above construction costs for an Maintenance Endowment to keep rental rates reasonable. Arts groups can become Legacy Artists to 1) meet regularly with the Arts Center Board and 2) contribute, if they wish, to this fund to further lower rental rates.
CAN ANYONE RENT THE BUILDING? Yes. The beautiful building will be available for receptions, meetings, luncheons, banquets, etc. The Resident Theater Company and Wasatch County arts groups will have the first scheduling opportunities, however.
WHAT IMPACT WILL A NEW FACILITY HAVE ON HVAF? HVAF needs a home and an opportunity to expand its programs. As Midway City grows, the facilities we have rented from the City for 12+ years are getting very busy, preventing HVAF to grow.