Pulaski Technical College celebrated the grand opening of its $30 million, 90,000-square-foot Center for Humanities and Arts today, Feb. 2. The center, referred to as CHARTS, is located on the college’s main campus in North Little Rock.
Margaret Ellibee, PTC president, said the center provides a “multifaceted” benefit to the community of central Arkansas and combining technical and arts education creates a well-rounded student.
The opening celebration featured remarks by Joseph Cole, PTC dean of Fine Arts and Humanities; North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith; Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola; Ronald Dedman, chairman of the PTC board of trustees; and, Mark Wilson, chairman of the PTC Foundation board. Students and faculty also performed theater and music.
The center’s groundbreaking was about a year ago. Jackson Brown Palculict of Little Rock was the lead architect and CDI Inc. of Little Rock was the lead contractor.
Here are four things to know about CHARTS:
1. The Grand Opening Celebration Continues All Week
The rest of the week, Feb. 3-5, features events that are open to the public.
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. is the opening reception of the exhibit Merging Form and Surface: Robyn Horn and Sandra Sell at the Windgate Gallery. The event is free.
Douglas A. Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, will present a lecture Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. The event is free.
Memphis soul performer Mavis Staples will perform Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets.
2. The Windgate Charitable Foundation Is Providing Support
The Windgate Charitable Foundation donated $1.5 million to PTC last fall to furnish and equip CHARTS. And, the foundation is providing matching funds up to $500,000. PTC Foundation board chairman Mark Wilson said the goal is to reach $1 million total.
The Windgate Gallery will feature traveling exhibits throughout the year that are open to the public.
3. There Are More Arts Learning Spaces
CHARTS features 17 classrooms, three art studios, 43 faculty and staff offices, a rehearsal/recital hall, writing and foreign language labs, wardrobe room, costume shop, Black Box Theater, performance lounge and more.
The center also features the state’s only Kawai Shigeru 9-foot full concert grand piano.
4. The Performing Arts Theater Holds 500
The 500-seat theater will host its first production April 20-23 when students of the Studio 153 Players perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with a 1960s twist. And, throughout the year, the theater will also host a variety of events.
Perkins + Will of Dallas provided assistance with the theater design.