What IS the Redding Civic Auditorium’s Connection to Bethel Church?

Bethel Church has made headlines lately with positions that have polarized the community, and we would like to clarify our relationship to the church, as we’ve been erroneously linked to their positions on recent proposed legislation. Advance Redding is a 501c3 public benefit non-profit, established in 2011 to manage and revitalize the Redding Civic Auditorium.

Redding Civic Auditorium. Photo source: visit redding.com

The Redding Civic Auditorium is owned by the City of Redding. The city was confronted in 2011 with the risk of closing the facility, due to years of deficit and disrepair. At the same time, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) needed a facility for its students. Bethel Church brought a proposal to the City of Redding for a non-profit to manage the facility in a way that would revitalize the building for the community while providing a place for the students. Out of that proposal, Advance Redding was formed. Contrary to what has been reported, Advance Redding is not a subsidiary of Bethel Church or BSSM, nor is it a religious organization. It does not pay or donate money to Bethel Church or BSSM, nor does it discriminate against or show preference to entities based on any relationship with Bethel Church or BSSM.

When promoting in-house, we recruit and pay the artists to perform here whether 2,200 fans pack the house or only 200 show up, taking on substantial financial risk to make many of these shows happen. We also rent the venue to outside promoters and local organizations to achieve a lineup of quality and diverse programming.

Shows and events promoted and hosted by Redding Civic Auditorium are not subject to the approval of Bethel leadership. The criteria for approving or rejecting a show is not based on any personal or religious preferences, but rather its economic viability relative to our market’s tastes and interests. Similarly, the long list of factors for choosing which acts to pursue and book does not include religious ideals or faith-based principles. The criteria do include: What are the available funds and what is the potential return on investment? Will enough North State fans be willing to pay this ticket price for this show on this day? Can our building accommodate the needs of this production? Will it be a safe and enjoyable show? Is it too similar to other entertainment offered in the community around the same date? Does Redding have lodging accommodations suitable for this act? Do we have the date that the act is requesting available?

We have approximately 120,000 visitors to the facility annually, and we do not discriminate based on race, color, beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, or national origin. We strive to provide and facilitate inclusive programming for everyone in the greater North State region, and our ‘Sellouts Serve the Community’ program has donated $1,000 or more each to several local causes and charitable organizations, including Cascade Theatre, Riverfront Playhouse, and Kids Kingdom, to name a few.

70% of the rent money paid by Advance Redding to the City of Redding is reinvested into the facility. Additional funds have also been spent on capital improvements, and the combined total of $1M in substantial upgrades has established new lighting and video projection technology; a concert-quality sound system; a remodel of the industrial kitchen, main lobby, café, meeting rooms, and green rooms; new windows and façade upgrades, and much more. These capital improvements benefit every show and event that takes place in the Redding Civic Auditorium. The $750,000 in rent money that BSSM pays to Advance Redding every year provides the financial foundation necessary to host and promote everything the Redding Civic Auditorium offers.

Every successful show opens doors to bigger, better show opportunities, and every stain on a venue’s reputation, earned or not, is a substantial setback in our ability to attract quality artists to Redding. We appreciate your time and attention on this matter.

Nathan Parmelee is the  Talent Buyer & Marketing Director for the Redding Civic Auditorium.

Press Release

-from press release

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