The news is out about the new and wonderful $22 million Mark Arts complex, which opened at Rock Road and 13th Street last week. I think we are extremely lucky to have this jewel in Wichita.
The possibilities that exist for Mark Arts are endless and very exciting. The staff at the center have been given an extraordinary production to manage and, most importantly, to grow. This does not happen without constant fine-tuning and coordination. And with a board of 25 trustees who are, no doubt, brimming with ideas, the staff will need to be on their toes. In order to help manage the mission, which focuses on art and education, I think it would be a great idea to elect a separate board of actual artists, working free of the trustees, to help focus and maintain that mission. This would help keep art at the core of decisions made. Artists know art. Great artists also know the business of art and exhibitions.
I would also think it essential for Mark Arts to work with the 48 federally funded Title I schools in Wichita in order to provide scholarships to less fortunate children in the area who don’t have the means to afford three-month classes which average $140 each -- $140 that might be needed to pay an electric bill or put food on a table.
Importantly, these ideas could truly make Mark Arts everyone’s art center rather than possibly be mistaken for an east side social pavilion.
We all want the best for Mark Arts.
Now is the time for action—while the paint is still wet.