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Heritage Resource Agencies

The three Department of Arkansas Heritage resource agencies provide numerous services to promote our state’s artistic, cultural and natural riches. You’ll be able to find a wealth of information in their extensive online databases, obtain technical know-how on preservation questions, attend a free educational workshop and even receive financial assistance. The Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission serve all Arkansans with programs and activities that benefit us today and in the future.  

Arkansas Arts Council

The Arkansas Arts Council is dedicated to advancing the visual and performing arts for the benefit of all Arkansans by sponsoring grants and awards, hosting exhibits and invitationals/competitions, and providing free publicity and promotion.  

Financial assistance is made available to Arkansas’s arts museums, arts councils and individual artists; technical assistance is offered through workshops, seminars and management consultation. Each year, the council sponsors the Governor’s Arts Awards and the Individual Artist Fellowships, which rank among the most sought-after recognitions for Arkansas artists and arts patrons. Another award, the Arkansas Living Treasure, is presented annually to a traditional craft artist. The AAC’s best known annual exhibit project is Small Works on Paper, a juried traveling show of small works of visual art (no larger than 24x24 inches) by contemporary Arkansas artists. The council also co-sponsors Poetry Out Loud, an annual, nationwide poetry recitation contest for high school students.  

Online, the council publishes and maintains rosters of the Arkansas visual and performing artists, including the Artist Registry, with information on hundreds of Arkansas visual artists, and the Arts on Tour, a listing of the state’s finest solo and ensemble performers.   

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program protects Arkansas’s historic homes, neighborhoods, courthouses, battlefields, archeological sites and commercial districts are visible reminders of our cultural heritage. The preservation, restoration and protection of these historic and cultural resources is the job of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The agency provides financial, educational and technical assistance, manages the Main Street Arkansas program and directs the National Register of Historic Places program for the state.  

Each year, AHPP awards more than $1.5 million in grants for the rehabilitation of historic structures. It also administers the state and federal income tax credit programs. The AHPP technical staff can assist with questions ranging from period-appropriate color schemes to repairing broken ironwork and crumbling plaster walls.  

Through educational outreach, AHPP works with communities, schools and organizations to further a preservation ethic in all Arkansans. It offers free workshops, presentations, lectures and monthly walking tours to historic properties around the state. It publishes and maintains numerous pamphlets, driving maps and a searchable, comprehensive online database about places and properties of historic significance.

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission focuses on identifying and preserving Arkansas’s natural heritage. That includes the acquisition and hands-on management of the System of Natural Areas and the compilation of an extensive data base on rare and endangered species.  

Natural Areas represent remnants of the original landscape that have remained relatively undisturbed for hundreds of years. Often, they contain unique ecosystems that the ANHC restores, maintains and protects for future generations of Arkansans, including plants and animals.  

The commission also collects, analyzes and houses data, including maps and virtual tours, on more than 800 rare species at home in Arkansas. These findings provide important clues to the relative imperilment of the species and are available to other organizations and individuals for research and environmental planning purposes.  

Public outreach efforts aim to make biodiversity information interesting, easy to find and easy to understand. They range from lesson plans and multi-media presentations to loan materials and regular “citizen-science surveys.”