Port Angeles Waterfront Center will serve, strengthen, and showcase arts and culture in Port Angeles.

The Port Angeles Waterfront Center will create a vital performing arts and events center that promises to make an enduring cultural, architectural, and economic impact on the North Olympic Peninsula. 

With its 500-seat multi-purpose auditorium and 300-seat state-of-the-art conference facility, the Port Angeles Waterfront Center represents the newest and most significant arts, entertainment, and special events combination found anywhere in the region. 

Sitting immediately adjacent to the City’s new waterfront esplanade, the building features breathtaking views of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the North and the Olympic Mountains to the South. In so doing, its architecture captures the vibrancy, sense of community, and natural beauty of the surrounding area. 

Donna M. Morris moved from Los Angeles, California to Port Angeles, Washington in September of 1993 following the previous move of a close friend to the area. During her time on the Olympic Peninsula, Donna became aware of the lack of dedicated performing arts venues within the community. As a result and upon her passing, Donna left a generous gift of over $9 million to be used specifically for the design, construction, and ongoing operation of a performing arts center to be located in Port Angeles, Washington.   

In addition, Donna asked that her gift be used in a way that specifically supports the following local organizations:

Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Port Angeles Light Opera Association

Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts

Port Angeles Community Players

Peninsula College and Foundation

City of Port Angeles

Following the directives of the Last Will and Testament of Donna M. Morris, the executor of her estate appointed a group of local citizens to serve on an advisory committee. Each committee member was assigned individual responsibility for liaising with one of the local organizations identified in the will. The entire committee was subsequently made responsible for planning the design, construction, and operation of a new performing arts center. 

This committee established the Port Angeles Waterfront Center (PAWC) as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2016 and began their planning process later that year. Presently, the Board of Directors consists of eight members including: Brooke Taylor (President), Bill Kindler (Vice President), Jeanne Martin (Treasurer), Judith Morris (Secretary), Dorothy Field, Karen McCormick, Dan Wilder, Sr., and Nathan West. 

Port Angeles Waterfront Center will…

Serve, strengthen, and showcase arts and culture in Port Angeles. 

Draw people of all ages and backgrounds to downtown Port Angeles for a variety of activities year-round.

Celebrate what is unique about Port Angeles and enhance its reputation.

Be a core piece of Port Angeles’ identity – a source of community pride. 

During its initial organization, the Port Angeles Waterfront Center received a donation of $1.4 million from Port Angeles resident Dorothy Field to purchase nearly 70,000 square feet of waterfront property located at the corner of West Front Street and North Oak Street to be used as the site for a new performing arts and events center. 

The property sits adjacent to the city’s main western thoroughfare (Front Street), a spectacular bike and walking trail (Olympic Discovery Trail), a new beach and harbor esplanade, and lies one block east of the Blackball Ferry Terminal (Coho) and a new 4-Star hotel and restaurant complex to be built by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. The Board of Directors quickly determined the site was ideal for a state-of-the-art performing arts and events center with superb views of both Port Angeles harbor and the Olympic Mountains, centrally located within the downtown business district. 

It was soon discovered, however, that the site was larger than necessary for a mid-sized performing arts and events center. Subsequently, the Port Angeles Waterfront Center invited two “site partners” to develop buildings that could be located on a shared campus. The Feiro Marine Life Center and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation are currently designing a state-of-the-art Marine Discovery Center that will be located on the west end of the property. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe intends to build a modern interpretation of a Northwest Native Longhouse that will be situated in the middle. Together, these three buildings will create a one-of-a-kind campus combining arts, science, and culture in a remarkable setting. 

Economic Impact

$ 0 M
Construction

Over $30 million in new construction 

Increased local construction related business: lumber supply, concrete services, rental equipment, etc.

100 K
Workforce

Over 200,000 craft worker hours

Increased staffing needs and longer hours of operation in related indirect services: restaurants, hotels, etc.

 

$ 0 M
Taxes

Over $3 million in state and local taxes

Over $400 thousand in permits and fees

$ 0 M
Revenue

Over $1 million in hotel revenue

Over $500 thousand increase in local restaurant revenue

Possibility of attracting new residents to the area