Winston-Salem nonprofit Art for Art’s Sake has announced that construction of the organization’s new 14,000-square-foot, three-story headquarters is about to get underway – beginning with a public groundbreaking ceremony today at 3pm.
Named the AFAS Center for the Arts, the building will be located at the corner of Liberty and Seventh streets, placing it adjacent to AFAS’ recently completed downtown art park, named ARTivity on the Green.
This latest addition to the city’s burgeoning Arts District will also be home to the Unleashed Arts Center, AFAS’ boardroom and approximately 2,000 square feet of leasable studio space. Red Dog Gallery and Studio 2, a jewelry studio, will also move from their current Trade Street locations into the new building.
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.
“Our mission is to build, educate, and celebrate community through art,” said Knabb, “and that’s what has inspired this building’s construction, along with the desire to provide our local artists with affordable studio space.”
Knabb said the new headquarters building should be “a modern icon for Winston-Salem.”
“We have been studying arts-based buildings around the world. Ours will feature a lot of glass as well as balconies. It will not be a square box.”
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. have served as the architect and general contractor, respectively, for both projects. And Stimmel Associates has provided landscape design and related services for both.
The AFAS Center for the Arts’ total cost is projected to be between $4-5 million, and construction is scheduled for completion by March 2017.