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Capital campaign for the Center for Art & Education will get off to a glowing start June 10


Capital campaign for the Center for Art & Education will get off to a glowing start June 10


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What do art, juggling, running and a campaign to raise $5.4 million dollars have in common??Everything.

For years, Van Buren’s Center for Art &?Education has been juggling its exhibitions and activities in limited space and running after operating funds. On June 10, the center is going to joyously share its plans for a new home on Main Street and and generous gifts that push the campaign very near its finish line.

Jane Owen, executive director of the CAE, is thrilled at the support the Imagine Capital Campaign has been receiving and hoping the entertaining June 10 event will keep up the momentum.

“We want to encourage the community to help meet the Imagine Capital Campaign fund-raising goal of $5.4 million, of which $2 million will be matched from Windgate Foundation Challenge Grant,” she said. The campaign passed the $1 million mark in May with a $100,000 pledge from Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Its next goal is to raise the remaining $2.4 million.

“We want to encourage the community to help meet the Imagine Capital Campaign fund-raising goal of $5.4 million, of which $2 million will be matched from Windgate Foundation Challenge Grant,” she said. The campaign passed the $1 million mark in May with a $100,000 pledge from Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Its next goal is to raise the remaining $2.4 million.

From 7:45-8:15, the Institute of Jugglology will perform its world championship winning piece “Mandala” inside King Opera House. The jugglers use innovative juggling props filled with sand to create temporary works of art in the form of sand paintings and colorful explosions. Experience what happens when throws become brush strokes and catches are paint splatters. Each performance creates a one of a kind work of temporary art that will be destroyed before your very eyes. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children.

Tickets are available now by phone at 479-474-7767.

After sunset, at about 8:35, the Glow Run 5k race and one-mile fun run will start. Runners will pass through sprays of glow-in-the-dark color and become luminescant artworks themselves as they run a route through Mike Meyers Park and return to Main Street. Advance run registration is $20; $25 day of race; $10 for children 12 and under. The first 100 pre-registered runners will receive a free T-shirt.

All of the fun is a hint of the asset the new CAE will become when it moves to Main Street. Within this larger, renovated space there will be more opportunity to exhibit art and offer art education, plus daily attractions of a children’s art activity area and a planned coffee shop/café. With three and a half times more space, the new CAE can offer programs and exhibits concurrently.

It will have the space to offer programs that provide CAE with new revenue generating and service opportunities – such as evening art activities for couples with other, simultaneous workshops and classes.

An inclusive coalition of municipal government, local business organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and citizens have agreed that moving the CAE to Main Street is a positive step to continue the significant revitalization of the downtown area already in progress. 

There is exciting potential to partner with the King Opera House, which is adjacent to the new center. The restored turn-of-the-century theater is currently operated by the City of Van Buren.

Plans also include the development of green space behind the 400 block on undeveloped property that could become a park.

The campaign’s appeal is to “Imagine a place to create and a place to educate.”?Support in the form of the initial donation of the building, the Windgate Foundation challenge grant and generous community donations already made have put this project within reach in a short time. After this kick-off, the Imagine Campain is running strong.


This article appears in the June issue of Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine. 



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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online