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Story from our friends at The Reser. Pat Reser's fingerprints are all over the new performing arts center that bears her name

PMG - Beaverton's Patricia Reser says the number one driver in her life has always been her innate curiosity and drive to understand how people learn. The retired educator and lifelong volunteer has been the driving force behind efforts to create a home for the arts in downtown Beaverton, and the new performing arts center bears her name.After a life of community involvement and global engagement, "opening a multidisciplinary center for the arts in Beaverton was a natural next step," says Pat Reser.

The idea for an arts center started for Reser in high school, where she fell in love with live theater.

She went on to raise her five children, pursue multiple degrees, and work for 20 years as an educator in the Beaverton School District. "It was always a crazy dream in the back of my mind," she says.

Born and raised in Beaverton, Reser has been heavily involved in the city for over 50 years. She's volunteered for various organizations and led boards, commissions, and task forces. But Reser's community involvement extends beyond Beaverton, too. She's worked with Medical Teams International, where she helped provide humanitarian aid in Guatemala, and went on to teach workshops in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lebanon.

"I think (developing The Reser Center) was an organic evolution of one thing leading to another. We, as individuals, change as we experience other cultures and communities, and we begin to see the world differently," says Res-er, describing how her experiences around the world shaped her hopes for the future of her hometown of Beaverton. "I was ready to explore my creative side in a whole new way."

Without any idea how to finance or begin working on this new project, Reser initiated a conversation with Denny Doyle, who was a city councilor in Beaverton for 14 years before serving as mayor from 2009 until December 2020. Perhaps surprisingly, Doyle shared Reser's dream to open an arts center in Beaverton and worked with her, and many others, to ultimately make it happen — including critical involvement from the Beaverton Arts Commission, the Beaverton Arts Foundation, and other grassroots community groups and organizations.

From 1990 until 2020, Beaverton's population nearly doubled, and today it is a city that boasts nearly 100,000 residents. In the late 2010s, conversations about whether the city was ready for a performing arts center started up again — serious this time — and plans for what became The Reser started to form. Soon, Pat Reser's dream of bringing the wider world of arts and culture to her beloved city started to take shape, with the support of Beaverton City Council.

Beyond the center simply carrying her name, Reser has been heavily involved with the project from the start. From the early planning stages, to fundraising, to a personal $13 million donation — and even a trip across the country in January 2022 to hand-pick the Center's new Steinway pianos from the New York factory, Reser has been enthusiastic and passionately engaged in all of it. She even cleared her schedule to see every show this spring.

"I want to sit in different seats throughout this opening season," says Reser, "so I can say from experience that the sightlines are beautiful no matter where you sit, that the sound is incredible wherever you sit."

The Reser will open its doors to the public

on March 1, launching a Grand Opening Spring Season featuring performances and artists from around the world — finally, a realization of Reser's lifelong dream. The Reser's inaugural full season will begin in September, when the Center will host an even more robust schedule of events. Says Reser, "What we're striving to do is honor the various facets of our community — to bring the world to Beaverton, and Beaverton to the world."

"I want to sit in different seats throughout this opening season, so I can say from experience that the sightlines are beautiful no matter where you sit, that the sound is incredible wherever you sit."

Pat Reser, Chair, Patricia Reser

Center for the Arts

Board of Trustees

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