SEARCY, Ark. – A renaissance has overtaken Searcy in the last year or so. With it has come a surge in interest in the arts. With large, permanent murals popping up all across town, Searcy is quickly becoming a tourist destination hot-spot for public art. While you can’t go wrong visiting any of the local art projects that have been completed so far, there are other ways to experience art in Searcy.
Art Alley is in its second year and has become one of the most popular downtown destinations for tourists and locals alike. You can stroll the downtown alley any time, night or day, to see the ever-changing gallery of murals by local artists. You may even be lucky enough to catch an artist in action. If you want to be sure to see live painting, come visit the alley on the first Friday evening of each month when the official 1st Friday Art Night takes place throughout the city. The alley is located just west of the courthouse square behind the businesses which line Spruce Street.
Photo by: Al Fowler
Located in the historic Black House at 300 E Race Ave, the Searcy Art Gallery hosts about six major exhibits every year and features a variety of artwork by both professional and aspiring artists. While you’re there, be sure to check out the small gift shop inside. Call (501) 279-1094 for more information.
Other art galleries around town include; Gallery 803 at 803 N. Oak, located inside Downtown Church of Christ, Pollard Studio Arts and Oddities at 1213 E Race Ave, and Stevens Art Gallery on the campus of Harding University, at 915 E. Market Ave.
If it’s the performing arts you’re after, Searcy has numerous great options there too! The community theater, Center on the Square, offers live theater and special events. Along with multiple performances each season — including shows like Bad Seed, Gypsy, and On Golden Pond — Center on the Square hosts Kidstage. For more information, visit www.centeronthesquare.org or call (501) 368-0111.
Speaking of theatre, the Harding University Theatre offers a wide variety of performances each year, including its Searcy Summer Dinner Theatre and the hugely popular annual Spring Sing. For more information, visit www.hardingtickets.com or call (501) 279-5315.
If you’re looking for live music, your first stop should be a Beats and Eats event! With a mission to promote unity and growth in Searcy by providing a place for artisans, musicians, and entrepreneurs to share their craft, Beats and Eats goes down throughout the year on Saturday evenings. Plus, with the newly completed Citizen’s Park stage, the live performances are even better! Find up-to-date information, including dates, on the Searcy Beats and Eats Facebook page.
Also be sure to check out the occasional concerts at Kibo Midnight Oil Coffeehouse, Beyond Boundaries, or Rock House. Kibo Midnight Oil features local bands performing on their outdoor stage. They’re located at 801 E Race Ave. Beyond Boundaries is located at 115 E Center Ave. Along with a great selection of merchandise for the avid camper, kayaker, or outdoorsman (or woman), they’ve got a great stage and outdoor area out back. Rock House — which features a great menu along with a great live music line-up on weekends — is located at 1301 E Beebe Capps Expy.
For an even bigger music festival experience, plan to go to the annual Get Down Downtown event. This two-day event takes places the last Friday and Saturday in September and features a diverse musical line-up. Find up-to-date information on the Main Street Searcy Facebook page (@MainStreetSearcy).
Photo by: Al Fowler
For those interested in getting artsy themselves, there are numerous great places in town, there a number of great places that offer unique creative outlets. We suggest you check out our “Ways to Craft, Create, and Get Artsy in Searcy” story.