By Debbie Bruell
Sopris Sun Correspondent
The Third Street Center is making big changes in how it manages its biggest space, the PAC3 performing arts center.
Until recently, the PAC3 has been leased to Josh Behrman and his non-profit, Music for the Mountains. Behrman has booked countless shows at the PAC3, including Bruce Cockburn, Steve Earle, David Grisman, the Wailers and Hot Tuna.
According to Third Street Center board member Gavin Brooke, the TSC board has decided that it now wants to make that space “more available and more of an asset for a broader range of uses in the entire community.”
Rather than leasing the space to one tenant, the TSC board has decided to manage the space internally and make it available for people to rent for a variety of uses: convention-type events, theater productions and other gatherings.
The TSC board also hopes to make more use of the space during daytime hours.
The space will be available for people who want to book shows. The TSC board is developing a contract with Behrman that will terminate his current lease and guarantee him PAC3 availability for the next three years or so.
“We expect this new arrangement to make more sense financially because we’re looking at a broader diversity of potential users,” Brooke told The Sopris Sun, “but the real emphasis for the board was to put that space to more effective use for TSC and the whole community.”
The Third Street Center occupies what was once Carbondale Elementary School; the PAC3 space is the school’s old gym.
According to Brooke, the board will probably remodel the PAC3 space and is developing a fund-raising campaign to pay for it.
Brooke said that facilities manager Mark Taylor and previous TSC Director Jody Ensign had been integral to re-visioning a new use for that space.
Sarah Moore, previous TSC board member and co-director of the Carbondale Clay Center, is currently serving as interim executive director of TSC until a new director is hired. Taylor will continue as facilities manager of TSC, and the board is considering creating a new position for someone to manage the PAC3 space and other TSC programs.
(Editor’s note: For more on this story, see the letter to the editor on page 19).