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. She is a Cultural Touchstone, however, because of her vision to found 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.
It kicked off on a Tuesday with a reception at the Governor’s Mansion and concluded the following Sunday with a reception at Wildwood Park for the Arts. In between there was theatre, dance, mime, puppetry, instrumental music, choral music, opera, jazz, painting, photography, history, lectures, and gallery tours.
Under her leadership as founder, plans are already underway for the next edition. ACANSA Arts Festival 2015 is scheduled for September 16-20. Tickets go on sale next spring.