One of the first buildings constructed in Logan was a performance hall, a place where people could gather after work and chores to enjoy family style entertainment and boost the economy. According to the director of The Cache Valley Center of Arts, Wendi Hassan, that tradition continues today.
And she has the numbers to prove it.
“We got 1,600 surveys out, and then Americans for the Arts crunched the numbers and found that we have a $31 million yearly economic impact on Cache Valley," Hassan said.
317,000 audience members who attended performances by community and professional theater groups were also surveyed. That number translates into six times the population of Logan City and three times the population of Cache County.
“It’s this amazing wealth of activity and engagement that we now have measured and can all use to say, ‘This is what we do, and who are we not reaching, who do we need to be talking to?'" Hassan said.
Results from the study are being used by area arts event organizers to pitch government groups and other funding sources to help make way for downtown, the USU Campus and Northern Utah arts events in 2017 and 2018. Hassan says USU’s Caine School of the Arts, for example, marked the opening of the university’s Year Of The Arts campaign recently by holding a street party in front of the Lyric Theatre on the city’s Center Street.
“There was a grand celebration of 50 years of the Lyric Reparatory Company," Hassan said. "It was just very, very hip.”
Logan City’s council members recently designated a historic theater district that includes the Ellen Eccles Theatre on Main Street, the Dansante on first West and the Lyric and Utah Theaters.
“All of this came together at once. The arts and economic impact study, the historic theater district, the year of the arts, all these anniversaries. You’ll have the best of what we can roll out to look forward to.”
And, arts and entertainment guests to Logan will soon be able to attend performances in a renovated 1,600 seat performance hall on the USU Logan Campus this fall. The Newel G. and Jean C. Daines Concert Hall opens October 18 with a 50th Anniversary Gala Concert featuring actress and singer Kelly O’Hara and the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra.