WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Wings of Honor Museum in Walnut Ridge will host a film festival on Sat., Aug. 14 to bring more visitors back to the museum.
Applications just opened to submit projects for the festival, focused on telling veterans’ stories. Organizer Terrence Ward said the board has been looking for ways to bring people back to the museum after a decline in daily visitors.
“We’re always glad to have events like this,” Museum President Harold Johnson said. “It brings attention to the museum, brings in visitors, and we’re all about having visitors.”
The museum, like many nationwide, struggled to bring in visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson said while attendance has been better over the past few months, they still aren’t seeing as many visitors since before the pandemic.
Johnson estimates the current average of daily visitors to be around ten people, a noticeable decrease from before the pandemic when the museum saw dozens of visitors each day.
While Johnson wasn’t concerned about closing the doors permanently, he said the pandemic caused a decrease in revenue.
Now, as fewer people walk through the doors, Johnson hopes this event will help draw attention to the museum.
“It’s good to have people come in here and see the history,” Johnson said. “And learn more about what this airfield did during World War II and the contribution these folks have made.”
Ward said they haven’t received many submissions yet, but they hope to receive more by the time the festival rolls around in August.
“I hope it brings more recognition, more attention from the local community,” Ward said. “We’re a hidden gem, and we shouldn’t be a hidden gem.”