Nancy Vossos needs your help.
She’s on a mission to orchestrate an effort to get more people to embrace downtown through the power of music.
Vossos — whose family still runs a ranch they settled in 1907 on Austin Road — has driven by the Manteca Transit Center a number of times in the past seven years since the city invested $8 million in a grand statement that was designed to serve as a downtown gathering place with a spacious community room and an expansive plaza.
She believes it is an ideal place to bring classical music to Manteca either with weekend concerts or weeknight performances. Her goal is to work with Peter Jaffe to see if the Stockton Symphony could offer an evening event to whet interest not just in the symphony itself and the impressive concert series they offer at Atherton Auditorium at Delta College, but in growing the arts in Manteca.
First, she hopes to build interest in promoting music — and art in general — by enlisting high school music teachers such as Sierra High’s Richard Hammarstrom.
The vision is simple. Provide a regular community showcase for Manteca’s young talent by staging concerts at the transit center featuring jazz bands, ensembles, and such from the local high schools. Create a buzz and then harness the energy to bring people together to expand cultural offerings in The Family City.
“I remember when Manteca was the hub.” Vossos, who is a retired structural engineer that has inspected buildings to assure their stability and such for communities that have given their downtown new life such as Antioch, Petaluma, and Healdsburg.
Given Manteca has 85,000 people and at the current growth pace will top 100,000 residents in five or so years, she believes there is desire for the arts.
And what better place to launch such an effort than the very building that was designed to host activities to draw people downtown — the Manteca Transit Center at Moffat and Main.
“It’s important to expose our children as well as adults to symphonic sounds, it’s dramatic history and soothing effects on sprit and soul —not to mention it’s positive effects (it could have) on downtown businesses with pre-concert dinners and lingering foot traffic.”
Music, of course, would be a jumping off point. The transit center is an ideal venue for art shows and events that celebrate the wide repertoire of cultures represented by Manteca’s diverse and growing population. And given the community’s investment in murals — the largest public arts project of its kind in the Northern San Joaquin Valley — it makes sense to harness the arts to help bring more people to downtown and in turn create the 2st century community gathering place many say they want downtown to become.
With a little luck, the schools may join the effort along with other people that Vossos hopes will contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 707-695-2287.
And if she does get some traction it would be great if the City of Manteca waves rental fees given it is an effort to spark two long-term objectives that have languished — getting more people downtown and giving a boost to cultural and the arts.
Manteca built a beautiful venue that can accommodate 240 people that rarely gets used once a week, if that.
Vossos idea of bringing beautiful music to the brick, glass, and steel landmark building that even has the pre-requisite clock tower that sits on Manteca’s prime north-south arterial might just be the perfect tune-up for downtown’s future and nurturing the growth of the arts on a community-scale in Manteca whether its live theater, concerts, static artworks, or other forms of art that can enrich lives and grow downtown.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com