LITTLE ROCK, AR—Plans are underway to construct a visual arts center in downtown Newport, Arkansas in an effort to enhance economic development. The proposed Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Arts will provide a unique space for patrons to refine their talents and create ample opportunities for art related education. The visual arts center project is part of a larger revitalization effort that aims to stimulate Newport’s downtown district.
This is the seventh public service project completed in nearly eight years of collaboration between the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Newport Economic Development Commission (NEDC), and Downtown Revitalization and Improvement Volunteer Effort (D.R.I.V.E.). Clinton School students, Stacy Cox of Little Rock, Arkansas, Zachary Glembin of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Beau Papan of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Keith Preciados of Miami, Florida, supported this initiative by identifying resources for the $1.3 million renovation of the historic Arkansas Bank and Trust building.
This announcement comes shortly after the success of the 8th Annual Delta Visual Arts Show. This year’s show featured 181 artists from three states and 61 Arkansas communities, highlighting primarily artists who grew up in the Delta, live or have lived in the Delta, or who produce Delta themed work.
“Based on the sustained success over the last eight years, we believe that Arkansas Delta residents are yearning for a chance to participate and enjoy the arts on a year round basis,” said Jon Chadwell, Director of the NEDC. “The Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Arts will serve as a gateway for local citizens to participate in the Creative Economy and to be inspired by the works of the amazingly talented artists of our region.”
A public press conference and reception was held Monday, April 25, 2015 to share the work conducted by the Clinton School students. For more information about the conference feel free to call (870) 523-1009.