The Arts Revitalize Arkansas's Original Boomtown, HERE Magazine
In many of America’s forgotten towns, the decision to stay has transformative potential. Thanks to the work of Austin Barrow, an Arkansas expat who returned home to build the newly minted Murphy Arts District, El Dorado has gone from deteriorating municipality to cultural hub. Read More
Photo by Jay Paul
Austin Barrow
Austin Barrow, President and COO of El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District, Arkansas Life
YOU MAY NOT think of El Dorado as a hotbed for the performing arts. But you’d be wrong. This is largely due to the efforts of visionary Austin Barrow, a native son who returned home to help create what we now know as the Murphy Arts District, which opened to much fanfare this September. Acting on the premise that performing arts are salve to the community soul as well as a plank in the platform for economic growth, Austin works to celebrate Southern storytelling and musical talent in big-city-style venues that have brought blighted downtown buildings back to life. Read More
Brad Paisley
Setting: A once prosperous oil boomtown isolated in the American South. After decades of economic stability, a slow decay begins as people leave for larger cities and new opportunities. Main Street grows quieter by the year. No, this isn’t the setup for Clint Eastwood’s next flick. It’s the very real problem faced by the town of El Dorado, Arkansas. Read More
Edwin Alderson
Celebrating the Life of Edwin Alderson
The Murphy Arts District (MAD) lost one of its founders last week, Edwin Alderson. Edwin was arguably the greatest advocate for the City of El Dorado and certainly the thought-leader for the new arts district. He passed away October 5th, 2017, just four days after MAD's grand opening. Edwin was the project's heart and soul. His unflagging enthusiasm and energy inspired us throughout six years of dedicated work to create something unique and culturally significant for the community that he cherished. Read More
SXSW festival attendees in Austin, Texas. Image via Getty
America's Small Cities Are Betting Their Second Act on Festivals, Jezebel
“People were commenting, is that the real Migos that’s gonna be there or is that the Arkansas version of Migos?” laughs Terry Stewart, former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO, who is now one of the people getting Migos to play a show in El Dorado, Arkansas. Read More