Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts is a performance venue in downtown Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

 in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. Opened in 1989, it entertains over 200,000 patrons annually, and consists of three theaters:
  • Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall, with 2,000 seats, is designed for opera, symphonic, chamber and popular music presentations, as well as dance and Broadway musicals.
  • Discovery Theatre, with 700 seats, is suited for theatre, smaller-scale operas, dance, film and musical presentations.
  • Sydney Laurence Theatre (named for painter Sydney Laurence
    Sydney Laurence
    Sydney Mortimer Laurence was an American Romantic landscape painter and is widely considered one of Alaska's most important historical artists.-Early life:...

    ), with 340 seats, is suited for theatre, film and chamber music.

Resident companies include the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra
Anchorage Symphony Orchestra
The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is a semi-professional symphony orchestra located in Anchorage, Alaska. Randall Craig Fleischer is the director and conductor, and Linn Weeda is the assistant director and conductor....

, the Anchorage Opera
Anchorage Opera
' is a professional opera company located in Anchorage, Alaska and is a member of OPERA America.-About AO: is the largest producer of the performing arts in Alaska and one of America’s leading regional opera companies...

 (Alaska's only professional opera company), the Alaska Dance Theatre, the Alaska Junior Theater, the Anchorage Concert Association, and the Anchorage Concert Chorus.


The block that the ACPA sits on was originally designated in the original Anchorage townsite
History of Anchorage, Alaska
- Russian purchase to U.S. Territory :Russian presence in south central Alaska was well established in the 19th century. In 1867, U. S. Secretary of State William H. Seward brokered a deal to purchase Alaska from a debt-ridden Imperial Russia for $7.2 million...

 as the location of Anchorage's public schools. When schools began being built away from the townsite boundaries starting in the 1950s
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

, largely through the creation of the Anchorage Independent School District and later the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, the existing school building on that block eventually became the City Hall annex and a community gymnasium. The Sydney Laurence
Sydney Laurence
Sydney Mortimer Laurence was an American Romantic landscape painter and is widely considered one of Alaska's most important historical artists.-Early life:...

 Auditorium, the ACPA's direct forerunner, was also built on this block. The Laurence Auditorium was perhaps best known as the site of the Prudhoe Bay oil lease sale in 1969, conducted by Alaska's state government under then-Gov. Keith Miller
Keith Harvey Miller
Keith Harvey Miller is an American Republican politician from Alaska. Miller was the second Lieutenant Governor of Alaska under Walter Hickel from 1966 until Hickel's resignation to become U.S. Secretary of Interior in the Cabinet of President Richard M...

. Project 80s, started under the mayorship of George Sullivan
George M. Sullivan
George Murray Sullivan was an American politician from the state of Alaska who served as the Mayor of Anchorage from 1967 until 1981.-Early life:...

 and largely spearheaded under his successor, Tony Knowles
Tony Knowles (politician)
Anthony Carroll Knowles is an American Democratic politician and businessman who served as the seventh Governor of Alaska from December 1994 to December 2002. Barred from seeking a third consecutive term as governor in 2002, he ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2004 and again for governor in...

, saw the replacement of those two buildings with the ACPA. This project was the most controversial undertaking of Knowles's entire 6-year tenure as mayor, mostly due to the doubling of the original $35 million cost estimate by the completion of construction, as well as what were perceived to be numerous design flaws.

External links

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