Social media sounds off on Century II, future of performing arts


Over the past year, the Century II Citizens Committee has heard from thousands of people in Wichita about the future of performing arts in Wichita.

On Thursday afternoon, people could chime in their thoughts via social media, in a virtual town hall. 

Volunteers at city hall answered and posed questions to people joining via Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor.

“It’s pretty even. Seeing a lot of the ‘keep it’ and also ‘renovate.’ I’ve seen, ‘tear it down, give us something new,” city councilman Bryan Frye said as he watched responses come in.

Century II has provided the big blue dome in the Wichita skyline since 1969, playing host to many memorable events and shows. City leaders are wanting input about its future, with some citizens arguing nostalgia isn’t reason enough to maintain a building in dire need of repairs.

Committee chairperson Mary Beth Jarvis explained the public input stage leads up to the committee leaving a reccomendation to city councilmembers. They’ll be in attendance at Tuesday’s city council workshop and present their findings.

“We can’t kick this can down the road any further, we need a solution for performing arts in Wichita that we can kick into play now to serve the next 50 years of our arts and culture life,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said the committee is focusing on the future of performing arts, and there are options for Century II beyond maintaining it or destroying it. 

“Replace might mean that we have new facilities for performing arts, but it wouldn’t necessarily mean Century II would go away. Maybe there’s another use for that iconic building that would add value to the community,” Jarvis said.

You can search the hashtag #Century2Future to see responses, or email with your thoughts.

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