Impacting the Next Generation Through Arts Education

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, September 11, 2017 – More than 25 years ago, Walton Arts Center brought a love of the arts to Northwest Arkansas that has changed its cultural landscape forever.

In addition to being a world-class performing arts center, Walton Arts Center has also grown into a premiere arts educational facility, affecting the lives of more than 45,500 students and teachers in Northwest Arkansas annually.

“Our goal is that every child in Northwest Arkansas will have access to the arts,” said Laura Goodwin, Vice President of Learning and Engagement at Walton Arts Center.

Whether a field trip to the arts center, an artist-led workshop in their classroom, or training teachers in how to integrate arts in the classroom, students benefit from having the arts as part of their school experience.

“Art taps into what makes us human… through the arts we can help a literacy teacher learn to use drama in a way that helps kids become better readers. Or we can teach a science teacher how to use movement and dance to help kids gain a better understanding of science concepts like water cycles,” Goodwin said.

The Colgate Classroom Series offers live matinee performances of a variety of art forms to school groups. These low cost or free performances provide opportunities for young people to explore world cultures, make connections to important works of literature, wrestle with a variety of viewpoints and learn more about various art forms.

Stage to Studio participating schools also receive performance tickets, learning opportunities, lunch and bussing at no additional cost. Schools that qualify for the program serve student populations where more than 60% receive free and reduced lunches. In most cases, the performances that these students experience at are the same ones featured in the public series.

Arts with Education Institute prepares teachers to use the arts in their classroom to make teaching across the curriculum more engaging and effective. For every year that these teachers participate in the program and include arts integration in their curriculum, more than 1,200 students benefit. SmART residencies, year-long professional development residencies, are also available for teachers that include arts in their curriculum.

Walton Arts Center’s Corporate Leadership Council (CLC), comprised of business leaders who share a passion for Walton Arts Center’s education and outreach programs, recognized that cost is a major barrier schools face when it comes to participating in arts education programs.

The CLC established Masquerade Ball in February and AMP Fest in October as annual fundraising events to directly benefit arts education initiatives.

With the help of the CLC and funds raised from these two events, Walton Arts Center is able to create a space for all students to have access to the same opportunities—a chance to see the beautiful things in life and see themselves and the world differently through the arts.

Tickets are currently on sale for AMP Fest on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 4-9 pm for $45 and include a collectable glass for beer sampling and access to all activation experiences. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Walmart AMP Box Office in Rogers, Walton Arts Center Box Office in Fayetteville, by calling 479.443.5600 or visiting

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 195,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 400 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 45,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 200 volunteers donate 21,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 45% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit