The Hope Kiwanis Club recently heard from Southwest Arkansas Arts Council Executive Director Jennifer Block.  Block started her program talking about the arts council’s “Arts In Education” program.  She noted this program involves contracting with professional artists and underwriting specialized programs for students in the public schools.  The arts council is also offering a monthly arts class for Hope students.

The arts council maintains the “arts park” located in the parking lot behind tailgaters.  She noted they have expanded to providing art on and around the storm drains.  Block says they are also working with the Hope Downtown Network to put up a new mural adjacent to the pocket park.

Open studio days are offered a couple of times a month where artists can bring their projects into the arts station and work on them there.  Block said they are also working on barn quilts to help get Hope on the Arkansas Quilt Trail.  These artworks are not really quilts but quilt-like artwork that can be mounted and exhibited.

Block said the arts council currently has an exhibit by local artist Dr. David Stewart.  This exhibit will be in place through May 19th.  The public can stop by on weekdays from 10am until 4pm to see Dr. Stewart’s exhibit.

Plans are also underway for the arts council to offer a podcast.  Block said the college will be helping with that and plans are to “drop” the first episode this winter.   There are also plans for a lecture series on art for the college.

The arts council has had an NEA grant to work on some drama projects for 4th graders in the Hope Public Schools.  SWAAC is also planning to have their “Star Academy”, their drama camp, this summer.

The arts council just finished their youth art show with home schoolers and artists from five different school districts.

Plans are for a photography exhibit and “pop” artist exhibit later in the year.

If you’d like to learn more about the arts council or would like to join, phone the arts council at 777-8200.