The Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock is the largest and best known fine arts center in the state. With several galleries, programming for all ages, and a focus on engaging the community in art, the Center continues to grow and expand. Located in well-known MacArthur Park, the museums and galleries of the Arts Center pull in a strong and loyal crowd year after year.
The Arts Center is particularly noted for its support of Children's Theater. By Children's Theater, they don't mean child actors and actresses, but rather performances aimed at specifically at child audiences. Each year three or four productions are put on for the kids. Recent performances covered nursery tales, popular children's fiction, and musical performances targeted to children.
For adults, the focus is on the art. The museum focuses on collecting works of art on paper as opposed to canvas or plaster. Most of the collection is from American and European sources, and like many museums in the South the collection is built primarily through purchases rather than donations or bequests.
For both adults and children the Center hosts a museum school, which teaches arts and artistic crafts of all kinds. Metal working, pottery, watercolor - there are programs on nearly every art form. Some take the form of long classes, while others are one day seminars with guest artists. Advance registration is needed for many of the classes, which are usually held on the grounds. Special summer programs supplement the Children's Theater offerings to bring kids to the museum. Enroll early - they are hands on and sell out quickly!
The Arkansas Arts Center is closed on Mondays and the major holidays. The regular schedule is 10 - 5 pm. While there is a charge for some of the special exhibits and traveling shows, the regular collection is free to the public. Parking at the Center is also free of charge.