by Ray Newton and Blake Herzog
The performing arts complex at Yavapai College has been renamed the Jim and Linda Lee Performing Arts Center after the philanthropists established an endowment for the college’s performing arts programs.
“On behalf of Yavapai College and the Yavapai College District Governing Board, I’d like to thank Jim and Linda for their tremendous generosity, which will undoubtedly impact the performing arts and our communities,” said Dr. Lisa Rhine, President of Yavapai College.
The endowment of an undisclosed amount is expected to be a sustainable source of financial support for the performing arts at Yavapai College and continue to bring top talents, from local to international, to the community at the former Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (YCPAC), which has 1,064 seats.
The name change was approved by the college’s district governing board in February. Installation of prominent new signage displaying the name will be followed by a dedication ceremony and reception to honor the Lees and their commitment to supporting and improving the college’s dramatic and performing arts programs.
“We appreciate the very generous gift from Jim and Linda, which will provide support and directly impact the performing arts center as well as our students that participate in our many performing arts programs,” said Marnie Uhl, President of the Yavapai College Foundation Board.
The facility opened in 1992 as the Yavapai College Performance Hall and was renovated and rebranded as a performing arts center for its 20th anniversary in 2002, as its mission expanded to include more diverse programming to widen its appeal to the community.
It is considered one of the premiere performance spaces in Northern Arizona. It is home to several local groups besides the YC performing arts programs, including the Prescott POPS, Arizona Philharmonic, Yavapai Symphony Association and the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering.
The Lees are known for their decadeslong support of Greater Prescott community programs, particularly in the arts and sciences. They are the sponsoring donors of the planetarium at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and support several groups that have performed on the YCPAC stage. Their wealth comes from Prescott residential development as well as commercial projects including Prescott Gateway Mall and the surrounding area.
In exclusive remarks to Prescott LIVING, Linda Lee said, “Ever since we moved to Prescott, we knew we wanted this community to be the core for performing, musical and artistic talent in Central and Northern Arizona.
“The performing arts have always been a core to prosperous communities. Prescott and the surrounding area are unique in Arizona, and seeing Yavapai College take a strong lead is gratifying.”
Jim Lee echoed her remarks: “We want performing and artistic programs to be shared throughout this region at levels that otherwise would not occur. That’s why our endowment will allow new and stimulating programs and performances to come to town to entertain and educate our population.”
The performing arts center features live performances, films, satellite projects and educational and informational events. To learn more visit www.ycpac.com.