Only 31 months after first breaking ground, the gorgeous Fox Cities Performing Arts Center opened its doors to the public on November 25, 2002 in Appleton, Wisconsin to universal rave reviews. Not only was the facility completed in record time, but it also was able to accomplish its goal of raising the $45 million through the private contributions of over 2,700 local residents and businesses.
Each individual seating level of the Fox Cities PAC boasts lobby space and its own concessions stands for a total of 25,000 square feet. The lobby is ideal for community gatherings on performance days and can also host receptions, meetings and other events. The lobby services both the 2,100-seat Thrivent Financial Hall and the smaller, multi-purpose Kimberly-Clark Theater.
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center was designed by Palm Beach, Florida based Zeidler-Grinnell Partnership Architects. In addition to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Zeidler counts among its projects The Fallsview Casino Resort at Niagara Falls and the beautiful Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, both located in Ontario, Canada.
The Fox Valley Symphony proudly calls the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center its home, plans to for many seasons. As a performance space, the 2,061 seat main hall offers a unique opportunity for the symphony to attract a wider audience base. With innovative structural measures designed to seal off distracting street traffic from the busy intersection outside, the Fox Cities PAC state-of-the-art main hall is an ideal space to enjoy a symphony concert performance. The sound in the hall is absolutely beautiful. The Fox Valley Symphony has seen a robust increase in ticket sales since the opening of the Fox Cities PAC.
While the main hall is well suited for a symphony orchestra, the Appleton-based Attic Theatre company is certainly enjoying the construction of the Fox Cities PAC's 400-seat studio theater. The space, known formally as the Kimberly-Clark Theater, will make the PAC more accessible for amateur and nonprofit performing groups such as the Attic company. Local school groups will also have the opportunity to utilize the facility. Two of three Appleton area high schools used the facility in its first season for musical events. It is expected that there will be more district-wide chorus, band, orchestra, and theater events at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in the future.
In addition the Fox Valley Symphony, the Boston Pops and various theatrical performances local groups, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has played host to various touring acts such as legendary comedian and satirist George Carlin and television star and stand-up comic Bill Cosby.
The new Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has certainly been a victory for the Fox Valley area and a welcome addition to the cultural well-being of the growing city of Appleton. Fifty thousand people turned out for performances and open-house events in the first three weeks it was open to the public.
Directions from Nearest Town/Intersection: South: Take US Highway 41 north to exit 137, College Ave. Go right (east) on College for 4 miles to downtown Appleton. The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is on the left between Walnut & Division Sts. North: Take US Highway 41 south, exit on State Highway 441 south to College Ave (County CE). Exit and proceed right (west) on College for five miles to downtown Appleton. The PAC is on the right between Walnut & Division Sts.
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
400 West College Ave
Appleton, WI 54911