When I moved to Arkansas eight years ago, I had no idea what was in store for me. I came here for the University of Arkansas—and for the trees. Back in my hometown in (dare I say) the Lone Star State, it was hard to find a sense of community unless you were into competitive sports, and I, if you can believe it, was not. I longed to be somewhere I could fit in and feel a sense of belonging before I graduated and launched into my next adventure.
Well, the Natural State really does wrap itself around you. Little did I know, my next adventure would begin right here, after picking up a copy of The Idle Class one fateful day. I harp on about feeling a sense of community in every editor’s note, but how could I not? Arkansas wouldn’t be what it is without its state pride, creative energy and wonderful folklore that floats through the air, whispering history into our ears as we float the Buffalo River, hike through Petit Jean State Park, or picnic on Old Main Lawn.
Arkansas has an amazing, growing creative economy that draws people back once they’ve left. As the longest-running arts magazine in the state, we’re excited to showcase some of the notable folks who are leaving a legacy on the creative life in Arkansas, whether that’s through culinary arts as a barbecue pitmaster or across the radio waves as the Voice of the Ozarks.
To highlight even more of our state’s wonder, we’ve got a special section from Arkansas Soul, a digital media platform and nonprofit organization that promotes the heart, soul and culture of Arkansas’s BIPOC community. We’ll read about the Latino Art Project, a group based in Central Arkansas that promotes Hispanic artists around the state; Arkansas Atoll, a podcast that highlights the rich history of Northwest Arkansas’s Marshallese community; and a personal essay by Summer Wilkie, an Indigenous writer, that calls out the hindrances she has found with Native American land acknowledgements.
I’m thrilled to have Dana Holroyd back as our designer for this issue. I started my editorial journey with this superstar three years ago, and it feels pretty great to collaborate again. And here’s to Kody starting this magazine almost a decade ago—he might not admit it, but he has definitely been building his own legacy in Arkansas’s art world, and I feel lucky to be a part of it.
This is the third Legacy Issue in The Idle Class’s lifetime, and like its predecessors, this issue covers only a fraction of the greatness in our state—even with 64 pages. I guess we’ll have to keep doing this!
Here’s to you. Here’s to our community. Here’s to celebrating legacies in Arkansas arts!
Your friendly neighborhood editor,
Julia M. Trupp