The Friends of the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts launched a $5.2 million capital campaign to finish the BCPA Creativity Center.

The Creativity Center will be across from the BCPA, located on Locust Street.

The building was purchased in 2003. In 2005, $1 million was raised for the center. However, due to funding issues, the production of the Creativity Center came to a halt until now.

“The idea was to create a cultural center for downtown Bloomington,” BCPA Development Manager Cara Peterson said.

“[Since] it is a city building there are a lot of things that we have to go through to move on with projects. Now we’re on a fast track because of

Friends of the BCPA spearheading the campaign.”

The center will showcase a black-box theater, music rooms, dance studios, a recording studio, an office space for local artists and organizations and a gallery space.

The Creativity Center will be open for the public and the goal is to be affordable. Once open, people can rent certain rooms they would like to use.

There will be workshops and programming held in the center.

“The goal is to make it as accessible as possible,” Peterson said.

“We want to provide these services at little to no cost. That all depends on the funding we get and the grants we receive.”

The center is not just a space for youth; it will be open to all ages. Friends of the BCPA also aims to share the importance of the arts with senior citizens and veterans.

Currently, the Creativity Center is in phase one, which involves heating, ventilation, air conditioning and a new roof.

Phase two aims to begin in the next two years and will involve installation of the theaters, studios and more. Phase three is the final phase, which will include the installation of furniture and equipment.

The goal is to finish the Creativity Center in three years.

The $1 million previously raised was raised during the campaign for the BCPA theater in 2005.

This money is being used for phase one. When the next phases are completed depends on funding.

“Having this extension to the BCPA gives that much more vitality and life to downtown itself,” BCPA Assistant Performing Arts Director Ann-Marie Dittmann said.

“[It will] give a more economic boom to what’s happening [in downtown]. It brings more people in.”

Friends of the BCPA is a nonprofit organization set up in 2014. Last year, according to Peterson, is when the nonprofit really gained the momentum for the Creativity Center and the capital campaign.

“We made an effort to create a not-for-profit,” Friends of the BCPA President Vicki Tilton said. “We now have a contract [with Bloomington] allowing us to go ahead and raise money for that building.”

On Oct. 5, Friends of the BCPA will hold their kickoff fundraiser, the ArtGasm.

The event is an Alice in Wonderland-themed silent auction.
“The arts are so important to our development as a community,” Tilton said.

“We believe that when you teach people to be creative or give them an opportunity to get their creative juices out they will be less likely to be destructive and less likely to live a negative lifestyle when they see all the positivity that comes from [the arts].”

ANDREA RICKER is a News Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at arricke@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @ricker_andrea   


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