Arts & Entertainment

Park City Institute ends 2022 without a signed agreement for continued use of the Eccles Center

PARK CITY, Utah — The board of directors of the Park City Institute (PCI) has directed the executive director to continue negotiations with the Park City School District to extend or enter into a new agreement for Eccles Center for the Performing Arts programming.

Leadership and the Park City Institute board have been engaged with the Park City School District for over a year to come to a new agreement that would provide priority scheduling and programming of the Eccles Center.

“After negotiating an agreement with the administration in May 2022, I was told late that summer the school board was inclined to let the agreement expire,” said Ari Ioannides, Executive Director of the Park City Institute. “In October 2022, a group of PCI Board members led by Jason Owen met with Dr. Gildea, Michale Tanner, Anne Peters, and Erin Grady to see if there was a solution that would allow the Institute to continue programming. This led to crafting a Memorandum of Understanding that has yet to be approved or executed.”

The Park City Institute, previously the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, first entered into an agreement in 1995 to provide programming to the Eccles. That agreement provided for an Advisory Board with members from the Park City Arts Council, Chamber of Commerce, the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, Superintendent of the School Board, and a member of the Park City Education Foundation that would receive requested calendaring of events from each party and the executive director of the Park City Institute would coordinate access and use of the Eccles.

Over the last 25 years, the School District has worked to gain more control over programming at the Eccles through a combination of board policy and more restrictive agreements with the Park City Institute.

“The school district feels that the general rental policy can provide the basis for the use of the Eccles, however, booking acts into a community venue requires a set of open dates that can be held for artists while contracts are negotiated,” said Ioannides. “Without an agreement otherwise, the new facility use policy requires firm commitment and deposits to hold dates. Unfortunately, that presents a barrier for any venue operator to schedule and present a variety of shows.”

The Park City Institute will continue to present the remaining twelve shows in the 2022-23 main stage series under a provision that allows previously scheduled performances to continue and looks forward to working with the Park City School District to extend the existing agreement or enter into a new agreement that will facilitate community cultural programming.

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