Walton Arts Center Announces New Board Members, Officers

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, September 15, 2020 – Mervin Jebaraj, Charles F. Robinson and Laura Jacobs have joined the Walton Arts Center Board of Directors.

Jebaraj has served as director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas since 2017. He joins the board on appointment from the city of Fayetteville.

Robinson is the vice chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Arkansas, a position he has held since 2016. He joins the board on appointment from the University of Arkansas.

Jacobs is chief of staff for chancellor Joseph Steinmetz and associate vice chancellor for the University of Arkansas. She joins the board on appointment from the university.

Two members were reappointed to the board: Casey Hamaker, representing the city of Fayetteville, and Matt Trantham, representing the University of Arkansas.

With the addition of new board members also comes a change in board leadership. Anne O’Leary-Kelly was named board chair, replacing Mike Johnson who has served on the board for nine years. Hamaker will continue to serve as secretary and treasurer. The vice chairs are Mark Henneberger, Barbara Taylor, Marti Sudduth and Nate Hodne.

The board also formalized a standing committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. Co-chaired by Anne O'Leary-Kelly and Lia Uribe, the new committee is comprised of Hamaker, Tony Waller, Jody Dilday, Marti Sudduth and Cal Rose. This board committee will complement and coordinate with the existing staff DEI Committee to further Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Walton Arts Center.  

Support for Walton Arts Center is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 215,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 300 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 250 volunteers donate 28,000 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 enjoy world-class performances at a great price. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.