Should the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council manage Centennial Hall?
The City & Borough of Juneau owns both Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts & Culture Center (JACC). These two adjacent facilities are operated by different staffs. There are savings to be realized by bringing the management of the two facilities into a single operation under the leadership of the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC).
Merging the day-to-day operations can lead to economies of scale, while enhancing the operational capacity and improving the management of both Centennial Hall and the JACC. This is true as to the existing JACC as well as the proposed New JACC, with ample opportunities to deploy staff, facilities, and equipment more effectively and efficiently, and reduce expenses for both the CBJ and JAHC while maintaining and improving the provision of services. These desirable outcomes will benefit the entire community.
Management of Centennial Hall by JAHC will lead to more and better options for users of Centennial Hall and the JACC, with greater flexibility and a seamless, unified, customer-focused, high-quality use experience for renters and clients from all parts of the community.
There is an unnecessary perception, with the current division of management of Centennial Hall and the JACC, that the two facilities are in competition. This sends the wrong message to users and may frustrate efforts to market Juneau as an attractive venue for events and functions. The combination of management into a unified operation will dispel this misperception and underscore the viability of both venues for a wide variety of uses.
JAHC is a private non-profit corporation, formally designated as the local arts agency for CBJ. This structure allows JAHC to operate with entrepreneurial flexibility, responding quickly and nimbly to changing needs and circumstances. JAHC has employed highly innovative thinking and creativity in the repurposing of the old National Guard Armory into a highly functional artistic and cultural event space, which indicates likely success in the management of Centennial Hall. JAHC’s Board of Trustees and staff have well-established connections with a great variety of local and statewide associations, institutions, and organizations, and stands ready to meet demands from clients of all sizes and affiliations.
JAHC’s attention to detail in the management of the JACC and commitment to customer service have both led to strong community support for the transfer of management of Centennial Hall, and now is a good time for CBJ to move forward in implementing this change in operations.