WADA Education Center to Become a Reality
Since WADA purchased the property in midtown, the plan has always been to create an Education Center. We are so excited to announce it’s coming to fruition! The Education Center will be available to visual and performing artists to practice and teach their skills. The idea is also to provide a gathering place in the community for scout troops, exercise classes, where lectures can be heard and for adults and children to learn the magic of making art. The facility will be named after Frances and J. Crayton Pruitt, the parents of Helen Pruitt Wallace, Natalie Pruitt Judge and J. Crayton Pruitt Jr., the benefactors of the Pruitt Family Foundation. From the early stages of WADA, The Pruitt family has been very generous donors to the WADA ArtsXchange project.
Mark Aeling, WADA’s President, was recently interviewed by Teresa Sullivan about the Education Center:
Q. This must be an expensive venture, how is this effort being funded?
A. Earlier this year, WADA applied for a Housing & Urban Development (HUD) grant to fund this effort and we are in the final stages of making that a reality. The HUD grant was for $150,000 and WADA raised an additional $75,000 from very generous donors to make this a reality.
Q. I am assuming this is a pretty complicated process, yes?
A. Very much so. But fortunately, The City of St. Petersburg is a vital part of this endeavor and is helping us through HUD’s procedures. The City is well versed in working with HUD and their assistance has been invaluable.
Q. So what are the next steps?
A. If all goes according to plan, the bidding and selection process will happen in the next few months. HUD has very specific guideline with how that is implemented.
Q. What about actually building and opening the Education Center?
A. At this point we hope that the groundbreaking will happen sometime in January. Construction is estimated to take from 6-8 months, so we anticipate opening in late summer 2021.
Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. More important than the building itself, will be the development of comprehensive educational programming. We have such an opportunity to make a profound impact in our community and we are approaching this important task very strategically. In the coming months, we expect to hire an educational consultant to guide us through the process so that when the Center opens, we will have robust programming in place. The entire WADA community is excited to see this coming to fruition.
Floor Plan for the WADA Education Center at the ArtsXchange Campus