Scott Whiteley Carter

Little Rock


Orchestra musicians set up in the street and performing

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra plays on the new Main Street Creative Corridor during the September 2015 ACANSA Arts Festival. Photo by Scott Whiteley Carter

Because of the NEA's support of emerging arts organizations in the 1960s and 1970s, I grew up in Little Rock with the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, Arkansas Repertory Theatre and many other cultural opportunities I would not have otherwise had.

While the desire for cultural opportunities had been present in Little Rock since it was founded, the NEA provided extra funds and expertise that helped make these long-held dreams into realities. As new programs have been created by the NEA, even more organizations and artists have benefited from NEA support.

This month alone, the Main Street Creative Corridor celebrated its opening. The realization of this dream, which is revitalizing a long-neglected area of downtown, would not have been possible without the NEA. At the same time, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presented MACBETH to thousands of schoolchildren because of an NEA program.

Because of the NEA, and its partnership with the Arkansas Arts Council, the arts are thriving in Little Rock and in Arkansas!

Happy 50th Birthday! Here's to another 50!