Tucked away in the picturesque Ozark Mountains, which offers solace and rejuvenation to travelers, Eureka Springs was recently selected as one of America's Distinctive Destinations, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It has also been designated a National Historic Landmark and is an America in Bloom winner.A mecca for artists since the 1800's, Eureka Springs is currently home to over 200 working artists and 20+ art galleries. An artist co-op that will offer subsidized housing and studio space is currently being developed. Eureka Springs offers a peaceful and creative haven for artists of all mediums: photography, painting, sculpture, metal smithing, ceramics, and textiles.
In the early 1930s, Louis and Elsie Fruend established an arts school in the historic downtown area. Today, the Eureka Springs School of the Arts has revitalized that tradition and offers a wide variety of classes to all.Eureka Springs is also home to Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, which houses writers from all over the world working on their creative projects. For the younger set, Lane House/Main Stage, an arts and enrichment center for youth, provides a safe environment for young people to experience creative education, self expression, and recreation. This after-school arts program for high schoolers produces several performances each year, including an annual dinner theatre fund raiser.For thespians, the Eureka Theatre Company, founded several years ago, offers a full repertoire of theatrical performances in the newly-restored City Auditorium.
The City Auditorium located in the heart of Eureka Springs' Historic Downtown, originally opened almost 75 years ago with a concert conducted by John Phillips Sousa. In 2004, the Auditorium underwent a major renovation courtesy of a grant from the National Parks Department's "Save America's Treasures" program. The Auditorium which boasts excellent acoustics in an intimate setting has featured such well-known performers as Willie Nelson, Bill Cosby, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Charles Brown, Buddy Guy, Allison Kraus and Union Station, Ricky Skaggs, and The Del McCoury Band.
The Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony is in its 50th year of training, and developing young aspiring opera singers and orchestral players from the four corners of the world. This performance venue offers "Opera In The Ozarks" each summer in Eureka Springs and has taken a place of prestigious acclaim amongst the international opera community.For devotees of film, Eureka Springs has recently played host to several independent film productions, including "Chrystal" starring Billy Bob Thornton and Lisa Blount which won second place at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
There is also an annual Digital Film Festival complete with "hands-on" workshops for learning the craft.Eureka Springs is a unique and beautiful hamlet where the arts flourish. Come visit us soon!..Steve Schmidt is the Executive Director of the Eureka Springs Artists Registry.
Mr. Schmidt also produces and promotes art events in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. For more information visit http://www.steveschmidt.info For more information on the arts and artists of Eureka Springs visit eurekaspringsartists.com.
By: Steve Schmidt