Imagine a community where all children, regardless of income, have the arts in their lives.
It's closer than you'd think.

At Walton Arts Center, our learning and education programs are designed to help students, teachers and families make certain that the arts remain an essential part of their lives.

We work to provide every northwest Arkansas student access to arts field classes through our Colgate Classroom Series and 100% Smart Partner Schools Initiative.

We strengthen school communities by sharing model arts integration strategies; training teachers to use the arts to improve student achievement through our Arts With Education (AWE institute) or SmArt Residency programs that include performances in schools, workshops and teacher instruction.

We bring Arkansas History to life via our original play created for 3rd and 4th graders: Digging Up Arkansas.

Through the generous support of our sponsors, most of our school programs are offered at low or no cost.

We also offer master classes and workshops with visiting artists, and work to engage audiences with pre-show Creative Conversations as part of our 10x10 Arts Series.

Walton Arts Center is proud to be a leader in arts education in Arkansas and the mid-South. By sharing program formats, ideas and results with other arts and education organizations in the state and nation, we strive to insure that arts participation is valued and supported by communities in and beyond Northwest Arkansas.

We invite you to explore our programs with the links above, or to make a gift to support these programs at right.


Walton Arts Center works to make the strongest possible arts impact. 

In 2013 we served more than 35,000 students through the Colgate Classroom Series alone—our signature arts access program. This school-time performance series is the way we work to involve every Northwest Arkansas students with an arts experience at Walton Arts Center

We have ambitious goals for our Learning & Engagement programs:

We want every student in Northwest Arkansas to have an arts experience at Walton Arts Center.

We want educators to know how valuable the arts are in the classroom, and we train both teachers and teaching artists to use arts across the curriculum, making the arts central to the school day.

We want to share exemplary arts education program models with stake holders in and beyond Northwest Arkansas

We want to provide opportunities for the community to have a deeper experience with art.


Walton Arts Center 2014-2015 Learning impact by the numbers 

  • More than 45,000 students, teachers and individuals were served through a variety of arts learning programs
  • More than 26,000 students in more than 100 schools experienced live performance at Walton Arts Center  during the 2012-2013 Colgate Classroom Series season
  • 37 Northwest Arkansas schools participated in our 100% Schools program—every classroom attended a Walton Arts Center field class.
  • More than 350 teachers and teaching artists learned to use the arts to teach core curriculum subjects like literacy, social studies and science. These exemplary educators brought the arts to more than 11,000 students, kindergarten through high school.
  • In 2016 Walton Arts Center begins its 25th year of partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its 22nd year as an arts integration training provider.
  • Since opening doors in 1992, Walton Arts Center has trained more than 8000 teachers.
  • More than 50,000 students in 59 Arkansas counties have learned about Arkansas History through the arts programs.
  • Nearly 6000 individuals participated in a master class or other arts learning activity.

Arts advocacy keeps the arts in schools

Education research is only now beginning to quantify how attending live performances benefits learners. As a research partner of the University of Arkansas’ College of Education, Walton Arts Center is at the front of this effort.

Our first evaluation project asked:

  • How are students who attend live performance in elementary school different from other learners? 

We found evidence that students who attend more performances are more tolerant, more empathetic and more likely to read for pleasure compared to students who attended less.