Center for Creativity Announces $5M Donation

Sep 13, 2022

Landmark gift will drive revitalization and long-term strategic plan for iconic site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2022

Contact: Juan Melli, jmelli@mercuryllc.com

CENTER FOR CREATIVITY AT THE RIALTO RECEIVES $5 MILLION DONATION
Landmark gift will drive revitalization and long-term strategic plan for iconic site

WESTFIELD, NJ – The Center for Creativity at the Rialto is pleased to announce that it has received a $5 million donation to kickstart the strategic development of the Westfield landmark.

The transformative gift, made by a Westfield resident wishing to remain anonymous, will allow the Center to finalize its long-term plans to reinvent the historic Rialto building as a multidisciplinary, community-focused arts center and acts as an important preliminary spark for its anticipated capital fundraising campaign. The gift will also allow the Center to complete critical short-term repairs to allow limited interim programming.

Following the agreement to purchase the Rialto building in late 2021, the Center issued a Request for Proposals for strategic planning assistance and subsequently began working with Webb Mgmt, an arts planning firm with 25 years of experience in community-based arts projects, in spring 2022. The product of this work will be a strategic plan that provides a roadmap for the Center’s future, both in terms of the building’s renovations and its planned dynamic programming to celebrate and elevate the arts in Westfield.

“This donation is a game-changer for our ability to bring the beloved Rialto back to life and turbo-charge the arts scene in Westfield,” said Beth Cassie, board president of the Center for Creativity. “We are deeply grateful for the incredible generosity of this donor, and we hope it will inspire others to join our fundraising efforts when we share our plans with the community so that we can all bring our vision for the Rialto to life.”

The closing on the purchase of the Rialto building was delayed several months as the result of a significant flood in the basement’s building that occurred in January 2022. While necessary repairs were being addressed, the Center for Creativity team continued to plan for interim uses for the building, including an anticipated partnership with local artist Ricardo Roig.

“I’m excited about being a part of the Rialto’s future, and I envision activating unused portions of the building to feature visually-dynamic artists creating, teaching, and exhibiting their art for the public,” said local artist Ricardo Roig. As immediate repair work continues on the building, the Center also plans to host limited programming in the lobby and theater, including some upcoming AddamsFest events. Additionally, the Westfield Public Arts Commission recently accepted community submissions for Artist Alley at the Rialto, which will transform the pedestrian alley between East Broad Street and the parking lot into a permanent public mural installation.

Anyone interested in learning more and seeing how to get involved with the Center for Creativity can obtain information at www.centerforcreativity.art.