LIVE BETTER: That's what the Arts Center will be able to do when the MacArthur Park facility closes for renovation and the school, theater and offices move to the former Walmart in Riverdale.

The Arkansas Arts Center announced today that it will relocate to the old Walmart Neighborhood Market space in the Riverdale Shopping Center when the Arts Center closes for renovation.

The Arts Center’s Museum School, the Children’s Theatre design and rehearsal space, offices, the Museum Shop and programming will take up residence in the former grocery store. The Arts Center’s 100 full- and part-time employees will work there. The Museum School will continue to offer drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, glass, small metals, woodworking and printmaking in the store’s 15,200 square feet. Another 14,200 square feet will be used by the Children’s Theatre. The company will continue to tour the state.

Ground will be broken in fall for renovations to the MacArthur Park facility; the Riverdale location will open in September and the school will begin offering classes then. The Arts Center anticipates it will open its new, $70 million, 127,000-square-foot facility in early 2022. The city is contributing half the sum, with proceeds from tourist taxes. Studio Gang of Chicago is the lead architect.


The use is likely to be the highest ever in the building, which has housed several grocery stores over the years.