FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Community School of the Arts announced it will be hosting Governor Asa Hutchinson and his wife Susan on May 10 to celebrate the future Center for the Creative Arts in Fort Smith.

The event is open to the public and will be located at 1101 Riverfront Drive, the future site of the Center.

The 11 a.m. ceremony will include remarks by Mayor George McGill as well as Governor Hutchinson with a performance of the National Anthem by CSA student Carolyn Young and a special thank-you to the governor by CSA Instructor Cody Walls for his support of arts education, the release said.

CSA said it raised $7.5 million over the past three years and believes the facility will be the first of its kind in Arkansas, as CSA says its program will serve as a model for the state and beyond.

“We are so excited to be hosting our Governor and First Lady for this very special event! We’re grateful for their tremendous support of CSA and the new Center, as well as their support of the importance of arts education in Arkansas. They truly understand how participation in the arts transforms lives! I hope to see our community come out to our May 10 Celebration,” said Dr. Rosilee Russell, CSA Executive Director.

First Lady Susan Hutchinson is also serving as an Honorary Co-Chair to the CSA Inspiring Excellence Campaign, along with Co-Chairs Mary Carleton Young and Kathy Coleman. CSA announced it is also honoring the First Lady by naming the current after-school programs the “Susan Hutchinson Community Arts Connection.”

The Center is a 40,000-square-foot facility that includes educational spaces for six major arts areas; music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, and culinary. Specialized spaces are also included in the new Center such as a state-of-the-art recording studio, a 350-seat performance hall, restaurant-style kitchens, and high-tech digital art spaces. Current after-school programs for children and youth will be housed in the new facility and expanded to include additional art offerings, CSA said.

The facility will also house the new Institute for the Creative Arts, a special program for high school students in grades 9-12 who live within a 60-mile radius of Fort Smith. In cooperation with potentially 39 school districts, students will participate daily in a specific arts program and receive high school credits yearly at their school.

Construction has begun for the Center with a completion date set for August 2023. The celebration will take place directly in front of what will be the main entrance to the facility. Parking is available on site.