The Salina Art Center has received a donation to fund a culinary arts kitchen.
According to the organization, JRI Hospitality has pledged $75,000 to support the development of a culinary arts kitchen as part of the Building Creatively capital campaign.
The kitchen design by JGR Architects is part of the public gallery currently under construction at Salina Art Center. This gallery space provides the opportunity to explore art through exhibitions and ARTery maker space. Additionally, the design allows the Art Center to build new revenue streams as a rental space for small events downtown, educational workshops, culinary arts programming, and special Art Center events, including exhibition openings and fundraisers.
Building Creatively aligned perfectly with JRI’s commitment to youth and the community through hands-on experiences and unique educational opportunities with cooking, sustainable farming, and using food to unite people.
Like JRI’s vision, the Art Center has used food experiences for decades to explore cultural diversity and encourage community connections. When food is a work of art, it stimulates all our senses. Food is a part of us, reflecting our culture and traditions. Traditional cuisine is passed down from one generation to the next. Immigrants bring the food of their countries with them wherever they go, and cooking traditional food is a way of preserving their culture when they move to new places.
“We are honored to contribute to the Salina Art Center and help foster the interest of both art and food in our community,” says Jason Ingermanson, founder and CEO of JRI Hospitality. “We are committed equally to our community and to creating memorable experiences through food.”
The Art Center has worked with Blue Skye Brewery to host Indian-themed dinners. It has brought in private chefs to host dinners that inspire deep conversations on topics of significance. They’ve hosted programming on fermentation, garden-to-table salads, and other sustainable food-based workshops. The Art Center provided educational lectures on tea ceremonies, exploring how food is a significant part of culture. Most of these opportunities were part of exhibitions and visiting artists programs. Investing in a culinary arts program is building on the success of past programming while looking at future opportunities for expanded programming.
Misty Serene, executive director for Salina Art Center, believes a culinary arts program is an important step into the future. “I dream of hosting a farm-to-table after-school program where kids learn about growing and cooking food. I see us partnering with organizations like USD 305, the Salina Public Library, Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank and local chefs – the possibilities are endless, and it couldn’t happen without all the amazing donors like the Ingermansons who believe in our vision.”
_ _ _
Salina Art Center donors are investing $1.3 million in external and internal renovations and infrastructure enhancements to improve accessibility, safety, visibility, and engagement by reimagining public spaces and elevating member and visitor experiences through technology, environmental amenities, and new programming. Salina Art Center launched the Building Creatively capital campaign on May 25, 2022, and has secured 77% of the needed funds through private donations. An initial goal of $1M was reached, but costs associated with the project skyrocketed between 2022 and today. An additional $300,000 is required to bring the project to completion, and donations are welcome.
Photo via Salina Art Center: (from left) Misty Serene accepts a gift from Jason & Lisa Ingermanson, JRI Hospitality