New $1.8M Visual Arts Center opens near downtown Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ The Springfield Art Association has opened a new $1.8 million Visual Arts Center.

The State Journal-Register reports the 5,800-square-foot (539-square-meter) building near downtown includes a metals studio, glass and ceramics studios. Mayor Jim Langfelder calls it “a transformational project” for the city of Springfield.

The association held a ribbon cutting and open house on Saturday.

Springfield Art Association Executive Director Betsy Dollar says she hopes the space is more than a magnificent place to work and learn skills. Dollar says she wants it to build a stronger creative community in Springfield.

The vision for the project started in 2012. The group received about $300,000 from more than 800 donors and $450,000 from tax increment financing funds. Dollar says fundraising will continue.

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