Ormond Beach Center for the Performing Arts APPLY for ECHO Renewal Scholarship
Over the past few years, Friends of the Performing Arts Center have been hard at work trying to realize a vision: one where the Ormond Beach Center for the Performing Arts becomes one of the attractions for visitors and residents of the city.
The renovation project has been in the works since 2019 when the city commission approved plans to renovate the lobby and main corridor of the 1982 building located at 399 NUS 1. A former church, evidence of its original use is still visible today with church benches remaining in the lobby to offer seating. The city purchased the building in 1988, and it opened as a performing arts center in 1991. It has not been significantly modernized since then.
But friends of PAC hope that will change very soon.
Lucy Jackman, president of the nonprofit, said the planned improvements to the building would be “huge.”
“For me, this is the cultural center of the city, and it should be a bigger cultural center,” Jackman said.
The project is estimated to cost $1 million, and Friends of PAC are working to collect as much of the cost as possible. The group has received two grants so far from the Daytona Beach District Race and Recreational Facilities — a $20,000 grant and a $165,000 grant — and they hope to apply for an ECHO scholarship in the next county cycle. It’s an effort supported by the city committee, which on October 5 unanimously directed the task force to assist Jackman in the process, and expressed support for amending the budget if needed to help.
Other improvements coming to the PAC are coming via concessions, as the city has made an offer for a third party to take over. This facilitates the sale of beer and wine on the premises, which PAC never sold. Jackman said that one of the most common reactions from customers is their desire to buy beer and wine before the show.
In addition, PAC has partnered with the Ormond Memorial Art Museum to host exhibitions, and PAC is currently hosting its third pop-up exhibition, “Exhibit of Gratitude,” which will be on display through December 13.
When PAC friends started talking about the renovations, they were originally focused only on the interior.
“But, as the discussion went on with our board of directors, we said, ‘You know, people won’t see anything until they come in. “They should realize we’re out,” Jackman said. “And that was when we went and said we were going to expand the project abroad.”
Friends of PAC hope the building will be repainted, new lighting installed, and existing stone features removed to give it a more modern look.
Another goal of the group is to start helping to bring entertainment into the building. Future fundraising is now under discussion.
“This should have been a priority at all times, and it wasn’t,” Jackman said. “It appears to be so now, we hope, and when it does, the people of this city will be astounded. It really is.”