Who We Are
How it began (from an article The Beachcomber, 2008)...
From Coffee Beans to Performing Arts:
Janet McAlpin & David Godsey announce their Arts Venue plans
Over the past several months we have certainly been fielding an increasing number of questions and expressed interest in our plans for the former SBC Coffee Roasterie warehouses! And as we go into this new year, we notice that there is an upwelling of various proposals to provide facilities for the arts on Vashon. So we have decided this is a good time to share with our island neighbors our initial plans and progress at the former SBC site.
A Bit of History
When the SBC property came up for sale in 2004, Emma Amiad persuaded us to take a look. We were struck by the exciting arts possibilities in the site, so we spoke then with owner Jim Stewart about our vision of converting the buildings into community space with an arts focus.
Jim supported our vision and we made an offer to buy the property, contingent upon zoning that permitted a performing arts space. With persistent support and tireless work by Emma, Dow Constantine and Dow's staff member Sharon Nelson the zoning issues were eventually resolved. In the Fall of 2005 we purchased the property.
The Heart of Our Plan
Our dream is to offer Vashon a community space with an arts focus. Our goal is to provide a performing arts, events and meeting facility that is well equipped, flexible, affordable and available to island arts groups and individual artists for the realization of their projects and dreams.
Given our experience with non-profit and public entities, we have structured this as a hybrid endeavor – at its core it is a philanthropic initiative, built on a private enterprise model, with a community service mission and character.
Translation: this facility requires no public funding because it is privately owned and maintained. And we as owners, rather than seeking a profit, choose to be stewards of a community resource.
What This Resource Will Be
Our immediate plans include:
Large capacity performing arts and community events hall with flexible stage and seating configuration
Community hall / circus space with a 30' ceiling and aerial rigging capacity
Classrooms, meeting rooms, gallery and lobby spaces
These facilities will be available to lease for performances, rehearsals, classes, meetings and other events. Long-term plans also include converting the second warehouse building, perhaps into studios & working spaces for lease to visual artists.
Progress So Far
In addition to developing our site plan, we have spent the past two years working on four levels: uncovering and correcting issues with the buildings operating systems; leasing out the second building for industrial storage to help us cover costs; purchasing necessary support equipment, and completing work on one section of the main building, the 3200 sq. ft. Community Hall.
Already we have launched the Community Hall, leasing it out for weekly children's circus skill classes as well as for professional theatre rehearsals. It has been wonderful to see the facility begin to come to life!
In addition, we have purchased a large platform lift and a sizeable stage lighting package that includes enough equipment to meet our events and performance venue needs.
Over the next few months we are working to formalize our plan for the rest of the main building. We will continue to meet with the arts professionals, advisors and friends who are assisting us to transform the buildings into a facility that meets our goals and vision.
On a final note, we would just like to say thank you, Vashon, for generously supporting our artistic efforts over the years. We hope this facility will serve as our way of giving something important back.
See you around the Rock! --Janet McAlpin & David Godsey