TheatreSquared (T2) Executive Director Martin Miller and Artistic Director Robert Ford announced on March 14, a $1.5 million leadership grant from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation toward the Our Next Stage capital campaign, according to T2 Director of Marketing and Communications Joanna Sheehan Bell.
The campaign supports Northwest Arkansas’s first permanent, which is the dedicated home for professional theatre, said Bell.
“Willard and Pat Walker were true visionaries in their commitment to this region,” said T2 Executive Director Martin Miller. “We’re proud to have the support of the Walker Charitable Foundation to help TheatreSquared inaugurate a space where, over the next decades, millions of Arkansans of every background will discover remarkable live theatre and educational experiences.”
The leadership gift will christen one of the building’s most prominent architectural features, the cantilevered, which is the 1,700-square-foot open artistic space with a prominent view over the corner of West and Spring as the Walker Rehearsal Room, Bell said.
Architect Magazine highlighted the distinctive rehearsal volume in its preview of the building, writing:
“Most significantly, the building projects the inner life of the theater onto the street. A rehearsal space features a massive window that gives passersby a glimpse of works in progress.”
“It is exciting to see the momentum as this ambitious project enters its final phases, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this new cultural landmark,” said Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Executive Director for the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Mandy Macke. “We hope this gift inspires others in the community to join us in supporting our region’s first home for world-class theatre—made here in Northwest Arkansas.”
A committee of area civic leaders is working closely with T2’s staff and Board to continue raising leadership and community gifts to raise over $31 million towards the project’s costs, in addition to a separate T2 Trust Campaign that will ensure a sustainable future for the organization and its community-driven offerings, according to Bell.
The architecturally significant new theatre at the corner of Spring Street and West Avenue in downtown Fayetteville will be complete in the summer of 2019 and is one of the newest performance spaces in the country, said Bell.
The site is steps from dozens of restaurants and bars, blocks from the University of Arkansas campus, and across the street from a new 250-space parking garage, according to Bell.
The theatre will also directly connect to the Razorback Greenway, the regional bike trail linking Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville.
T2 will host the first performances in the new theatre in August 2019.
For more information about T2, click here.