DIPAC Prepares For Next Act!

With each passing week, the Daniel Island Performing Arts Center (DIPAC) gets a little closer to becoming a reality. The proposed facility, to be located on a site behind the UBS building off Island Park Drive, will feature a 450-seat Proscenium theatre and a 99-seat black box theatre. The Daniel Island News caught up with DIPAC founder and visionary Mary Gould to get the scoop on the project’s latest developments.

It’s been about four months since you first announced your plans to bring a new Performing Arts Center to Daniel Island. What is the status of the project now?

“We are absolutely consistent with timeline that we communicated last fall. We are in Phase 3, so we are looking forward to doing the closing on the land for the project in April as planned. We have some monetary commitments, but we are actively fundraising for the money.”

You have said in previous articles in The Daniel Island News that the goal is to raise $1 million by April 2016 (a second phase, set to start in May of 2016, will focus on raising an additional $9 million, part of which will be financed). How are you doing in terms of meeting that goal?

“It’s going to take a village to birth this baby! We’re pretty pleased with how much we’ve raised from Daniel Island so far. It’s a really good indicator of the community’s support for the project. But we want to hear from everybody. The more numbers we have to show, the more powerful that’s going to be going to the major funders.”

Tell us about the DIPAC Advisory Committee and how this group is helping advance your mission.

“This group is so committed and so smart. They are really, really doing a great word-of-mouth job on the island and also keeping us up to date on the kinds of things they know their fellow Daniel Islanders are interested in. We have 25 people on the committee now…They are really excited! One of the things that I go out of my way to do is to make sure that their enthusiasm and suggestions are validated. When they suggest something, I will act on it!…They feel that commitment from me and they all know if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. It’s lovely because all of them now have a sense of ownership. That’s really important.”

The DIPAC has planned its very first social event – dubbed “Noches Tropicales” – to be held at LIDI Restaurant on Daniel Island on February 17. Can you give us a sneak preview (and also tell us how to get tickets)?

“Something hot and Latin is a great way to warm up the month of January! We will be offering some of the performances from “Noches Tropicales” that is already running at South of Broadway Theatre. So it’s easy to take those numbers that will travel best and work well in a restaurant setting, and there will be plenty of opportunities for people to dance and have some dance lessons. We are having Elite Dance International take part as well, and they will be donating a door prize of ballroom dancing classes!….This event is an opportunity to get to know the people affiliated with the project and to interact with the like-minded Daniel Islanders that are behind the project so that people have a chance to be on the inside. We’ve created this series of entertainments that are called ‘Friends of Daniel Island’ for people to be on the inside of the process, and to get it first hand from the horse’s mouth….These are official entertainments designed to create a sense of unity around the project…..For tickets and additional information, please visit our website at www.danielislandpac.com or call (843) 640-5503.”

If someone would like to support the DIPAC through a donation, how can they do that? 

“The Founders Circle is available until April 1 and that is also on the website. We gladly accept donations of any amount! Please visit www.danielislandpac.com for additional information.”

What’s the best way to stay up to date on DIPAC happenings? 

“We’re sending out monthly newsletters about the project! To join our email list, please send an email to diperformingartscenter@gmail.com.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I will be speaking at the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association meeting about the DIPAC on February 2. It will be held at 7 p.m. at Holy Cross Church on Daniel Island. Please come out and learn more about this exciting project! I am also working on a second social event that will be held in mid-March. Stay tuned for more details!”