AFAS Center for the Arts opens in the Arts District

The sleek new AFAS Center for the Arts, located at the corner of Liberty and Seventh streets, will officially open to the public on Saturday, May 6. The local nonprofit organization Art for Art’s Sake (AFAS) commissioned the 14,500 square foot, three-story building, which was constructed over a period of 15 months.

The Center’s official opening will be celebrated with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:00 p.m. on May 6, accompanied by live music, food trucks, ARTivity on the Green mural wall painting and family activities, from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

This latest addition to the city’s burgeoning Arts District consolidates several AFAS activities and locations that were previously scattered throughout downtown. The building houses AFAS’ headquarters, as well as Red Dog Gallery, Unleashed Arts Center and Studio 2, a jewelry studio. There are also 10 artist studios available for lease at affordable rates.

The Center’s location – adjacent to ARTivity on the Green art park – extends the Arts District’s footprint into a previously underdeveloped area of the city.

Harry Knabb, AFAS chairman and chief executive, said the new headquarters underscores AFAS’ continued commitment to the Arts District and the city’s arts community overall, while also ensuring the viability of AFAS for generations to come.

ARTivity on the Green and the AFAS Center for the Arts have both been made possible via generous grants – primarily one from the Thomas J. Regan Jr. Foundation – and both projects have enlisted the professional skills of several local businesses; STITCH Design Shop and Frank L. Blum Construction Co. served as the architect and general contractor for both projects, respectively.

Special translucent panels allow the new AFAS Center for the Arts building to literally glow from within at night.