LR Cultural Touchstone: Jane Rogers

Jane RogersJane Rogers is a Little Rock native who has had a hand in developing two different cultural entities in her hometown.  She helped organize the first Riverfest to be held in Riverfront Park in 1983.  Continuing her involvement, she later served as the first full-time executive director of Riverfest.  Under her leadership the festival experienced significant growth.  This, in turn, brought more people down to the banks of the Arkansas River and the new Riverfront Park.  Because of this, more people were familiar with the area which helped the fledgling River Market take hold in the mid-1990s.

Shortly after he became Governor, Mike Huckabee tapped her to lead the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  In that capacity, she oversaw the Arkansas Arts Council, Old State House Museum, Historic Arkansas Museum, Delta Cultural Center, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.  She served as Director for two years.

In 2003, she was appointed to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.  In that capacity, she has been involved in efforts to strengthen cultural offerings and facilities at the various campuses in the University of Arkansas system.

Her most recent cultural endeavor has been as a founder of Sculpture at the River Market.  In 2007, she helped recruit volunteers to create Little Rock’s first nation-wide sculpture invitational show and sale.  Since that time, Sculpture at the River Market has built a $2,000,000+ collection of public sculpture placed in beautiful surroundings along the banks of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock.  As a result of pieces of these efforts, the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was created in Riverfront Park.