The Walton Art’s Center is closer to its $23 million fundraising campaign thanks to a $500,000 donation from the Starr Foundation and family. This gift is designated for the nonprofits expansion projects which include a 30,000 square feet of space addition, a new and expanded atrium lobby that connects to Dickson Street, renovations and expansion of Starr Theater, increased 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 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.
In recognition of their gift, the Starr family will be recognized on the Starr Concierge Counter, a central feature in the newly renovated and expanded lobby where patrons will purchase concessions and merchandise as well as pick up Will Call tickets or hearing devices.
“Billie Jo Starr and the Starr Family have been a part of Walton Arts Center from the very beginning,” said Peter Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center. “Billie Jo’s vision and passion pulled a community together to build and open the Walton Arts Center in 1992. Her long term support for Walton Arts Center and this recent gift to the renovation will continue her legacy of supporting quality arts education programs that make a difference in people’s lives in Northwest Arkansas.”
The Starr family has supported the arts center since the original capital campaign as well as through annual gifts and special projects such as Artosphere Festival and Arkansas History Through the Arts series.
“Our family wants every child to have the opportunity to participate and enjoy the arts. Walton Arts Center has been a labor of love for many years, and it continues to be important to our family … We are happy to give back to this community and hope others will join us as we complete this campaign,” said Billie Jo Starr.