$6 Million Gift to Create UA Peforming Arts Center

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A $6 million donation will be used to turn the old Razorback field house on Garland Avenue into a new state-of-the-art performing arts center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The facility is expected to be named after Jim and Joyce Faulkner, a Little Rock couple who donated the $6 million gift. Chancellor G. David Gearheart made the announcement Wednesday morning.

"It is a fantastic gift. It's a wonderful opportunity for us to improve the arts on campus and have a venue that we haven't had before," Gearhart said.

Music education major Joshua Norton said he's looking forward to a new performing arts center on the UA campus.

"Before we had to rent out the Walton Arts Center so surely this will save us a lot of money for the bands," Joshua Norton said.

Gearheart said currently the university can’t compete with a lot of high school performing arts centers in the state but that will soon change.

"We need a venue that has state of the art equipment, sound equipment. There's no question that for us to have a thriving arts program we need to have a much larger and better venue," Gearhart said.

Jim and Joyce Faulkner said it's an honor to have their names on the new center.

"We love it," Joyce Faulkner said.

"We are very please. It will keep our familiy involved with the University for years to come," Jim Faulkner said.

Music Majors like Joshua Norton are anticipating to have a place they can call their own.

"That will be very nice to finally have an arts where we can all play in," Norton said. 

The center, if approved by the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, will serve as a state-of-the-art venue for showcasing the musical and theatrical talents of students and faculty members, according to the university.