Clock is Ticking on SAPAC Dream


“I think it’s great that we have all these groups here showcasing what we will be doing!” exclaimed Susan Brooks, Board President of the San Angelo Performing Arts Coalition at the SAPAC block party Thursday night.

The event showcased where the renovations on the City Auditorium and the old Coca-Cola warehouse would take place.

Perhaps the most important aspect was the tour of the old Coca-Cola Warehouse, where changes to be made were represented in tape and chalk.

The tape allowed the public to see where the stages, studios and offices would be, as well as see how the backstage area would work via loading docks.

Everything is projected to be state of the art, if it ever gets built.

The fundraising to date is impressive. $11.8 million of the $13.8 million required to break ground is already pledged or collected. 

That means that the San Angelo Performing Arts Center is about $2 million short of the funding necessary to begin renovations on the old Coca-Cola warehouse and City Auditorium. The last stretch is always the most difficult SAPAC volunteers admit.

“October two years ago we kicked this off,” said Matt Lewis, President of the San Angelo Area Foundation.

He explained that the first dinner fundraiser they had in October of 2011 was a whopping success. “We’d already secured $5 million in initial grants and pledges,” said Lewis. “Two years later we’ve gotten over 500 donations, over 10 foundations; all of it combines for $11.7 million, that’s what’s been raised from the public.”

Success has continued all the way up to the final stretch of the race, with a track record of raising half a million dollars a month.


But with a Dec. 31 deadline, fundraising at the historical rate means coming up $1 million short.

Should that deadline arrive before the money does, $1.5 million in matching grants from the San Angelo Health Foundation will have to be re-approved.

Potentially the most ambitious fundraising effort since the Stephen’s Central Library (though in a much smaller timetable), SAPAC has a fair chance to make it with more donations or pledges.

“Click a button, ‘donate now’, it’s real easy, donate now, ten dollars, punch a button,” Lewis explains the ease of donating and some of the problems faced by SAPAC.

“I think everybody wants to see it happen, but if I can convince you to spend your money instead of me spending, I'll let you donate instead.” Lewis explains his view on thought process of West Texans, “If you’ll give, I’ll just let you give.”

Meaning that if one guy can convince someone else to pay for it, why should he pay at all.

Lewis does give credit where it’s due, praising the people who are giving back to the community by donating, and gave a shout out to another arts organization raising money.

“You can give one dollar!” exclaimed Cathryn Sanders, Creative Director of Angelo Civic Theatre, “even the little students over at the ballet center all gave like a dollar.”

SAPAC will accept any amount with thanks, and offers naming options for bricks, seats, and even the theatre if you’re willing to pay the price. For larger donors, all SAPAC requires is a pledge. You can write the check later.

Donation options, from small to large, are on the SAPAC website

For more information on the renovations, plans and designs, or to donate to SAPAC, visit their website

See more pictures of the SAPAC Black Party Thursday evening on the San Angelo LIVE! Facebook page.

Learn more about the SAPAC performing arts campus here.

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