The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts began as just a dream. It was the dream of community leaders who believed that the performing arts in Alaska needed a permanent place they could call home. The world-class facility they envisioned was a place where the performing arts and artists could thrive, and where all Alaskans could come together to experience the joy, inspiration and enrichment that the performing arts provide. So began the dream, which became reality twenty-five years ago on September 15, 1988 when the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors for the first time.
The Center quickly became the true Center of Anchorage. "A city without a performing arts center is a town. With the addition of the Center," says John Tracy, Chair of the 25th Anniversary Celebration, "Anchorage went from being a town to being a legitimate, urban American city."
Scores of people from all walks of life have experienced hilarious comedy to heartbreaking tragedy, from breathtaking dance to soul stirring vocal harmonies from bombastic symphonic masterpieces to grand opera and spectacular Broadway, to the amazing talents of local kids, Alaskan artists and internationally renowned actors. The opening of the Center fulfilled a long held dream and has truly elevated the level of performance and enriched life in Alaska.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, our city and the arts in Alaska.
Over the past 25 years we've shared some memorable experiences both profound and silly. What is your favorite memory associated with the PAC? We'd love to find out!
Remember seeing Rudolf Nureyev take the stage in the Atwood? Breathtaking! And I can still feel the sudden gooseflesh I felt during the animal parade at The Lion King. Or what about the time your sister ran into Jay Leno on his way into the PAC?
We are creating fun and exciting ways to record your special memories and to share them with others who were moved just as much you. It’s time to inspire your fellow Alaskans by sharing those unforgettable moments and hopefully create some new ones that will carry us through another 25 years and more!
Be a star! Share your favorite memory by video. Send us your favorite story about the building or better yet your favorite performance at the PAC and we'll post it online.
Captivating curtains of postcards will festoon our lobby as we collect written memories from the community on ACPA postcards from yesteryear. Come fill out a postcard with your own special memory from 25 years of live performances in this facility.
A picture paints a thousand words. Please send us a photo from your own collection to be shared online. Or come have your picture taken at one of our birthday celebrations. We'll provide some fun props, you provide the smiles! And best yet, it’s free!
We'd love to know your fondest memory!
The Center commissioned Alaska Native mask artist Drew Michael to create a mask in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the PAC. His incredible mask is installed next to the main doors of the Atwood Concert Hall on Orchestra level. Thank you to CITC and Amy Freeden for helping to fund this remarkable project.
Artist Drew Michael talking about the process that went into the creation of the mast
Seat fabric from all three theatres, lighting gels, curtain ropes, nuts and bolts, and microphone materials all went into the mask creation
Artist Drew Michael and ACPA President Nancy Harbour unveiling the mask
Julie Millington and fellow patrons at the unveiling.