National Symphony Orchestra selects Arkansas for 2009 Residency

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts has accepted the Arkansas Arts Council’s invitation to make Arkansas the site of the National Symphony Orchestra’s 2009 American Residency. Between March 24 and 31, 2009, the members of the Orchestra will participate in approximately 150 education and performance activities throughout the state.

The announcement took place today at the University of Central Arkansas. Participants included Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, and United States Representative Vic Snyder, UCA President Lu Hardin, Rollin Potter, Dean of UCA’s College of Fine Arts and Communication, as well as two representatives from the NSO and the Kennedy Center: Associate Conductor Emil de Cou and Patricia O’Kelly, Managing Director of NSO Media Relations.

The impetus for the Arkansas Arts Council’s invitation came from UCA’s Dean of Fine Arts and Communications Rollin Potter. The two organizations will jointly take on the role of coordinating all Residency activities. The Residency is funded by the Kennedy Center through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, as it has been since 1994. Since 2006, the chamber music and outreach performances have been supported by the Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund for chamber music and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

There will be a total of six orchestral concerts in the state, including an NSO Young People’s Concert in Helena. Dozens of educational and outreach activities and other events are being planned.The repertoire for Arkansas