The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation gave a $1 million grant to the Walton Arts Center to help with expansion costs and programming at the Dickson Street complex.
The Walton Arts Center is undergoing a $23 million, 30,000-SF renovation and expansion that will allow better usage of the center's two theaters, Baum Walker Hall and Starr Theater. Walton Arts Center officials said in a release the grant will allow the center to "function as a vibrant two-theater complex."
The grant will provide funds for new programming, officials said, such as the live-music series called West Street Live, presented by Neal Pendergraft. That series is scheduled to be held in the Starr Theater, the center's 250-seat theater that was unable to be used much before the renovation.
The Reynolds Foundation made the grant in honor of Pendergraft, a member of the board of trustees of the Reynolds Foundation and a longtime supporter of the Walton Arts Center.
"This commitment to underwrite new programming in the renovated Starr Theater and to support the program endowment will serve as a catalyst for Walton Arts Center," said Peter B. Lane, the center's president and CEO. "This transformational gift will allow us to create new and diverse musical offerings."
Pendergraft thanked the foundation for the gift.
"Gina and I are proud to support the expansion of the Walton Arts Center," said Pendergraft, referring to his wife. "It is exciting to give back to our community, especially in an area we are so passionate about … live music."