South Arkansas Arts Center Announces 50th Anniversary Season

El Dorado, Ark. – December 10, 2013 – The South Arkansas Arts Center board of directors and staff today announced a full year of theatre productions, visual arts exhibitions and special events in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. Beginning in January 2014, the SAAC will host a variety of events each month, working in conjunction with a roster of local sponsors and performance groups, as well as national arts organizations.

“There is no better way to celebrate fifty years of the arts at the South Arkansas Arts Center than to fill our 2014 calendar with amazing events that showcase the best of local talent and keep our patrons amazed and entertained,” said 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman George Maguire.

Opened in 1964, the SAAC is the heart of El Dorado and south Arkansas’ artistic community. Viewing the arts as a lifelong pursuit, they host rotating visual arts exhibitions in the Lobby, Merkle and Price Galleries, locally produced theatre productions, and instruction in the visual arts and dance for children and adults. Additionally, travelling and local artists regularly present special studio workshops and performances. “The SAAC has a rich history of artistic education in the community, and we strive to continually present fresh experiences to our patrons, some of whom have been regular guests for fifty years,” said Jack Wilson, executive director.

For the 50th anniversary season, the SAAC will present 10 visual arts exhibits. The season begins by highlighting the organization’s work with children, then showcases the talent of well-known local artists, and culminates with the work of two nationally and internationally celebrated artists: Clementine Hunter and Carroll Cloar.

  • January 1-February 8: Artists in Education
  • February 9-28: Children’s Art Exhibit
  • March 1-31: Arkansas Champion Trees
  • April 1-30: Membership Exhibit
  • May 1-31: Showcase of Local Artists
  • June 1-30: Gulf Shores Artists
  • July 1-31: Juried Art Show and Competition
  • August 2-31: SAAC Permanent Collection Exhibit
  • September 1-October 31: Clementine Hunter Exhibit
  • November 1-December 31: Carroll Cloar Exhibit

In the Callaway Theatre, the theatre arts committee will stage four very different productions. The season begins in April with Les Miserables, a co-presentation of the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and continues with the summer musical, 9 to 5. The year will conclude with a retrospective: 50 Years on Stage at the SAAC.

  • April 24, 25, 27-29: Les Miserables
  • July 10-20: 9 to 5: The Musical
  • December 11-13: 50 Years on Stage at the SAAC

Throughout 2014, a slate of special events highlighting a variety of forms of artistic expression will bring the community’s rich involvement in the SAAC to the forefront.

  • February 6: Artists in Education Reception
  • March 28-29: Documentary Film Festival
  • May 23-24: Juilliard Pianist Colton Peltier
  • June 2-6: Ballet Workshop with Marilyn Russell
  • June and July: Summer Camps
  • September 18-20: Film Festival
  • November 7-9: Johnie Walker Murphy Excellence in Art
  • November 23: El Dorado Chorale Performance

2014 promises to be a banner year at the South Arkansas Arts Center, and an amazing opportunity to enjoy the arts in El Dorado. For more information on the SAAC, contact the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit


Jack Wilson
Executive Director
South Arkansas Arts Center
110 E. 5th Street
El Dorado, AR 71730
(870) 862-5474

Media Contact:
Don Hale
The Diamond Agency
(870) 862-1010
Cell # (870) 310-0489