Greater Tulsa Reporter
The Tulsa Performing Arts Center is celebrating its 40th year since opening its doors in 1977. During its four decades, the PAC has hosted a who’s who of performers and acts that include Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, Steve Martin and Itzhak Perlman and touring Broadway musicals such as “The Lion King,” “Wicked” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
The PAC was constructed with a then-unique combination of public and private funds. The center is owned and operated by the City of Tulsa and was originally intended to provide a modern facility to house local, nonprofit performing arts organizations.
Public funds for building the PAC were provided by a 1973 bond issue that were matched in private dollars with the help of civic leaders John H. Williams and Leta Chapman. Led by Mayor Robert J. LaFortune, Tulsa voters overwhelmingly approved the challenge, and the center that became known as “Everyone’s Place” held its first concert on March 19, 1977, featuring the Tulsa Philharmonic and jazz great Ella Fitzgerald.
In March, the PAC held its 40th Anniversary Concert with Jane Monheit, Nicholas Payton and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, in a tribute to Fitzgerald’s legacy.
The PAC houses four theatres, with local arts organizations and commercial entertainment promoters being its primary clients.
For more information about the Tulsa PAC, visit tulsapac.com.