Presidio of San Francisco (December 2, 2011)
-- The Presidio Dance Theatre, relocated from its old home in the shadows of Doyle Drive construction, has moved to a spectacular new Presidio Performing Arts Center (PPAC) on the Main Post. A grand opening gala and performance will be held Saturday, December 3, at 6:30 pm.
“The addition of the Presidio Performing Arts Center supports our goal of bringing activity back to the Main Post,” says Craig Middleton, the Presidio Trust’s executive director. “It provides an important cultural and educational resource for San Francisco and the Bay Area, especially for our children.”
One of the Presidio’s oldest tenants, the 14-year old dance company is the most recent of several tenants to take up residence on the Main Post.
“The PPAC is a cultural hub for artists, arts students and enthusiasts,” says Judy Bretschneider, the PPAC’s founder and executive director. “In our new building, we are at the nexus of culture and community, where ethnic traditions cross-pollinate for an authentic American experience. We are now in a position to become a world leader for performing arts collaboration.”
Housed in the former post library, the PPAC features a multi-use theater for performances, rehearsals, and special events. It also features a children’s rehearsal studio, a green room, gift shop, offices, library and conference room, and costume storage space. Bretschneider sees the new performing arts center as helping to fill a vital local need for community theater space dedicated to the arts and culture, especially as arts programming continues to disappear from the city’s schools.
“I love the building’s natural light and the views of the bay and the forest,” says Bretschneider. “Creativity in the arts is enhanced by an aesthetically pleasing location. This space is conducive to the opening of the spirit and the heart.”
Originally constructed in 1958, the new building easily accommodates an array of new programs including several adult classes, a “fencing for the stage” course, and classes in musical theater, Polynesian dance, and Mexican folkloric dance.
The dance theater joins a number of cultural organizations on the Main Post, including the San Francisco Film Society, Walt Disney Family Museum, the Presidio Archaeology Lab and Officers’ Club, which will reopen in 2013 after a complete rehabilitation.
Saturday’s opening gala includes dinner by Wolfgang Puck, a performance by theatre artists and dancing. For more information visit www.presidiodance.org
Founded in 1998 (as the Presidio Performing Arts Foundation) the Presidio Performing Arts Center (PPAC) preserves, enhances and presents dance, music and theater traditions in their historical context, increasing the public’s knowledge and appreciation of peoples and art forms from across the globe. The center’s resident dance company, Presidio Dance Theater (PDT) is an acclaimed multi-generational performance company. Though based in ballet, PDT specializes in dance from many regions of the world and features award-winning arts education programs.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The Trust has rehabilitated more than 300 of the 433 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio's status as a National Historic Landmark District.