Art Center requests funding from county for expansion project

Published 10:30 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

Art Center of the Bluegrass Director Niki Kinkade made a presentation to the Fiscal Court on Feb. 14 about their expansion. The Art Center is planning to double in size by expanding to the old brick building next door at 415 W. Main Street in Danville.

The expansion will allow for a glass museum of Stephen Rolfe Powell’s work, and other glass artists. It will have art studios, a gift gallery, and expand their art programs, among other things.

The City of Danville is using ARPA funds to buy the building for $525,000 to lease it back to the Art Center for $1 a year. Danville is further contributing by reimbursing utility costs for the new building, regular maintenance, and may help with renovation costs.

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Member of the campaign committee Richard Trollinger explained that they have a prospective donor who would like to contribute a large portion of the funds needed for this project, but does not live in the area. He said that this donor would like to see community and leader support of the project before making the commitment final.

Kinkade requested that the county match the city’s contribution of $525,000, with an additional amount up to $500,000. She requested that they give some of their remaining ARPA funds for the project.

“This is an extraordinary request, we realize that; but it’s an extraordinary opportunity for the community,” Kinkade said.

Magistrate Jason Cullen and other members of the court expressed the need to use their remaining ARPA funds wisely. The county already gave $2.8 million of their ARPA funds to the City of Danville for water and sewer improvements in Perryville and Junction City. Magistrates said there are other towns in the county that have needs, especially for infrastructure.

Magistrate Jamey Gay said they should recognize the importance of the project as an economic development driver, but that they might not be able to contribute as much as Danville.

The court voted to table the matter until their next meeting, at which point they will have an in-depth discussion about how much to contribute, and how best to use their remaining ARPA funds.