News Column

Performing arts center renamed under contract with credit union

May 1, 2014

By Jefferson Robbins, The Wenatchee World, Wash.


As of today, the Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee officially becomes the Numerica Performing Arts Center at the Stanley Civic Center.

The change comes in light of a $500,000 pledge from Numerica Credit Union, granting the naming rights until 2024.

Center director Matt Cadman announced the name change, and signed the contract, in a Wednesday afternoon press conference with officials of the Spokane-based Numerica, center board members and city dignitaries.

"More than anything, it's just the validation and maybe the cachet that comes with knowing an up-and-coming, thriving corporation like Numerica believes and is willing to take a risk on a small theater three hours away from their corporate office," Cadman said Thursday.

Cadman approached Numerica, a name sponsor of the center's annual Festival of Trees fundraiser, back in January. The center board approved the deal a month ago.

Numerica is the second financial company to place its name above the center's doors. Bank of America gave $250,000 for the naming rights in 1995, five years prior to the theater's opening. Its formal name was the Bank of America Performing Arts Center until that agreement expired in 2006.

The naming rights became a political football of sorts as center operators tried to acknowledge the late Bob Stanley, founder of Stan'sMerry Mart, who contributed $1 million to complete the downtown complex in which the theater sits -- alongside the Wenatchee Convention Center, the Auvil Exhibition Hall and Riverside Playhouse. The entire facility is dubbed the Stanley Civic Center, identified with its own sign in 2003.

With the new name, Cadman said, "I want to honor Bob Stanley and what Stan'sMerry Mart and (owner) Ethel Wright have done over the years."

"Wenatchee" will also drop out of the center's name, Cadman said, "because another part of my vision is it's not just Wenatchee. We want it to be more regional, more North Central Washington."

The Numerica deal hands the nonprofit performing arts center $50,000 up front, with another $50,000 due Jan. 1 and the balance of the pledge paid annually for 10 years. Cadman said the center's signs, stationery and posters will be revised over the summer to reflect the new name, with a completion target date of Labor Day.

The electronic reader sign fronting Wenatchee Avenue will change to read "Numerica Performing Arts Center" below the existing wording that reads "Stanley Civic Center." On the complex's western brick wall, Cadman hopes to install raised bronze wording to reflect the change -- although whether the full nine-word name will be placed there is up for debate, he said.

The Numerica funds will go toward operations and staffing, Cadman said. The theater will continue raising funds and sponsorships independently to book and promote its shows.

Reach Jefferson Robbins at 509-664-7123 or Follow him on Twitter at @JRobbinsWW.


(c)2014 The Wenatchee World (Wenatchee, Wash.)

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Source: Wenatchee World, The (WA)

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