HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
February 5, 2007, Herald Journal

Don’t listen to the naysayers

By KRISTEN MILLER

I was surprised to see the editorial in last week’s paper from an out-of-towner claiming the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center does not get used.

With some investigating, I was able to come up with some numbers that might be of interest.

From Jan. 30, 2006 to the present, the PAC has been used 311 times, according to Patty Kampa, facilities secretary.

Of the 311, 216 of those were school related including plays, concerts, and various contests.

The DC Arts Association has used the PAC 56 times including rehearsals for concerts and other entertainment.

Community Education has booked the PAC 21 times for programs including, pool, pizza, and a movie.

The community of DC has booked the PAC 17 times within the year including churches, PTA, and piano recitals.

Within the past two years, the PAC has been used a total of 524 times.

Coming from a person who reports on such stories and takes photos regularly at the PAC, I would say my claims, along with the numbers above, do hold some water.

I have only worked in this community just over a year and I, myself, have seen at least seven DC arts performances and have reported on numerous plays, concerts, and other events school-related that take place in the PAC.

Some of my favorite performances I attended were the comical musical “Seussical,” the beautiful pianist Lorie Line, and the talented a cappella group Tonic Solfa.

I also remember attending a DC talent show and a Katrina Relief benefit concert. This summer, I watched the Dassel ambassadors get crowned at the Red Rooster coronation.

As I recall, both the elementary school’s Christmas programs that took place in the PAC were standing-room-only this year.

Performers in the school fall musicals, “Oklahoma” and “Something’s Afoot,” were blessed to have such an amazing facility to perform in.

The acclaimed Minnesota Orchestra doesn’t come back to Dassel-Cokato for the nice drive. They come for the PAC.

It’s easy for one to say the PAC doesn’t get used, especially if they aren’t there to participate.

As I’ve said before, the PAC is a great asset to this community and has a lot to offer to the future of these towns.

I also remember hearing the football field was on the same bond referendum as the PAC. One could say the same thing for the field and track, since it is only used for two sports.

But, a facility doesn’t have to be used every day, all day to be something of use and value. The PAC will benefit not only the school, but the community, for decades to come. It’s our choice to participate or whine. I know I’d rather participate and take advantage of some quality entertainment that, outside of the Twin Cities, is hard to find.

It’s easy to judge and comment on something you don’t know much about. Just be ready to be proven wrong.