Wichita Foundation Commits $1 Million to Activate New Riverfront Amphitheater

The Wichita Foundation has committed $1 million for Exploration Place’s new riverfront amphitheater, scheduled to open in fall 2024.

The Wichita Foundation Amphitheater will showcase the nightly Ring of Fire show at Wichita’s iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture. It will also provide a stunning venue for live performances, free family movie nights and other community events.

“This will truly be a space to be enjoyed by all, so the Wichita Foundation is the perfect partner for us on this project,” said Adam Smith, Exploration Place’s president and CEO.

The amphitheater will be a harmonious blend of art, architecture and nature. One of its defining features will be its unparalleled and uninhibited sightlines across the Arkansas River to the Keeper of the Plains. The 1,500-capacity amphitheater also includes a mixed-use space designed to promote a vibrant, bustling atmosphere along the river, where pedestrians and cyclists can gather safely.

“The amphitheater will foster community spirit and convening, and is destined to enhance the quality of life for Wichitans and visitors from across the country,” said Shelly Prichard, Wichita Foundation’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled to spur the momentum and impact of this bold space, and know the amphitheater will be a jewel within our city.”

Exploration Place opened in April 2000 and welcomed a record 403,543 visitors in 2023. The Wichita Foundation Amphitheater marks the first phase in a $22 million project to develop Exploration Place’s 20-acre riverfront property.

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The mission of Exploration Place, Kansas’ premier science center, is to inspire a deeper interest in science and technology through creative and fun experiences for all. Exploration Place is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and through 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings. For more information, visit exploration.org.

The Wichita Foundation invests in people and ideas to spark change. Since 1986, the Foundation has partnered with individuals, families and nonprofits to build community through the Fund for Wichita and nearly 300 charitable funds. For more information, visit wichitafoundation.org.

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