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THE HISTORY

In 2014, the Wilson Center was awarded a prestigious $50,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which served as the catalyst for a free, interactive sculpture garden experiential landscape in Brookfield’s Mitchell Park. Thanks to a significant gift from Wilson Center Board Member Lynn Chappy, and through a partnership with the City of Brookfield, the design concept has been created and the first phase of development of ArtsPark has begun.


    THE VISION

    Lynn Chappy ArtsPark will extend the arts beyond the walls of the Wilson Center and provide visitors of all ages with:

    • Opportunities to discuss and collaborate in ways that highlight the value of art in our lives.
    • A lifelong discovery of the arts and its relationship to the inherent diversity and development within nature.
    • Outdoor performance venues that celebrate artistic motifs in natural settings.
    • Programs that nurture and restore nature, as well as enhance the connection between the arts and a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
    • Classes, programs, and workshops that encourage everyone—from children to seniors—to build knowledge, inventiveness, self-esteem, self-motivation, and cooperation.

    Our primary goal is to join nature and art in ways that will continue to educate and inspire our community, region, and state for many years to come.


    THE PHASES

    Caerulean Collaborative Design, headed by Gerould Wilhelm and Margot Mazur, was contracted to quide the process of creating the plan for the new park. This multi-faceted group of artists—a landscape architect, a botanist, a plants specialist, and a lighting specialist—were teamed with representatives from the community and the Wilson Center to create a master landscaping plan that will guide and direct ArtsPark planning and its multiple phases of development over the next 10+ years.

    Phase I of ArtsPark is poised to immediately change the appearance of the Wilson Center and Mitchell Park with the installation of six sculptures: the inaugural Circle Drive Sculpture—which will welcome all who come to the Center and serve as an introduction to the park—and five others that may be interactive, botanical, or ephemeral works of art. Each sculpture will be selected via a statewide competition that includes input from professional artistic juries and the community.

    Subsequent phases will offer expanded programming opportunities—including education, performing and visual arts, community connections, and stewardship and restoration of the environment—allowing Lynn Chappy ArtsPark to increase the outreach of the Wilson Center to the greater region.