The Division of Arkansas Heritage has awarded grants to five Arkansas communities to assist in the installation of public art. To be eligible for the grants, communities must be a member of the Main Street Arkansas program, administered by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of Arkansas Heritage. The Public Art Grants assist Main Street and Downtown Network communities in enhancing the appearance of their environment by facilitating the collaborations necessary to build and strengthen an awareness and enjoyment of public art. The grants are funded by the 1/8 cent conservation tax (Amendment 75).

The grants were awarded to:

  • 64.6 Downtown, Fort Smith (Sebastian County), in the amount of $10,000 for its art installation entitled “Notes to Strangers.”
  • Main Street Siloam Springs (Benton County), in the amount of $10,000 for “Its History and the People That Make It,” a mural.
  • Main Street West Memphis (Crittenden County), in the amount of $5,000 for its “Musical Heritage” outdoor mural.
  • Conway Downtown Partnership (Faulkner County), in the amount of $10,000 for the art installation “Whimsical Toad.”
  • Main Street Batesville (Independence County), in the amount of $5,000 for the mural “Blossoming Main Street.”

Photo: Pictured left to right, Jimmy Bryant, director, Division of Arkansas Heritage, and Talicia Richardson, representing 64.6 Ft. Smith

The Public Art Grant Program assists communities that participate in the Main Street Arkansas program in the planning and implementation (including purchasing and commissioning works of art) of public art for places viewable by the public within the Main Street district and on gateways to Main Street districts. Projects must be new, site specific and public art, not memorial statues or works of religious nature. The artworks can include, but are not limited to, murals and tile work, paintings and drawings (of permanent nature), and sculpture. The artwork must be freely visible and accessible to the public for at least two years. After installation of public art, applicant will be required to coordinate an unveiling event with Main Street Arkansas.

Main Street Arkansas is a program within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), an agency of Arkansas Heritage. AHPP is responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other divisions are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives. Arkansas Heritage is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.