WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW ) – On Wednesday, Walmart donated $50,000 to the Power Community Development Corporation (Power CDC ) to aid in the restoration of the Historic Dunbar Theater in Wichita.
Walmart officials say the donation is part of Walmart’s commitment to investing and supporting the communities it serves, through local giving, volunteerism, and programs that strengthen community cohesion.
“At Walmart, we’re proud to support organizations that demonstrate a tireless commitment to strengthening their local communities,” said Amy Williams, Walmart market manager. “We are inspired by the Power CDC’s revitalization efforts to restore the Dunbar Theater and their dedication to the historic McAdams neighborhood.”
The Power CDC is currently in the process of redeveloping the Dunbar Theater as a community-based visual and performing-arts center, which will provide surrounding neighborhoods with a facility to host meetings, receptions, youth activities, and civic events.
“The restoration of this historical and cultural place is truly something to be celebrated,” Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers said. “Community members and partners have worked tirelessly for so long to make this project happen. Renovating the Dunbar Theater will revive not just the arts space, but also the economic vitality of the McAdams neighborhood and Wichita community as a whole.”
“The Historical Dunbar Theatre represents ‘Our Past, Presence, and Future’,” said State Senator Oletha Faust Goudeau. “We must do all we can, to help build up every community. Especially, during these difficult times. This project will enhance the City of Wichita providing social and economic development growth, for future generations to come.”
Located in the historic McAdams neighborhood, the Dunbar Theater was built in 1941 and served as the only movie theater available to the African American community in Wichita until 1963. A recent revival of interest in the redevelopment of the area has brought new hope and the revitalization of the Dunbar Theater is a key component in the process of bringing new life into the neighborhood.
“We are thankful for the generous donation from Walmart, and all of the donors who are helping this project take shape,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple. “The McAdams Neighborhood Revitalization Plan and the Dunbar Theater restoration project will not only reinvigorate this historic neighborhood but honor a crucial component of our city’s history and create a vibrant gathering place and district for generations to come.”
“The Historic Dunbar Theatre embodies the spirit of the Wichita Black Community,” said Pastor Dr. T. LaMont Holder, Calvary Baptist Church in Wichita. “For more than a half-century, the Dunbar Theater has stood as a beacon of strength, resilience, and grace amidst socially and culturally challenging times. ‘Like a Phoenix rising from the Ashes’, the Dunbar Theatre will rise again.”
The check presentation event this morning was attended by State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, Councilman Brandon Johnson, Pastor Dr. T. LaMont Holder of the Calvary Baptist Church, Rev. Carl Kirkendoll of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, Power CDC board members, and Walmart executives.