New Koch-Supported Arts Center Breaks Ground

Jun 22, 2016

A new Wichita arts center funded largely by donations from the Koch Foundations now has a name.

More than 400 people were at Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony for Mark Arts at the Mary R Koch Arts Center. The 40,000-square-foot building at 13th and Rock Road will be the new home of the Wichita Center for the Arts.

The move was announced in September after the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Koch family donated $6 million, plus 17 acres of land worth about $4.5 million. Another $7 million has been raised through a capital campaign toward the total $20 million goal.

Liz Koch, an honorary trustee for the center, speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony. Her husband, Charles Koch, is in the audience.
Credit Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The center’s honorary trustee Liz Koch, wife of businessman Charles Koch, said that at first, the plan was to renovate the old Center for the Arts, but it made more sense to start from scratch.

“From that moment forward, we put our hearts and our minds into creating a beautiful stone and glass school of creativity," she told the crowd.

Mary Koch was one of the Wichita Center for the Arts’ students and benefactors. The "mark" in Mark Arts is a reflection of her name. The new center is expected to open in early 2018.

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