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Culture Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts: Hosting talent and promoting education

Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts: Hosting talent and promoting education

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

J. Parker Ragland Special to the Business Press

The Mansfield Independent School District Center for the Performing Arts has literally transformed the city’s landscape. At 141,500 square feet, it’s hard to miss. Although the center was primarily developed to further the district’s education initiative, it is also open for community use. Richie Escovedo, director of media and communications for Mansfield ISD, said it is the center’s “very adaptable setup” that allows a variety of groups to use the space. In the performance hall, which can seat up to 5,000, two collapsible walls can be erected to form lecture halls on either side of the auditorium. Groups considering performing at the center can transform the room into one best suiting their needs, he said. The performance hall also boasts a Meyers Sound Constellation Acoustic System, which is said to be one of the most advanced systems available at any venue in the Metroplex. The center already has hosted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra once and it will perform there again in November. The school district also is seeking to attract groups such as the Texas Ballet Theater, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Arlington. The center’s management team consists of district employees and staff who have worked at other private venues. Together, they are seeking to develop a center available to community organizations and acclaimed performing artists as well as schools in the district, said Escovedo. “The staff … have a vision and get creative with the space,” he said. Jeanne Cassidy, the sales and marketing coordinator at the center, is pushing to draw workshops and dance competitions as well as performances. But a variety of organizations use the center. For example, In-N-Out Burger officials recently hosted job interviews at the center for a new location in the area. In addition to the performance hall, the center contains a professional development center, similar to a banquet hall, with a capacity of 550 occupants. In July, it will host three days of dinner theater. This space is primarily used for business and teaching conferences. Three computer labs and a kitchen for vocational training also are available to schools in the district. After opening its doors in the summer of 2012, the building lit up the Mansfield landscape. The performing arts center was designed by Fort Worth-based Huckabee Inc. and constructed by Byrne Construction Services. The project was financed with $41.4 million in school district bonds.  

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