Thursday, May 24, 2001

You're invited to CAC's groundbreaking party

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Contemporary Arts Center invites us to dance in the streets at noon today.

        It's the official groundbreaking for the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, an 85,000-square-foot building that will go up at Sixth and Walnut streets, downtown.

Photos, video of arts center
        “We're hoping to pack the entire block, from one end to the other,” CAC Director Charles Desmarais says. Walnut Street will be closed between Sixth and Seventh streets.

        On hand for the hour-long lunchtime festivities will be London-based architect Zaha Hadid. Robin Lacy & DeZydeco will perform Cajun music. Poet Terri Ford has written a poem for the occasion. The Ben-Gal cheerleaders will throw in a few cheers. A Jumbotron screen will make events on stage visible from a block away.

        Free coffee and soft drinks will be available; staffers will assemble a gigantic foam model of the building; and the CAC will hand out commemorative doubloons.

        The $29 million, six-story structure will include 17,000 square feet of exhibit space, almost double what the CAC has now, a sixth-floor education center called the UnMuseum, lower- level performance space, gift shop and wide open lobby. Ms. Hadid hopes it will remind passers-by of an indoor park.

        It is the CAC's first free-standing home since its 1939 founding and the first major American art museum designed by a woman.

        The CAC is estimating a spring 2003 opening.


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