Pictured: The courtyard at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center (PACC). 

by David Michael Courtland

Efforts are under way to keep Oxnard’s Performing Arts and Convention Center (the PACC) going, Oxnard City Manager Alex Nguyen told the City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Nguyen said he is talking with Lance Sterling of Sterling Venue Ventures about taking over management of the center, which has been teetering on the brink of closure because of the city’s budget cuts.

Sterling operates the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, among other ventures.

“The goal is to have Sterling be the property manager with options to manage in cooperation with the PACC board,” Nguyen said.

The non-profit PACC has been looking for a permanent manager since June, when the city council slashed Oxnard’s budget and cut spending on the center and the Carnegie Art Museum.

After protests from the community, the council gave the PACC enough money to keep going through the end of the year. Nguyen said there is enough funding to keep the center going through February. In addition, as reported in the Dec. 12 issue of the VCReporter (“.Paak @ PACC?”), the PACC has been operating in the black and amassed around $100,000 in savings.

Nguyen’s report was followed by public comments from numerous PACC supporters, including members of Oxnard Musical Youth (O’My) Theater, which practices and performs at the center.

“O’My is a critical part of our community, providing an affordable, high-quality theater program for our children,” said Jessica St. Pierre, whose daughter, Natalie, has been in the theater for two years. She said that the theater helped children learn leadership skills like cooperation, respect, adaptability, flexibility and commitment, but most importantly, “a safe place to be themselves and have fun.”

St. Pierre was followed by several more of members of the group as well as the theater’s director, Cheryl Kewley.  

“Since your announcement in June, we’ve searched for another venue,” but haven’t found one, said Kewley told councilmembers. “Please help us save and support our community center.”