Art Center to start Phase 2 of renovations after reaching $1 million matching gift milestone

Published 4:30 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

The Art Center of the Bluegrass’ ArtSee campaign has experienced an overwhelming response, with supporters rallying to meet and exceed the $1 million matching gift from an anonymous donor through Centre College.

This significant milestone has been achieved months ahead of schedule, demonstrating the tremendous enthusiasm and support for the expansion project funded by ArtSee.

The expansion project is aimed at transforming a large, historic building at 413 W. Main Street in Danville into a vibrant center for the arts. It has captured the imagination of many, inspiring generosity.  The success of the matching gift underscores the community’s commitment to preserving cultural heritage and fostering artistic endeavors.

Email newsletter signup

With the momentum generated by ArtSee, there is anticipation for the success of Phase II, requiring additional commitments totaling $1.65 million. Already, a generous commitment of $100,000 toward the Phase II goal has been received. The ArtSee campaign’s overall goal of $3.625 million is well within reach, and supporters are encouraged to add their names to the list of donors contributing to this extraordinary initiative.

Project Goals:

  1. Preserve a large, historic building in the center of Danville, transforming it into a vibrant, active center for the arts.
  2. Establish a glass museum honoring the artistic legacy of Stephen Rolfe Powell, featuring works by other artists like Lino Tagliapietra and Dale Chihuly, attracting visitors from around the state and world.
  3. Establish a glassblowing studio and educational programming to share the history of glass and its contemporary artistic applications.
  4. Double the footprint and space of the Art Center of the Bluegrass, allowing for an expansion of art programs, private art studios, the gift gallery, and an eating/drinking establishment.
  5. Restore the 3rd-floor ballroom as a new, elegant downtown space for large art classes, events, town meetings, music events, weddings etc.

Project Timeline:

Spring 2024

Phase I completed including the creation of GLASS National Art Museum, Murrini Café, Fern Curated Gifts, the Art Studio, two new artist studios, a culinary classroom, and improvements to the 401 building.  Exterior tuck-pointing and painting of the entire building have been completed, along with the renovation of the first and second floors of the “new” 1908 building.

Summer 2024 – Fall 2025

Phase II begins with renovation of the 3rd-floor ballroom, creation of an elevator/stairwell building, creation of a glass blowing studio, and window restoration.

Organizational Background:

Originally constructed in 1909 as the United States Post Office, the building housing the Art Center of the Bluegrass underwent a $1.4 million renovation in 2004 to restore its original beauty with modern amenities.  This adaptive reuse preserves Danville’s historic downtown, contributing to the city’s growing identity as a cultural tourism destination.

Today, the Art Center of the Bluegrass stands as the region’s leading visual arts organization, attracting over 20,000 visitors annually.  Through a national museum, rotating art exhibits, arts education programs, regional outreach, cultural programming, arts education, and special events, the Art Center connects people to art, culture, and creativity.

For more information, please contact Art Center of the Bluegrass, 859-236-4054,