The newly constructed Field Arts & Events Hall, a premiere performing arts center and conference venue, has found itself at the heart of the vibrant resurgence of downtown Port Angeles.
“This is the largest infrastructure project by a private non-profit ever undertaken on the Olympic Peninsula. This has been a community collaboration – so many local arts patrons have come together to help us create a facility that is comparable to venues in much larger cities,” says Steve Raider-Ginsburg, Executive Director at Field Hall.
The grand opening on July 29 featured the BANDALOOP vertical dancers (pictured above) who use climbing technology to scale and dance across buildings. Additional acts included jazz legend Diane Schuur and taiko drummers Unit Souzou, giving a sense of the diverse programming Field Hall intends to offer.
Field Arts & Events Hall welcomes performance artists and musical acts, both local and international, in the 500-seat Donna M. Morris Theater. “The renowned acoustician firm, JaffeHolden, who worked on the Lincoln Center and Radio City Music Hall, created the acoustics for this building,” said Raider-Ginsburg. “It is truly a world-class experience, and we’re making it accessible in a gorgeous small town.”
Field Hall represents the first of three buildings to be constructed as part of the Port Angeles Waterfront Center. The final campus will include the Lower Elwha Klallam Cultural Center, constructed as a replica of a traditional longhouse, and the Marine Discovery Center, an aquarium and marine sciences building.
Additional significant Port Angeles development projects include the renovation of the Port Angeles Wharf and waterfront Red Lion Hotel, as well as the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s planned construction of a new downtown hotel. With more accommodations and activities to offer, Port Angeles hopes to welcome visitors to explore all year round.
“There’s this sense that the building is a new shift in Port Angeles, which has been on the cusp of a cultural boom for a while. Here we are!” reflects Raider-Ginsburg.
Partnering with Indigenous Tribes
As part of the grand opening celebration, Field Hall partnered with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to showcase local arts.
The first gallery show “sčáy ʔaʔ cə nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm ʔay̕c̕ɬtáyŋxʷ” or “Creations by the Klallam People” is free to enjoy and open to the public Fridays between 12 and 4 p.m. and prior to most Field Hall Presents events. On Oct. 14, featured artists will demonstrate wool weaving and button blanket making from 1 to 4 p.m. On Oct. 21, artists will gather for a closing celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Free group tours are also available.
Oct. 6 – Acclaimed Australian-born singer Ruth Moody from Winnipeg, Canada, part of the Wailin’ Jennys, showcases her ethereal vocals and original folk music.
Oct. 7 – Sammy Miller & The Congregation, a jazzy, trumpet-led, seven-piece band led by Grammy-nominated Miller performs all chart toppers from 1973 and their own original New Orleans style party music.
Nov. 11 and 12 – Field Hall hosts Noche Flamenca for a residency for the premiere of their new work, Searching for Goya, with two chances to see the performance.
Oct. 21 – Olympic Express Big Band, a regional favorite, performs as part of the second WA Local Concert at Field Hall.
Nov. 18 – Ugandan actor, refugee, and activist Samite presents his acclaimed one man show “Resilience,” his story of persecution and peace.
Dec. 6 – Chart-topping R&B singer Macy Gray adds Port Angeles as a stop on her international Reset Tour with The California Jet Club.