Since 1986, The Foundation of Arts for NE Arkansas has been serving Jonesboro and the surrounding area as the premiere arts organization providing live entertainment in theatre, music, and dance, as well as education opportunities in the arts. The organization was formed from the alliance of three artistic groups: The Jonesboro Fine Arts Council, The Northeast Arkansas Symphony, and The Friends of the Forum. Ever since, the FOA has operated its programing out of the Forum Theater—a historic movie house once known as The Strand built in 1926. The building was eventually sold to the City of Jonesboro and underwent a renovation in the mid-1970s to become a modern performance venue. Since that time, thousands of local and touring artists have graced The Forum’s stage. In 2001, the Northeast Arkansas Symphony relocated to beautiful Riceland Hall in the Fowler Center on the campus of Arkansas State University, while the FOA remained downtown at the Forum to continue providing quality programing in the arts. In addition to hosting and producing entertainment for and by the community, the FOA developed its education wing and continues to operate year-round classes out of a second location on Main Street around the corner from The Forum Theater known as The Arts Center.
To this day, the Foundation of Arts is committed to its founders’ vision of improving the quality of life in our community through the arts. The organization has developed this mission further by emphasizing a focus on keeping the arts accessible to the community. The FOA’s numerous outreach programs and its belief that there is an artist in all of us sets it apart from similar organizations and has increased the great value the FOA brings to its community.