BY BARBARA M. TOBIAS –
You didn’t know there was a downtown arts district? There is an effort among the creative businesses on Mena Street to begin referring to the roughly one or two blocks from Janssen to Maple as the Arts District. This idea came up when eight downtown businesses began discussing an application for a National Endowment of the Arts grant called Our Town: Creative Placemaking.
To further the recognition of an Arts District, five of these businesses, including Mena Art Gallery, chipped in to produce and distribute a promotional rack card describing those businesses and non-profits and referring to the area where they are located as the Downtown Arts District. The cards are now in many locations around town.
These eight businesses are putting together a downtown creative event called the Ouachita Arts Celebration (OAC). The City of Mena has agreed to help with making a pedestrian friendly area along Mena Street for us to host the event from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 1.
Take notice of the new businesses along Mena Street the next time you’re in town and begin referring to the area as the Downtown Arts District. We are already seeing results from the rack cards and using the name.
There will be opportunities to help with the OAC event as volunteers demonstrating or exhibiting and selling work. Please call Mena Art Gallery at 479-394-3880 and let them know of your interest. Watch your newspaper for more information.