BEAVERTON, Ore. — Editor's note: The video above aired in January 2022.
The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts has opened in Beaverton, a project years in the making to bring a new arts hub to Washington County.
Local leaders gathered Tuesday for a ribbon cutting to mark the grand opening of the $55 million project. The 43,000-square-foot building sits along Beaverton Creek in The Round, between Southwest Hall and Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard. It houses a 550-seat theater, art gallery and space for rehearsals, meetings and events.
The building's namesake, philanthropist Pat Reser, donated $13 million toward the project.
"We've spent a lot of energy thinking about how best to represent the best of the arts in the world to the people of Beaverton," Reser said.
The opening marks the end of a long journey to bring an arts venue to the west side.
"Portland has a plethora of venues and opportunities. But there's something that says, we want to live in Beaverton, we want to work in Beaverton, we want to be entertained in Beaverton and actually live," said Reser. "We are ready to really flourish."
The Reser has a full slate of performances scheduled through the spring and is already attracting bigger acts like Lea Salonga's national tour, the Tony Award-winner known as the singing voice of Disney movie princesses Jasmine and Mulan, and for her role in Miss Saigon on Broadway.
"It's a place for artists, both emerging artists and established artists," Reser added, pointing to the center's smaller performance spaces that will allow newer artists to perform without worrying about selling out an auditorium
The first performances will be all-women a cappella quintet Nobuntu on March 8 in honor of International Women's Day, and a performance March 12 by The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra.
The art gallery's first exhibit, titled "Celilo - Never Silenced," explores the impact of the destruction of Celilo Falls, a sacred waterfall to local Indigenous tribes, when The Dalles Dam was constructed in 1957. It runs from March 1 through June 5, with an artist reception Friday, March 4. The gallery is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday from 10-6, and for 90 minutes before any show.
There is a free open house on March 13 for the community to see the new facilities, featuring arts activities and local performers.