The loss of the Kirksville Arts Association building to a fire on Dec. 2 has brought economic and personal changes that will affect the city and the community of Kirksville with the investigation of the fire closed.
Assistant City Manager Ashley Young says though the Kirksville Arts Association is still committed to rebuilding, to the best of his knowledge the KAA directors have not yet made a decision about the relocation of the building. What they plan to do, Young says, is go through a deliberate strategic planning process for the building, which they had intended to do before the fire with received grant funds, but the process has now taken on a more significant purpose after the fire.
While the venue of the arts center can be replaced, people like Andrea O’Brien lost their artwork — which was displayed inside the arts center — because of the fire, which O’Brien says was devastating.
“To me, the Arts Center helps to bring them together in a place that celebrates the culture and the history and the talent that we have here,” O’Brien says. “It also has helped to educate other community members and schools and anybody who has visited some of the exhibits that they’ve had, it helps educate them on the different aspects of what the art means, what it derives, what it represents from the cultures of the communities where it comes from and it really provides a great educational piece.”