Opinion: It’s time to build a new JACC

Opinion: It’s time to build a new JACC

The arts need a place to thrive.

Juneau has not only endured, but prospered over the years, through periodic ups and downs in the economy.

The city’s isolation has instilled a long-held belief in our town that people have to rely on themselves, and those around them, to “get things done.”

This has been especially true in the arts. Local headliners like the Juneau Symphony, Perseverance Theatre, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Folk Festival, Celebration, Juneau Lyric Opera and many other groups all began with the energy, creativity and excitement of their founders, and have endured because of their strong, ongoing community support.

The great prosperity of Juneau’s mining heyday remains in part, in the continuing operations of Greens Creek and Kensington mines; commercial fishing and onshore processing continue to rank as important local industries; tourism is now a major player in the economy; government employment at all levels contributes significantly to the town’s economic stability.

These sectors have either remained fairly stable or have grown steadily over the last generations. The arts in Juneau have thrived right alongside the town’s basic industries, through good times and bad times.

We have a golden opportunity, based on knowledge of the past, smart planning, strategic fundraising and confidence in our future, to build a community arts and culture center for the decades.

The New JACC will be a venue for students, workshops, performances, exhibitions and teacher workshops and credit courses. It’s time to acknowledge the strength of our past and build for our future.

Amy Jo Meiners,

Alaska Teacher of the Year 2016

• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.