On June 14, the Midway City Planning Commission (which is an advisory body) voted to allow an Arts Center in commercial zones and also voted to allow The MAC clock tower, which is 15 feet higher than code normally allows, to be built. About 60 MAC supporters attended the meeting wearing “Bring The MAC to Midway” hats and clapped when the vote was taken – 4 in favor, 2 against! It was a most gratifying and exciting moment, especially since it wasn’t a slam dunk! Thanks to all those who attended that meeting!!!!
Since the Planning Commission is only a recommending body, the same matter must be approved by the Midway City Council. We have made 2 presentations to the Council and have been working with the Mayor and the Council to address their concerns. We have adjusted our design and are on calendar for the Work Meeting, followed immediately by the City Council Meeting, on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. This will result in a crucial vote on the Code language needed to proceed. This is a critically important and determinative step. We’re optimistic, but it has been a challenging process in our effort to “Bring the MAC to Midway”!
Our traffic engineer, Hales, Engineering, the leading traffic engineering firm in the State, has stated that the traffic impact of the MAC would be “minimal.” The Main Stage and Black Box/Youth Theater in the MAC will be configured to hold approximately the same number of patrons per HVAF show as currently attend. Therefore, the traffic impact of the MAC per performance will not be any greater than is already a part of Midway traffic scene. The difference will be that HVAF shows will run longer, which will keep the MAC financially healthy and will provide a performance venue for community groups. HVAF will also pursue a facilities endowment which will be used to reduce the community cost for events.
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During the times when many visitors come to Midway – July and during Swiss Days – High Valley Arts will not only present a Broadway musical in the Main Theater but will also present in the smaller Youth Theater the short professional musical, “Socks and Souls, the Story of Midway” with the goal of involving residents and visitors in the lives of those who settled our Valley. Over time, other local histories will be dramatized and presented during July and Swiss Days so that those who gave their lives to build what we so value and enjoy will never be forgotten.
Yes. About 30% of the available time in the three venues (Main Stage, Black Box, and Recital Hall) will be available for local arts groups. The MAC will pursue a Facilities Endowment to lower rental rates for local arts groups.
No. Each venue will have its own staggered performing time, thus not overwhelming Midway roads with traffic.
No. HVAF is planning to perform outdoors at a new amphitheater in Soldier Hollow.
The Main Stage will hold 450 people, about the same number of people as will fit in the Midway Town Hall if every spot holds a chair and all the side benches are filled with people. The Main Stage will have 300 seats on the main level and 150 in the balcony.
The recital hall will hold 125 chairs, making it a lovely space suitable for small receptions, art displays, music recitals, and etc.
The blackbox theater, which will be used for youth musicals, will hold 250 people, making it suitable for small performances of a variety of types.
No. A fly is a 70-foot tall structure at the back of a stage that allows scenery to be lifted up out of sight during a performance. Instead, The MAC will have a 40 foot wide LED wall, allowing scenery to be displayed beautifully and electronically. The LED wall can be moved to the front of the stage, suitable for conventions, product unveilings, etc.
Yes. An appropriate musical performance will be presented later in the evening after Swiss Days closes for the night. Again, this will encourage overnight stays and provide revenues for both businesses and government.
Through High Valley Arts’ “Let Freedom Ring!” program, school children in Wasatch County and in nearby communities will be invited to The MAC to present in the Black Box for their friends the short drama provided to them by HVAF. HVAF will provide costumes, sets, and props. After their presentation, a costumed freedom hero, such as George Washington will describe his adventures in gaining America’s freedoms. The students will be invited to climb to the top of nearby Memorial Hill where a real life American freedom hero, a veteran, will describe his experiences in keeping America free. The cost/blessings of freedom should have greater meaning to the young people at the end of that day. Families will also be able to bring their children to participate in similar events.
Every July, HVAF will perform a freedom musical, either one that already exists or an original. It will be accompanied by lectures, arts displays, children’s activities, etc. After the performance, patrons will be invited to climb to the top of nearby Memorial Hill where a real-life hero, a veteran, will share his/her experiences protecting America’s freedoms. A Broadway musical will also be performed at Soldier Hollow, encouraging patrons to spend the night in the beautiful Heber Valley.
High Valley Arts has been a major contributor to the cultural well-being of our community and has provided significant economic benefit as well. The 68,000+ people attending performances have bought gas, eaten at restaurants, shopped at stores, stayed at resorts and other accommodations and have otherwise spent money in Midway and the Heber Valley. For 15 years, HVAF has provided wholesome entertainment that has bolstered both local businesses and the City’s tax revenues. The MAC will host not only High Valley Arts as its resident theater company but local arts organizations and other community events as well. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something wonderful for our City and its future. Let’s “Bring the MAC to Midway”!
Yes. The Heber group envisions an arts center substantially larger than the MAC to be used by all county arts groups, modeled after the Rose Wagner in SLC and the Covey Center in Provo. We understand that current plans are that the County will support and manage the new facility.
The MAC will be privately funded and, similar to the Hale Theaters or Pioneer Memorial Theater, will have a resident theater company (High Valley Arts Foundation). It will also have about 30% of stage time available for rental by community arts groups. Currently Wasatch County has about 8-12 performing arts groups, all of which would likely find sufficient venue time in The MAC.
We support the Heber Valley group and believe both concepts are needed.
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