In the summer of 1986, two meetings were held in PG&E’s Community Room at the Promontory in San Luis Obispo. Discussion centered on the need for a nonprofit organization to represent community interests and to raise funds from the private sector for a performing arts center. It was agreed that a nonprofit organization called the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center should be established. Warren Sinsheimer offered to draw up the necessary papers and file documents with the Secretary of State. The question of who should be invited to serve on the Board was discussed and a list of possible candidates prepared.
The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held September 8, 1986. Officers elected were Warren Sinsheimer, president; Fred Glenn, chief financial officer and treasurer; and Greg Hind, secretary. At this first meeting, the bylaws were adopted and articles of incorporation signed. The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center had been established.
That same year, the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, the City of San Luis Obispo, and California Polytechnic State University forged a unique partnership to accomplish what no single partner could have done alone — provide funds to build a state of the art performing arts center to serve the entire San Luis Obispo County.
The cost to plan, construct, and equip the Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo was $30 million. By the time Performing Arts Center officially opened on September 27, 1996, the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center had successfully raised more than $12.5 million and contributed its share of the required funding.
Since opening, the Performing Arts Center’s Youth Outreach programs have served more than 250,000 children. In total, more than 1.5 million patrons have enjoyed live performances. And the local arts organizations we have all come to know and love have gone from performing in coffee shops and school auditoriums to a world-class, 1,300-seat concert hall. All of this in what many call a “small town”.