Arkansas Symphony Gets A New Home in Little Rock's East Village
The new Stella Boyle Smith Center will serve as a home for the orchestra's education program, as well as for the wider community
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra recently broke ground at its new home, the Stella Boyle Smith Music Center. Located in Little Rock's East Village, the $11.75m project will yield a 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art music facility, which will open in September 2024.
As well as hosting the Arkansas Symphony, the venue will be a music hub for the community more broadly, and will host music education initiatives, community music-making, a recording studio, and broadcasting facilities.
The space will also facilitate collaborations with local institutions such as the Saint Mark Baptist Church, William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum, and Lyon College.
The project has been brought to fruition using almost exclusively donations, with years of community fundraising required to find the requisite amount of money. More than 200 donors from the community have made contributions, with 48 of those being musicians.
"Our new music center represents a defining moment for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and for the state,”" said Brigita Gardner, the chair of ASO’s Crescendo Committee. "Countless individuals in the community have dedicated their time, effort and passion to raise funds and meticulously plan for how this center can be accessible to all and a source of joy. We embrace the promise of this landmark home as it enriches the arts in our community and serves Arkansans for many generations to come."
"This new music center will offer so many opportunities for the many diverse needs of Arkansans — creating beautiful spaces to learn, teach, work, play, listen and have fun," said Jan Hundley, the chair of the ASO's Board of Directors.
"The realization of this dream has been made possible by the generous contributions of countless donors and the community's unwavering support. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our supporters, who tirelessly advocate for music and music education across the state, making this center a reality and fostering a brighter future for all."