Congratulations to North Texas Performing Arts who just celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters, the Willow Bend Center of the Arts, at The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano.

Located on the second floor of The Shops at Willow Bend, near to Dillards, the state-of-the-art facility includes two mainstage theaters, two black box theaters as well as two dance studios, rehearsal and practice studios, and set-build and costume space. At almost 26,000 square feet of space, the Willow Bend Center of the Arts is the largest performing arts center for youth in the country.

Launching alongside this new and improved are STARters classes for 1 to 5 year-olds which will include drama, art, dance and Kindermusik®. Classes start in January, click here to find out more.

The Willow Bend Center of the Arts, home of North Texas Performing Arts and Plano Children’s Theatre was made possible thanks to the generosity and support of the community. Principal donors and supporters included: The City of Plano and the Cultural Affairs Commission; Starwood Retail Group; Starwood Capital; The Shops at Willow Bend; Darrel, Lisa, Chris and Lee Rodenbaugh who sponsored the Rodenbaugh Theatre (the mainstage proscenium theatre); Starcatcher Theatr Troupe Friends & Families who sponsored the Starcatcher Theatre (black box theatre #2); The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation who sponsored the Neiman Marcus Recpetion Room; Sara Egleston Akers, Dr. James R. and Marcia Egelston and the late Carole Egelston who sponsored the Egelston Akers Theatre (black box theatre #1); Rutledge and Susan Haggard who sponsored the Haggard Dance Studio; and H Foundation who sponsored the H Rehearsal Studio.

Addition sponsorship opportunities are still available and include options to sponsor a photo in the Rogue’s Gallery (from $300) and a seat in the Mainstage Theatre ($500-1,000) to bigger ticket items such as the Thrust Theatre ($60,000) and Dance Studio One ($20,000). If you are interested in being a donor please contact Sara Akers at

Celebrations continue this weekend for North Texas Performing Arts with the final performances of Scrooge at the Courtyard Theatre in downtown Plano on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 15th, 16th and 17th of December. Click here to get tickets. 

The following pics were taken during the ribbon cutting of the Willow Bend Center of the Arts on Thursday December 7, 2017.

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The Willow Bend Center of the Arts is part of The Shops at Willow Bend’s $125 million redevelopment plan, which includes a welcoming new main entrance and a collection of up to seven chef-driven restaurants; a seven-story, 200,000-square- foot “Class A” office tower conveniently connected to the mall (approximately 800 employees); a Equinox health and fitness club; and entertainment venues such as Crayola Experience Plano. In addition, a planned expansion will include new retailers and innovative adventures for families. Finally, the mall will receive a more contemporary aesthetic interior remodel. The expansion is scheduled to open in phases from mid-2017 through 2018.

Rebecca Silvestri

Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile. In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...