The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas has received a $2.2 million grant from the Windgate Foundation in support of its expanded community engagement initiative, The ARTSpace for Creative Thinking & Entrepreneurship, ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller has announced.


According to a news release, the grant will make it possible for the Arts & Science Center to renovate and utilize the building known as “The Annex” as a multi-use space to support The ARTSpace project. The ASC Endowment Fund owns the historic two-story commercial building at 623 S. Main St. near the Arts & Science Center.


“We are immensely grateful to the Windgate Foundation for their long-time support and investment in the Arts & Science Center’s public arts education programming,” Miller said.


The Windgate Foundation is a private grant-making foundation with primary funding interests including projects that promote visual art and crafts in the United States.


New programming in the updated space will be funded by grants, designated donations and supported by in-kind partnerships.


The renovation will provide designated office and studio spaces for an arts education community support partner and extended teaching artist residences; more classrooms to simultaneously accommodate multiple school groups, support theatre youth workshops, and art entrepreneurial-themed workshop series; a public gallery space for University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff art students, area school youth and regional artists; and a community gathering space to host ASC’s arts-integrated healthy living initiative and monthly art night events.


Future programming will be in partnership with the UAPB’s Economic Research and Development Center (also known as The Incubator), area schools, and The Delta Consortium for Arts and Innovation.


The target date for renovations to begin is June 2019, with the goal of opening The ARTSpace by the end of 2019, Miller said.


The Arts & Science Center, located at 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Sunday and Monday.


Gallery admission is free. Support for ASC is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hands-on science exhibitions are offered through ASC’s partnership with The Discovery Network, a consortium of museums in Arkansas funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. For additional information about the ASC and to sign up for upcoming event announcements, visit asc701.org.