Arkansas Arts Center awarded federal IMLS grant

$203,000 grant will support care of Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection works

The Arkansas Arts Center was awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support the stewardship of the Arkansas Arts Center’s 14,000 works of international art.

“This grant will help the Arkansas Arts Center improve the longevity of its collection so it can continue to support education, engagement and enrichment of Arkansans well into the future,” U.S. Senator John Boozman said. “IMLS receives numerous applications for this competitive grant program, and I am proud of this Arkansas organization for its efforts to better serve the community.”

Through the redevelopment of behind-the-scenes collections systems, this grant will allow the Arkansas Arts Center to improve all aspects of its work, from exhibitions and educational programs to studio classes and community engagement. With richer interpretation capabilities and improved exhibition development capacity, the Arts Center will be better situated to create innovative and engaging arts experiences for visitors to its new building, scheduled to open in 2022.

With the support of the IMLS grant, the Arkansas Arts Center will also improve accuracy in identification and organization of the collection, collections research processes, and systems for loaning artworks. It will also allow for the rehousing of artworks using acid-free materials in line with best practices for collections preservation.

“This grant allows us to accomplish behind-the-scenes collection development work that is absolutely critical during this time before we move into the new Arkansas Arts Center,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “A remarkable collection of art is entrusted to our care, and it is our responsibility to ensure that it is available for the enjoyment of our community now and for generations to come.”

The Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection includes more than 14,000 works of international art, with particular specialties in drawing and contemporary craft. The collection has grown over the years – and will continue to grow – through strategic purchases of artworks as well as generous gifts from Arkansans as well as collectors and estates around the world.

The Arkansas Arts Center’s project is one of 109 grants awarded by Museums for America, the IMLS’s largest discretionary grant program for museums. Museums for America supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by: Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.