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An emerging nonprofit arts organization is seeking to transform W. North Ave.

Bronzeville Center for the Arts (BCA) was revealed Wednesday as the winner of a competitive bidding process to purchase the former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) facility at the busy intersection of N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and W. North Ave. It intends to develop a “world-class art and cultural center” at the 3.4-acre site.

BCA has conceptual plans to develop a 50,000-square-foot facility at the site, including an auditorium and exhibition space, as well as creating a green space with a sculpture walk.

The announcement comes just weeks after the organization secured city approval to purchase a vacant lot two blocks to the west at 507 W. North Ave. as part of a $1 million plan to develop a gallery space, workshop and office space.

Both projects are now proceeding, with construction to begin this spring on the gallery effort.

“It’s certainly ambitious and that’s the most exciting thing about this,” said board chair Kristen D. Hardy in an interview.

The organization hopes to use the two facilities to host museum-quality exhibitions of visual art, educational programs, hands-on art workshops and performances.

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