What's New

What's New

A Message from the Director

Arkansas Arts Council - Monday, March 23, 2020

Patrick RalstonNo one needs to be reminded of the uncertainties we as a community, state and nation face right now. However, our arts communities are strong, and we will get through this together. During these uncertain times, I want to share some absolute certainties about your Arkansas Arts Council:

  • 1.  We are still on the job, still working hard.

    Like many of you, our staff were sent home last week. Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, we are an online operation. Even with a few days to prepare, it's a little disorienting to leave office culture behind, however temporarily.

    Even so, our eight staff members are on the job, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, answering emails, conducting grant panels, making phone calls, planning online workshops and developing resources for artists and arts organizations. We are constantly updating our website at ArkansasArts.org. We are working as a team to stay focused and responsive to your questions and concerns.

  • 2.  Your grant is OK.

    When schools closed across the state last week, many of our grant recipients contacted us about what to do with scheduled grant programs that could no longer be held. With the current school year preemptively ended and many recipients forced to cancel public programs, we are asking grant recipients to submit a plan for reallocation of the fund balance through our online Foundant portal on our website.

    This new reallocation plan can include publicly available online instruction or programs; development of free, web-based educational resources; or other remote curriculum developments. If you have ideas, feel free to make your case. The bottom line is: We don't want the money back. We want it in your hands, helping deliver programs as effectively as possible.

  • 3.  Don’t lose hope!

  • While it seems like the world is at a standstill, opportunities are still out there. For example, artists have until April 10 to apply for one of our Fellowships in three categories: screenwriting, theatre directing and painting (except for on paper). Also, we have Arts in Education mini-grants specifically for programs for veterans that require no matching funds and could be done online.

    Find more resources on our website at ArkansasArts.org.

  • 4.  Talk to us.

  • You are not alone. Tell us how you’re doing and what you need. Share your art, your dance, your music, your stories on our social media pages, via chat Messenger or by email. In days like these, we all need to find some beauty in creation and performance, no matter where you are sequestered.

  • 5.  We care about you.

  • The Arkansas Arts Council staff don't just serve the Arkansas arts community, we're part of it. We know many in this extended family are facing hardships and uncertainties that no one could have anticipated.

    We will do our best to share information and help our fellow artists and arts organizations. Federal, state and local relief resources also are underway. We will share online opportunities, including educational opportunities, instructional videos and resource lists for employment, unemployment, grants and calls for submission. If you know of a resource or opportunity, please let us know.

    Thank you for being part of our creative family here in Arkansas. Stay safe.


    Patrick Ralston,
    Director of the Arkansas Arts Council