ArtLinks Agenda


Conference Registration
Robinson Conference Center
426 West Markham Street - Corner of Broadway and Markham
Little Rock
8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

Bringing New Life to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Robinson Auditorium
9:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Hear how the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra adopted a new business model at the same time the Robinson Auditorium was in the process of being renovated. Christina Littlejohn, CEO of the ASO, Martin Thoma, former ASO board president, and Jim Rice, senior vice president and COO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, will speak on the bright future for both.

Funding the Arts in Arkansas
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Patrick Ralston, executive director of the Arkansas Arts Council, will provide a primer on the key players funding the arts in Arkansas — from the National Endowment for the Arts, to the Arkansas General Assembly, to private foundations and ordinary citizens. Ralston will draw upon his years as a legislative analyst to explain how supporters of the arts can make their voices heard in the Arkansas Capitol and in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

The Economic Impact of the Arts
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the arts workforce is an important economic driver nationally and in Arkansas. Ryan Stubbs, research director for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, will discuss the importance of measuring the economic value of the arts in Arkansas, and will share state and national data that put the economic impact of the arts in context.

Lunch followed by Hands-On Activity or Field Trip
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Enjoy your boxed lunch and then choose your own adventure: a hands-on activity led by Little Rock artist Virmarie DePoyster, a guided tour of the Old State House Museum, or a walking tour of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.

Building an Arts District
1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Celebrate El Dorado’s plan to transform a group of historic downtown structures into a legacy of architecture and culture. Austin Barrow, president and COO of El Dorado Festival and Events, Inc. (EFEI), and Terry Stewart, CEO of EFEI, will share the story of this exciting revitalization effort.

A Better Arts Experience for All
3:00 - 4 p.m.
Learn about the different ways to promote inclusion for all through universal design concepts. Christina Shutt, director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and Jennifer Moore, department chair of the Doyne Health Science Center at the University of Central Arkansas, will discuss issues and accommodations for individuals experiencing visual, hearing, or the “hidden” disabilities that impact cognition and sensory processing.

Tour of the Robinson Performance Hall
4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
Tour the newly renovated 2,214-seat theater and backstage area of Robinson Center. The redesigned back-of-house features four large chorus rooms, four private dressing rooms, and a performer’s lounge.

ArtLinks Reception and Presentation of Individual Artist Fellowship Awards
Historic Arkansas Museum
200 E. Third Street, Little Rock
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Mix and mingle with the artists who are receiving Individual Artist Fellowship awards for their work in contemporary craft, cinematic arts, and creative nonfiction writing and celebrate their artistic achievements at the awards presentation.


Connecting with Older Audience Members
9:00 - 10:30 a.m
Gary Glazner, award-winning New York based poet and founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, shares simple techniques to better connect with an aging population. His methods are useful with all audiences and transferable to working with disability communities.

Cultural Equity and the Social Impact of the Arts: Keynote Address
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Clayton Lord, vice president of Local Arts Advancement for Americans for the Arts and the leader of the New Community Visions Initiative, will lead the keynote address.The arts have the potential to make every community healthier, more vibrant, and more equitable, because the arts make transformation possible in almost every aspect of a community, from education to health to public safety. In this keynote, Americans for the Arts' Clayton Lord speaks about the importance of creating more equitable access to the arts in all communities, and of ensuring that the transformative opportunities of the arts are supported for all. This involves recognizing the importance of equity and diversity among the participants, honing your skills at listening, partnership, and shared investment and engagement, and communicating the social, cultural, and economic impact of the arts in all aspects of civic life.

Lunch in Argenta Arts District
Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
201 East Broadway Street, North Little Rock
12:00 – 12:45 p.m.
Experience downtown Argenta for a casual lunch at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. Participants will provide their own transportation.

Tour of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Explore the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, Arkansas’s only maker’s space with everything needed to build a product or create a project or business. The Hub provides tools, technology, and equipment, including a digital studio, carpentry shop, metal shop, design studio, and more.

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