The Walton Arts Center announced a $500,000 gift from Tyson Foods on the heels of like funding from J.B. Hunt Transport last week which is designated for the $23 million fundraising campaign by the nonprofit.
The Investing in our Future campaign seeks to add 30,000 square feet of space, including a new and expanded atrium lobby that connects to Dickson Street, significant renovations and expansion of Starr Theater, expanded space for back of the house technical and theatrical equipment, and new administrative offices.
The goal is to complete the Dickson Street renovation by fall 2016. Heavy construction of the main lobby and Starr Theater will occur during the off-peak summer months of 2015 and 2016 to minimize the impact on regular programming and ensure the arts center has a full season.
“Thanks to the long-time partnership with Tyson Foods, Walton Arts Center is able to provide enriching arts opportunities for children and audiences in Northwest Arkansas,” said Peter Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center.
He said Tyson Foods has sponsored season programming, education programs and capital projects. This gift will continue the legacy of Tyson Foods’ support of Walton Arts Center by renaming the renovated exterior Tyson Plaza and naming the primary entry from the Dickson Street entrance as the Tyson Entrance.
“In the last few years our region’s population has grown by nearly 8%, versus the 3% nationwide average. Needless to say, this area is booming,” said Tyson Foods’ Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Sara Lilygren. “We find it so important to give back to this community, and we’re delighted to support access to cultural and recreational assets like the Walton Arts Center.”