To fully appreciate the $93 million Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, you need to see an event. However, tickets are not cheap.

On Thursday, Nov. 18 from 2 to 7 p.m., the public is invited to an open house at the Tanger Center.  The open house is free and gives people an opportunity to tour the Tanger Center and view what the public-private partnership, formed to build the new performing arts center, has accomplished.

The Tanger Center was built with over $43 million in private funds, provided through the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and about $50 million in public funds, financed mainly with parking fees, ticket fees and the hotel/motel tax.  No city property tax revenue is being used to finance the Tanger Center.

When the plan for the a new performing arts center to replace the ageing Memorial Auditorium in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex was first discussed by the Greensboro City Council in 2012, then Mayor Robbie Perkins suggested that the performing arts center be moved from the Coliseum Complex to downtown Greensboro and that $10 million in private funding be raised to pay the additional cost of building the new performing arts center, or “music hall” as some publications referred to it, in downtown Greensboro.

The original cost estimate for building the new performing arts center was $40 million at the Coliseum Complex and $50 million in downtown Greensboro.

The final cost of the Tanger Center was almost double that original estimate, but the amount of money raised privately increased more than fourfold.  Congresswoman Kathy Manning, who now represents the 6th District, was the lead fundraiser for the Tanger Center, and as the cost of the Tanger continued to climb, so did the amount of private money that Manning raised.

Everything was in place for the grand opening of the Tanger Center on March 20, 2020, with the original public open house scheduled for March 29.

On March 12, 2020, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper cancelled all events in the state that involved gatherings of over 100 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, the beautiful, brand new Tanger Center sat empty and unused until Sept. 2, 2021, when Rhiannon Giddens and Friends performed.

And now that original open house scheduled for March 29, 2020 is being held on Thursday, Nov. 18 beginning at 2 p.m.