DALLAS - October 12 marks the official one-year anniversary of the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas.

The Blue Man Group just wrapped up its brand new show at the Winspear. The world premiere of Moby-Dick was at the Dallas Opera, and the Dallas Billy Crystal 700 Sundays shows generated the most ticket sales in the country.

Still, the Performing arts Center has lost millions of dollars during its first year.

It's common to see visitors taking pictures of the Winspear Opera House at the $354-million AT&T Performing Arts Center. But, what the camera can't capture is the financial loss in the first year of operation.

It's not a concern, said Villeta Lill, executive director of the Dallas Arts District. I mean, none of us want to say that we have a loss, but indeed this is a projected loss.

Performing Arts Center officials say they will see a $2-3 million loss in its first year.

A lot of this is about pledges coming through the door and lagging behind a little bit in terms of what needs to be paid, Lill said.

Those at the Performing Arts Center and and Dallas City leaders say the loss was expected and they think the facility is in good financial shape. The 10-acre complex was built with 95 percent coming from private donations, and philanthropic investors have up to five years to pay their pledges.

It's way too early to push any kind of panic button, Lill said. ... I think we are right on track. These kinds of investments are long term.

In the meantime, more venues are opening at Dallas' world-renowned AT&T Performing Arts Center, including the Annette Strauss Artist Square, which will be the city's first downtown amphitheater. It opens Thursday.

Officials say they measure success not just by dollars, but by the 900 events held at the venues on site in the first 10 months alone.

Art in October kicks off in the Dallas Arts District Saturday. The event includes a free organ recital at the Meyerson and a free sneak peek of the new Mourners exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art and free admission to the Nasher Sculpture Center.

The city of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs will take over managing the historic Majestic Theater starting November 1. The Dallas Summer Musicals decided to leave over a year ago. Unable to find a suitable replacement, the city took over. Sarah Palin is the first official booking. She'll speak there on November 10.


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