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Arkansas Arts Center reveals plans for $128m expansion and renovations

arkansas art center

The Arkansas Arts Center has announced a $128 million fundraising campaign for a new space and renovations to its existing building.

The new AAC will welcome visitors and community members, inviting them to explore AAC’s programmes and collections in an exciting, energy-efficient, accessible, state-of-the-art facility.

Scheduled for completion in early 2022, the ‘Reimagining the Arkansas Arts Center: Campaign for Our Cultural Future’ project has commitments exceeding $118 million so far.

arkansas art center

“A remarkable group has come together with a clear understanding of the importance of reimagining the Arkansas Arts Center for the 21st century,” said campaign Co-Chair Harriet Stephens. “We will now reach out to the entire community and state for support to realise this once-in-a-lifetime project.

“Together, we can ensure that the Arkansas Arts Center is a thriving and influential cultural institution for present and future generations.”

The development includes a two-storey atrium extending through the existing museum complex to weave together the Galleries, Museum School, and Children’s Theatre.

Other additions include a new community event and gathering space, a new entrance hall, and a new restaurant in MacArthur Park with shaded outdoor seating, walking paths, and landscape features.

arkansas art center

Reimagining the Arkansas Arts Center

  • State-of-the-art galleries for the AAC’s collection and traveling exhibitions, and cutting-edge collection storage facilities to preserve and maintain the collection.
  • Renovated facilities for the Museum School with increased education, amenity, and display space.
  • An updated Children’s Theatre, which includes new lighting, sound and rigging systems, control rooms, audience seats, an expansion of the black box theatre, and the addition of a costume shop.

The AAC’s new landscape, designed by Kate Orff and SCAPE, will expand the connection between the architecture and MacArthur Park.

Construction on the Arkansas Arts Center is scheduled to start in 2019, with an opening set for early 2022.

Images: Arkansas Art Center

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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