Charlotte Gadberry has long been a supporter of Little Rock’s various cultural institutions. She has both served on boards and consulted with boards in strategic planning. Her major focus these past few years has been the founding of the ACANSA Arts Festival.
A trip to Charleston, South Carolina, amid it’s Spoleto USA arts festival inspired her to dream that Little Rock could play host to a similar endeavor. Using her fundraising prowess and connections, she started to raise funds, friends and awareness for this idea.
In September 2013, the inaugural ACANSA Arts Festival was announced for September 2014. Under her leadership, ACANSA (a name derived from an early Native American variation of what is now called Arkansas) incorporated both local cultural institutions as well as performers brought in for the event.
In the first four years ACANSA has featured theatre, dance, mime, puppetry, instrumental music, choral music, opera, jazz, painting, photography, history, lectures, and gallery tours. It has worked with the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, Central Arkansas Library System, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and Wildwood Park for the Arts as well as numerous galleries and performance venues.
Because of her efforts to found ACANSA and lead it, Charlotte is being honored with an Arkansas Arts Council 2018 Governor’s Arts Award on March 29, 2018.