After being closed for the past few years, the Arkansas Art Museum has announced that it will reopen after a landmark renovation.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Art Museum of Arkansas has announced its grand reopening on April 22, 2023.
The museum is known as the oldest and largest cultural institution of its kind in its natural state and has undergone a historic renovation project, hoping to transform the museum building and its grounds into MacArthur Park in Little Rock.
Although the museum has been closed for a few years, the staff hope that it will return better than before.
“For six years, a dedicated team has worked to create an inclusive cultural space that inspires and builds community. Not only will the Museum of Fine Arts of Arkansas provide an array of visual arts, performing arts, and educational opportunities, but it will also provide a beautiful venue for people to connect with one another,” said Executive Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez AMFA.
The building was designed by Jeanne Gang, a world renowned architect, alongside her practice of architecture and urban design.
The project will feature a brand new 133,000 square foot building that will house various areas including the Windgate Art School, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller’s Lecture Hall, a performing arts theater, a modern restaurant and many more.
Once the museum reopens, they will unveil 11 acres of landscaping in MacArthur Park that was designed by award-winning architect Kate Orff.
Harriet Stephens, AMFA’s Capital Campaign Co-Chair and Building Committee Chair, explained that over the past few years they have had the privilege of working with an exceptionally talented group of architects, craftsmen, contractors and many skilled artisans to all help redesign the museum inside and out.
The landmark renovation is made possible through a public-private partnership that will begin with a $31 million commitment from the City of Little Rock generated through a hotel tax bond.
Various contributions from private donors have quadrupled public commitment and fundraising for the project is underway.
AMFA Capital campaign co-chairman Warren Stephens said it was an extraordinary project.
“My family’s roots, like so many others in Arkansas, run deep. So the excitement is widely shared across the state and beyond, as evidenced by the success of the fundraising campaign, which has now raised $150.4 million, far exceeding our original goal. In fact, today we are announcing a new target of $155 million,” he added.
Harriett Stephens said this was truly a public-private partnership and was made possible through generosity, commitment and a passion for fine arts and culture.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. explained that the reimagined museum will be a beacon, not just for downtown or the town of Little Rock, but for the entire region.
“Not only is the design of the building welcoming, but the programming will emphasize the belief shared by the museum and my administration that equity in access to the arts is important for everyone. The city is proud of its role in realizing this dream,” he said.