The Future ArtsQuest Cultural Center to Receive Federal Funding for Multimodal Transportation Project

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Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley, PA., April 2, 2024 – ArtsQuest is thrilled to announce that it will be a recipient of the Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant that will incorporate important safety initiatives in and around the future ArtsQuest Cultural Center. Thanks to the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), the Multimodal Transportation Fund Program, Senator Lisa Boscola and Representative Steve Samuelson, Northampton County and ongoing support from the public sector, we are one step closer to accomplishing that goal.

The Multimodal Transportation Fund was created to promote and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the community. To improve pedestrian safety, the grant will go towards upgrades like installing and updating sidewalks and curbing, adding ADA accessible ramps, enhanced street lighting, a corner crosswalk and streetscape amenities will be considered for this project. Safe and inviting streetscapes may help reduce local automobile traffic by encouraging people to walk to their destinations, thereby improving public health, stimulating local economic activity and attracting residents and visitors to the South Bethlehem community.

“We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from so many – government officials, businesses, donors and others in the public sector,” commented Kassie Hilgert, President and CEO. “Making sure that all individuals can safely enter and exit the new Cultural Center is an important factor and having safer access will help to draw even more people to our new facility dedicated to the arts and culture. Access to the arts for all is a team effort, especially when it comes to roadways, sidewalks and other infrastructure.”

The new Cultural Center is projected to be a 5-story, 78,500 SF state-of-the-art educational hub that will provide new and expanded arts-based programming for all ages, a Communications Pathway partnership with the Bethlehem Area School District, black box theater, official venue space for comedic performances and classes, additional artist studios, modern gallery space, dedicated meeting and entertainment space and additional amenities. It has a projected economic impact to bring approximately 600 jobs and $60 million (construction and programming combined) to the Lehigh Valley.

The estimated start date of construction is early April 2025, with an expected completion date of mid-October 2026. (project should take approx. 18 months to complete)

About ArtsQuest

ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events.

Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, over 50% of which are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region.

Information provided to TVL by:
Bryn Keeney