Imagine if Buildings Could Talk (2017)

Mapping the History of Little Rock Central High School


60th Anniversary Events

The University of Central Arkansas, in conjunction with partners in Little Rock, has produced multiple events that use the arts to spotlight the history of Little Rock’s Central High School, marking the 90th anniversary of its opening and commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Desegregation Crisis in 1957.  Through visual art, music, architecture, spoken word, and dance, we seek to showcase the arts as tools for social change and spark community conversations about race and place surrounding these anniversaries.

Explore this site using the links below to learn more about the activities. Click here for a printable schedule or here for a Printable Schedule Large Print.

About This Project…

UCA’s College of Fine Arts and Communication conceived “Imagine If Buildings Could Talk,” a multi-day series of events, September 23-25, 2017, marking the 90-year anniversary of Little Rock’s Central High School opening, hailed in 1927 as the most expensive, most beautiful, and largest high school in the nation. The activities will also commemorate the 60-year anniversary of the events that occurred at the school when the Little Rock Nine entered its doors on September 25, 1957, one of the defining moments in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The centerpiece of this commemoration is a nine-minute, 3D, projection-mapped animated video, titled “If Buildings Could Talk” by Scott Meador and accompanying musical score, “Surface of the Sky,” composed and performed by Blake Tyson. This projection and recorded musical score will run continuously over two evenings, September 23-24, 2017.

Major funding for “Imagine If Buildings Could Talk: Mapping the History of Little Rock Central High School” is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, marking fifty-one years of excellence, and the National Park Service, celebrating its 101st birthday. Imagine Your Parks is a grant initiative from the NEA created in partnership with the NPS to support projects that use the arts to engage people with memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System.

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance (Artistic Innovations Program), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Inc., and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Additional grant funding is provided by the Arkansas Arts Council (Collaborative Support Program), an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Other funding sources include ACANSA, City of Little Rock, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication through the UCA Arts Fee, UCA Department of Occupational Therapy, UCA Disability Resource Center, UCA Foundation, UCA Office of Institutional Diversity, UCA Public Appearances at Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA Sponsored Programs, UCA Student Services, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

Sponsoring partners include Arkansas Flag and Banner, Blick Art Materials, Comfort Inn West, and Pediatrics Plus.

Collaborating partners include Arkansas Arts Center; Arkansas Historic Preservation Program; Arkansas Promise; Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub; Butler Center for Arkansas Studies; Dunbar Magnet Middle School; John Cain Foundation; L.C. & Daisy Bates Museum; Little Rock Central High School; Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site; Little Rock Field Office of the F.B.I.; Mosaic Templars Cultural Center; New Africa Alliance; Opera in the Rock; Oxford American Literary Project; Pyramid Art, Books, & Custom Framing, Hearne Fine Art; Rock Region METRO; UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication; UCA Department of Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing; UCA Department of History; UCA Department of Music; UCA Department of Occupational Therapy; UCA Disability Resource Center; UCA Office of Institutional Diversity; UCA Outreach and Community Engagement; UCA Physical Plant; UCA Public Appearances at Reynolds Performance Hall; and UCA Sponsored Programs.

Partnership Opportunities

This project would never be possible without the generosity of our partners.  You, too, can be a supporter!  Donate to this project or become a sponsor today. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!


This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Gayle Seymour at or call 501-450-3295.