Greater Tulsa Reporter
SPURRING CREATIVITY: From left, Ted Cundiff, president and CEO of AVB Bank; Kelley Rash, AVB Bank chairman of the board; and Ed Huckeby, project consultant for the B.A. Creative Arts Center, stand at the corner of Dallas and Main streets, at the future location of the planned Creative Arts Center.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
Steps are being taken to bring to fruition an idea that began nearly 10 years ago to construct a creative arts center in downtown Broken Arrow.
The concept for an arts center originated when the Broken Arrow Arts Council (now known as Arts OK) began exploring the idea, says Dr. Ed Huckeby, project consultant.
Then, in 2008, a city survey revealed that the community wants an arts center, says Kelley Rash, AVB Bank chairman of the board and member of the arts center advisory committee.
In 2014, when AVB Bank decided to move from its building at the corner of Dallas and Main streets and build a new building to the south of it, bank executives offered the corner property as the site for the center.
“We chose to donate the building because we cared about what would be next door to us, and we were very interested in furthering this project,” says Rash.
Additionally, the property is located near the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center and within the Rose District, notes Huckeby.
Including previous bond money and a portion of the excess Vision 2025 funds, the project currently has about $4 million and is seeking additional funding.
“Right now, the project is in the architectural phase,” Huckeby continues. “The committee is also determining what it can afford to do in phase I with the money it has at present.”
The committee’s next steps include reaching out to the community to see what they want in the arts center and what would draw visitors, with a final design plan expected to be created in the next eight months and construction, hopefully, beginning sometime in 2018, says Huckeby.
The overall vision is for the arts center to provide workspace for various types of artists – painting, sculpture, culinary, videography, music, ceramics, photography – as well as community common space and artist workshops and classrooms, Huckeby says.
“Broken Arrow doesn’t have a specified arts area,” says Ted Cundiff, president and CEO of AVB Bank and member of the arts center advisory committee. “This will provide a place for artists of all types to come together, and being located in the Rose District, it will bring further vitality to the area.”
“We hope to see this be a regional draw and hub for innovation and for creative arts incubation and production,” says Huckeby.