What The Heck Is SOPA?
By: Wayne Groome
It sounds like a new soap or detergent, or maybe a disease from the lack of soap. Just kidding of course. SOPA stands for “Supporters of the Performing Arts.” They are the group behind the almost forgotten effort to build a state-of-the-art facility for the entertainment part of our community. I have heard it said that it is a group of misguided sophisticates trying to push a $3,500,000 building down the tax payers’ throats.
Wrong! SOPA is a group of intelligent, creative folks representing the various musical and theatrical groups who entertain our residents and visitors with numerous venues throughout the year.
The problem they all face is lack of a building adequate to showcase their talents. Some groups display their genius using the YMCA auditoriums, church sanctuaries, the playhouse room under the Other Side restaurant, the high school auditorium and outdoor locations when the weather permits. Estes Park, the “gem of the Rockies,” is without a community theatre to house all the talented groups that entertain here.
For the record, the SOPA group now realizes that their organization has flubbed the effort to raise private funds for their project.
They realize that their message has not gotten out to the community over the last few years, so they are now re-grouping, re-organizing and re-committing to the project.
In the upcoming weeks and months you, the proud residents of our valley, will be educated to the rejuvenated plans for our community theatre building. The theatre will be available for all groups’ activities: plays, musical performances, lectures, school graduations and professional touring companies from outside our valley. This building will be available to any local group needing a first-class, 433-seat theatre at a nominal charge.
The Performing Arts Center, or whatever it gets called, will be funded by grants and private donations, and donated to the town upon its completion. The town’s up-front contribution is the real estate on which the building is built, utilities connections and parking lot for 600 vehicles.
The now-proposed $5,000,000 building will be of great benefit to the community in terms of its usage as well as its economic pluses. More people in town to be entertained means more money spend and more tax revenues received. I, for one, cannot see a down side to this project, provided it is managed well upon its completion. Estes Park, the “gem of the Rockies,” deserves a gem of a cultural center. All we need is money.
Stay tuned for the real scoop on the Performing Arts Center and how you can be part of its construction and success!