The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) has officially set its grand reopening for Saturday, April 22, 2023, following an historic renovation of the museum’s main building and its grounds in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park.
“For six years, a dedicated team has been working to create an inclusive cultural space that inspires and builds community,” said AMFA Executive Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez in an official statement. “Not only will the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts offer an array of visual arts, performing arts and educational opportunities, it will provide a beautiful venue for people to connect with each other.”
Designed by world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang and her architecture and urban design practice, Studio Gang, the project includes a new 133,000-SF building that will house The Windgate Art School, Harriet and Warren Stephens Galleries, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller Lecture Hall, Terri and Chuck Erwin Collections Research Center, a performing arts theater, a modern restaurant and more. On the reopening date, AMFA will reportedly also unveil eleven acres of landscaping in MacArthur Park by award- winning landscape architect Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture.
“One of our most influential predecessors, Winthrop Rockefeller, always felt this institution was far more than a museum, and it’s been incredibly exciting to see the shared vision for its next chapter come to life,” said Harriet Stephens, AMFA Capital Campaign Co-Chair and Building Committee Chair.
AMFA Capital Campaign Co-Chair Warren Stephens said, “This is an extraordinary project. My family’s roots, like so many others in Arkansas, run deep. So the excitement is thoroughly shared across the state and beyond, as evidenced by the success of the capital campaign, which has now raised $150.4 million, far exceeding our original goal. In fact, today
we are announcing a new goal of $155 million.”
“This is truly a public-private partnership,” Harriet Stephens added, “made possible through the generosity, commitment, passion for arts and culture, and love for our community and state.”
The capital campaign (“Reimagining the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts”) includes a $31,245,000 contribution from the City of Little Rock, generated through a hotel tax revenue bond approved by voters. Overwhelming private support to date has nearly quintupled the impact of the public contribution to the project. Lead donors include Windgate Foundation, Harriet and Warren Stephens, the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust, Terri and Chuck Erwin, and the State of Arkansas.
“The enthusiasm has been incredible, and the new fundraising goal will allow us to far surpass the initial scope of the project,” said Warren Stephens. “It is the perfect time to support AMFA, and we ask our patrons to consider giving a special donation, or even an additional donation, in support of this campaign.”
To build further excitement, AMFA unveiled a LED wall inside the new building with a giant clock counting down to opening day, visible through the 32-foot, second-floor Art Perch window overlooking 9th Street.
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