Ground Breaking

The Mansfield Art Center has developed a $2.63 Million fundraising campaign for a large education wing, pavilion and renovations.

MANSFIELD -- The Mansfield Art Center broke ground on its new educational wing Friday night. The complex plans to teach science, technology, engineering, art and math-oriented classes.

Following a capital campaign, ArtRising, which earned $2.9 million, organizers said they expect the resurrection of a new 4,200-square-foot education wing by mid-2020, said Susan Duncan Gentille, marketing and development director. The program will be ready to start in fall of 2020.

This is the first campaign since the art center opened, 50 years ago.

"In that education wing, we are going to have high university-level kilns for glass creations and ceramics. It will increase our capacity," Gentille said.

The original education wing will still be used, she added, but for painting and drawing. 

"Also, we are having have an after-school program with Mansfield City Schools," Gentille said. "We were given $750,000 from the state, thanks to (state representative) Mark Romanchuck and (Ohio Senate President, Larry) Obhoff. That's to develop the after-school STEAM program to provide activities the kids don't have at their schools.

"So many students already have this creativity in their heads and now they can finally use it."

The campaign concluded at the end of 2018 with major gifts from the funds of The Richland County Foundation ($140,000), The Hire Family Foundation ($50,000) and the Sterkel Fund ($50,000).

A three-season event pavilion will also be erected by 2020 as part of the campaign. Funds from the campaign will also be used for renovations of the existing art center, located at the corner of Marion Avenue and Millsboro Road.

The new event pavilion will be a special venue for business meetings, art center shows and events as well as event rentals such as weddings, receptions and parties, Gentille said, complete with a courtyard and walkway that connects the the art center to the pavilion.

This was the first capital campaign the MAC has had since the building was constructed. Funds came from the state and board members, Gentille said.

"We had an excellent campaign manger in Chris Harris," Gentille said. "People just wanted to be involved. They love the art center and wanted to see it grow. It's just amazing."

Staff Reporter

Noah Jones is host to The Open Mic Podcast -- available on Apple Podcasts! He is the crime, education and music reporter for Richland Source. He is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a giant Cardinals fan.

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