The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is gearing up for a two-night virtual fundraising event featuring some of the area’s brightest talents. “Heart for the Arts: ASC Telethon 2020” will livestream from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov. 14, on ASC’s website and social media.

“Heart for the Arts” will feature performances from musicians, dancers, ASC volunteers and more. This program will blend the best nostalgic elements from television events like the Jerry Lewis telethon with modern virtual fundraisers of today. The goal is to raise funds in support of ASC’s programming.

“Museums and arts and culture organizations across the nation have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic,” said ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller. “It has created great challenges, but the pandemic has also motivated innovation among cultural institutions. The ‘Heart for the Arts’ virtual telethon is a fundraiser, however, it is also a love letter to our community; a showcase of the great talent and perseverance that prevails throughout the region.”

ASC is working with the Department of Multimedia Communication at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to execute this first-time event.

“We are very excited and feel quite fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with UAPB’s Multimedia Communication Department on this 21st-century take on the classic telethon,” Miller said. “Everyone could use a little razzmatazz right now!”

Veteran ASC emcee Matt Soto will host the event. Performers scheduled include: Damen Tolbert, saxophonist and UAPB instructor; Dr. Richard Bailey, trumpet player and chair of UAPB’s music department; a musical performance by White Hall Elementary School teachers; The Boys (a singing group featuring Soto, Ben Trevino and Joel Anderson); dancers from Mrs. Tana’s Dance Factory in White Hall; and ASC performing arts volunteers, including Celeste Alexander, Ryan Allen, Christian Feazell, Angelica Glass, Tiffany Lowery, Eleanor Pearl and Kasey Rowland.

This event will also include video tours of ASC’s new The ARTSpace and ARTworks on Main facilities, testimonials from community members, and the launch of ASC’s virtual art auction.

ASC Theater Education Coordinator Lindsey Collins, who directed the Center’s recent theatrical productions, is organizing and directing “Heart for the Arts.” She said, “This is sure to be a fun and exciting way to bring attention to the arts in Southeast Arkansas, while raising funds for our wonderful programming.”

Supporters will be able to call into a live phone bank to make donations. There will also be a link on all social media platforms to easily make a donation online.

ARTWORKS! Virtual Art Auction

ASC’s art auction will kick off during the “Heart for the Arts” telethon. ARTWORKS! Virtual Art Auction will be open to bidders from Friday, Nov. 13, until Sunday, Nov. 22.

This year’s auction is completely online and open to all. Normally, the auction is held in conjunction with ASC’s biennial fundraising gala. Due to social distancing guidelines, ASC is unable to host a more traditional event this year.

“Although there is nothing more exciting than a live, in-person art auction, ASC cannot wait to launch the virtual ARTWORKS! art auction, a companion event of the ‘Heart for the Arts’ telethon,” Miller said.

The public will also have an opportunity to view the artwork in person while taking a sneak peek at the community gallery in ASC’s new facility The ARTSpace on Main, (623 S. Main St.). The gallery will be open during limited hours Nov. 11-13, and Nov. 17-21.

Bidders can choose pieces by artists including Nancy Abernathy, Dustyn Bork, Cathy Burns, Carly Dahl, Kristin DeGeorge, Karen DeJarnette, Scinthya Edwards, Eric Freeman, John Good, James Hayes, Rita Henry, Rachel Carty Koopes, John Kushmaul and Sherry L. Williamson.

“The majority of the artists hail from Jefferson County and/or Southeast Arkansas. ASC is so grateful for all of the participating artists. The diverse styles and mediums are stunning,” she continued. “Even better — the public will have the opportunity to view the artwork in person while taking a small sneak peek at ASC’s new community gallery in The ARTSpace on Main.”

All proceeds from the auction benefit the Arts & Science Center’s education outreach programming and community projects The ARTSpace on Main and The ARTworks on Main (opening in 2021).

Details about the telethon and the art auction are available at or by calling 870-536-3375.

About ASC

The Arts & Science Center, 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gallery admission is free. Support for ASC is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission. ASC is a member of the Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery. For more information and to sign up for upcoming event announcements, visit

Image by John Kushmaul