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Escondido Center Will Add Important Fixture in Arts


The local visual arts scene is expected to gain an important new outlet with the completion of a new arts center in downtown Escondido. Construction is to begin next month.

The center will be composed of four key elements: a 1,500-seat theater, a 400-seat theater, a conference facility and a visual arts complex with three gallery spaces ranging in size from about 3,000 to 10,000 square feet.

The visual arts portion of the center will be managed by the Felicita Foundation as part of an agreement with the city that has yet to be finalized. The foundation is the largest arts group in Escondido.

The new galleries probably will not acquire a permanent collection, said Jack Anderson, Escondido's assistant city manager. Instead, the facility will concentrate on showing visiting exhibits and the work of regional artists.

Cal State San Marcos is also expected to make use of the art spaces, he said.

Anderson hopes that someday the artworks in the center's galleries will inspire students in the adjacent workshops to make their own art.

"We found in marketing studies that there was a significant interest in the community at large to participate in arts programs as a creator rather than just as an observer," he said.

The center is scheduled for completion by 1993.

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