Arts Center of North Texas dissolves

A district judge approved an agreement Dec. 3 between the Arts Center of North Texas, its three member cities and the Texas Attorney General to officially dissolve the center.

In the agreement, the ACNT's remaining $2,300,000 in assets will be distributed evenly among Frisco, Plano and Allen, the center's three member cities. The cities are required under state law to use the money to support the arts, Plano spokesperson Steve Stoler said.

Each city designated the first $250,000 of its share of the assets to go toward an arts organization: the Frisco Association for the Arts, The ArtCentre of Plano, Inc. and The Allen Arts Alliance Association, Inc.

The approximately 124 acres of land near Custer Road and SH 121 that was to be used for the center will be returned to the original owner who donated the land for the center.

The ACNT was formed as a nonprofit organization in 2004 to construct an arts hall and park to support the arts and culture of its member cities. Each city's voters approved, providing $19 million in public bonds to fund the ACNT. McKinney voters denied the bond proposal.

A board of directors comprised of representatives from each city governed the ACNT.

When the economy took a downturn, Frisco voters passed a proposition in 2011 that revoked the city's authority to issue the remaining $16 million in bonds, according to court documents.

A year later, the ACNT executive director Mike Simpson, who currently serves as the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County CEO, resigned.

Eventually, the cities of Plano and Allen also revoked funding for the ACNT, according to court documents.

Simpson said he's not sure if another regional arts project will gain traction in the future, but he said there's a growing need for an arts center in Collin County.

"I think that one or more of the cities that were in the original agreement will wind up building some type of performing arts hall," Simpson said. "Whether it's the size that we were originally talking about or not, that'll be up to the cities and what kind of money can be raised."


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