ZACC doubles size with new downtown building
After 10 successful years in a leased space on Missoula’s Northside, Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) is preparing to move into a larger, more accessible building.
The new ZACC will double its footprint when it relocates in September to the Historic Studebaker Building on West Main Street in the heart of the downtown area.
ZACC bought the building last March and launched a capital campaign to raise $4.25 million to fund building acquisition, an extensive remodel and the equipment needed to turn it into a community arts center that will continue to serve Montanans for many generations to come. The center has since raised $2.4 million, and began the first phase of construction in March.
“The community is really excited about our project, especially downtown business owners, artists and parents,” says Executive Director Kia Liszak. “The new ZACC will be much more accessible for the whole community and be able to offer many more opportunities to youth, veterans, residents and visitors of all ages to thrive.”
ZACC – the only nonprofit arts community center of its kind in Montana – offers a unique range of opportunities.
Educational programs include music camps for kids, adults and combat veterans, drama and visual arts classes and clay camps. A public print shop is used extensively by the community; artist studios are available for rent; and a gallery offers such one-of-a-kind shows as the Missoula Monster Project, an annual collaboration between 200 kindergarteners and 200 adult artists.
The new facility will serve “as the central bridge between community and art in Missoula,” predicts Liszak.
It will boast a new 170-seat black-box theater space to accommodate music shows, local plays, dance, poetry readings, community events and more. According to Liszak, the theater fills “a pressing local need for an all-ages performance space.”
The project also includes:
• More artist studios available for rent to support Missoula’s growing artist community;
• Multiple classrooms to accommodate classes for adults and youth;
• Increased practice rooms and musical instruction space for the rapidly growing Alternative Music Program;
• A larger community art gallery, as well as a separate gallery for youth artwork;
• A hands-on, children’s creativity center;
• A free community arts supply closet; and
• An expanded paint-your-own-pottery studio space and a large public print shop.
More than 300 individuals, businesses, banks and foundations have donated to the expansion so far, with major support from the Checota Foundation, The Washington Foundation, The Bill and Rosemary Gallagher Foundation, The Engelhard Foundation, Jeff Ament and Pandora Andre-Beatty, and several anonymous donors.
Visit newzacc.org to learn more.zootownarts.org to get involved.
Photo: Artist’s rendering of the Studebaker Building, transformed into Zootown Arts Community Center.