Arkansas Arts Center creates connections in time of social distancing

While the Arkansas Arts Center’s in-person programs are postponed, the center is offering creative and engaging arts experiences where many Central Arkansas residents are now spending the majority of their time – online.

Last week, the Arkansas Arts Center launched Arkansas Arts Center Amplified, a new Facebook group featuring artist demonstrations, highlights of artworks from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Children’s Theatre performances and episodes of “Our Work Continues,” an original web series developed by the center.

Digital engagement provides community arts experiences
Digital engagement provides community arts experiences

Museum School instructors have filmed videos from their homes offering step-by-step art projects, prompts and artist demonstrations, and hashtags are being used by museums across the country and the world offer opportunities to share art. #MuseumMomentsofZen focuses on calming artworks and #MuseumfromHome offers an opportunity to share favorite Arkansas Arts Center Collection works.

For many parents navigating working from home with young children, the center offers online performances and art activities utilizing commonly found items.

The Children’s Theatre, unable to continue its touring shows during this time, hosted a Facebook Watch Party of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod: A Play for the Very Young on Saturday. The Watch Party was followed by a live-stream Q&A with Interim Artistic Director Katie Campbell and an at-home art activity led by Museum School Associate Director Miranda Young. Both videos are available for viewing in the new Facebook group.

The Arts Center has also donated gloves, masks and respirators from exhibition and Museum School supplies to local hospitals to aid and protect our local healthcare professionals, including providing 800 particulate masks and 900 gloves to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Additionally, Museum School and Children’s Theatre staff have been utilizing fabric supplies and sewing masks at home to provide to the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

Arkansas Arts Center Amplified will continue to offer engaging arts experiences online while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities recommend social distancing. Following guidance from the City of Little Rock and public health officials, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale location is closed until further notice. The center will continue to provide updates about future programming in the coming weeks.

During this time, construction on the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center in MacArthur Park continues with additional health and safety precautions in place to ensure the safety of those working on site. Increased precautions include additional hand-washing stations and OSHA trainings, social distancing and increased shifts, with fewer workers on site at any given time. The renovated Arkansas Arts Center is scheduled to reopen in 2022.