Buffalo, NY – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery will hold a community meeting on Monday, March 23, at 6 pm. There, the AK will share findings from an initial round of public conversations and focus groups held recently to discuss the need for campus refurbishment and development. The AK’s world-renowned art Collection, an engine for cultural tourism and regional economic development, has grown exponentially since the museum’s last major expansion more than fifty years ago, and its current facilities are in urgent need of attention.
Since first outlining its need for additional space in October 2014, the AK has held more than a dozen public meetings and focus groups throughout the area with the goal of discovering and understanding the community’s ideas about what tomorrow’s AK should be.
Regarding the purpose of discussion and dialogue with the community, Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén has said, “Our space needs from an operational perspective are clear to us. We need, at the very least, to renovate our historic campus. For the benefit of Buffalo and Western New York we also need more space to exhibit the AK’s extraordinary Collection. Our community, this city and region of good neighbors, is our most important partner, and to serve its needs we have posed several questions. What would our community like to see us do? What services should the AK be providing to enhance our sense of civic pride and make Western New York a better home for our children and future generations? Our operational needs are but one aspect of a much broader conversation. We simply cannot move forward without continually listening to the community. These first meetings were the initial phase of that process.”
The AK has committed to continuing its dialogue with the community at every opportunity as a possible expansion is considered. “This will ultimately be an ongoing discussion,” noted Deputy Director Joe Lin-Hill. “The next steps—fundraising feasibility, project timelines, and potentially, proposals for architecture—will reflect what we know we need and what we learn the community wants from its AK of the future.”
The community meeting on March 23 will comprise a presentation of findings from public meetings held to date and will outline the next steps in our ongoing campus development process. It will be followed by a reception in AK Café.