Is it time for a Performing Arts in Fremont?
This page is dedicated to the concept of bringing a Center for the Arts to fruition. There have been many projects that have brought this close to happening but none have made it through to the end, obviously. Everything included in these pages are concepts, ideas, plans and links that show that there is indeed interest.
The information on this page is fluid and will morph as more information comes in so keep checking back. Join us!
**Graphics have been gathered through various sources. No copyright infringement intended and where possible sources will be noted.
It all started when…
The City of Fremont was incorporated 1956 bringing together the five historic districts of: Centerville, Irvington, Niles, Mission San Jose and Warm Springs. Since that time there have been many discussion and movements to garner support for a performing arts center. This is just another attempt to create a central place where Fremontians can come together to enjoy the performing arts, events, speakers and more.
Is this a new concept or idea?
No, it is not. In fact here is a set of plans that were developed as recent as the mid 1990’s. The Fremont Cultural Arts Council secured BOORA Architect Planning/Interior Design (now Bora Architects) render plans for a performing arts center. You may have seen their work elsewhere:
Smith Center at Ohlone College
Lesher Center in Walnut Creek
Mondavi Center at UC Davis
Concept graphic of Downtown Fremont
Photo courtesy: City of Fremont brochure
Local groups that would benefit
Photo courtesy: Pixabay
Local Arts Related Groups
Following is a list of arts and performance groups that should be involved in this process and who should have direct input.
Local Performing and other arts related groups:
Fremont Cultural Arts Council
Fremont Symphony - here over 50 years!
Made Up Theatre
Government and other agencies:
Fremont Unified School District
City of Fremont Economic Department
City of Fremont Parks and Recs
Fremont City Council
Local Dance Schools - these groups produce annual recitals and other dance competitions:
Academy of Chinese Performing Arts
Angela Van School of Ballet
Bravo Dance Studio
Mission Dance and Performing Arts
Tiffany’s Dance Academy of Fremont
Yoko’s Dance and Performing Arts Academy
And other performing arts needs:
Fremont Opera - trying to bring quality operatic performances to Fremont
Mission Dance & Performing Arts, Yoko's Dance, and other dance company productions
Traveling performers like
Second tier Cirque du Soleil troupes
Blue Man Group
Music Bands - Rock, jazz, country, Indian, Chinese, etc.
Celebrities like Kristi Yamaguchi's promoting her “Always Dream Foundation” on an actual stage
IF a center were given proper support from the City it can be used for multiple purposes in our area. Not only performing arts (which needs to be kept in the focus) but for a plethora of other industries:
Health Care is a major part of our Downtown area with important hospitals and medical providers like Washington Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, etc. There are so many ways to bring more focus to these incredibly important businesses:
National Speaker series on current medical practices
Specialized practice announcements
Forums on Nutrition, Cancer Research, etc.
We are Silicon Valley North, aren't we:
Speaking engagements by Tesla, LAM, Apple (They did have a shop here at one point...), Delta, and others
Forums on Green/Clean industries
Nationally televised announcements of new technology from companies based here in Fremont
Fremont issue debates and forums
City Council debates and forums
Regional office debates and forums
Statewide debates and forums??? Why not?
Schools and local arts groups:
High School performing arts performances
Dance School recitals and competitions
Cooking demonstrations or competitions like Iron Chef
Performances for the local Indian, Chinese, and other communities
Make it Green, Clean and Fun!
Photo courtesy: Hailey Kim Green
Make it unique and they will come!
Why create a typical box center like all the others? How about adding some uniqueness that will encourage tourists, travelers, and others to visit Fremont. Heck… this will put us on the map on Google Earth for artistic architecture! Fremont is forever urging our leadership to build and create green spaces and invest more into renewable resources. With today’s technology - and many companies on the cutting edge residing here in Fremont or nearby - renewable energy does not have to look utilitarian or commercial. Let’s have some fun, let’s build a work of art that brings people to the table… a showcase of what Fremont can do in support of its citizenry!
Think outside the “typical box center” - Why not a rooftop event spot with a garden and pond, a restaurant or bar, a reception or private event area? Views of Mission Peak during sunset, now that’s Fremont!
FAcebook RoofTop Garden - Menlo Park, CA
Facebook’s Menlo Park, California headquarters features an impressive, 9-acre rooftop garden—a welcome reprieve for the social media giant's 2,800 employees.
"Our goal was to create the perfect engineering space for our teams to work together," Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg wrote last March about the company's new HQ and rooftop garden. "We wanted our space to”… read more HERE.
Kaiser Center Roof Garden - Oakland, CA
Inspired by the rooftop garden at Rockefeller Center in New York City, industrialist Henry Kaiser hired the landscape architecture firm of Osmundson & Staley to design a garden atop the parking garage next to his company’s headquarters. Ted Osmundson negotiated the contract and served as client liaison, while associate David Arbegast developed the landscape design. The City of Oakland Planning Commission granted the company several variances (existing height zoning, setback requirements, and permission to fill a portion of Lake Merritt to expand the buildable site) in exchange for the creation of a significant landscape program. The result was that 90% of the land of the Kaiser Center is covered by buildings, while 60% of that same area is also landscaped.
The garden opened in 1960 as the first “true” post-World War II rooftop garden in the United States. The garden’s hardscape incorporated materials such as…read more HERE.
Why can’t it be fun, exciting and artistic?
Singapore SuperTree Grove
From their site: “Measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall, these iconic tree-like vertical gardens are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night.”
Vertical Rooftop Wind Turbines
Venger Wind US renewable distributor SWG Energy just installed the world's largest rooftop wind farm atop the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) in Oklahoma City. The project saw Venger Wind construct 18 V2 vertical axis wind turbines on the medical center's roof as part of OMRF’s sustainability strategy to create a zero emissions research tower. The omni-directional wind turbines… read more HERE!
Smart Palm - Dubai
This has been installed on the beaches of Dubai. The solar powered units provide: Free WiFi hotspots, 360 degree CCTV security, an emergency button, a touch screen with info (great for a performing arts center!), digital outdoor screens (advertising anyone?) seating area with battery charging stations and all in a great looking solar array. Read more HERE!
Tap current and viable local resources
These groups have been working to retain and develop a love for our history, the arts and Fremont.
Children's Natural History Museum
Fossils and more, how about including a Natural History Museum?
There are museums all over the place, but not many cities can say that an entire era in Earth’s history was named after a treasurer trove of fossils found in that district - The Irvingtonian Era (roughly spanning from 1.9 million – 250,000 years before present). (Wikipedia)
The Children's Natural History Museum has proudly developed a local museum where children can learn more about large mammoths, saber toothed cats, mastodons, wolves, giant sloths, short faced cave bears, camelops, western horses and many other creatures… read more HERE!
Museum of Local History
How about a Local History Museum?
The Fremont area is rich with history, from dirigible and light aircraft airstrips, to wineries that changed the west, to a military college and even Warm Springs - with actual warm geothermic springs to bathe in!
The current Museum of Local History showcases life in the Tri-City area when it was farming and ranching community and then changed to a suburban community. Visitors discover how the families who moved here lived, worked, and established a thriving small-town community… read more HERE!
Fremont Cultural Arts Council
How about a central office for organizing and furthering a love for public, performing and other arts?
In 1964, when Fremont was a bucolic suburb, the area was a magnet for educated couples who wanted to raise their children with open space, and also wanted to provide the benefits and opportunities for arts and culture in the community. A civic group formed, focused on providing quality arts events and in supporting local arts, and… read more HERE!
Arts, arts, everywhere…
The following list of performing arts centers is meant to show you that there is an interest. All around the world local communities embrace and support the arts and realized the importance they have in bringing people together.
Please note: Graphics are used for display only and were collected from multiple online sources. No copyright infringement intended.
Smith Center at Ohlone College
G. Craig Jackson Theatre
Seating (three sections): 405
Orchestra pit <50
Stage: 37.4’ deep x 97’ wide
Proscenium Opening: Adjustable Width: 41′-2″ to 37′
NUMMI Studio Theatre
Traditional Black Box
Flexible seating risers for up to 220
Outdoor Amphitheatre with views of the San Francisco Bay
Concrete Stage 50’ x 80’
Sunken Orchestra Pit
Louie-Meager Art Gallery
Available for special and VIP Events
Firehouse arts center, Pleasanton
20,000 sq. ft.
Single 227-seat theater
Option to replaced with platforms to form a completely flat floor
2,000 sq. ft. fine arts gallery
1,800 sq. ft. classroom space
3,000 sq. ft. parkside patio and adjacent Lions Wayside Park
Solar panels – 15% of electricity needs
Sculptural bicycle racks
High efficiency climate controls
Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto
The Mary Stuart Rogers Theater
1,250 seat concert hall with box seats, balcony
Orchestra pit w/ hydraulic lift for 40 musicians
Stage: 45’ deep x 102.5’ wide
Decks have sprung floor construction
Proscenium 27’ high, adjustable between 40-60’ wide
Foster Family Theater
444-seat concert hall with box seats
Orchestra pit with hydraulic lift for 25 musicians
Stage: 34’ deep x 80’ 10” wide
Proscenium 24’ high x 40’ wide
Marie Damrell Gallo Grand Lobby – 3 levels
448 occupancy at 56 tables
1931 occupancy stand up reception
Post Event 300-350
Grand Theatre center for the arts, tracy
Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Theatre
584 reserved/400 general admission seating
Orchestra pit w/fill for extended apron space
On-stage dinner seating up to 100
56 to 104 general admission seats
“End stage” or “thrust” stage setup
On-stage dinner seating for up to 50
Free-flowing party capacity up to 110
Lesher center, Walnut Creek
Hofmann Theatre – 785 seats
Orchestra pit: 8’6” wide x 51’ long, 425 sq. ft.
Stage: 41’4” to 36’6” deep x 90’ wide x 66’ high
Margaret Lesher Theatre – 297 seats
Orchestra Pit: 10’10” wide x 31’9” long, 320 sq. ft.
Stage: 28’ 36’ deep x 34’ wide x 34’ high
Knight Stage 3 Theatre – 133 seats
Stage: 20’ deep x 34’ wide x 11’10” high
Encore Room – an enclosed Conference Room, seats up to 24 people
Bankhead theatre, Livermore
Width - 78.4’
Thrust to Back Wall - 56.8’
Grand lobby – Glass enclosed overlooking Livermore Valley Plaza
300 Reception Capacity
150 Dining Capacity
Scott Haggerty Founders Room