The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) announces its grand opening season of programs and events. The inaugural Artist Talk on the museum’s exhibition Together, will have artists LaToya Hobbs, Dario Robleto and Alison Elizabeth Taylor as speakers. With programming spanning theatre, dance, film, musical performances and youth-centered events, guests can expect offerings for everyone.
The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts opens on April 22, 2023.
Inaugural celebrations, events and classes
- Windgate Art School registration, opens February 13: Sign-up begins for classes in drawing, painting, ceramics, glass, metals, woodworking, printmaking and more at the new 11,000-square-foot Windgate Art School, which has offerings for students of all ages and skillsets. In addition to 3-week, 5-week and 10-week classes for adults in a variety of media, Art for Two — a new series of single-evening workshops for adults and one guest — presents exciting learning opportunities during an enjoyable evening out.
- New Works by Ballet Arkansas, May 4 and 6: AMFA’s partner company-in-residence presents an intimate program featuring five world premieres inspired by the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection. The performances will be followed by a Q&A with the choreographers.
- Iris DeMent, May 25: The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter will take the stage at AMFA for an evening of unforgettable music.
- Artist Talk: LaToya Hobbs, Dario Robleto and Alison Elizabeth Taylor, In Conversation on AMFA’s Exhibition Together, June 1: This event presents a special opportunity to hear nationally recognized artists and curators speak about their practice.
- Delta Voices, July 13: This event will feature curators from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Philbrook Museum of Art in conversation with emerging artists from the Mid-South region. Delta Voices seeks to heighten the visibility of emerging artists from the region, reflect shifts in the cultural landscape, and amplify creative voices at the forefront of contemporary art.
- Filmland, October 4-8: The Arkansas Cinema Society, AMFA’s partner company-in-residence, will hold its annual five-day celebration of cinema at the museum, as well as other programming to be announced.
- Open houses in the Windgate Art School will be held throughout May and June; visitors can meet faculty and see demonstrations of the diverse media presented in the class offerings at AMFA.
- Tours of the museum will occur each weekend and on Wednesdays, guiding visitors through the new architecture, exhibitions, and grounds — with the connections between them highlighted in unexpected and inspiring ways.
- Wednesday Spins: Guests can experience a night of art, music and drinks, then kick back with happy hour specials and a DJ’s live set, or take a spin around the museum for an evening tour.
Fun offerings for youth and families
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, May 8 – 28: The stage production of Eric Carle’s colorful classics will delight audiences at AMFA’s Performing Arts Theater.
- Young Arkansas Artists Family Afternoon, May 20: With family-focused museum tours, Flurffy + Friends, artmaking activities and more, fun is guaranteed. Tickets to The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show may also be reserved for this day.
- Teen Takeover, June 3: Organized by AMFA’s Teen Advisory Board, this dynamic evening of programming includes workshops in both the visual and performing arts for teens across Arkansas.
- Junior Arts Academy, June 12-23: This two-week immersive arts and theatre-based summer program for rising 1st-4th graders will give elementary students the tools to explore their creativity.
- The Youth Studio Series begins June 26: This wide range of visual and performing arts classes for rising 1st-12th graders will be offered during summer and after-school sessions over the 2023-24 academic year.
- Sparking Dialogue, July 22: This program presents socially relevant theatrical experiences for family audiences; A Beautiful Day by Candrice Jones will serve as a catalyst for profound, yet approachable discussions of current social issues.
- Flurffy + Friends: A pop-up performance featuring puppetry and art will delight visitors with music, storytelling and activities throughout the galleries and grounds each weekend.
- ArtStart: A free program that pairs children’s books with art and sensory activities gives young patrons a way to playfully explore the museum.
Engaging programming for students and educators
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show: Tickets and tours for school groups may be reserved online.
- The 62nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition Awards Ceremony, May 20: The museum welcomes art educators, students and their families to an awards ceremony in celebration of the 62nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition. Presented by grand juror Brian Young, the ceremony will highlight all student works in this year’s online exhibition with award winners announced.
- The Back-to-School Event for Educators, August 9: A night of enriching programming and speakers supports teachers and their curriculum. Educators who attend this event are eligible to receive two hours of ADE credited professional development.