Favorite
2006_11-7_13-9-34-629.jpg



Ann Camps recalls her conversation with a Pine Bluff woman she was traveling with to a National Governors Association meeting some years back. The woman had had five children by the time she was 21. She told Camps that her oldest daughter wanted to be in the school orchestra, but she’d told her no. Why? asked Camps. Because, the woman answered, everybody knows black girls can’t play the violin.

That’s the kind of thing, Camps said, “that makes me crazy.” If someone in the family had seen a black violinist — had that cultural opportunity — the child would have played. But if you can’t see things in someone else, how can you envision them for yourself?

The Clinton Foundation and the Thea Foundation have launched a project to make sure kids can see fine art, and see themselves as artists. The project, Art Across Arkansas, is sending art donated to the foundations to 67 schools in Pulaski County, and hopes to expand that to the entire state. Delivery of the work has begun; 12 schools have gotten the art, displayed in cases being built by Bylites Inc. The cases make a showy presentation — the work, a statement by the artist and a biography of the artist, is suspended between two six-foot columns — that let the kids know how important art is.

Camps, who works with the Clinton Foundation, was overwhelmed by the welcome she and the Thea representatives got at the first school to which work was delivered — Lynch Drive Elementary. The children studied the landscape quietly, even reverently, she said; parents turned out for the occasion; the school staff was thrilled. There was a sense of “awe and respect,” Camps said, that she could not have imagined.

Art Across Arkansas was the idea of the Thea Foundation, created by Clinton friend Paul Leopoulos to honor his late daughter by promoting art and art education. It’s picking up expenses and applying for grants and other funding to keep the program going. The Clinton Foundation is helping oversee the project, taking applications from schools and meeting with artists.

Foundation spokesman Jordan Johnson said Clinton was excited about the project. When a reporter raised an eyebrow, Camps joined in. “He’s dead serious,” she said. The president’s involvement “is a fact.” He wants to give the children “something beautiful to look at,” Camps said, get them thinking about things they never thought about before. That you can grow up to be an artist. A black violinist. Even president of the United States of America.

The children of Arkansas are lucky, Camps said. The United States flag flies next to a picture of a fellow Arkansan on their schoolroom walls. They can see it’s possible for an Arkansan to become president, she said, “because it’s already happened.”


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Fountain Fest sculpture reveal tonight at the Arts Center

    You'll have to go to the Arkansas Arts Center's Fountain Fest tonight to see how Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects' winning sketch was carried out as the temporary sculpture in the Carrie Remmel Dickinson fountain. The party, with food, drink and music, gets going at 5:30 p.m.
    • Oct 19, 2017
  • Blue Canoe to open new brewing and gaming space

    Blue Canoe Brewing Co. is opening a 20,000-square-foot brewing and gaming space at 1637 E. 15th St., the old PC Hardware warehouse. Macie Fellows, who described herself as a “brand ambassador,” said the space, which Blue Canoe has remodeled “from the ground up,” will be Blue Canoe’s primary brewery.
    • Oct 11, 2017
  • Apartment project announced for SoMa

    The Lasiter Group announced today that it will build a 35-unit apartment complex in the 1300 block of Scott Street called the Villa View. The development, on the west side of Scott, will face the historic Villa Marre. The project should be complete by the end of 2018.
    • Oct 6, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Guest Playlist: Flap Jones of "Not Necessarily Nashville" schools us on real country music

    "Not Necessarily Nashville," which airs on KUAR-FM 89.1 every Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., celebrates three decades of the "best of the rest of country music" Saturday, October 21 at the White Water Tavern with Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs & The Creek Rocks, and we asked host Flap Jones to curate a playlist for us ahead of that anniversary celebration.
  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

October

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation