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Art center seeks to move from ISU to Uptown Normal

NORMAL, Ill. (WEEK) — The Town of Normal is in talks to move a visual arts center from Illinois State University’s campus to Uptown Normal.

The Illinois Art Station Foundation wants to move into the unfinished ground floor of the College Avenue Parking Deck, using $1.5-2 million in private funds to complete the project.

“IAS has been looking at Uptown Normal as a viable option for its permanent home because of its proximity to campus and because the Town has created a distinct atmosphere with several Cultural Arts anchors,” explained Isra El-beshir, IAS Director. “From the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Normal Theater to the Town’s many ongoing collaborations such as the Sugar Creek Arts Festival and University Galleries, Uptown is a great place for IAS to contribute and grow.”

The art center will seek to provide visual art experiences. The group has conducted free art workshops for underserved populations at local libraries, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Western Avenue Community Center.

“We are excited to see what Dr. Berk and the Illinois Art Station will bring to Uptown Normal,” said Mayor Chris Koos. “They have already shown a collaborative spirit that benefits the larger community, and this kind of diverse economic development is what the Uptown plan called for. We look forward to seeing how it will complement existing and future projects.”

If the proposal is approved, the 12,000 square foot area would need work on the roof, windows, doors, and connections to water and sewer lines. It would complete construction by March 2020.

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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