A community's goal realized
The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts isn't just a theater in downtown Beaverton, but a world-class, multidisciplinary arts center that will mark a new era for the city.
"The Beaverton community was involved in creating the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts — or simply The Reser — since it was in the earliest stages," says Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty. "A lot of people were invested in the outcome of the project. Having this new arts center means residents have access to amazing performances and experiences in their own community. Beaverton is growing up."
"When I first ran for office back in 2012, I often heard people say, 'Where's downtown Beaverton?' It almost became a joke that we didn't have a downtown," recalls Beaty. "And now we have a thriving downtown restaurant row, we have The Reser opening, we have shops. It really is an investment over a long period of time. It wasn't quick, but it was intentional."
"With the addition of The Reser, Beaverton will no longer be the bedroom community it once was," says Pat
Reser, a major Reser donor, as well as its namesake and Chair of the Board of Trustees.
"Beaverton will become its own destination, rather than simply being known for its proximity to Portland," says Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alicia Bermes. "It's a dream fulfilled, and there's a lot of excitement and energy in the community in response."
"I think locals are really going to enjoy not only this great amenity, but everything that comes after. That's what really puts a smile on my face," says Beaverton City Manager Jenny Haruyama.
Dave Parulo, President of the Washington County Visitors' Association, knows that "having a world-class destination like The Reser makes Beaverton a more desirable place to live, and acts as an anchor for more enhanced development in the area in the years to come."
"We hope that [The Reser] will be a driver to bring more visitors into our area. We want to be a destination, so people from all over the West Coast — or potentially all over the country — will have an interest in the events that are happening here," says Cheryl Twete, Beaverton's Community Development Director. "And while it's small, it's going to be mighty."
The Reser will be a place for its visitors to experience exquisite performances from diverse voices.
"I think it's a piece of the puzzle to achieve a more complete cultural city center, rather than one that's just shopping and retail and apartments," says Kevin Teater, Executive Director of the Beaverton Downtown Association. "Really diversifying what you can do here, I think, is really important."
Reser wanted the Center that bears her name to honor Beaverton's community, with its events and performances as diverse as the city itself.
"I think it's going to be something that Beaverton is really proud of," says Haruyama. "From an equity and inclusion standpoint, [Executive Director Chris Ayzoukian] has created such a diverse list of participants and performers, and it's very representative of what I think the city is trying to accomplish. To have a partner with The Reser in this [effort] is really exciting."
Teater recognizes that The Reser is opening during an interesting yet opportune time — a long period of difficulty ultimately resulting in something beautiful and hopeful.
"It's really going to energize some people, and hopefully bring some more light back to people's emotional and mental wellbeing, when they've been struggling so much. That's what I think really matters. And I think that's what carries a lot of weight," says Teater.
"Beaverton will become its own destination, rather than simply being known for its proximity to Portland. It's a dream fulfilled, and there's a lot of excitement and energy in the community in response."
Alicia Bermes, Executive Director, Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce