Philadelphia, PA - The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) will kick off the construction of its new Arts Center with a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, November 30, 6pm. The ceremony includes a hard hat tour and remarks by Kevin Donohoe, Chairman of the Board of PAFA, David R. Brigham, PAFA’s President and CEO, and Robert Anker, executor of the estate of John Rhoden. The Arts Center is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.
The project will transform 15,000 square feet of space in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building into a multidisciplinary facility. A new state-of-the-art auditorium will be the premier feature of the Arts Center and will host performances, lectures, and other events in collaboration with the Arts Center partners, including the Fringe Arts, 900 AM-WURD, Mural Arts Philadelphia, New Freedom Theatre, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. In addition to the auditorium, the Arts Center project includes a gallery and reception area for exhibiting art by PAFA students and a highly secure and climate-controlled collection vault for 20th and 21st century art.
"We are so proud and excited to have the opportunity to feature artists in such a unique space and to contribute to the growing importance of art space in Philadelphia. PAFA has always been, and continues to be part of life of the arts in the city,” said David R. Brigham, PAFA President and CEO.
The Arts Center is part of PAFA’s capital campaign which is honored to have the invaluable support of many of Philadelphia's prominent business, civic, and cultural leaders, including Honorary Chair Marguerite Lenfest, a longtime member of PAFA's board and granddaughter of a PAFA alumnus; Roger H. Ballou, retired CEO of CDI Corp.; Donald R. Caldwell, CEO of Cross Atlantic Capital Partners and PAFA board chair emeritus; Jonathan L. Cohen, retired partner and director of global human resources at Goldman Sachs; Kevin F. Donohoe, PAFA Board Chairman and president of the Kevin F. Donohoe Co. Inc.; William P. Hankowsky, chairman, president and CEO of Liberty Property Trust; Anne E. McCollum, founder of PAFA's Venture Fund; Elizabeth Osborne, renowned painter and PAFA alumna ('58); and Henry B. duP. Smith, vice president, co-chief investment officer and director of Haverford Trust Co.