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Gallo Takes Center Stage for the Community 

Believe it or not, the Gallo Center will soon be announcing their tenth season! Since the doors opened in the fall of 2007, almost 2,000,000 patrons have come to Downtown Modesto to attend a show at the Gallo Center. Arguably, the Gallo Center has proven to be both a cultural hub for our region as well as an economic engine for downtown.

The Gallo Center opened in September 2007 – just on the cusp of the great recession. How fortunate we are that the project was completed before the Valley was thrust into the worst economic times since the great depression.

The first two years of operation were rocky with ticket sales lagging necessary levels to achieve financial stability. Donors kept the Center alive until programming was adjusted and the ship was righted, so to speak. Since the 09-10 season, the Center has been on stable ground selling more than $5M in tickets each season and raising more than $1.5M in private donations annually.

The 15-16 season ending on June 30, 2016 will go on record as the most successful one yet; Over $5.2m in ticket sales; percent of seats sold at over 77%; 56 sold out shows and appearances from big name artists such as Kristin Chenowith, Rob Lowe, Audra McDonald, Jay Leno, Paul Anka, Camila, Bill Maher, Blue Man Group, and many more.

More than 39,000 students from area schools have seen a show at the Center this season through the Pathways to Creativity. Those students come from public schools, private schools, home schools, charter schools and afterschool programs. Students are bused in from the foothills, as far south as Merced county, as far north as Stockton and as far west as Lathrop and Tracy. Because of the generosity of sponsors such as Savemart CARES, those students pay no more than $5 a ticket to see high quality touring shows.

In addition to presenting more than 130 shows per year, the Gallo Center is the home venue for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Central West Ballet, Townsend Opera Players, YES Company, Modesto Community Concert Association and Modesto Performing Arts. The Gallo Center also plays host to a variety of other arts related activities and community events such as Murals in Motown. A true community jewel built and maintained by the community.

By Michele Laverty

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