The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has donated $1.5 million toward a $34 million capital campaign to build a new venue for Fayetteville performing arts company TheatreSquared.
The money, according to a news release, will name one of the building’s most prominent architectural features — the cantilevered, 1,700-square-foot open artistic space with a prominent view over the corner of West and Spring streets in downtown Fayetteville — as the Walker Rehearsal Room.
“Willard and Pat Walker were true visionaries in their commitment to this region,” TheatreSquared Executive Director Martin Miller said in a statement. “We’re proud to have the support of the Walker Charitable Foundation to help TheatreSquared inaugurate a space where, over the next decades, millions of Arkansans of every background will discover remarkable live theatre and educational experiences.”
The three-level, 50,000-square-foot venue at 477 W. Spring St. will include a 277-seat West Theatre, 120-seat Spring Theatre, café and bar, eight guest artist apartments, rehearsal area, room to create and maintain stage props and costumes, and public spaces.
The project is expected to be completed in June and TheatreSquared will host the first performances in the new theatre in August.
“It is exciting to see the momentum as this ambitious project enters its final phases, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this new cultural landmark,” said Mandy Macke, executive director for the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. “We hope this gift inspires others in the community to join us in supporting our region’s first home for world-class theatre—made here in Northwest Arkansas.”
The Walker gift brings total financial support to date to more than 80% of the building costs.
You can read more about the project at this link.