Fort Worth

Future of Fort Worth Art Space in Question Amid Costly Repairs

According to a building condition assessment, the building on 1300 Gendy Street will require $26 million in repairs

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Fort Worth art space was packed Thursday night amid ongoing discussions on its future.

Earlier this year, Fort Worth city council members appointed a task force to study future uses of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the W.E. Scott Theatre. The building is leased by Arts Fort Worth and consists of art galleries and a theatre that were built in three phases, dating back to 1954.

According to a building condition assessment, the building on 1300 Gendy Street requires repairs totaling about $26 million.

Michelle Gutt with the City of Fort Worth said the task force will be making a recommendation on possible repairs, renovation, or redevelopment.

“Some of it is ADA requirements. Some of it is dealing with water damage, because of some of the flooding that has taken part in that area,” Gutt said, referring to the repair costs. "They have got the numbers. They got the reports. They have looked at a lot of documents, but I think hearing from the people who actually use the facility, the people who actually have a history with the facility, is a really important part of the process."

Dozens were signed up to speak Thursday night, including photographer and filmmaker Wesley Kirk. He urged the task force to continue investing in community-driven art.

“I have seen shows here that have moved me to tears that could never been seen in a for-profit gallery. I have seen shows that have sparked important conversations showing how important art and storytelling can be,” Kirk said.

Fort Worth-based artist Cosmo Jones described the arts center as a second home to many people, including himself. Jones’ work includes paintings and sculptures.

“There just isn’t another space like this, and they’re not going to be able to support the community in the way that they do now,” Jones said. “It represents, to me, the unique character that Fort Worth has an arts community.”

The task force has two more meetings before making a recommendation to the Fort Worth city council on May 2.

Contact Us