Letter from the Director
The New Walker Art Center
While our Walker without Walls programming was taking place around town, the home of our future programming was being carefully shaped within the confines of a construction site. Behind the plywood and scaffolding, beneath the dust and girders, a team of nearly two hundred architects, engineers, welders, and construction workers was creating the framework for our new facility.
       I've been through the construction site several times a week since groundbreaking. I can remember when it was simply a pit within which our new parking garage was being assembled. Then, sometime last year, the building began to take shape, and it has continued to evolve and grow. One day when director of development Christopher Stevens and I were walking a prospective donor through the construction site, the donor stopped and said, "I never thought we'd see the Walker's vision given such tangible physical form." Later that day he made an extremely generous contribution to our capital campaign, writing that he was proud of what we had accomplished for the region and beyond. Each of the new spaces-from welcoming public areas to intimate learning places, from the new galleries to the 385-seat state-of-the-art theater and renovated cinema-has been specifically crafted to meet the needs of artists and audiences. And, for the first time in the Walker's history, each of our programming departments-Visual Arts, Film/Video, Performing Arts, New Media Initiatives, Design, and Education and Community Programs-has a series of spaces that perfectly suit their requirements.
       Unlike many buildings that serve the architect's aspirations first, the new Walker will best serve those who participate in its programs-the artists and visitors who bring it to life. The facility reaches out to the city with a dramatic cantilever and terraces, connects downtown with uptown, and seamlessly brings together the urban life of Hennepin Avenue with the natural environment of a new four-acre park. The public spaces are designed to accommodate large groups having a common experience as well as the individual enjoying a solitary, internal activity. I look forward to welcoming you to the new Walker, opening in April 2005.
Kathy Halbreich, Director



Photography Credit(s)
Gene Pittman