Community-Based Cultural Arts Initiative

In June 2003, the Wichita City Council adopted the McAdams Neighborhood Revitalization Plan to guide the revitalization of the neighborhood. A key component of reviving the neighborhood is bringing the Dunbar Theater back to life… as a community-based visual- and performing-arts center — serving as the anchor for a rebirth of commercial development at the intersection of 9th Street and Cleveland.

Earlier this year, the City of Wichita decided to commission a Feasibility Study to determine the viability of redeveloping the theater as a visual and performing arts center.  The study found that redevelopment of the Dunbar Theater will fill an unmet niche in the community for a performing arts venue with approximately 200 seats — while also providing the surrounding neighborhoods with a much-needed facility to host meetings, receptions, youth activities and civic events.

The study estimates that the Dunbar Theater can be reopened for about $1.5 million — a fraction of the cost of a new theater, bringing the Theater to life for its first public uses. Additional improvements will be done in two additional phases, costing approximately $1.5 million each, to achieve the full capability of the Theater. The Dunbar Theater Redevelopment Feasibility Study Report is available for viewing at the City of Wichita Planning Dept. website.

As part of a community-based initiative, POWER CDC is taking the lead role with the acquisition and re-development of the Dunbar Theater, and today owns this historic prize. Accordingly, POWER CDC is now accepting financial contributions to redevelop and operate the theater.

Fairmount Group, 2018, photographed by Xavier Leija

Vivian Clemons-Webb
Community Member Interview

Where would I be when I got older? In the sixth grade, I had a teacher named Cleotha Moore that really sparked my interest. She taught us oratorical points and things. We would go to the nursing homes and things like that. So at that time I thought about being a teacher, and I would play those games at home, being a teacher and I had a class. So that’s where I figure I would be, and right now I am a special ed para and I’ve been there at Spaght for 14 years. Before that, a school bus driver, still teaching children. At my church, teaching children. So I guess that’s what I knew I was gonna be, a teacher.

Janet Wilson

Janet Wilson, 2018, photographed by Alexis Rivierre

Carla Jackson Patton

Carla Jackson Patton, 2018, photographed by Alexis Rivierre

Danielle Johnson, 2018, photographed by Ashwin Govindarajan

Danielle Johnson, 2018, photographed by Ashwin Govindarajan

Patricia Williams, 2018, photographed by Xavier Leija

Alberta Phillips, 2018, photographed by Alexis Rivierre

John Wright, 2018, photographed by Alexis Rivierre

Lenora Green, 2018, photographed by Alexis Rivierre

Durell Gilmore, 2018, photographed by Xavier Leija

Quintis Pinkston
Artist + Community Member Interview


It taught me a lot about myself. And then the project is what brought that together to where my spice, and your spice and their spice and everybody else is sprinkling season and came together to make a wonderful dish… It’s a physical dish…and Mom realizing that this is her up there. She raised us to be culturally multicultural or ethnically multi­cultural. Meaning that you have your own spice to put into the pot but you need to understand that you have to go into the pot also in order to do your part.  All the way down to trying to be the tough one, and not cry the night before. I’m saying all the way down to that. It really, really, really… It humbled me. Things are bigger than what I am, but I’m big enough to make an impression. I’m big enough to make a change.