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COLLIN COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – Just as the Dallas Cowboys prepare to build their new 91-acre headquarters, some other performers are also thinking big in Frisco.

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Right now a 120-seat Black Box Theater is the biggest publicly funded performing arts space in Frisco. That’s why some are saying the growing arts scene has to have a bigger performance space to keep up with its needs.

When you look around Frisco you see construction all over, adding to the growing community’s substantial shopping and sports complexes, but what you don’t see is a large-scale performing arts center.

“Well a lot of people would say the arts is kind of the soul of the city,” said Brad Sharp with the Frisco Association for the Arts.

Sharp is one of the supporters trying to get the city to approve a $20 million bond measure to build a performing arts facility in the center of the city.

“Frisco needs its own space partially because of the identity piece. We’re known for sports. We’re known for a lot of things. We would also like to be known for the arts,” Sharp said.

But the project has a long road ahead. First it has to clear the Citizen Bond Committee to even be considered for a bond package that would go before voters next May. Assistant City Manager Nell Lange says the council could review plans by early February, but before then a lot of questions need to be answered.

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“What is the right type facility, and do we partner with someone? Is it a public-private partnership? Is it a partnership between the city and another political entity?” Lange said.

Sharp would like to see a space that could seat between 600 and 800 people because some community groups have already had to cancel performances that were too big for the Black Box Theatre.

“We’re losing those groups to Plano, to Richardson, even to Dallas. They have to go there to get a space large enough,” Sharp said, “By losing those groups, we’re losing the opportunity to show that the arts can be a viable piece of the economic puzzle for Frisco.”

Ultimately a decision on whether to finance the project will be up to the voters. Supporters have already formed a political action committee, and the people behind it are determined to see Frisco become a regional center for the arts.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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