Foundation: "More is More" for Downtown Arts

POSTED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 5:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 6:04pm

Champion of Plaza Theater Supports potential rival Abraham Chavez

We would the El Paso Community Foundation respond today. Tthe foundation has a deep emotional investment in the Plaza Theatre.  At great cost it rescued and refurbished this grand theater into one of El Paso's great destinations.The Plaza's home to many great events including the El Paso symphony and opera.

But when  El Paso city council voted Tuesday to back the restoration of the Abraham Chavez theatre downtown, that seemed to spell trouble for the Plaza.  The Chavez theater with its excellent acoustic sound, once hosted the symphony and the opera.  If a renovated Chavez wins back both seasons, it could mean more open dates and dark nights at the Plaza

Foundation president Eric Pearson takes a generous view of the siutation.  "I'm not worried about either of those (venues), because in the world of quality of life entertainment more is more"

Far from being competitive at the moment, Pearson, whose heart belongs to the Plaza, virtually endorses a comeback by the Chavez theater.

"If we have a Plaza that works and a Chavez that works and a multi purpose venue, an art museum, a history museum, a library and a vibrant placita..and a mills plaza, these are all things that compliment each very specific ways, in that they're all committed to providing people with the opportunity to enjoy a high quality expereience."

In a way, the battle for downtown entertaimment dollars is a battle of sports versus fine arts. The proposed baseball stadium would knock down the popular Insights museum, and if council pulls its support for the Chavez theatre, that building could come down and and a sports arena would likely take its place. That is why Eric Pearson and the El Paso Community Foundation inivte competion between one fine arts venue and the other.

The city owns both the Plaza and the Chavez.

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