The Ark came into existence in May of 2012 when the historic church on the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets in the town of Viroqua was put up for sale by the then owners, Believers Fellowship. The building was built in 1897 by First Congregationalists, passed onto the Church of Christ in 1935 who then passed it on to the Believers Fellowship in 1981.
One of the core founding members, who is still with the Ark today, is Frank Wildingway.
Present at the first walk through were Frank Wildingway, Anna Rodriguez, KJ Jacobson, Chris Cox and Adam Fogelson. The following Saturday, while the above were holding an exploratory meeting into the feasibility of converting the church into a community arts center, word came that a local philanthropist wanted to gift the group with a check for the price of the building.
That action precipitated naming the founding group as “Artists and Friends.” Subsequently, the building was rechristened: “The Ark”.