by Richard Lieberman
Anderson .Paak a well known rapper and singer recently took a one hour tour of the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center. He was there to give support to the center scheduled for closure December 31, 2019. “I want this to be a hub for creativity,” said the recording star.
He added he wants to house his nonprofit foundation at the site. .Paak a Grammy winner said he sees young people recording music, rehearsing plays and having boxing matches at the center.
.Paak has not made a monetary commitment to the city-owned facility. ” there’s a bunch of stuff I want to invest in” he said. He also urged his fans to donate by texting “saveopacc” to 44321. His nonprofit foundation the Brandon Anderson foundation said the money raised will be set aside for the performing arts center.
.Paak put on a free concert last year at the center to celebrate the release of his album “Oxnard”. Mayor Tim Flynn presented .Paak with the key to the city at the event.
A mere six months later the city announced that the performing arts center, which receives a subsidy from the city of around $1 million on an annual basis would have to close. The community reacted and demanded the center be funded. The city kept the center open for an additional six months in order for center management to find an outside operator and to keep the centers commitments for the 2019 season.
Six months have passed and still the center has not been successful in acquiring an outside operator.
Carolyn Mullin, executive director of the center took .Paak on a tour of the facility. Mullin joined the center two years ago and has been in touch with .Paaks foundation to build a partnership. She said, “I always thought his foundation should be in his hometown. He’s a native son that’s done good.”
.Pakk was born in Oxnard and grew up in both Oxnard and Ventura. He said he remembers going to church functions, plays and beauty pageants at the center. He said there is a lot of local talent here and the performing arts center can be an incubator.
On the tour .Pakk watched a rehearsal from Hip Hop Mindset, a youth performance group that rehearses and performs at the center.
“I’m super amazed” said Ricardo Rod Rodriguez, 12 “To have a famous singer and rapper come to watch us dance, it’s an amazing feeling.”
The December 31st deadline is approaching fast and Board members of the performing arts center, said they are meeting with Alex Nguyen, City Manager to discuss the future.
Editor: Even though this facility is in Oxnard many Venturans attend the wonderful events there from Beethoven to doggies to Ventura Music Festival concerts which is why we have included this in the Breeze.