The Walton Arts Center board of directors today announced their intention to expand in Bentonville and Fayetteville.
The board approved a recommendation by the Facilities Committee to build a 2,200-seat theater in or near downtown Bentonville, and a 600-seat black box theater in Fayetteville adjacent to the current arts center location.
“It’s exciting to be be a part of an expansion in both Fayetteville and Bentonville that can have such a positive impact on the region,” said Walton Arts Center President and CEO Peter Lane. “It’s a win for Northwest Arkansas, and a win for Walton Arts Center.”
Lane said the board plans to discuss specific sites and identify funding needs for moving the project forward in the coming months.
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan expressed disappointment in the board’s decision.
“I would’ve liked for the expansion to occur in Fayetteville,” said Jordan. “We put lot of work into that proposal. I will be meeting with the committee I put together in the next few days and getting their advice.”
Jordan said that the board’s decision will not effect the current paid parking program in Fayetteville.
“We needed the parking deck before we even started the expansion discussion,” he said. “Even with the 600-seat expansion, that’s not going to make parking any easier. That’s going to continue on.”