The role of art
Mending the historic fabric of the Argenta neighborhood, the restoration of its 19th and early 20th century properties, played an important role in its revitalization. Architectural preservation provided a backdrop for the creation of the Argenta arts district, which has played a large role in the stabilization and growth of the downtown economy. Galleries include the THEA Center of the THEA Foundation, founded by Paul and Linda Leopoulos in honor of their daughter to promote the arts in school as the way to success; Greg Thompson Fine Art, which handles fine regional art as well as work by Arkansas artists; the Paint Box Gallery, successor to Ketz Gallery, and Art Connection, which provides lessons in art and art business to high school students. The Art Connection is part of the Argenta Downtown Council and the Argenta Arts Foundation’s Moon Shot project, based on the CEOs for Cities “talent dividend” idea that suggests every one percent increase in college graduation equates to a new investment of $763 per capita in a city. The Moon Shot hopes to partner with the Arkansas A+ arts-infused education model promoted by THEA and City Year to boost graduation and college attainment rates.