A reason to give… A letter from Jeane Hamilton

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Uncategorized

Jeane Hamilton

Jeane Hamilton, AAC Board Member and Founding Member

More than 50 years ago, a group of ladies and I set out to create something this state had never seen before. My friends at the Junior League of Little Rock and their husbands were raising money to start our Arkansas Arts Center by walking up and down Main Street taking any donations that were given. When we approached Winthrop Rockefeller to chair this endeavor, his response was, “Well girls, if we’re going to build an arts center, we need to do it right. It needs to be an Arkansas arts center, not just a Pulaski County thing. It needs to be something that will serve the entire state of Arkansas.”

Today, our Arkansas Arts Center is still delivering on its mission to serve all of Arkansas. Last year more than 640,000 visitors were inspired through our touring programs and our MacArthur location. Join me today as I continue this walk I started years ago by making a donation of any amount to our Arkansas Arts Center.

School buses continue to fill our parking lots while smiling kids eagerly await the start of a Children’s Theatre production. The world-class collection continues to grow, focusing on works on paper and contemporary craft. And people are still learning new skills in the museum school classrooms. These programs continue to serve and inspire Arkansas. Join me and make an investment in the cultural literacy of our great state because art matters.

As I wandered through the crowds of 30 Americans and Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, I saw so many new faces from all backgrounds and ages engaging with the art on the walls. I told Executive Director Todd Herman, “I don’t know any of these new faces… and that’s a good thing!” This attention to all audiences makes me a proud member and supporter of our Arkansas Arts Center.

"An Arkansas Gem" by Tod Switch at the 2015 Fountain Fest

“An Arkansas Gem” by Tod Switch at the 2015 Fountain Fest

Last October, local artist Tod Switch won a contest to create an installation for the fountain that would serve as the focal point for the Contemporaries’ annual fundraiser, Fountain Fest. Tod created a 12-foot illuminated diamond entitled, “An Arkansas Gem.” I could not have thought of a more appropriate title to represent our Arkansas Arts Center. Our gem needs your support because art matters. Once again we must come together as a community and support our Arkansas Gem. Won’t you do your part?

On April 7, visit ArkansasGives.org between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make a contribution to the Arkansas Arts Center. Giving on this day through ArkansasGives.org will help the Arkansas Arts Center qualify for additional bonus dollars from the Arkansas Community Foundation. Your entire donation goes to the Arkansas Arts Center, and will also qualify us for a share of the nonprofit bonus pool.

Click here to sign up for a one-time e-mail reminder to give on April 7.

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