COUNCIL BLUFFS — June 1, 2018 — It was a groundbreaking day in every way.
American Midwest Ballet, along with fellow arts organizations Chanticleer Theater and Kanesville Symphony, will call the Bob and Polina Schlott Performing Arts Center home. Renovation and construction will take approximately 18 months with a projected move-in date of late 2019.
In a culmination of five years of community studies, focus groups and fundraising, Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment (PACE) broke ground on the nearly $27 million, 95,000 square foot arts and culture center. The facility will bear the name of lead donors and Council Bluffs residents Ted and Polly Hoff.
“The new arts center will provide a state-of-the-art facility for the ballet that allows us consolidate our rehearsals, costume and scenic construction, and administrative functions under one roof,” says Erika Overturff, artistic director and CEO of American Midwest Ballet. “We are so thankful to be able to concentrate even more of our energy on our primary mission: bringing high-quality ballet to the region.”
PACE is an initiative spearheaded by the Iowa West Foundation, which contributed $9 million in capital campaign funding and operating costs to the project.
The initiative also received a $1 million grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Enhance Iowa fund, and the designation of the South Main Street area as an official “Great Place,” which includes an additional $400,000 grant award.
Included in the new construction of the performance center are:
- a 280-seat community theater
- rehearsal space
- dressing rooms
- green room
- scene shop
Renovation of the currently vacant, historic Harvester II building includes:
- Garden Level: Theater, museum, and ballet storage and archival space
- Floor 1: Box office, exhibit space, café/bar, and public lobby
- Floor 2: Ballet dressing rooms, meetings rooms, shared offices and food incubator
- Floor 3: Artist studios, internet lounge, flexible classrooms and pottery studio
- Floor 4: Permanent exhibit space including a Grant Wood exhibit, traveling exhibit space, and archival space
“We are grateful to all of our supporters who have made this a reality, ’ said PACE CEO, Danna Kehm. “It officially marks the beginning of a new era for arts and culture in our community.”