The Arkansas Arts Council advances and empowers the arts by providing services and funding for programming that encourages and assists literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. The Arkansas Arts Council also provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs. This statewide programming and assistance ultimately provides cultural, educational and economic opportunities for the benefit of all Arkansans.
The Arkansas Arts Council was established in 1966 to enable the state of Arkansas to receive funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1971, Act 359 (A.C.A. § 13-8-101 et seq.) gave independent agency status to the Arts Council, with an executive director and a 17-member council appointed by the governor. In 1975, the Arts Council became an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, now the Division of Arkansas Heritage.
The Arkansas Arts Council is an agency of Arkansas Heritage and shares the goals of all big Division of Arkansas Heritage agencies, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and the National Endowment for the Arts.