MILWAUKEE — A historic building in Milwaukee that has housed a meat market, tavern and charitable organization over the years is being renovated into an arts community center.
The $6 million redevelopment of the Walker's Point facility is expected to be completed by December, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The building was built in 1890 and served as a recreation and art center for children of several nationalities in the late 1930s.
The arts center will include an event space, a cafe, gallery and art studio space, as well as offices for nonprofits in the community. The facility will house Arts @ Large, an organization that aims to integrate different kinds of arts education in schools and communities throughout Milwaukee.
"At its very core, it's really about partnerships and collaboration and supporting the local arts economy, supporting our local students and families so that they can be engaged in the arts but also be successful in an educational realm," said co-founder Kimberly Abler.
Abler and Teri Sullivan founded the organization in 2011. They said they still need to raise about $1.4 million for the project. Donations have come from local and regional businesses, and from individual and historic preservation tax credits.
Arts @ Large offers several programs, including a student-run coffee house, a program that places temporary art educators in Milwaukee Public Schools and a hands-on environmental arts program in a revamped city park.
The center will be part of a series of new projects that have appeared in the area.