Arts center creator was lifetime artist

The woman whose vision led to the creation and development of the Lawrence Arts Center is being remembered by family and colleagues.

Marlyn Brown, 80, died Feb. 11 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

A lifetime artist, Brown was a weaving instructor at Kansas University, said her husband, Bob Brown.

“I’m proud of her,” he said. “She was just totally wonderful.”

She was named Woman of the Year by the Lawrence Arts Commission in 1975, the same year the Lawrence Arts Center began operating out of the Carnegie Library building at Ninth and Vermont streets. The center moved to 940 N.H. in 2002.

“(The center) was her idea,” said Ann Evans, executive director of the center. “She gets the credit for having the vision.”

Marlyn Brown convinced the city to start the arts center at a time when there were very few around the country, Evans said.

“Now they’re all over,” Evans said. “She was way ahead of her time.”