Field Hall gets grant of $1M

Executive director says $8M left to raise

PORT ANGELES — Field Arts & Events Hall has been awarded another $1 million.

The grant announced Thursday is from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Wash.

“The Murdock Trust loves to support organizations that bring people together around shared artistic and cultural experiences, and that is exactly what this new facility will do,” said Lorin Schmit Dunlop, program director at the Murdock Trust.

“We know the Port Angeles community will be enriched because of the new artistic and educational opportunities this hall will offer, and we are excited to see it come to life,” Dunlop added.

The total projected building cost for Field Arts & Events Hall, at 219 N. Oak St. in Port Angeles, is $56 million.

“Thanks to the support of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and hundreds of individual arts patrons, the current capital campaign gap is just under $8 million,” said Steve Raider-Ginsburg, executive director, in a press release.

In addition, local governments have awarded the hall more than $600,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The project was begun with a behest of $9 million to build a new performing arts center in Port Angeles by Donna M. Morris, who died in 2014.

Field Hall staff intends to continue fundraising for the capital campaign through the end of 2024, Raider-Ginsburg said.

A $10 million line of credit has been secured with First Fed to cover any temporary shortfalls, he added.

Scheduled to open in July 2023, the downtown Port Angeles venue is expected to host local, regional, national and international music and performance artists in its 500-seat theater.

Field Hall also includes a conference and event center overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca for groups of 20 to 400 people.

The 1.6-acre waterfront parcel, collectively purchased with a $1.43 million donation from Dorothy Field — for whom the arts center is named — will include two other facilities that will comprise the Port Angeles Waterfront Center.

The campus will include a Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe cultural longhouse and the Marine Discovery Center, a Feiro Marine Life Center project which will include an aquarium and an aviary and replace its facility at City Pier.

Since breaking ground in 2019, Field Hall has supported more than 200,000 local craft worker hours and has injected over $1.5 million of increased revenue into local hotels and restaurants, according to Raider-Ginsburg.

“Organization leadership projects that by year three of operations, Field Hall and its patrons will generate over $2.2 million in local business activity annually,” he said in the release.

Said Field Hall board president Brooke Taylor: “We became aware of the great work of the Murdock Trust early in our capital campaign and were pleased to see how closely their mission aligns with that of Field Hall.

“We were also very impressed with the thoroughness of their vetting process; our team worked with their staff for months before our application was approved by their full board.

“It is very gratifying to have this endorsement of our project.”

The Murdock Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock. It provides grants to organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Field Arts & Events Hall will celebrate its grand opening weekend July 29-30.

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