Jeramey Jannene

Meeting Will Guide Design of Bronzeville Arts Center

Black arts center will occupy key corner of W. North Ave. and N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

By - Jun 28th, 2023 01:48 pm
Conceptual, non-site-specific rendering of Bronzeville Center for the Arts. Rendering by Wilson & Ford Design Studios.

Conceptual, non-site-specific rendering of Bronzeville Center for the Arts. Rendering by Wilson & Ford Design Studios.

With an architect and executive director in hand, the Bronzeville Center for the Arts (BCA) is moving forward on the design of its “world-class art and cultural center” that will serve as a showcase for Black artists.

The nonprofit organization will host a public scoping session Wednesday evening to discuss the programming, exhibits and community space within its planned cultural center.

After winning a state request for proposals in 2022, the organization is planning to develop a $55 million, 50,000-square-foot facility at the northeast corner of the intersection of N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and W. North Ave. The new building would replace a shuttered Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources complex.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held at America’s Black Holocaust Museum, 401 W. North Ave., from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Robert Parker was hired as the organization’s executive director earlier this year. Parker was hired in part for his skill in building organizations. Previously, he served as the inaugural executive director at The Chickasaw Nation-Chickasaw Inkana Foundation in Tupelo, MS, leading the design and development of a $36 million heritage center.

Design of the building is being led by M&E Architects+Engineers with support from HGA. Emem Group is serving as the owner’s representative.

Can’t make the meeting? There is also a visitor experience questionnaire available online. In a press release announcing the event, the organization said it will also host additional scoping sessions in July and August.

Earlier this month, the Republican-controlled Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance stripped a $5 million grant proposed by Governor Tony Evers. The grant would have accelerated work on the project, which is expected to rely on significant philanthropic support.

But construction is already underway on the organization’s first project, a gallery space, workshop and office space at 507 W. North Ave.

Conceptual renderings for the larger cultural center were released in 2022, but they were created for a different location on W. North Ave. and designed by a firm no longer involved in the project.

More information on the meeting and project is available on the BCA website.

Conceptual Renderings and the MLK and North Site

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