Marti and Kelly Sudduth of Bentonville handed over a $1 million gift to the Walton Art Center’s Expanding Our Future campaign — a $23 million fundraising effort recently announced by the nonprofit.
The Walton Arts Center (WAC)expansion includes an additional 30,000 square feet of space, 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.
In recognition for their donation, a new event space will be named the Sudduth Garden Room that connects with the existing Walton Arts Center Rose Garden, the release states.
The Dickson Street renovation is slated for completion by the fall of 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.
“Northwest Arkansas is an amazing place to live, and we believe the Walton Arts Center is a vital part of our community,” said Marti Sudduth. “We are inspired by the spirit of giving we have observed since this became our home six years ago. (This gift) is our way of being part of something that we know will enrich so many people’s lives for many years to come. We hope that many will join us in supporting this effort and make this a reality for all to enjoy."
Marti and Kelly Sudduth moved to Northwest Arkansas about six years ago from Tulsa, to be near their family. They frequently attend shows at Walton Arts Center with their children and grandchildren.
“Their lifelong support for education and specifically Walton Arts Center’s educational programing is inspiring and we are so grateful for the impact their transformative gift will make on our community,” said Peter B. Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center. “Their contribution to the renovation and expansion of the Walton Arts Center greatly moves us toward our goal of providing arts for everyone in Northwest Arkansas.