NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, May 20, 2015 – Walton Arts Center announced today a $500,000 gift from Tyson Foods, Inc. This gift is designated for the Investing in our Future: The Expansion of Walton Arts Center, Walton Arts Center’s $23 million campaign 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 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.
Since Walton Arts Center opened, 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. The renovation and expansion of the facility will transform Tyson Plaza into a new linear plaza along Dickson Street and West Avenue.
“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 B. Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center. “We are excited about the new Tyson Plaza and Tyson Entrance which will welcome those attending our renovated campus. Thanks to this generous gift, Walton Arts Center will continue to be a place where people of all ages can enjoy great entertainment, experience cultures from around the world and learn together.”
“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.”
Private support is key to leveraging the generosity of Tyson Foods, the City of Fayetteville and its residents who voted in support of the Yes! Yes! Yes! Campaign. Walton Arts Center is excited about what the future holds and invites the community to join us as we plan for the future.
To learn more about giving opportunities to the Walton Arts Center, contact Missy Darwin Kincaid 479.571.2781.