WXXI AM News

Connections: Does Rochester Need A New Downtown Performing Arts Center?

Jul 22, 2016

Does Rochester need a new downtown performing arts center? It's a question that has been explored by local arts organizations and city government for 22 years.

On Monday, the City of Rochester released the results of a feasibility study that recommends building a 2,850-seat performing arts center at Midtown. The study says the project would cost more than $75 million and would not require public subsidy.

Is it time to pursue the project? The Rochester Broadway Theatre League is in favor of a new center, saying a larger theater is necessary for Rochester to remain competitive in attracting hit Broadway shows like Hamilton. But representatives of local theaters say a large downtown center would not help existing arts groups and venues.

Mayor Lovely Warren has been pushing for a performing arts center and has extended the deadline for proposals.

We discuss a number of questions surrounding the project, including who would pay for a new center, who would own it, and what type of facility the city needs...if it needs one at all. Our guests: