FREEPORT, ILLINOIS – The Freeport Art Museum has received a $245,000 gift from the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation to create a multi-use stage within the Arts Plaza project in Downtown Freeport, Illinois. The Foundation’s gift is another important step towards thecompletion of the plaza project and will enable the Freeport Art Museum to build a covered stage that will host a variety of performances including music, theater, and film.
“The remarkable vision and support of the Ferguson Foundation is very exciting,” said Jessica Modica, executive director for the Freeport Art Museum “Their generosity has a substantial impact on the entire project and reflects a strong belief in our work in creating a space that invites both residents and visitors to enjoy cultural events in downtown Freeport”.
The Arts Plaza project utilizes land donated to the museum in 2004, located adjacent to the post office and public library. It is designed to be a vibrant civic space that encourages community engagement, develops art and cultural activities that help facilitate economic development, and serves to connect other amenities already present in the district such as the bike path, Union Dairy, Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square and the Freeport Public Library.
Some of the characteristics of the plaza include the covered stage, a splash pad, open green spaces for festivals, and a number of temporary and permanent pieces of public art.
The non-profit arts organization has received over $750,000 in private contributions thus far, coupled with an additional $100,000 from a grant through the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with the City of Freeport. “We have less than $400,000 left to raise for the completion of the project, which is expected to open in the Fall of 2020” reports Modica. “We’ve had some construction delays due to the wet weather but the concrete foundations for the stage, mechanical room, and art screen are currently being poured and work on the splash pad is underway as well. This gift greatly helps us to remain on schedule.”