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Featured, from left: Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; Dr. Francisco Fernández, Founding Dean, The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine; Mayor Richard García, who also serves as President of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors; and Richard Molina, Edinburg City Councilmember, at the UT-Pan American Ballroom on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

Photograph By PEDRO PÉREZ, IV

Almost 10 years after the Texas Legislature first authorized the financing for its creation, the $42.7 million, 1,000-seat Performing Arts Complex at The University of Texas-Pan American will host thousands of area residents during a Thursday, April 23 debut with a Grande Premiere Concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (UT-Pan American will be renamed The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in the fall.) UTPA and UT-RGV leaders are pulling out all the stops to showcase what will be a showpiece among the Valley’s increasing number of impressive centers for musical performances, sports events, and other major gatherings. The State Farm Arena in Hidalgo and the McAllen Convention Center – both publicly-owned entertainment facilities that can serve thousands of patrons per event – now share center stage with the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, the Bert Ogden Arena, set to begin construction in Edinburg, and now, the Performing Arts Complex that will serve as the heart of the local University of Texas System campus. UTPA officials on Tuesday, April 14, announced that in order to celebrate the highly anticipated grand opening of the state-of-the-art facility, they have planned a spectacular evening of the arts, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, and featuring performances by faculty and student artists from UTPA and The University of Texas at Brownsville. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Grand Premiere Concert, and the public is invited to be part of the free festivities. For more information or if special accommodations are needed to attend the concert, call (956) 665-5301. Mayor Richard García, who also serves as President of the EEDC’s five-member Board of Directors, said the emergence of the Performing Arts Complex will have profound and long-lasting effects on the city council’s and EEDC’s vision for downtown revitalization. “It fits in with our master plan for cultural development for our city,” the mayor said. “With the $42.7 million Performing Arts Complex, as well as the coming construction of the $68 million city-owned Bert Ogden Arena, along with the $54 million UT-RGV School of Medicine’s Medical Academic Building now under construction, and a $70 million UT-RGV science building annex approved to be built on campus, we are making our hometown the center for high-quality, family entertainment venues and educational excellence that not only improve our quality of life, but make it that much more attractive for businesses to expand and locate in our city, and with it, create more jobs and economic prosperity. García also praised the Valley’s state legislative delegation for securing more than $30 million earlier in April for a new engineering building at UT-RGV in Edinburg, a tremendous funding boost that could result in the planned development of a $50 million complex. García, who has built a statewide reputation as a leader who always shares the credit with others on major successes, said he wants one person in particular to be forever linked to the Performing Arts Complex. “We wanted this facility badly, we needed this facility badly, and the big hero on that is Sen. (Juan ‘Chuy’) Hinojosa (D-McAllen),” the mayor said. “I would love to see that facility be named after him. I have told him that in the past, and I will lead that charge because he was largely responsible for the state funding, and fighting to keep that money for the Performing Arts C0mplex.” Hinojosa was the driving force in the spring of 2006, when the Texas Legislature was at work during a special session at the State Capitol. “He was the principal legislative architect who made the state financing possible for this landmark project,” García recalled. “He successfully attached an amendment to a statewide tuition revenue bond bill. His effective move provided the needed financing mechanisms to pay for the Performing Arts Complex, which represents one of the largest infusions of financial resources by the state for new construction at UT-RGV.” Hinojosa emphasized the positive impact of the Performing Arts Complex. “This facility will attract supporters of the arts, quality performers and outside visitors. These benefits will also radiate into the community in other ways,” said Hinojosa. “I am confident the Performing Arts Complex will be top-notch, and it will bolster the local economy by attracting jobs and investment, and enrich the cultural life of the Rio Grande Valley. Investments like these are particularly beneficial because they help boost UT-RGV’s profile in the region.”

••••••

For Sen. Hinojosa, upcoming April 23 premiere of $42.7 million Performing Arts Complex will be one of the latest feathers in his famous legislative hat

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Almost 10 years after the Texas Legislature first authorized the financing for its creation, the $42.7 million, 1,000-seat Performing Arts Complex at The University of Texas-Pan American will host thousands of area residents during a Thursday, April 23 debut with a Grande Premiere Concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

UT-Pan American will be renamed The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in the fall.

UTPA and UT-RGV leaders are pulling out all the stops to showcase what will be a showpiece among the Valley’s increasing number of impressive centers for musical performances, sports events, and other major gatherings.

The State Farm Arena in Hidalgo and the McAllen Convention Center – both publicly-owned entertainment facilities that can serve thousands of patrons per event – now share center stage with the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, the Bert Ogden Arena, which is set to begin construction in Edinburg, and now, the Performing Arts Complex that will serve as the heart of the local University of Texas System campus.

UTPA officials on Tuesday, April 14, announced that in order to celebrate the highly anticipated grand opening of the state-of-the-art facility, they have planned a spectacular evening of the arts, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, and featuring performances by faculty and student artists from UTPA and The University of Texas at Brownsville.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Grand Premiere Concert, and the public is invited to be part of the free festivities. For more information or if special accommodations are needed to attend the concert, call (956) 665-5301.

“From the lilting strains of the string and wind orchestras, to the colorful dances of the UTPA Folklórico and the passionate music of the award-winning Mariachi Aztlán, the evening, sponsored by Plains Capital Bank, will have something for everyone,” reports Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative at the Edinburg university.

“The new Performing Arts Complex will be a beautiful venue for wonderful events, fabulous performances, guest speakers and presentations,” said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, Dean of the UTPA College of Arts and Humanities. “It will be the heart of the performing and fine arts in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Guerra is the sister of Edinburg Mayor Richard García, who played a key role in helping lobby legislative support – led by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen – that allowed the UT System Board of Regents to secure funding for the complex.

“The Performing Arts Complex will bring great opportunity to UT-RGV, providing the best facilities for the education and training of our students, and a fabulous arts venue to unite our community,” Guerra said.

The grand auditorium offers patrons an ultra-modern experience, with the latest in lighting and sound equipment, the best acoustics possible and built-in art galleries, Guerra continued. The Performing Arts Complex also provides much-needed academic space, with four large rehearsal halls that will be in constant use by some 400 music majors and future students of UT-RGV, set to open in fall 2015.

The Performing Arts Complex was part of a $42.7 million project approved by The UT System Board of Regents in 2011 that included renovations to the university’s Fine Arts Buildings B and C, which house practice rooms, classrooms, and music analysis and listening labs. Performing Arts Center Building A will provide students and faculty support space with four rehearsal halls and dressing rooms.

The Grand Premiere Concert will feature a variety of musical performances – including a spirited opening with more than 30 trumpets to commemorate the significance of this important moment for the Valley community. Other featured performances include the UTPA Choir, UTPA/UTB Classical Guitar Ensemble, UTPA Wind Ensemble, and UTPA String Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra.

Also, paintings by Kirk Clark, a patron of the UTPA arts, will be featured in the new Performing Arts Complex art galleries.

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER PART OF EDINBURG DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

Both the EEDC Board of Directors and the Edinburg City Council helped lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents for the creation and state funding of the Performing Arts Complex.

The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. Agustín “Gus” García, Jr., (no relation to the mayor), serves as EEDC Executive Director.

Mayor García, who also serves as president of the EEDC’s five-member Board of Directors, said the emergence of the Performing Arts Complex will have profound and long-lasting effects on the city council’s and EEDC’s vision for downtown revitalization.

“It fits in with our master plan for cultural development for our city,” the mayor said. “With the $42.7 million Performing Arts Complex, as well as the coming construction of a $68 million city-owned Bert Ogden Arena, along with the $54 million UT-RGV School of Medicine’s Medical Academic Building now under construction, and a $70 million science building annex approved to be built on campus, we are making our hometown the center for high-quality, family entertainment venues and educational excellence that not only improve our quality of life, but make it that much more attractive for businesses to expand and locate in our city, and with it, create more jobs and economic prosperity.”

García also praised the Valley’s state legislative delegation for securing more than $30 million earlier in April for a new engineering building at UT-RGV in Edinburg, a tremendous funding boost that could result in the planned development of a $50 million complex.

MAYOR: FACILITY SHOULD REFLECT HINOJOSA’S VITAL ROLE

García, who has built a statewide reputation as a leader who always shares the credit with others on major successes, said he wants one person in particular to be forever linked to the Performing Arts Complex.

“We wanted this facility badly, we needed this facility badly, and the big hero on that is Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen),” the mayor said. “I would love to see that facility be named after him. I have told him that in the past, and I will lead that charge because he was largely responsible for the state funding, and fighting to keep that money for the Performing Arts Complex.”

Hinojosa was the driving force in the spring of 2006, when the Texas Legislature was at work during a special session at the State Capitol.

“He was the principal legislative architect who made the state financing possible for this landmark project,” García recalled. “He successfully attached an amendment to a statewide tuition revenue bond bill. His effective move provided the needed financing mechanisms to pay for the Performing Arts Complex, which represents one of the largest infusions of financial resources by the state for new construction at our local campus.”

Hinojosa emphasized the positive impact of the Performing Arts Complex.

“This facility will attract supporters of the arts, quality performers and outside visitors. These benefits will also radiate into the community in other ways,” said Hinojosa. “I am confident the Performing Arts Complex will be top-notch, and it will bolster the local economy by attracting jobs and investment, and enrich the cultural life of the Rio Grande Valley. Investments like these are particularly beneficial because they help boost UT-RGV’s profile in the region.
••••••

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. It’s five-member governing board, which is appointed by the Edinburg City Council, includes Mayor Richard García as President, Fred Palacios as Secretary-Treasurer, and Felipe García, Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, and Steven Edward Cruz, II. For more information on the EEDC and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://www.EdbgCityLimits.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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