The natural state’s distinct beauty serves as inspiration to local artists. Museums and galleries throughout the state showcase their work and that of world-renowned artists, while orchestras delight listeners indoors and out with crisp, soul-stirring melodies. Performance art thrives on the stages of community theaters that feature local and national talent, and many museums and centers offer classes on a variety of mediums for children and adults. For history buffs, Arkansas’s museums showcase topics spanning the Civil War, desegregation, gangsters, the world’s largest corporation (Walmart) and famous Arkansans.

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Central Arkansas Arkansas Arts Center
501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock
501-372-4000 /
The Arkansas Arts Center features an acclaimed collection of unique works on paper, primarily European and American, from the Renaissance to the present. The galleries also feature contemporary objects in craft media, including teapots, baskets, turned wood, studio glass and more. Admission is free. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Arkansas National Guard Museum
Camp Robinson, North Little Rock
501-212-5215 /
This museum tells the story of the Arkansas National Guard, from its militia roots to its participation in the current global war on terror. Displays include large-scale models of the post in the WWI and WWII eras, weapons, vehicles, airplane models, uniforms and photographs. A free audio tour is available.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre
601 Main St., Little Rock
501-378-0405 /
The Rep presents eight Main Stage performances and several special events each season. Performances are held in a restored building in downtown Little Rock. Performances are typically Wednesday through Sunday and include a Sunday matinee. Ticket prices range from $20 to $60.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre
UCA Box 5136, Conway
501-269-4815 /
Every summer, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre produces a repertory of family-friendly professional productions at Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus. With dual missions of excellence and accessibility, the theater provides thousands of families with a one-of-a-kind theatre experience in a world-class facility.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
2417 N. Tyler St., Little Rock
501-666-1761 /
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs more than 30 concerts at Robinson Center Music Hall each year and at numerous special events, including ACXIOM SuperPops. Other ASO activities include its resident string quartets, the Quapaw Quartet, the ASO Arts Partners and the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestras.

Celebrity Attractions
300 S. Spring St., Suite 100, Little Rock
501-244-8800 /
Celebrity Attractions treats central Arkansas to Broadway shows. Part of the 2010-11 season included the largest production ever to visit the state – the three-time Tony Award-winning show “Wicked” – as well as Oprah Winfrey’s “The Color Purple” and a new production, “Aluminum.” Performances are held at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Community Theatre of Little Rock
616 Center St., Little Rock
501-410-2283 /
For more than 50 years, the Community Theatre of Little Rock has been presenting comedies, dramas and musicals. A volunteer staff is responsible for each production. Performances are presented at Woolly Fine Arts Building at the Arkansas School for the Blind. Call for current show information.

EMOBA–The Museum of Black Arkansans & Performing Arts Center
1208 S. Louisiana St., Little Rock
501-372-6093 /
EMOBA hosts changing exhibits that explore the African-American experience in Arkansas. Housed in a former church, EMOBA explores the role African Americans played in the cultural development of the state and showcases artifacts of Afro-American culture.

• Heifer Learning Center at Heifer Ranch
55 Heifer Road, Perryville
501-889-5124 /
For more than 60 years, Heifer International has pursued a mission to end hunger and poverty. At Heifer Ranch, an inspiring educational center and farm in Perryville, visitors can register for programs to delve into these global issues or take a tour and purchase unique gifts at Shop@Heifer.

• Heifer Village
1 World Ave., Little Rock
501-907-8800 /
More than 80 inspiring interactive exhibits make an experience at Heifer Village fun and educational. Tour Heifer International’s “green” world headquarters, visit the restored wetlands or enjoy a meal at Cafe@Heifer. Don’t forget the earth- and artisan-friendly gifts from Shop@Heifer. Admission is free. Visit the website for current hours and rates.

Historic Arkansas Museum
200 E. Third St., Little Rock
501-324-9351 /
History comes to life every day at the Historic Arkansas Museum in five galleries of Arkansas-made art and artifacts, including a Native American Gallery and an interactive Children’s Gallery. Block 32 of the frontier city of Little Rock includes the city’s oldest standing building, the Hinderliter Grog Shop.

Jacksonville Museum of Military History
100 Veteran’s Circle, Jacksonville
501-241-1943 /
Be reminded of the sacrifice of America’s veterans at the Jacksonville Military Museum. The museum, located on the site of the administration building of the Jacksonville Ordnance Plant during WWII, was built to ensure that the freedoms Americans enjoy are not taken for granted. It includes many special exhibits, a museum store, a media presentation and a research room.

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock
501-374-1957 /
In September 1957, Central High School became a battleground in the struggle for civil rights. Learn more about events that challenged the citizens of this nation to debate the meaning of equal rights. Listen as those who were there tell their stories, and test your knowledge of your own civil liberties.

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
503 E. Ninth St., Little Rock
501-376-4602 /
This museum interprets the state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present through artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items. It also hosts many special events throughout the year, including the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Flag Day Celebration and more.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
501 W. Ninth St., Little Rock
501-683-3593 /
This state-of-the-art facility has more than 8,000 square feet of interactive exhibit and education space. It focuses on collecting, preserving, interpreting and celebrating African-American history, culture and community in Arkansas from 1870 to the present, as well as informing and educating the public about black achievements in business, politics and the arts.

Murry’s Dinner Playhouse
6323 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock
501-562-3131 /
Murry’s Dinner Playhouse has been serving up food, fun and entertainment since 1967, offering an all-you-can-eat buffet and a full season of Broadway’s best comedies and musicals.

• Old State House Museum
300 W. Markham St., Little Rock
501-324-9685 /
Built in 1836, the Old State House was the Arkansas Capitol until 1911. This National Historic Landmark, the oldest standing capitol building west of the Mississippi River, served as the backdrop for both of President Bill Clinton’s election night victory speeches. Inside are six period rooms, exhibits on Arkansas’s first families, two legislative chambers and more. Guided tours are available daily.

Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park
4815 Arkansas Highway 161, Scott
501-961-1409 /
About 30 minutes from Little Rock, the Plantation Agriculture Museum in Scott interprets the history of cotton agriculture from 1836 to WWII through exhibits and programs. See early cultivation tools, rare cotton gins and the newly-opened seed warehouse. A variety of special events and workshops are also held throughout the year.

Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA
201 Donaghey Ave., Conway
501-450-3265 /
Since opening in 2000 with a sold-out concert by the late Ray Charles, this 1,200-seat performance hall has hosted numerous celebrities, including the Temptations, Gladys Knight, the Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, mezzo soprano Denyce Graves, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and many national and international touring companies.

The Weekend Theater
1001 W. Seventh St., Little Rock
501-374-3761 /
The Weekend Theater is located in a remodeled building in downtown Little Rock with loft apartments upstairs and a pizza joint and microbrewery across the street. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Visit website for dates and times. Ticket prices for musicals and dramas are $14-$18.

Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts
20919 Denny Road, Little Rock
501-821-7275 /
Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts is the largest park dedicated to the performing arts in the South. Wildwood features four annual festivals, all of which are centered around the arts: performing, visual, culinary, literary, horticultural, healing and more. For a complete list of Wildwood’s annual festivals and events, visit the website.

William J. Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
501-374-4242 /
The William J. Clinton Presidential Center encompasses a museum, presidential archives and educational and research facilities. The museum features an exact replica of the Oval Office and a Cabinet Room complete with multiple computer stations to create an interactive experience for each guest.

Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
602 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
501-907-0636 /
In the heart of the city, this museum provides guests with a glimpse of Arkansas’s great outdoors. Exhibits showcase the role of fish and wildlife management in the state, and the museum’s location along the Arkansas River allows visitors to see wildlife firsthand. Visitors can also explore the Arkansas River Trail, which crosses the site, as well as visit the aquariums, gift shop and theater.


Arkansas Post Museum State Park
5530 U.S. Highway 165 S., Gillett
870-548-2634 /
Explore this complex of five exhibit buildings and learn about life on, and the history of, Arkansas’s Grand Prairie and Delta. The Main House contains an audiovisual room and gift shop. The Summer Kitchen showcases domestic tools and kitchen instruments of old. The Peterson Building interprets life on the southern end of the Grand Prairie and the Delta through exhibits and artifacts on display.

Arkansas Post National Memorial
1741 Old Post Road, Gillett
870-548-2207 /
Arkansas Post became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. By 1819, the thriving Post was the largest city in the region and was selected as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory. The park contains the January 11, 1863, Arkansas Post battlefield where Union troops defeated Confederate defenders. While Fort Hindman now lies beneath the Arkansas River, there are still remnants of Confederate trenches. The battle, as well as the rest of Arkansas Post’s rich history, is interpreted at the park museum. Tour guides are available if requested in advance.

Arkansas State University Museum
110 Cooley Drive, Jonesboro
870-972-2074 /
The Arkansas State University Museum serves the academic mission of the university as a teaching museum, and provides quality programming that broadens the perceptions and aspirations of people in Northeast Arkansas and the Mississippi River Delta region. It connects people with their history, promotes tolerance, engages minds in progressive thinking and enhances the sense of community among all audiences.

• Delta Cultural Center
141 Cherry St., Helena-West Helena
870-338-4350 /
Designed to interpret and preserve the history of the Delta, this museum complex is comprised of two sites – the Depot and the Visitors Center. The Depot showcases the story of the settlement of the Delta, Mississippi River geography and the impact of the Civil War. The Visitors Center features the “Delta Sounds” music gallery, weekday live radio broadcasts of “King Biscuit Time,” art exhibits and a museum store.

The Forum Theatre
115 E. Monroe St., Jonesboro
870-935-2726 /
The Forum Theatre is home to The Foundation of Arts, the regional nonprofit arts organization that offers community theatre, arts education and outreach to the community. The theatre is also Jonesboro’s civic auditorium and hosts concerts, plays, seminars, pageants, town meetings and more.

Hampson Archeological Museum State Park
2 Lake Drive, Wilson
870-655-8622 /
This museum boasts a nationally-renowned collection of artifacts from the Nodena site, a 15-acre village that thrived between 1400 to 1650 A.D. on a stretch of the Mississippi River. It also includes a virtual museum with 3D digital artifacts and 3D visualizations of the Upper Nodena Village to show what the site might have looked like during its time of occupation.

Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center
1021 W. Cherry St., Piggott
870-598-3487 /
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center includes a barn studio where American author Ernest Hemingway composed portions of “A Farewell to Arms.” The museum also includes the home of Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, whose family was prominent in northeast Arkansas. The properties have been renovated to focus on the 1930s era.

Lakeport Plantation
601 Arkansas Highway 142, Lake Village
870-265-6031 /
There’s only one place that can give you a real glimpse of antebellum plantation life in The Natural State – Lakeport Plantation home in Lake Village. The house, built around 1859 for Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson, is the only remaining one of its kind on the Mississippi River. It is now owned and operated by Arkansas State University as a museum with guided tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Lower White River Museum State Park
2009 Main St., Des Arc
870-256-3711 /
Come learn about the importance of Arkansas’s White River as a vital source of transportation for early settlers. The museum features life-sized figures of settlers who introduce themselves via audio using dialog taken from oral history records and slave narratives. It also houses many exhibits and artifacts as well as a replica of a late 1800s dogtrot log cabin.

Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie
921 E. Fourth St., Stuttgart
870-673-7001 /
This museum showcases the history of agriculture and pioneers who farmed the Grand Prairie, waterfowlers, the history of rice milling, crop dusting and fish farming. Highlights include the lights and sounds of the “Early Morning Duck Hunt on the Grand Prairie,” a one-of-a-kind “Coat of Many Feathers,” pottery by American Indians, 500 award-winning game calls and more.

Parkin Archeological State Park
Highways 64 & 184, Parkin
870-755-2500 /
This park is the site of northeast Arkansas’s only remaining large platform mound from the American Indians between A.D. 1000 to 1550. Visitors can watch research in progress and see firsthand the results of careful excavations and laboratory analysis. The park also includes an exhibit area, auditorium, gift shop, picnic area, playground and 1910 Northern Ohio one-room schoolhouse.

Southern Tenants Farmer Museum
117 S. Main St., Tyronza
870-487-2909 /
Museum exhibits located in the historic Mitchell-East Building focus on the South’s farm labor movement and the tenant farming and sharecropping system of agriculture. These stories are told through historic photographs, artifacts related to tenant farming, oral history excerpts, 1930s news reel footage and interactive exhibits.


The Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs
626 Central Ave., Hot Springs
501-624-0489 /
The Fine Arts Center’s gallery showcases local artists’ works ranging from watercolors and pottery to oil painting and glass. The center also holds a variety of community workshops for artists.

The Gangster Museum of America
510 Central Ave., Hot Springs
501-318-1717 /
Get an account of how some of the most infamous criminals in America coexisted with the quaint population of Hot Springs. Capone, Luciano, Sigel, Maxine and the rest of the gang are waiting for you in four galleries featuring high-tech audiovisual exhibits. Visitors can also play in the antique casino.

• Garvan Woodland Gardens
550 Arkridge Road, Hot Springs
501-262-9300 /
Garvan Woodland Gardens features 210 acres of woodland gardens surrounded by almost five miles of Lake Hamilton shoreline that attracts visitors from around the world. Guided walking and golf cart tours are available throughout the year.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute
819 Central Ave., Hot Springs
501-321-4747 /
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute is the most progressive organization of its kind offering multiple collaborations of educational outreach with documentary films throughout Arkansas. The institute also hosts the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, one of the first and the oldest documentary film festivals in the world (second only to Amsterdam). In 2008, the festival had more than 1,000 film entries, 400 of them representing 90 foreign countries.

Hot Springs Music Festival
468 Prospect Ave., Hot Springs
501-623-4763 /
The Hot Springs Music Festival pairs world-class mentor musicians from major orchestras, chamber ensembles and conservatory faculties with talented pre-professional apprentices. The two groups play “side by side” in orchestral, chamber, solo recital, vocal, choral and chamber opera repertoire. For two weeks, these musicians present 20 concerts and more than 250 open rehearsals.

Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center in Fordyce Bathhouse
369 Central Ave., Hot Springs
501-620-6701 /
Fordyce Bathhouse offers 24 refurbished rooms to tour, a park orientation movie, exhibits and park maps. Guests can still see the Fordyce Spring and the original Otis elevator mechanism. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Mena Depot Center
524 Sherwood Ave., Mena
479-394-2912 /
This restored train depot now serves as a museum highlighting the history of Mena and the surrounding area. The depot, restored in 1987, is home to a 1939 Dodge police car, artwork and memorabilia.

Mid-America Science Museum
500 Mid America Blvd., Hot Springs
501-767-3461 /
Mid-America Science Museum is Arkansas’s largest hands-on science center featuring more than 100 exciting exhibits exploring life, matter, energy and perception. Visitors are invited to wander their nature trail, explore a gigantic indoor cave, take a thrill ride on the Virtual Reality Simulator, dig into the distant past for dinosaurs and build tall and unique structures with KEVA Planks.


Arkansas Air Museum
4290 S. School St., Fayetteville
479-521-4947 /
Housed in the former headquarters for one of the nation’s aviator training posts during WWII, the Arkansas Air Museum displays exhibits that range from the golden age of aviation to the jet age. Among the exhibits are racing planes, an early jetliner, Vietnam-era Army helicopters and a Navy carrier fighter.

Arts Center of the Ozarks
214 S. Main St., Springdale
479-751-5441 /
The Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale offers a full year of productions, from musicals and dramas to art exhibitions and concerts. Classes are also available for children and adults.

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
4703 N. Crossover Road, Fayetteville
479-750-2620 /
Located on 86 acres adjoining Lake Fayetteville, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks includes the Carl A. Totemeier Horticulture Center, a plaza and great lawn and a greenhouse. There are also nine themed gardens, including a children’s garden, an herb and vegetable garden, a Japanese garden, an Ozark garden and more.

Opera in the Ozarks
16311 Highway 62 W., Eureka Springs
479-253-8595 /
Opera in the Ozarks has been called one of the top five opera festivals in the world. Each June and July it mounts more than 25 performances featuring fabulous young artists. Festival alumni sing in all the leading opera houses.

Ozark Folk Center State Park
1032 Park Ave., Mountain View
870-269-3851 /
The Ozark Folk Center of Mountain View is America’s only facility that works to share the heritage and way of life of the Ozark Mountain people. It’s lively, it’s entertaining, and it makes learning about Ozark history and heritage fun.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
506 E. Douglas St., Prairie Grove
479-846-2990 /
The site of the last major Civil War engagement in northwest Arkansas is protected by the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. Visitors can walk along the ridge and in the valley where the heaviest fighting took place, take the one-mile Battlefield Trail, travel the five-mile driving tour, visit the Battlefield Museum and tour the historic structures. The park also hosts Arkansas’s largest battle re-enactment biennially.

Rogers Little Theater
116 S. Second St., Rogers
479-631-8988 /
Housed in the historic Victory Theater, Rogers Little Theater features main stage performances, concerts, children’s productions, special events and more.

Sager Creek Arts Center
301 E. Twin Springs, Siloam Springs
479-524-4000 /
This center stages numerous community theater productions, including musicals and dinner theater shows. Art exhibitions, workshops and concerts are also offered.

Symphony of Northwest Arkansas
605 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville
479-521-4166 /
The orchestra produces a series of masterworks, pops and family concerts presented between October and May in Baum Walker Hall at the Walton Arts Center and Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. Tickets are available from the Walton Arts Center box office at 479-443-5600.

University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery
116 Fine Arts Center, Fayetteville
479-575-7987 /
The University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery features art exhibitions by national, regional, local and student artists throughout the school year.

Walmart Visitors Center
105 N. Main St., Bentonville
479-273-1329 /
The Walmart Visitors Center, a red and white building on the square in Bentonville, features exhibits that trace the formation and growth of Walmart stores. The center is located on the spot of Sam Walton’s first variety store. Exhibits include Walton’s truck and an exact model of his office.

Walton Arts Center
495 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville
479-443-5600 /
Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’s largest and busiest center for the performing arts and entertainment. Each year more than 140,000 people enjoy Broadway musicals, dance, jazz, world music, children’s and family programming and more. A nonprofit arts organization, Walton Arts Center also serves more than 20,000 students and teachers from 30 school districts through arts learning programs.


Arkansas River Valley Arts Center
1001 E. B St., Russellville
479-968-2452 /
The Arkansas River Valley Arts Center offers art exhibitions, educational programs and concerts. The center also sponsors artistic and cultural events throughout the area.

Center for Art & Education
104 N. 13th St., Van Buren
479-474-7767 /
Housed in the historic St. Michael’s Catholic Church, the Center for Art & Education offers a wide range of educational programs. Tours, lectures, gallery talks and hands-on class activities for children and adults help create a deeper appreciation of the visual arts. A program schedule is available online.

Fort Smith Little Theatre
401 N. Sixth St., Fort Smith
479-783-2966 /
Bringing live theater to western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma since 1947, the Fort Smith Little Theatre is known as “Arkansas’s oldest continuously operating community theatre.” Seasonal and special performances are available throughout the year.

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
701 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith
479-784-2787 /
The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum – formerly the Fort Smith Art Center – was housed in the Vaughn-Schaap House at 423 N. Sixth St. for four decades. The beautiful home is one of the few remaining examples of Victorian Second Empire architecture in Fort Smith, and it is the first home in the Belle Grove District to be fully restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. RAM’s interim exhibition space is located at 701 Rogers Avenue, near the Fort Smith Museum of History, the Trolley Museum and the future home of the U.S. Marshals Museum.


Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame
1 Convention Center Plaza, Pine Bluff
870-536-7600 /
Trace the careers of some of Arkansas’s best-known performers at the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. Memorabilia includes items owned by Al Green, Levon Helm, Billy Bob Thornton, Jerry Van Dyke, Ronnie Dunn, Gil Gerard and other famous Arkansans.

Arkansas Railroad Museum
1700 Port Road, Pine Bluff
870-535-8819 /
This museum features Engine 819, a mighty locomotive built in 1942 that ruled the railways for a dozen years before being replaced by diesel locomotives. Engine 819, along with Engine 336, is now on display at its birthplace.

Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
701 Main St., Pine Bluff
870-536-3375 /
This 22,000-square-foot facility offers three art galleries, a science gallery, a theater and a studio classroom.

Historic Perot Theatre
219 Main St., Texarkana
903-792-4992 /
Opened in 1924, the theatre was fully restored to Italian Renaissance opulence in 1981 with assistance from native son H. Ross Perot and sister Bette. The theatre hosts world-class performing artists, Tony Award-winning Broadway theater, symphony orchestras, music from the hottest musicians, dances from Moscow ballets and more.

Historic Washington State Park
100 S.W. Morrison St., Washington
870-983-2684 /
Washington is home to more than 30 restored historic structures, including examples of Southern Greek Revival and Federal architecture, Gothic Revival, Italianate and more. As a National Historical Landmark, a National Register of Historic Places site and an Arkansas State Park, this town also includes collections of antiques, guns and knives, guides in period attire and a surrey to ride around town.

President Bill Clinton’s First Home Museum & Exhibit Center
117 S. Hervey St., Hope
870-777-4455 /
Guests can visit President Bill Clinton’s first home, which is now a National Historic Site restored to depict Clinton’s life as a child. The Museum Store offers some of his recommended reading, memorabilia and crafts from around the world from Clinton’s Global Initiative and Fair Trade Federation. An archive including personal papers and ephemera from local individuals concerning their work with or reminiscences about Clinton and his childhood family is also underway.

South Arkansas Arts Center
110 E. Fifth St., El Dorado
870-862-5474 /
The South Arkansas Arts Center houses a 206-seat auditorium, three visual arts galleries and more. Classes are provided for children and adults in visual arts, photography, drama, ballet and music. Touring shows and community plays are performed each year.

Texarkana Regional Arts Center
321 W. Fourth St., Texarkana
903-792-8681 /
Celebrating 102 years, this adaptively restored center features vaulted arches, marble floors, a stunning Great Hall, and a brass and copper cage elevator. Twelve months of national touring exhibits plus local and regional works of art are also housed here.