The Arkansas River Valley is a 40 mile stretch that divides the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. The cultural sequence of the River Valley spans a wide range of time, different cultural backgrounds, and historical significance.
Faculty and staff at Ross Pendergraft Library have made it one of their goals to explore, share and preserve the traditional folk arts of the River Valley and Ozark region.
They have created a program named Echoes of the River Valley to learn the traditions of the old way.
“This program is for students to learn the old ways of folk arts hopefully. We have had dance class, sewing, music lessons,” Sherry Tinerella, public services librarian, said.
The group focuses on the arts and programs that have been preserved for centuries by families and communities.
“The goal is to bring people of the community together with the campus. Anyone with a background in River Valley art is more than welcome to reach out; this could mean basket weaving, oral lessons, or stone art. We want to pass the traditions onto the next generation,” Tinerella said.
The program is a hands-on learning exercise and it is accessible to everyone and open to the public.