Murphy Foundation pledges $5 million to arts in El Dorado | Rock Candy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Murphy Foundation pledges $5 million to arts in El Dorado

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Architects rendering of the renovation of the Rialto
  • Architect's rendering of the renovation of the Rialto

The Murphy Foundation of El Dorado has committed $5 million to a non-profit's ambitious plan to create a performing arts venue that will stage more than 250 performances at the renovated Rialto Theatre.

The El Dorado Festival and Events Inc. plans to collaborate with the Southern Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Southern Arkansas Arts Center (SAAC) for programming and revamp the Rialto for the Southern Theatre Festival. The project will cost $50 million; the city of El Dorado has committed $9 million to the project. The organization now puts on 35 events a year.

It's great news for El Dorado, which already benefits from the Murphy Foundation's college scholarships for all graduating El Dorado seniors.

News release on the jump.

The Murphy Foundation Commits $5 Million to El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc.

Funds to Support Development of Entertainment District in Downtown El Dorado

El Dorado, Ark. (Nov. 28, 2012) — The Murphy Foundation, an El Dorado based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life primarily through strategic support of educational and cultural programs, has committed $5 million to support El Dorado Festival and Events, Inc.

EFEI is a private non-profit group founded to create, maintain, and promote a local art collective and district that, once completed, will bring more than 250 performances a year from more than 35 events each year.

This support comes on the heels of another major funding announcement. Last week, the El Dorado City Council voted 8 to 0 to support the plan and provide $9 million.

“The Murphy Foundation believes that a solid business plan is the key to success,” said Madison Murphy, president of The Murphy Foundation. “El Dorado Festival and Events, Inc. has provided a road map, backed by research and key demographic data, that willfoster this culture of Southern arts and, in turn, create a tremendous opportunity for El Dorado and the region.”

The EFEI will collaborate with the Southern Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the longest continually running orchestra in the state, and the Southern Arkansas Arts Center (SAAC), a community organization that supports and represents local performing and visual arts. It will also renovate our Rialto Theatre and upgrade it into The Southern Theatre Festival. The total cost of the project is $50 million.

“We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of The Murphy Foundation,” said Austin Barrow, president of El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc. “This project will be a true partnership and will reflect the strengths of our community.”

About The Murphy Foundation

Based in El Dorado, Ark., The Murphy Foundation is primarily focused on the needs of the citizens of Arkansas, more specifically those of El Dorado, Arkansas. The Foundation is dedicated to improving quality of life through its support of the arts, education, healthcare, and public policy.

About El Dorado Festival & Events, Inc.

El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc. is a private non-profit group founded to create The Festival City of the South. Harboring the spirit of Southern arts, culture, and themes, EFEI is creating a festival calendar of events to share in the amazing talents of those who call the South their home. Through a greater engagement with the arts, the organization works to enhance quality of life through enhancement of aesthetic beauty, cultural social offerings, and increased openness with the citizens of our great city.

For more information about the performance, visit, or call 870.310.6158.

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