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Release funding totals

In just six short months, construction is scheduled to begin on the downtown Performing Arts Center, a project that would make the Gate City an even greater destination for art lovers both near and far.

Fundraising efforts were given a much-needed boost last week, with the announcement of a $250,000 anchor grant from Bank of America; although officials have yet to announce an overall total for monies raised.

“We’re very thankful for it, and we hope it will be a catalyst for more future giving to come,” Nashua Director of Economic Development Tim Cummings said of the $250,000.

We hope Cummings is right, as the center – which is set to open in fall 2021 – has somewhat stalled in progress on the funding side, and with it, the patience of some locals.

The grant is intended to anchor the $2.5 million private capital campaign, with the $250,000 only coming to Nashua if that goal is realized.

“It does have a ripple effect from an economic standpoint, so part of the allocation of our dollars is to make sure that we’re having a direct impact on people’s ability to either make a living or drive the economy,” said Bank of America New Hampshire Market President Ken Sheldon. “When you see arts venues throughout the state and throughout the region, it has been shown that they drive economic activity.”

Early estimates project 120 new jobs during the construction phase of the 750-seat facility, and Spectacle Management, who will run the venue, estimates the PAC will draw 70,000 people to downtown Nashua annually by its third year of operation. They also estimate the PAC will be used at least 130 days per year, with the potential to reach 200 days of use annually.

All positives. That said, PAC and city officials must soon release the total monies raised so the community can assess where we are and how far we have to go to realize this vision. The secrecy must come to an end so we all can see the true viability of the Performing Arts Center.

The last thing we need in Nashua is a venue that the community does not support, which only would set us up for failure in the future.

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