About this Venue
The WOW Hall
The Community Center for the Performing Arts is the non-profit that runs the W.O.W. Hall.
ORIGIN OF THE CCPA
In 1975 it was learned that the Woodmen of the World Hall at the corner of 8th and Lincoln would soon be sold and possibly demolished. To keep the Hall available to the community, a group of concerned users, performers, neighbors and historical preservation enthusiasts organized the Community Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit (501c3) corporation.
On December 2, 1975, the leaseholder gave notice that he intended to exercise his option to sell the Hall. He informed 130 people who attended a basement meeting that he would give the community first option to buy the Hall at $75,000 but would need a $10,000 down payment within 13 days. To raise the money supporters organized a WOWATHON: five days and nights of continuous entertainment! The WOWATHON began on Dec. 10 and, with support from the Oregon Country Fair, KLCC, KZEL and many others, the money was raised!
Throughout its early years the CCPA faced one crisis after another. Time and again, community support would save the W.O.W. Hall. Volunteerism, a few grants, increasing attendance and severe austerity enabled the CCPA to pay off the Hall’s mortgage in 1983, completing the dream of making the facility, "community-owned and democratically operated."
In 1996 the W.O.W. Hall was officially designated a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic Places. "No building has stronger connections to Eugene’s yeasty culture," noted the Register-Guard.
The CCPA is dedicated to providing a safe and friendly meeting place for the community, a place for appreciation of the arts for all ages and income levels, and a training ground for new generations. Local, regional, national and international acts frequently grace the stage, and the Hall prides itself on the diversity. Many artists have released works recorded at the W.O.W. Hall.
The Hall is also used for classes, workshops, lectures, meetings, rehearsals and recording sessions. The Lobby Art Gallery displays the work of a different regional artist each month.
The CCPA runs on volunteer energy and volunteer training is provided monthly. Volunteers develop job skills while demonstrating dependability, punctuality and the ability to work as part of a team. The CCPA has involved thousands of volunteers, more than half of them area teenagers.
A volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly and oversees the overall operation of the Hall.
The CCPA is committed to providing arts for all ages. In a community that lacks recreational opportunities for youths, the CCPA not only provides a space for kids and teenagers to enjoy live concerts, it actively involves youths in planning, promoting, performing at and staffing shows.
In 2005 the CCPA kicked off its first major Capital Improvements Campaign, dubbed MORE WOW NOW, to ensure its long-term viability as a performing arts center. The campaign’s first goal was to buy the vacant property behind the building. The back lot was purchased from the City of Eugene in 2006 for a total cost of $55,000.
In the past year several projects have been completed to improve the Hall itself and reduce our sound impact on the neighborhood. This includes installation of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, adding insulation to the attic area, repairing windows and improving the window coverings. The HVAC and sound attenuation projects were funded by Metropolitan Affordable Housing, Inc. and the City of Eugene. The exterior restoration project was funded with a Preserving Oregon grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department State Historic Preservation Office Heritage Programs and private donors. The refurbished cellar was funded by the band Floater and includes a fantastic rendering of the WOW Hall lotus symbol painted by the band Grynch.
Eventually the CCPA plans to construct an addition adjacent to the north (back) and east sides of the Hall to house a green room for entertainers, new bathrooms and equipment storage. This addition will be constructed in a manner that preserves the historical integrity of the WOW Hall.
Become a Volunteer!
The WOW hall is a non-profit educational arts facility. There are several areas open to your volunteer participation here at the hall, including: show security, stage and lights, publicity, maintenance, office work, and many other areas (limited only by your imagination!). We are able to offer students credit for their volunteer work when arranged through the University of Oregon or Lane Community College. Community service assignments can also be completed through our volunteer program.
The WOW Hall/CCPA always needs new volunteers. There are typically between 14 and 22 security shifts to be filled at each show. The best way to get plugged in is to come to one of our volunteer orientation meetings. They happen monthly and will cover all aspects of being a volunteer.
What do volunteers do at the WOW Hall?
Volunteers make the WOW go round! Every Aspect of our operation benefits from volunteer energy. Volunteers represent the hall in a variety of positions.
"Pure Volunteer" hours can be accumulated by working in areas other than show shifts. Once 10 pure volunteer hours have been worked, you become a volunteer member of the CCPA. Membership makes you a part owner of the WOW Hall. Members receive our newspaper, vote for the Board of Directors, are eligible to run for our Board of Directors, and attend the annual membership party free.
Volunteers are always welcome during office hours, Tuesday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. The office manager, publicist and membership coordinator, will always be happy to help you find work. Tasks include answering phones, organizing membership information, and preparing outgoing mail. This is a great way to get an inside view of the business operations of our venue.
An excellent opportunity to improve journalism skills is by writing stories for our in-house newspaper "Notes From The Center". Contact publicist Bob in the office and see your work published.
The maintenance supervisor has many projects for those interested in maintaining our historic building. This is a great way to learn every nook and cranny of the WOW Hall.
Many volunteers create their own way of making their contribution and developing their abilities. Volunteers landscape, direct the art gallery, underwrite performers, initiate improvement projects, and so much more. Your volunteer contribution is limited only by your creativity.