2019 - Billie Jo Starr

2019 - Billie Jo Starr


Billie Jo Starr was born in Oklahoma. She moved with her family to Fayetteville, where she attended elementary and secondary schools before graduating from the University of Arkansas. She has been active in community and educational causes in Northwest Arkansas and statewide. She served as regional fundraising chairwoman for the Walton Arts Center and joined forces with Helen R. Walton to secure funding to complete the $19 million performing and visual arts center. The center now is celebrating its 27th anniversary. Billie was honored with the Walton Art Center’s Helen R. Walton Award. She served as executive director of the North Arkansas Symphony (now Symphony of North Arkansas) and was a member of the board of directors for the Walton Arts Center Foundation. She chaired the Board of Directors of the Walton Arts Center for two terms. She now serves as president of the Starr Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to arts and education. Billie is a proud grandmother and great-grandmother. She said one of her most rewarding accomplishments is the sight of school buses parked at the Walton Arts Center. Those buses bring children from Fayetteville and surrounding area schools to performances and educational programs. Billie says, “Our family wants every child to have the opportunity to participate and enjoy the arts." Her philosophy is that children are the future and cultivating an appreciation for arts in children ensures that the arts will continue to enrich the world.


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