Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Receives $1.5-million Challenge Grant to Help Build the Stella Boyle Smith Community Music Center

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO), which performs more than sixty concerts and provides music education to over 30,000 school children each year, has received a $1.5-million two-to-one challenge grant from the Windgate Foundation to help build the future ASO Stella Boyle Smith Music Center. The generous grant from the Windgate Foundation plus the $3-million in matching donations ASO will need to raise by April 2023 will move the non-profit organization $4.5-million to its goal and allow it to break ground on the new community music center.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Windgate Foundation for giving us this opportunity not only to make this music center a reality, but also to come together as a community and do it together,” said ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn. “This truly is a community music center to serve our youth, school students and Arkansans across the state so that we can both inspire and be inspired by music.”

Planned for development in the heart of Little Rock’s East Village between Heifer International and the Clinton Presidential Center, the Stella Boyle Smith Music Center will be a new state of the art, 20,000 square foot community music center. Announced in January, the project will greatly expand ASO’s capacity to serve Arkansas children through outstanding education programming and provide all residents with extensive musical offerings. The center will include a Grand Hall for rehearsals and concerts, multiple practice spaces, music classrooms, climatecontrolled instrument storage, a dedicated streaming studio and additional flexible space to serve future generations of Arkansans.

Thanks to the generous support of donors so far, including leading gifts from the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, State of Arkansas and Simmons Bank, ASO is currently 60% of the way to its fundraising goal. Now advocates and supporters of ASO’s mission to connect, enrich, inspire and advance Arkansas through the power of music are calling on fellow Arkansans to lend their support and help raise the $3-million in matching donations to meet the $1.5-million challenge from the Windgate Foundation.