Kimball Art Center sculpts the future with Arts and Culture District

Mining was Park City’s first phase. Skiing was the second phase. Bill Kimball, who opened the Kimball Art Center’s doors in 1976, hoped art might define the third. For the past four decades, the Kimball Art Center has served as the beating heart of the art community third wave, and the town has taken a huge step towards seeing Bill Kimball’s dream come to fruition. In July of last year, Park City secured a 5.25-acre space in the Bonanza Park neighborhood to develop the town’s first Arts and Culture District. Naturally, the Kimball Art Center took center stage as an anchor partner in the joint-planning process by signing a letter of intent to purchase land in the new ACD (as did Sundance Institute).

The ACD is still in the early planning phase, but the Kimball Art Center is hard at work designing what the future will look like. Though the Kimball has found success in their temporary home on Kearns, people in the organization are thrilled with the opportunity for a new permanent building that can quadruple their square footage. “Imagining the possibilities of what a space like that will look like fully programmed, we’re over the moon about the opportunity,” says Maggie AbuHaidar, the Kimball’s Board Chair. “We’ll be able to continue to expand on what we do best with exhibitions, education programs and community events, and we’ll have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger with the ACD, which we hope will celebrate and breed creative thought.”

The arts district will also include a brick and mortar location for Sundance Institute—finally answering the common visitor question, “Where’s Sundance?”—in addition to space for other local non-profit organizations. The development of a multi-use space will bring scalability and flexibility that is sorely needed in Park City. “The Sundance Institute’s biggest event is January with the film festival. Ours is in August with Arts Fest. Mountain Town Music has excellent venues in the summer, but nowhere to go when it gets cold out,” AbuHaidar explains. “Integrating our facilities allows each organization to continue with its vision and remain independent, but builds flexibility and finds efficiencies that will increase opportunity for all of us.”

The goal is to have the arts district master development plan signed and approved before the end of 2018. The city, Kimball Art Center and Sundance Institute want to gather as much feedback as possible from both locals and visitors to help best serve the community with the arts district. You can visit the following website to make your voice heard:

David Habben

David Habben, an award-winning artist, illustrator and Utah local, brought his creativity to the Kimball this past winter while providing a unique opportunity to witness his creativity in person. In conjunction with his exhibition, David Habben: Flow, Habben partnered with dancers from the Duhaime Movement Project to create a new, large-scale painting inspired by the dancers’ movements, live for an audience. The Kimball’s future home in the ACD will further provide the opportunity to showcase such singular artists and exhibitions.

1401 Kearns Blvd, Park City, 435-649-8882,

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Tony Gill
Tony Gill
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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