FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2018
Contact: Peter Nierengarten
Director of Sustainability
Public Invited to Help Design Fayetteville’s Cultural Arts Corridor
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The City of Fayetteville is creating a dynamic Cultural Arts Corridor that will link cultural attractions—including the Walton Arts Center, TheatreSquared’s new performing arts venue, Nadine Baum Studios, Fayetteville Public Library, and the undeveloped Fay Jones Parkland—and activate the outdoor environment between Dickson and Prairie Streets with a range of amenities that will enhance the experience for city residents and visitors alike. The creation of this corridor will improve access to natural and urban public spaces, cultural and educational attractions, the University of Arkansas, the Downtown Square, the Razorback Greenway, and the community.
The public is invited to participate over the next four months to help create the final design. In 2019, the Cultural Arts Corridor project will be part of the City’s capital projects presented as a bond to Fayetteville voters in a special election. Opportunities will be available to participate both in person and online.
- August 16 - 18: Public gives ideas and designers develop sketches.
- October 9 - 12: Designers present preliminary concepts and ask public to help fine-tune designs and give preferences.
- December 2018 - Early 2019 (dates TBD): Designers present a pre-final concept based on public input. Last chance to offer feedback about final concept!
- Date TBD: Designers present final concept to City Council. The Cultural Arts Corridor will be one of the keystone, phase one capital expense projects in the next year or so.
- January - Spring 2019 (date TDB): Voters VOTE in a special election regarding the 2020-2035 Sales Tax Bond Referendum. Note: various projects are currently being considered. If approved, preparation for building the Cultural Arts Corridor could begin as early as 2019.
Public engagement kicks off next week. The first event is on Thursday, August 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Starr Theatre at the Walton Arts Center (495 W. Dickson Street). Mayor Jordan has authorized free parking in the Spring Street Parking Deck for the event. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Information about the Cultural Arts Corridor, including a map of the area, project description, schedule of planned public engagement events, and a link to the City’s new community engagement portal, Speak Up Fayetteville, is on the City’s website at www.fayetteville-ar.gov/culturalartscorridor.
“To say I’m excited about this project is a major understatement,” said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. “I know our community is unusually passionate about the arts, that our residents and visitors thrive in our outdoor spaces, and that our region expects - as well as contributes – to a high quality of life. So, I hope to see everyone at these events and speaking up!”
Several area leaders also spoke up about the project and opportunities for the public to participate:
"I’ve been in business on Dickson Street since 1980 and I have witnessed first-hand, the creation and transformation of our Entertainment District and Downtown areas. I truly believe, that the development and creation of the Cultural Arts Corridor has the potential to be our crown jewel. The development of this most important piece of our city, in my opinion, should reflect the heartbeat of what makes Fayetteville such a wonderful place to live and work.” – Joe Fennel, owner of Bordino’s Restaurant and president of the Dickson Street Merchants Association
“Walton Arts Center played a key role in the development of the Fayetteville Entertainment District 26 years ago. We’ve seen first-hand how the arts can be an economic catalyst – supporting local businesses and driving tourism. The development of this cultural corridor will expand Fayetteville’s appeal, with visual and performing arts organizations in one area and creating an environment that will benefit residents, visitors and businesses.” – Peter Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center
“The Fayetteville Public Library is delighted to play a role in this defining moment for the arts and culture of Fayetteville. The wonderful design gift from the Walton Family Foundation and the dedicated leadership of the City are allowing our citizens to realize the positive impact the arts has on the health and welfare of our community.” – David Johnson, executive director of the Fayetteville Public Library
All are encouraged to join in the design planning next week and through the end of the year to make this 50-acre space a truly transformative Fayetteville experience. The design will incorporate playful recreation elements, public art, streetscaping, enhanced pedestrian paths, and open-air gathering spaces while integrating the natural landscape with the urban. When complete, the corridor will serve as a vibrant and memorable civic space for entertainment, community, and expression that also showcases the unique character and culture of Fayetteville.
This project is made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation’s Design Excellence Program. Award-winning firm Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW) Landscape Architects were selected to facilitate the design process and project.