Ground Broken for Brown-Kimbrough Center for Arts, Innovation, and Creativity

Contributing Editor

Broken Arrow Express photo
HONORING CREATIVITY: AVB Chairman of the Board Kelley Kimbrough-Rash makes opening remarks before the official groundbreaking for the Brown-Kimbrough Center. Also shown are Councilor Johnnie Parks, Councilor Christi Gillespie, Mayor Craig Thurmond and AVB Bank President and CEO Ted Cundiff.

Along with representatives from AVB Bank, ArtsOK, and the Brown-Kimbrough family, officials from the City of Broken Arrow broke ground Nov. 18 on the new Brown-Kimbrough Center for Arts, Innovation & Creativity. 
“Broken Arrow has long been a community that supports art,” said BA Mayor Craig Thurmond. “This new facility is a wonderful new public-private partnership that will further allow the arts to flourish in Broken Arrow.” 
The ceremony was held at 302 S. Main St., the future site of the 15,500- square-foot facility and the former site of AVB Bank. The two-story center will feature multiple classrooms, flex space, gallery space, and indoor/outdoor areas to host events. The Brown-Kimbrough family, owners of AVB Bank, donated the property to the city earlier this year. 
Ted Cundiff, AVB President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “From Indian Territory to statehood and present day, the Brown-Kimbrough family has demonstrated a generational commitment to the community and exemplified the bank’s mission to serve, connect and succeed together. AVB is proud to play a role in our city’s shared goal to make the arts accessible to everyone…and positively impact the creative health and growing economy of our community. I am honored to witness this moment in history and excited to know future generations can be inspired through this bold project.” 

Broken Arrow Express photo
PROUD FAMILY: Ready for the groundbreaking are, from left, Sally Kimbrough Wilton (Board of Directors member and sister of Kelley), Kelley Kimbrough-Rash, and Cooper Rash, (Marketing Officer of AVB and son of Kelley).

The city is working with ArtsOK, Inc., the non-profit that will occupy the facility, on a use agreement and programming. This innovative space is intended to be a unique destination in the Rose District to enhance the enjoyment and education of citizens in the entire metro area. 
 Mark Frie, Chief Executive Officer at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, said, “I am so pleased to see this project finally come to fruition. “It has been years in the making, and it is another great example of what can be accomplished in a public-private partnership. The commitment of AVB Bank and the city, along with the citizens of Broken Arrow, donors from across the state, Kristin Chenoweth and ArtsOK, have turned this dream into a reality.” 
Frie added, “The center will help keep the arts thriving in the Rose District and beyond. In addition to art classes, event space, and gallery space it will also serve as the home of the Kristin Chenoweth After School Arts program, which will impact hundreds of Broken Arrow students each year.” 
Kelley Kimbrough-Rash, AVB Bank Board Chair, said “Creativity is a journey. Excitement, wonder, discovery, passion, joy…all provide the fuel that drives the journey. Everyone has the ability to think creatively. Not everyone has the tools at hand. Not everyone has the place or means. The Brown-Kimbrough Center for Arts, Innovation & Creativity provides that place and the means where children, youth and adults can come to be inspired and let their imaginations run wild.” 
Manhattan Construction Co. will build the facility at a cost of $4.7 million, paid for by voter-approved 2014 General Obligation Bonds, Vision 2025 funds, and Sales Tax Capital Improvement (STCI) funds. It is expected to open in the fall of 2021.