ORIGIN OF THE CCPA
In 1975 it was learned that the Woodmen of the World Hall at the corner of 8th and Lincoln would soon be sold and possibly demolished. To keep the Hall available to the community, a group of concerned users, performers, neighbors and historical preservation enthusiasts organized the Community Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit (501c3) corporation.
On December 2, 1975, the leaseholder gave notice that he intended to exercise his option to sell the Hall. He informed 130 people who attended a basement meeting that he would give the community first option to buy the Hall at $75,000 but would need a $10,000 down payment within 13 days. To raise the money supporters organized a WOWATHON: five days and nights of continuous entertainment! The WOWATHON began on Dec. 10 and, with support from the Oregon Country Fair, KLCC, KZEL and many others, the money was raised!
Throughout its early years the CCPA faced one crisis after another. Time and again, community support would save the W.O.W. Hall. Volunteerism, a few grants, increasing attendance and severe austerity enabled the CCPA to pay off the Hall’s mortgage in 1983, completing the dream of making the facility, "community-owned and democratically operated.