In response to Ross Anderson’s article, “Parks in Crisis,” from the November 11 edition of The Leader, it is worth clarifying that actions of the PDA will not “complicate Centrum’s mission” as the article states. Centrum has a clear mission that, since 1974, has served the population of our state, and our region with boundless distinction. We are independent of the PDA and, in partnership with them, are the leading economic driver at Fort Worden State Park, delivering more than $600,000 in direct revenue to the PDA this year alone. State tax dollars play a predominant role in sustaining the park, along –now- with private donations. With the leadership of the PDA, and some of Centrum’s biggest supporters, strides are being made to reinvigorate the campus. We applaud this. This is why the creation of a PDA is good for Port Townsend’s future.


The Centrum staff and board hosted 1,674 visitors to Port Townsend for our workshops this year from 15 foreign countries and 44 of the 50 states. We also sold over 7,000 tickets to Centrum events in 2015. We love Fort Worden, the Olympic Peninsula and the Port Townsend community for placing a premium on community service and life-long learning. Do the facilities need investment? They do. But let’s remember that Fort Worden and its programs have operated without interruption since 1974. Every non-profit partner at the Fort has already agreed to contribute more to help sustain the enterprise. The most positive angle to any story should be that the Fort is a public property. The public can enjoy unparalleled access to arts and education at Fort Worden through the many non-profits that make this place home. I encourage you to visit and see the good work happening here every day.

Robert Birman
Executive Director