Rockport Center for the Arts' Building to be Razed

Rockport Center for the Arts is sad to announce that our former home, located at 902 Navigation Circle, will soon be razed due to damages resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

Advisors and insurance companies informed the organization last October that the building was a total loss. We postponed the demolition of the building at the request of our landlord- Aransas County Navigation District who wanted to see if there was a reasonable path to restore the building for other uses. After completing their investigation, they too decided it was not financially feasible.

In 1983, thanks to a generous gift from the O’Connor family, the Rockport Art Association moved the Bruhl~O’Connor home to Navigation Circle, between Aransas Bay and Rockport Harbor. The blue Victorian building served as our home.

“The dedication and leadership of thousands of Art Center supporters, and the implementation of many new programs delivered sustained growth for 34 years.” States Hugh Morrison, President of the Board of Directors.

“Member participation in Art Center programs became challenged by the lack of space.” Says Luis Purón, Executive Director. He adds, “When I arrived in 2015, the staff and board were actively engaged in strategic planning; and were giving material consideration to a new and much larger facility.” In 2016, strategic planning efforts culminated in the acquisition of property in downtown Rockport. The organization retained architects and consultants to arrive at concept designs and raise funds.

“Our expansion plans had come a long way. A study for a fundraising campaign was launched on August 21, four days before the hurricane. Suddenly, our lives changed. But we managed to make positive things happen for the arts immediately after the storm. Even without a building, our exhibits, programs, and events continued. We made a solemn promise to be here for our community, and we kept that promise.” States Purón. From relocating the traveling exhibit Birds in Art, to hosting art education programs at Wind Way Gallery, curating shows in venues in other cities, reopening in a much smaller space in downtown Rockport, and launching new initiatives, Art Center staff have never been busier.

The land acquisition, coupled with a half-a-million dollar economic development grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund, has placed the new facility project on stronger footing. “We have always felt that a new Art Center in downtown Rockport would revitalize that important business corridor. It’s rewarding to see that the Rebuild Texas Fund, downtown merchants and many others share that vision.” States Morrison.

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