NAC Arts expands with $200K grant

NAC Arts expands with $200K grant

Fri Dec 10, 2021 at 10:49 AM

Northark art expansion rendering

A conceptual rendering illustrates the exterior expansion of the art studio looking up from the fountain.  The new studio will feature a deck for a plein air experience and viewing events in the amphitheater (drawing by Kevin Somers, Northark director physical plant).

Vincent Van Gough said, “I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.” North Arkansas College (NAC) art instructors, Cindy Dollard and Dusty Domino have been dreaming of an expansion of the art facilities for a long time. That dream is about to become a reality thanks to a generous grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation. The $200K grant will help add another 1,175 sq. ft. onto the current studio, doubling its size. An exterior deck will add 700 sq. ft. of outdoor space to the new studio to accommodate outside art activities and provide a view of the amphitheater and surrounding vista.

Rick Massengale, NAC president has a background in acting and knows the benefits of learning the arts. “The arts have the capacity to engage everyone, bringing people of all skill sets together to stretch their minds, allowing them to express themselves while learning from others. The expansion adds new opportunities for students and community members. People can sit on the new deck area that faces the amphitheater and enjoy the movies, concerts and other cultural events we are looking forward to providing for the community.”

Northark is also in the process of developing an outdoor art classroom in a courtyard adjacent to the art room that will facilitate outdoor art classes, workshops, and other college programs.

The grant award is a component of the Northark Arts Initiative, a Windgate funded program that has supported the arts for the last two years and whose success fueled the need to grow and expand facilities. The Arts Initiative focuses on multiple facets of the arts including a partnership with the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, which allows students to take classes at the Craft school for college credit. Other goals include the implementation of a two-year transferable Studio Arts degree, currently in the state review process, the initiation of an Art Therapy program, community classes, and integration of the arts within Northark’s culture.

“All of these elements combine to create an environment that supports students and community members interested in the arts, whether as a career choice, as a way to balance the stress of daily life, or simply as an exploration of individual creative potential,” NAC Art Instructor Cindy Dollard commented. “We’re excited to see the many years spent laying the foundation for building the arts bear fruit as the arts continue to expand on many levels.”

The Northark Foundation will offer sponsorship opportunities to the community as the project moves forward.

A RFP will be issued and construction will begin during the spring semester with an anticipated completion in fall 2022. For more information, contact Cynthia Dollard, Northark Arts Coordinator, at (870) 204-0813 or

North Arkansas College is committed to providing an educational and work environment for its students, faculty, and staff that is free from sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. No form of sexual discrimination will be tolerated. See the full North Arkansas College Title IX Policy and Procedures for the specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct.