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Arts Alliance plans new Center for Arts

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 Dr. Bob Kaelin discusses plans for the new “Center for the Arts” during the Arts Alliance Gala held at Del Webb in Mt. Juliet.

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Plans for a new “Center for the Arts” facility to be constructed in Bel-Air at Beckwith development were announced by the Board of Directors of the Arts Alliance at the organization’s Gala held April 10 at Del Webb in Mt. Juliet.

The Board of Directors for the Alliance has had a vision and has been developing plans for an arts and performance center for the past two years, a spokesperson said. They have gathered information from local arts and performance groups and have considered input from many sources. It became apparent that a local arts center featuring a theatre, educational class rooms, gallery and amphitheatre were needed in the county, region and the greater Nashville area.  

Mt. Juliet architect Sam Anderson has drawn up plans for a 500-seat auditorium with emphasis on being a multi-functional space to accommodate community and popular star performances, dinner theatre, business meetings, banquets, receptions and weddings. There will be several art rooms, an art gallery, gift shop to buy locally created and produced art, catering kitchen, covered outdoor art space for more industrial arts like ceramics and wood working. The concept even includes a large amphitheatre with 500+ covered seats and lots of lawn seating for year-round outdoor 1,000+ audience commercial performances like Nashville country music stars, rock concerts and symphony performances.

The vision recently came much closer to reality as Dr. Bob and Mrs. Carol Kaelin announced that their investment group at Bel-Air at Beckwith, a large 500 acre development on the southeast side of Interstate 40 with office, retail and home development, has agreed to provide up to 5 acres of prime land within the development for the Center for the Arts. The land will be made available following a successful Center for the Arts Capital Campaign to raise the needed building funds and create a Center for the Arts Foundation to sustain annual operating funds. It is estimated that $4 million to $6 million will be needed to build the facility. 

Dr. Kaelin said that he, Carol and the investors “have a passion for the arts and that this addition to Bel-Air at Beckwith is a concept that they have been considering for some time. 

“The Arts Alliance has put a lot of time, energy and work into the vision for a Center for the Arts,” he added. “Bel-Air at Beckwith is proud to be able to stand with the Arts Alliance and provide this high profile site with interstate exposure for the benefit of arts, music and theatre for our community for generations to come.”

Arts Alliance Chairman Jason Loggins said that “the Arts Alliance is in the middle of developing the capital campaign.”

He noted, “We are delighted with the announcement by Bel-Air at Beckwith, the generosity and confidence that they are showing in the Center for the Arts Vision,” Loggins said. “This is outstanding. We have a lot of work to do to make this a reality but we are up to the task and ready open the building within three years.” 

Arts Alliance Vice Chair Gary Rabideau commented that news about the facility “is a huge boost towards our mission of supporting and promoting the Arts.”

“We are confident that the community will rise to the occasion as we release the actual plans for the facility and launch into the Capital Campaign,” added Alliance Treasurer Alex Dowdy.

Those attending the Gala were treated to a performance of “The Politically Correct Little Red Riding Hood” by Encore Theatre Company and dance music provided by The Jazz Alliance while all enjoyed wine from Cheers on Route 109. Guests were also treated to music by the Cedar Creek Community Band, and many pieces of art were submitted and sold from The Fine Arts Guild. The event raised more than $4,000 to forward the Arts Alliance mission. 

“What a wonderful evening this has been – we thank all of our sponsors and Gala attendees, all of the folks that made the Gala a success and Bravo to Bel-Air at Beckwith,” said Gala Chair Cathy Wood.

Also, the Capital Campaign for the new facility got a boost with first donations being made. If any business or citizen would like to make a contribution to the Capital Campaign, mail to the new address at The Arts Alliance Capital Campaign; P.O. Box 1174, Mt. Juliet, TN  37121-1174 (make checks out to WWCAA). The website is www.westwilsonarts.net. The Arts Alliance is a non-profit organization with 501c3 applied for and nearly completed.

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