Foundation of Arts: In Need of More Space

JONESBORO-Every year the curtain of the Forum Theatre opens to enlighten the lives of thousands of children in Northeast Arkansas.

"It's fun. It's exciting. It's new opportunities."

But with the Foundation of Arts' programs growing rapidly, the space to have such fun is now at maximum capacity.

"If the organization as a whole can grow further, or even succeed with what we are doing now, then we have to make some changes in our facilities," said Executive Director Sherri Beatty.

Currently the organization works out of two buildings housing art classes, dance classes, and numerous theatrical productions every year.

One of the biggest issues concerning space is that during any major productions, kids are housed across the street in a holding area. They then have to cross a busy street to enter The Forum and get ready to start their scene.

And to many children, that chance to be on stage is life changing.

"I got to make new friends, which is hard when you are from the other side of the country, and you learn all of this new stuff," said Haley Gardner.

For one teen the foundation of arts even helped turn around a tragedy.

"My mom committed suicide. That was really a low point for me. I'm smiling today. I'm doing better than i ever thought i would be from the friends i've made. They've really helped me. Everybody here at the foundation has helped me," said Erin Evans.

And it's words like those that make it hard to put a price tag on the need for a new facility or the expansion of this program.

"You can't put a dollar figure on what it means to a child, and yet you have to. Without those children, our programs don't exist, and without the money to fund those programs the children have no opportunity," said Beatty.

So with the opportunity to make the future bright, the organization is asking everyone to step up and be a part of the coming attraction.

"We are now at the stage where we are looking for people who can come in and actually hands on help us out, form those partnerships, and put the right people together to make significant things happen," said Beatty.

And to the children, the opportunity is now or never.

If you would like to help out or even contact the Foundation of Arts about the different things they do, you can call them at 935-2726 or visit their website at

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