(Editor's Note: Each year, Arkansas Business partners with the Arkansas Municipal League to present the Trendsetter City awards, which recognize exceptional initiatives underway in municipalities across the state. Large, medium and small-sized cities were honored in six categories: Diversity and Inclusion; Education/Workforce Development; Infrastructure and Water; Public Works/Environmental and Green Management; Technology and Security; and Tourism Development/Creative Culture. Below is one winner's story. For more, click here.)
Tourism Development/Creative Culture
Winner • Under 5,000
Mayor: Linda Duncan
County: Cleburne and Van Buren
Park and Walk
Fairfield Bay celebrated the addition of Arts in the Park with a community wide event called “A Midsummer Eve Walk Through the Park,” that allowed citizens to stroll the grounds, enjoy refreshments and meet with the artist.
Fairfield Bay has long been known for its uniqueness as a city and as a resort destination. Located on 40,000-acre Greers Ferry Lake, the city is an outdoor lover’s paradise with hiking trails, parks, golf, fishing, boating, biking and camping. A number of Arkansas’ top attractions, like Blanchard Springs Cavern, are within 100 miles. But despite its status as a getaway destination, Fairfield Bay has been lacking in the arts.
Arts in the Park is managed by Fairfield Bay’s Sculpture Committee, but the primary donor plays an active role in obtaining the sculptures while engaging with local artists about future additions.
Arts in the Park is the brainchild of a local art enthusiast who wanted to enhance the city’s appearance through sculpture and enrich residents and visitors with exposure to different artists from around the U.S. The donor partnered with the city to donate funds matched by the Fairfield Bay Community Fund, affiliated with the Arkansas Community Foundation. There are currently seven pieces in Ed Leamon Park made from diverse materials. Sculptures range from stand-alone pieces to a kinetic sculpture by Utah’s Lyman Whitaker.