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Mith242

Walton Arts Center Location

Where do you think the WAC should be located?   43 members have voted

  1. 1. Where do you think the WAC should be located?

    • Same location, just expand as much as possible.
      31
    • Different location, but still on/near Dickson St
      8
    • Another location somewhere in Fayetteville
      1
    • Somewhere else in NWA outside of Fayetteville
      3

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250 posts in this topic

This has been discussed a bit already but I was curious to see how a poll would come out. Now apparently it doesn't sound like they'd be able to pull out of Fayetteville. But I thought I'd put that in the poll anyway. The WAC was certainly the spark that got Dickson St going. Although it would be weird to see it leave I've wondered if it might be able to help spark another location in Fayetteville. The Mill District has been mentioned. Here's another thought that's occurred to me. What if there was a location available along College Ave? I think we all know College Ave could use something to get itself going. But I've also wondered if the WAC leaves Dickson St, is Dickson strong enough to keep going as usual? Or would it eventually see a bit of a drain?

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I think when WAC was built on Dickson it seemed to spark a revitalization of Dickson. That might mean Dickson got a lot more expensive, but it has really turned into a destination since then. Many nicer restaurants are there and the atmosphere has changed quite a bit. It'd be nice to keep it there.

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I think when WAC was built on Dickson it seemed to spark a revitalization of Dickson. That might mean Dickson got a lot more expensive, but it has really turned into a destination since then. Many nicer restaurants are there and the atmosphere has changed quite a bit. It'd be nice to keep it there.

Yeah I certainly understand that standpoint. But I guess I'd like to think that Dickson could keep doing well even if it did leave. I also keep wondering if it could be that spark that gets something going in another part of the city. Anyway they'll keep working on this study and we'll eventually have a better idea if it staying at the current location is feasible. If there's just not enough room to expand or would cost too much, then I guess we'll have to speculate on where it could end up going.

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Yeah I certainly understand that standpoint. But I guess I'd like to think that Dickson could keep doing well even if it did leave. I also keep wondering if it could be that spark that gets something going in another part of the city. Anyway they'll keep working on this study and we'll eventually have a better idea if it staying at the current location is feasible. If there's just not enough room to expand or would cost too much, then I guess we'll have to speculate on where it could end up going.

The Walton Arts Center was the catalyst for the revitalization of Dickson Street and is still the linchpin of the entertainment district. I can't imagine how the single most important and largest non-sports entertainment venue in the region could not be located in the entertainment district. I don't even see how it could be located any distance away from the current facility considering the investment that has been made in it. The building is barely 15 years old and just had an interior renovation. I think the Dickson Street would sorely miss WAC and WAC would suffer by not remaining in that immediate area. I could see Dickson Street reverting back to just bars and less attractive area.

The only two locations that make sense are either the current parking lot across West Avenue or directly behind it where the city is considering putting a parking deck. To me, an expansion of the current facility to include a larger main auditorium on the space behind the current building makes the most sense. That way the complex could be physically connected and share technical space. The other option of constructing a whole new building on the parking lot might be more attractive to donors though, and would give WAC a whole new image. Possibly materials other than brick could be used and give it a more sophisticated look.

I imagine a part of what is going into the decision mmaking is exactly what is the city going to do about the parking situation. They have been talking about building a deck for a while and had plans offered but nothing has came of it. I'm sure it is being discussed between the parties but the city should make clear that it is a priority. As time goes on and more retail sales move to the north the entertainment district is going to grow in importance as a revenue source for the city. It would be great to see more options available such as a independent movie theater and possibly some sort of museum.

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The Walton Arts Center was the catalyst for the revitalization of Dickson Street and is still the linchpin of the entertainment district. I can't imagine how the single most important and largest non-sports entertainment venue in the region could not be located in the entertainment district. I don't even see how it could be located any distance away from the current facility considering the investment that has been made in it. The building is barely 15 years old and just had an interior renovation. I think the Dickson Street would sorely miss WAC and WAC would suffer by not remaining in that immediate area. I could see Dickson Street reverting back to just bars and less attractive area.

The only two locations that make sense are either the current parking lot across West Avenue or directly behind it where the city is considering putting a parking deck. To me, an expansion of the current facility to include a larger main auditorium on the space behind the current building makes the most sense. That way the complex could be physically connected and share technical space. The other option of constructing a whole new building on the parking lot might be more attractive to donors though, and would give WAC a whole new image. Possibly materials other than brick could be used and give it a more sophisticated look.

I imagine a part of what is going into the decision making is exactly what is the city going to do about the parking situation. They have been talking about building a deck for a while and had plans offered but nothing has came of it. I'm sure it is being discussed between the parties but the city should make clear that it is a priority. As time goes on and more retail sales move to the north the entertainment district is going to grow in importance as a revenue source for the city. It would be great to see more options available such as a independent movie theater and possibly some sort of museum.

Oh yeah if they do leave it there I really hope they'd change the current look. I've never cared for it. I'm not the only one, I talked to some of the Dover-Kohl people and none of them seemed to be impressed with it either. If it's going to be a 'plain' looking building don't have it bet back from the street level. But it does make sense that they could expand southward where the city had considered a parking deck before. Then the current stage could become the small stage. Or if there's money build what's needed to the south, then totally redo everything existing once there's a new section that's ready to go. I can't argue with leaving it at it's current location. Although a part of me will still wonder what it could do for some other areas of the city. :D

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I knew someone would eventually vote for it to be somewhere else in NWA. :lol: I'm not too surprised many people want it at the same location. But I am a bit surprised how strongly the voting has been so far.

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I knew someone would eventually vote for it to be somewhere else in NWA. :lol: I'm not too surprised many people want it at the same location. But I am a bit surprised how strongly the voting has been so far.

Yeah, I voted for the same location. I don't think that there is any better place in Fayetteville for it. It has been extremely successful there and has improved Dickson street and downtown beyond any expectation.

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WAC is an asset to Dickson Street... take it away and Dickson Street will most likely lose a lot of its popularity, but I think it would still survive with all the bars and restaurants having live music. Dickson Street would no doubt still draw hundreds of thousands for BBBBQ each year.

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Move it to Rogers!!! :o:lol: j/k

I voted for the same location, just expand if possible. It's been a great success so far.

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Move it to Rogers!!! :o:lol: j/k

I voted for the same location, just expand if possible. It's been a great success so far.

To be honest I thought some more people might vote for that option. :lol:

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:lol:

Well the option is not a bad one completely, as then it would be much closer to those in Bella Vista and Bentonville, and not that far away from Fayetteville at all. I hear from a lot of people that live in Bella Vista and Bentonville (not as much as from BV) that the distance is just too much. Without knowing what kind of impact that type of move may have on Dickson Street, I think it's just safe to stay with the present location, and make it better.

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:lol:

Well the option is not a bad one completely, as then it would be much closer to those in Bella Vista and Bentonville, and not that far away from Fayetteville at all. I hear from a lot of people that live in Bella Vista and Bentonville (not as much as from BV) that the distance is just too much. Without knowing what kind of impact that type of move may have on Dickson Street, I think it's just safe to stay with the present location, and make it better.

I can understand that. I imagine people in Fayetteville and places like Greenland, Prairie Grove and such might feel the same way about Crystal Bridges in Bentonville. But the important thing is that the metro as a whole has these amenities. :D

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But the important thing is that the metro as a whole has these amenities. :D

No doubt about that at all! :)

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Thankfully, though, for my bias I'm glad that they can't move it out of Fayetteville because it is in the contract, and the controlling partners are the UofA and the city of Fayetteville I think.

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If it is moved, WAC could just turn the existing building over to the U of A to use exclusively.

Fine Arts at UA doesn't really have spectacular facilities as it is.

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If it is moved, WAC could just turn the existing building over to the U of A to use exclusively.

Fine Arts at UA doesn't really have spectacular facilities as it is.

That's a good idea. I admit I'm not a fan of that building and wouldn't mind seeing something happen to change it's appearance. But if the WAC was to move that would be a very good use for that building. It's also pretty close to the university as well.

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It's good that WAC is contractually obligated to stay in Fayetteville but there's nothing keeping another well financed group from building a larger facility elsewhere. If WAC isn't able to expand due to lack of funds and community support someone else could take the opportunity to attract the shows and artists that are missing now. I would hate to see WAC play second fiddle to some other venue. That's why concrete steps need to be taken to assure a larger, better facility now.

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It's good that WAC is contractually obligated to stay in Fayetteville but there's nothing keeping another well financed group from building a larger facility elsewhere. If WAC isn't able to expand due to lack of funds and community support someone else could take the opportunity to attract the shows and artists that are missing now. I would hate to see WAC play second fiddle to some other venue. That's why concrete steps need to be taken to assure a larger, better facility now.

Good point.

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It's good that WAC is contractually obligated to stay in Fayetteville but there's nothing keeping another well financed group from building a larger facility elsewhere. If WAC isn't able to expand due to lack of funds and community support someone else could take the opportunity to attract the shows and artists that are missing now. I would hate to see WAC play second fiddle to some other venue. That's why concrete steps need to be taken to assure a larger, better facility now.

Lets not give anyone any ideas... :whistling:

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Lets not give anyone any ideas... :whistling:

Unfortunately, I think that some of those in charge already have 'ideas'. I'm not saying anything is done for certain, but pay very close attention to the survey that the WAC board is conducting about future facility needs. They just completed phase I which said that obviously NWA could support a much larger performance venue. Now they are on to phase II which will take a look at how and where the future needs of the WAC could be met. What you need to pay very close attention to is the wording that is used in all news articles and press releases about the survey and throughout phase I of the survey: they repeatedly and intentionally use the words 'additional facility', as opposed to 'new or renovated faciltiy'.

On the surface that seems pretty harmless, I mean the WAC is contractually obligated to stay in Fayetteville, right? Sort of. Nothing prohibits them from building and operating a 'satellite' venue. Like for example, a brand new 3000+ seat auditorium constructed in Benton County. Look for this option to fly under the radar for a while until the board says that it will be cost prohibitive to renovate/remodel the Dickson location. Then suddenly it will likely be presented as the best option for all concerned parties.....and just like that the 'real' WAC will be gone from Fayetteville. Don't laugh--it's not as much of a conspiracy theory as you might think.

The only thing that might head off such a move is if the City of Fayetteville actually moves forward quickly with their planned mixed use parking facility adjacent to the current WAC. The City knows this and for a time was working furiously to head off any attempted move by the WAC. Unfortunately, they appear to have dropped the ball as of late. Hopefully they will realize what is at stake and get moving on this again ASAP. The City of Fayetteville cannot afford to let the WAC leave.

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Unfortunately, I think that some of those in charge already have 'ideas'. I'm not saying anything is done for certain, but pay very close attention to the survey that the WAC board is conducting about future facility needs. They just completed phase I which said that obviously NWA could support a much larger performance venue. Now they are on to phase II which will take a look at how and where the future needs of the WAC could be met. What you need to pay very close attention to is the wording that is used in all news articles and press releases about the survey and throughout phase I of the survey: they repeatedly and intentionally use the words 'additional facility', as opposed to 'new or renovated faciltiy'.

On the surface that seems pretty harmless, I mean the WAC is contractually obligated to stay in Fayetteville, right? Sort of. Nothing prohibits them from building and operating a 'satellite' venue. Like for example, a brand new 3000+ seat auditorium constructed in Benton County. Look for this option to fly under the radar for a while until the board says that it will be cost prohibitive to renovate/remodel the Dickson location. Then suddenly it will likely be presented as the best option for all concerned parties.....and just like that the 'real' WAC will be gone from Fayetteville. Don't laugh--it's not as much of a conspiracy theory as you might think.

The only thing that might head off such a move is if the City of Fayetteville actually moves forward quickly with their planned mixed use parking facility adjacent to the current WAC. The City knows this and for a time was working furiously to head off any attempted move by the WAC. Unfortunately, they appear to have dropped the ball as of late. Hopefully they will realize what is at stake and get moving on this again ASAP. The City of Fayetteville cannot afford to let the WAC leave.

That's certainly not good news for the residents of Fayetteville. What's even worse is that this is probably a bad time on trying to get the parking issue taken care of. Not unless revenue starts going back up. If this does come about this way, the city might not end up trying to do something till it's too late. I guess the city could still make them keep the current one going. But if a new facility is built elsewhere then we'd only end up getting the 'smaller' events. Guess we'll just have to keep an eye out on this one.

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Unfortunately, I think that some of those in charge already have 'ideas'. I'm not saying anything is done for certain, but pay very close attention to the survey that the WAC board is conducting about future facility needs. They just completed phase I which said that obviously NWA could support a much larger performance venue. Now they are on to phase II which will take a look at how and where the future needs of the WAC could be met. What you need to pay very close attention to is the wording that is used in all news articles and press releases about the survey and throughout phase I of the survey: they repeatedly and intentionally use the words 'additional facility', as opposed to 'new or renovated faciltiy'.

On the surface that seems pretty harmless, I mean the WAC is contractually obligated to stay in Fayetteville, right? Sort of. Nothing prohibits them from building and operating a 'satellite' venue. Like for example, a brand new 3000+ seat auditorium constructed in Benton County. Look for this option to fly under the radar for a while until the board says that it will be cost prohibitive to renovate/remodel the Dickson location. Then suddenly it will likely be presented as the best option for all concerned parties.....and just like that the 'real' WAC will be gone from Fayetteville. Don't laugh--it's not as much of a conspiracy theory as you might think.

The only thing that might head off such a move is if the City of Fayetteville actually moves forward quickly with their planned mixed use parking facility adjacent to the current WAC. The City knows this and for a time was working furiously to head off any attempted move by the WAC. Unfortunately, they appear to have dropped the ball as of late. Hopefully they will realize what is at stake and get moving on this again ASAP. The City of Fayetteville cannot afford to let the WAC leave.

The City Counsel has been talking to them recently. The Aldermen have seemed concerned over the possible relocation. So it certainly seems you were right to be concerned. I guess it will be a while before the study is completed. Fayetteville seems to be taking it seriously so hopefully they'll be able to keep the WAC somewhere in the city.

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The City Counsel has been talking to them recently. The Aldermen have seemed concerned over the possible relocation. So it certainly seems you were right to be concerned. I guess it will be a while before the study is completed. Fayetteville seems to be taking it seriously so hopefully they'll be able to keep the WAC somewhere in the city.

With the Dickson street atmosphere, I'd argue to them that it makes sense to keep it there, but the city council would probably have to help them obtain a bit of ground/allow permits for some pretty ambitious expansion. My complaints about a satellite venue aren't that they'd hurt Fayetteville or the Dickson street location, I don't think they would, but that it might water down the quality of events we're able to get in NWA at either location for a while. I think a Benton county location could certainly be a success, but short term (5-10 years maybe) two "premium" arts and entertainment venues like WAC might struggle.

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With the Dickson street atmosphere, I'd argue to them that it makes sense to keep it there, but the city council would probably have to help them obtain a bit of ground/allow permits for some pretty ambitious expansion. My complaints about a satellite venue aren't that they'd hurt Fayetteville or the Dickson street location, I don't think they would, but that it might water down the quality of events we're able to get in NWA at either location for a while. I think a Benton county location could certainly be a success, but short term (5-10 years maybe) two "premium" arts and entertainment venues like WAC might struggle.

I'm not sure if a Benton County location would get 'watered down'. There's already a lot of people from Benton County who donate to the WAC. I suppose maybe there might be a little more if the main location was actually located in Benton County. But I do think Fayetteville could be a hurt a bit if it were the smaller satellite location.

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Here's the link where Walton Arts Center's future was discussed with the city council. It sounds like the decision hasn't been made yet but the WAC board needs something from the city to convince it to expand in Fayetteville. It's encouraging to read that the city council is in agreement that whatever it takes to keep it in Fayetteville needs to be done. That is exactly the sentiment that needs to be expresssed and acted upon as WAC is too important to the Dickson Street area in particular and Fayetteville in general to let slip away.

I was surprised parking didn't come up (or at least it wasn't reported that it did). I imagine building a deck is a major concern of the WAC board. It's been a long while since I've seen the deck discussed. Even with the budget shortfall a deck is too important to put on the back burner.

Times article

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