Piggott museum receives substantial grant

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center received a $100,000 state grant to expand the educational center.

This is the first time the state has allotted funding specifically for the center since ASU opened the site in 1999.

State Sen. Robert Thompson (D-Paragould) secured this funding to keep up with the current demand for programs and to share a little bit of history with more people.

"This is the home of the Pfeiffer family, a prominent family here in Northeast Arkansas," site director Dr. Adam Long said. "Their son-in-law, Ernest Hemingway, spent a lot of time here in Piggott and they converted their barn into a studio for him where he wrote parts of 'A Farewell to Arms' and a few of his short stories."

Now other aspiring writers can enjoy the space.

"During our writer's retreat, we allow our writers to write up here. One of them is set up on the loft," Long said.

The facility hosts about three of these retreats every year.

"This week, we have eight writers from five different states so, you know, we get folks from all over as well," Long said.

The site also offers programs for students.

"We do an after-school program for elementary age, we do the art show for high school age," Long said.

However, the current facilities cannot keep up with the demand.

"We're capped at 12 to 15 people and we have much more demand for these activities. So this will allow us to expand for a space to provide space for 50 to 60 people," Long said.

The state grant will make this happen, starting with the back porch.

"We want to enclose it. Lots of windows where you can still see the woods beyond here," Long said.

Long hopes the expansion will allow the site to hold larger and newer events.

"Professional development workshops for teachers, as well as being able to offer, eventually down the road, credit and non-credit classes for the university. And it also opens up the possibility for many more programs on top of that," Long said.

The museum and educational center are also open to the public for tours. The tours run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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