Jan 23, 2023 - News

New online platform opens art opportunities for Arkansas youth

NWA Jazz All Stars. Photo: Courtesy of Walton Arts Center

Local schools and a collection of arts organizations unveiled a new tool designed to smooth the process of collaborating, Sallie Zazal, director of learning and engagement at Walton Arts Center, told Axios.

Why it matters: Local arts organizations in areas like theater and music can offer valuable arts education and enrichment opportunities for K-12 students, but personnel turnover and curriculum specifics can create challenges in working with area schools.

Details: Walton Arts Center and Creative Arkansas Community Hub and Exchange (CACHE) recently launched the Northwest Arkansas artlook, an online platform for users to see what programs are offered across schools, a directory of outside organizations, and listings of contacts at individual schools who can help connect the dots.

  • For example, actors in town for plays at Walton Arts Center can come speak to students, Zazal said. Other organizations such as TheatreSquared regularly offer children's programming that schools can tap into.

How it happened: Walton Arts Center heard other arts organizations were having trouble connecting with schools and reached out for help. A CACHE representative suggested artlook, Zazal explained.

  • The center received a grant from the Walton Family Foundation and gave $500 grants to schools that completed profiles as an incentive.
  • A spokesperson would not say how much total grant money the center received.

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