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Koch Foundations Give Big To Wichita Center For The Arts


The Wichita Center for the Arts will be moving to a brand new building thanks to a sizable donation by the Koch Foundations.

In total, the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation is gifting the Wichita Center for the Arts $6 million. That’s in addition to the Charles Koch Foundation donating 17 acres of land that’s worth about $4.5 million.

The land sits at the corner of Rock Road and 13th Street in northeast Wichita, and the plan is to build a 38,000-square-foot building that will be the new headquarters for the center. The organization provides art education for area residents and showcases visual art.

One thing that will be missing in the new facility is a theatre for performance art, which is included in the center’s current building. Katy Dorrah of the Wichita Center for the Arts said the organization is moving in a different direction.

“It’s really a matter of us looking forward to what we do best,” she said. “That’s art education.”

The new center will continue to offer classes in visual art mainstays, such as painting, pottery, sculpture and metal smithing. But it will also offer photography and culinary art instruction, as well, according to Dorrah.

She says the center will add a “multi-purpose” room for a variety of events, including art lectures.

A portion of the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation’s donation will be used as a scholarship for students in need of financial assistance to pursue art education.

About $8 million in donations are still needed for the new building. Construction is expected to begin next fall.


Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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