Arkansas Arts Center Director Todd Herman told the AAC board Monday an RFQ is being prepared for architectural firms to bid on the renovation of the Arts Center. The RFQ put the price of construction for the new Arts Center at $55 million to $65 million, Herman said, though the numbers are a placeholder; the renovation will be paid from proceeds from a bond issue supported by a 2-cent tax levied by the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission and private funds. The RFQ will be made available in mid-July, Herman said.
The Arts Center Foundation is now developing the “private side” of the capital campaign, Herman said, when fundraising leaders will settle on a goal of money to be raised. The campaig will then move into a major gifts phase and, lastly, a community phase.
Fundraising to build the endowment will be done separately. The endowment stands at around $25 million now; Herman said he’d like to see that raised by $20 million.
A “technical committee” that will review the architect proposals will include Herman, curator Brian Lang, consultant Deborah Frieden of Oakland, Calif.; retired architect Ken Sims, board member and interior decorator Kaki Hockersmith and Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas.
The board also approved a 2016-17 budget of $6,675,000, up almost more than $600,000 from the budget for the year ending June 30. The increase reflects the fact that the new fiscal year is a “Tabriz year,” when the Arts Center’s biannual fundraiser will be held, deputy director of operations Laine Harber reported. Harber said the center’s “cash position is improving” as it ends the year current, with all debts paid and $25,000 extra.
Curator Lang also announced the lineup for future shows at the Arts Center: “Weathering Skies,” abstract expressionist watercolors by Jon Schueler marking the centenary of his birth (Aug. 5-Oct. 3); “Cut, Pieced and Stitched,” drawings in denim by Jim Arendt, a show that illustrates how denim “straddles” folks in the working class and those who wear $300 jeans (Aug. 5-Oct. 23); “Little Dreams in Glass and Metal,” an exhibition by the Enamel Arts Foundation that will be accompanied by a “Glass Fantasies: Enamels by Thom Hall,” 40 to 45 enamels by the Arts Center’s longtime registrar, many featuring his alter ego Sylvia Moskowitz (both Oct. 7-Jan. 1, 2017); the 48th annual “Collectors Show” (Nov. 11-Jan. 8, 2017); and “Ansel Adams — Early Works,” vintage gelatin silver prints (Jan. 27-April 16, 2017), which will be paired with “The Strong Forms of Our Experience,” paintings by modernist Herman Maril.