Thanks so much for your interest in contributing to AAWE!
17,600 minutes, 293 hours, 12 full days. That’s the amount of time the average American spends driving a car every year. And it’s too much time to waste staring at asphalt.
In a time when arts budgets are on the chopping block and we struggle to disconnect from our devices, public art is more important than ever. So much more than a beautiful addition to our urban landscape, public art unites, strengthens and grows communities. AAWE ensures those communities always have access to art by supporting the artists that create it, giving them huge public canvases on which to create.
We are quite literally a street gallery: We promote the work of local artists on available media space on billboards— and turn Northwest Arkansas’s highways into opportunities for artistic appreciation and discovery.
How does AAWE help and why does it matter? Because art matters. It’s good for your brain, your children, your community and our economy. Studies show the simple act of experiencing art significantly lowers stress levels. Art is considered one of the building blocks of early childhood development. Residents report feeling stronger attachment to their cities and towns when there’s a strong commitment to arts. And the economic benefit is profound: Arts and culture contribute more than $700 billion to the national economy and employ nearly 5 million people. Budget cuts are forcing schools to eliminate art classes from the curriculum, and federal funding for arts programs is constantly on the chopping block. Artists increasingly lack the opportunity to do what they love and still afford to live, which means communities everywhere are losing access to art.
Defending our collective access to the arts takes time and money. The generosity of our sponsors ensures we have ample space to display the work of talented local artists, but it takes an extraordinary amount of energy and resources to ensure that space is populated with compelling work, that we grow the number of artists we promote, that we increase the amount of public outdoor space dedicated to art and that we expand beyond the communities we now serve.
We rely on your contributions to be successful. Please consider donating to help us reach our goal, to promote local artists’ work and to make art accessible to communities through available media space in Bentonville, Springdale, and Rogers.