Walton Arts Center announced today a $500,000 gift from J. B. Hunt Transport. This gift is designated for the Investing in our Future: The Expansion of Walton Arts Center, the Walton Arts Center’s $23 million campaign to add 30,000 square feet of space, including a new and expanded atrium lobby that connects to Dickson Street, significant renovations and expansion of Starr Theater, expanded space for back of the house technical and theatrical equipment, and new administrative offices.

The goal is to complete the Dickson Street renovation by fall of 2016. Heavy construction of the main lobby and Starr Theater will occur during the off-peak summer months of 2015 and 2016 to minimize the impact on regular programming and ensure the arts center has a full season.

J. B. Hunt Transport has been a long-time supporter of Walton Arts Center through the J.B. Hunt Bussing Subsidy. Transportation expenses related to bussing students to the Walton Arts Center has been identified as a significant obstacle to participation in arts programs and learning opportunities. Their consistent support has allowed local schools to continue to bring their classes to Walton Arts Center exposing thousands of school children to the arts at a crucial time in their learning and development.

“J.B. Hunt has been a generous supporter of transporting kids to Walton Arts Center for over two decades,” said Peter B. Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center. “Their investment in the capital campaign strengthens the performing arts in NW Arkansas. Together, J.B. Hunt and Walton Arts Center will continue to positively impact the lives of families and children by increasing access to the arts in our community.”

According to J.B. Hunt President and CEO John Roberts, “The Walton Arts Center not only enriches the lives of children and families in Northwest Arkansas, it sculpts the creative minds of our future innovators. We could not be more pleased to provide our support and investment in this impactful initiative, assisting in the development of the arts in our own community.”

Private support is key to leveraging the generosity of J.B. Hunt Transport, the City of Fayetteville and its residents who voted in support of the Yes! Yes! Yes! Campaign. Walton Arts Center is excited about what the future holds and invites the community to join us as we plan for the future.

To learn more about giving opportunities to the Walton Arts Center, contact Missy Darwin Kincaid 479.571.2781.

L to R: Walton Arts Center CEO Peter Lane and J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts. Photo credit: Randi Cruz.