This past Saturday, UCA’s, Reynolds Hall was alive with the hustle and bustle that accompanies an end of the year performance. Blackbird Academy of Arts featured their visual art, theatre and dance students in Museum Alive!

“Museum Alive” is an Academy original that tells the story of a stressed out Museum Curator preparing for a grand Gala that features a painting that has gone MIA. Complete with a talking marble statue, two unsupervised kids wandering the halls of a museum, familiar famous paintings that seem to come alive, and a great compilation of varying genres of music!

This is art education at its finest! The integration of all sectors of art represented in one performance! Let’s not forget how many hours of preparation a production, how many volunteers it must take? It all started with writing the story of Museum Alive. We need writers for that! Move on to the selection of pieces for the Museum Halls: Henri Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Dali, and more of the greats! To capture the look-alikes we need artists, set designers, carpenters. . . Creative minds. Did we mention the costuming!? This performance saw the assistance of 30+ hands working on hundreds, yes hundreds, of costumes! Local artist, Melissa Simpson was even commissioned to create the painting, "For My Sake", that was seen to be missing in action.

Get a brief behind the scenes look at the machine, and you will gain a great appreciation for the organization that not only entertains, as seen on performance nights but continually educates! Blackbird is in its ninth year of operation, and like many nonprofits, it depends upon donors and the community! And boy, do they give back to their community. They’ve given nearly $200,000 in scholarships, taught more than 3,000 local children, hosted free field trips, and so much more.

There are so many ways to support the arts. Giving financially is one way, but attending local exhibits, plays, performances and investing in art education for your children and children’s children is another way! Blackbird Academy of Arts is a one-stop shop and has many great ways to jump on board. Follow, Donate and find their newly posted summer class schedule at BlackbirdAcademy.org

There are many local avenues to continue in your artistic pursuits:

Art on the Green will host Bart Castleberry as their next City Talks guest, May 24, 5:30-6:30 pm.

The Art School is now enrolling- contact Jo Claire Dobson at (501) 269 - 1208 or email joclair.dobson@gmail.com .

Art on the Green will host youth summer classes for ages 8-12, July 23-24th, 10-12pm and ages 13+, July 30th, 31st, and August, 10-12pm. Call 501-205-1922 for more information.

Arkansas Arts Center’s 60TH Annual Delta Exhibition will run, May 25, 2018 — August 26, 2018.

Art on the Green would also like to invite you to follow their social media feeds. A great way to stay connected inspired and up to date on all events, classes and upcoming City Talks coming to you! Find us on Facebook @ConwayArt and Instagram @artonthegreen.