AFMC and the Arts Center Task Force will meet with other interested parties on December 16, 6 PM, 2014, concerning the Vista Field development and the possibilities for art, at 1620 South Union Street, Kennewick. We would like to invite any interested parties to attend.
The idea of having a center for the arts at Vista Field (113-acre property in central Kennewick) has been around a while. Justin Raffa, director of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers and member of the Vista Vision Task Force, believes it’s an ideal spot. “This is sort of the geographic center of the Tri-Cities and surrounding communities.”
City officials are considering how to connect to such a development. Kristi Pihl, writing for the Tri-City Herald wrote, “City of Richland officials have discussed building a pedestrian bridge over Highway 240. Port officials say that would be an opportunity to connect Vista Field with the riverfront, the Sacagawea Heritage Trail and the Reach Center. Trolleys also could be set up to link Vista Field to existing downtown areas. The port is in the process of creating a master plan for the former airport, which was closed in favor of redeveloping the land into a mixed-use development. Consultant Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. was hired for up to $383,000 to develop a realistic, affordable plan that includes how to implement and pay for it. The public is invited to participate in the planning process….”
Larry Peterson, the port’s director of planning and development, said, “This isn’t just a collection of new buildings and new streets. We are trying to make a unique space.”
While the port will probably support improvements in roads and public spaces and can reserve a space for a center for the arts, the Port also lacks the resources to build such a center. That is why the nonprofit Arts Center Task Force will need to raise money for the project. This fundraising effort now includes many people and organizations such as the Mid-Columbia Symphony, the Mastersingers, Mid-Columbia Ballet and Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre and many more. You can participate in the planning. Attend the meeting on December 16 at 6 PM.