The Arkansas Living Treasure program annually recognizes an Arkansas creative who excels in the creation of a traditional folk arts or craft and who actively preserves and advances his or her craft through community outreach or educating others.
An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art selects the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, overall significance of the body of work, community outreach or education and total contribution to the field of traditional arts or crafts.
In 2013, the Arkansas Arts Council and Historic Arkansas Museum collaborated to produce a series of short films that celebrate the lives and work of each Arkansas Living Treasure recipient. Click here to view the documentaries featured in the Arkansas Living Treasure Film Project.
The Arkansas Living Treasure program was modeled upon the National Living Treasure Award presented by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Museum of World Cultures.
The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to announce and recognize James "Kimbo" Dryden as the 2022 Arkansas Living Treasure for his work and dedication to the craft of pottery.Read More
The Arkansas Living Treasure Award program honors Arkansans who are masters of a folk or traditional craft.
Every year, the Arkansas Arts Council seeks nominations for master craftspeople who cherish Arkansas’s cultural heritage through traditional arts or crafts. Arkansas Living Treasure awardees have lifelong experiences in developing their crafts and are dedicated to inspiring others.
Folk or traditional crafts include, but are not limited to, traditional songwriting, traditional folk dancing, bladesmithing, weaving and quilting. Previous Arkansas Living Treasure awardees have included sculpture work, metalwork, pottery and traditional woodwork, including building rocking chairs, musical instruments and log cabins.
An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art will review the nominations and select the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, overall significance of the body of work, community outreach and total contribution to the field of traditional crafts and/or folk arts. The panel looks for a well-rounded craftsperson who creates quality, artistic and technical work and is involved in activities that help maintain or advance a traditional craft for future generations. The Arkansas Living Treasure recipient is honored during a ceremony in May.
The deadline to nominate an artist for 2022 has passed. Please check back here for next year's nomination information.
Since 2002, the Arkansas Arts Council has recognized Arkansas Living Treasures, Arkansas artisans who excel in the practice of a traditional craft and who have passed the tradition on to the next generation.