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If the project is approved, the Bronzeville Center for the Arts (BCA) will build a new campus – with a 50,000-square-foot facility focusing on African-American exhibitions, education and immersive artistic programming – on a former DNR site.

The BCA was recently selected as the top responder to an offer to purchase a 3.4-acre property owned by the state and previously occupied by the Wisconsin DNR Southeast Regional Headquarters and Milwaukee Service Center. BCA’s $1.6 million land purchase proposal will be considered by the State Building Commission on Feb. 9. The proposal will also need approval from the State’s Joint Committee on Finance.

“This site has tremendous potential for the Bronzeville Center for the Arts,” said Kristen Hardy, a Milwaukee attorney and president of the Bronzeville Center for the Arts board. “Someday in the near future, it is our hope that visitors from across the city, state and nation will come to Bronzeville to explore African American art and art history in ways that foster and inspire personal expression, the exchange of ideas, and creative entrepreneurship.”

This would be the BCA’s second investment in Bronzeville, along with the organization’s anticipated development at North Avenue. Construction on the $1 million redevelopment of 507 W. North Ave. is set to begin this spring.

The North Avenue project will include the redevelopment of an existing duplex building as well as the construction of an addition, which will span an adjacent vacant lot. The BCA’s North Avenue development will be home to a gallery, workshop space and BCA offices.

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