Hopes high to close Tannery Arts Center theater fundraising gap: Event will include tours of hide house
By J.M. Brown | Published by Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ — As the Tannery Arts Center prepares to celebrate its fourth anniversary, supporters are hoping to narrow the fundraising gap for a theater that will complete the historic leather-making site’s rebirth.
The renovation of the Salz Tannery hide house into a venue for the Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre and other performing arts is estimated to cost $5 million. Supporters have raised $3.2 million to date but need another $1 million, or 85 percent of the total cost, to begin construction.
“We are trying to build it to be accessible for drama, music and dance,” said George Newell, the center’s executive director and a founding board member. “Each one of those activities has its own specific requirements.”
The public will be able to tour the 1956 redwood-encased structure, where cow hides were once stored, during the center’s “Tanniversary” party June 15. From 3-9 p.m., the River Street campus will offer open studios, performances, exhibits and an artists’ faire.
Once completed, the 200-seat Hide House theater will represent the final piece of redevelopment for the tannery, which operated for 145 years before closing in 2001.