Jimmy Bryant has been named director of Arkansas Heritage, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. ADPHT Secretary Stacy Hurst made the announcement on Friday (Dec. 6).
The Division of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) consists of four heritage museums and four heritage resource agencies that work to preserve, protect and promote the natural and cultural history of Arkansas.
He will begin his new position as Arkansas Heritage director on Monday, January 6, 2020, at a salary of $108,110.
Bryant will oversee the work of all eight entities. The heritage museums are the Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Old State House Museum and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. The heritage resource agencies are Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and Arkansas State Archives.
Bryant served as director of archives and special collections at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) from 1998 through 2019, and was named the university historian later in his career. He was responsible for leading all aspects of the UCA Archives Department and was responsible for the acquisition, organization and preservation of historical documents relative to Arkansas and Arkansans.
He is the author of The Centennial History of the University of Central Arkansas and has authored 15 peer-reviewed articles for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Other duties at UCA have included teaching history as an adjunct instructor and serving as an undergraduate academic advisor.
“The work of Arkansas Heritage is far-ranging. Its thought-provoking museum exhibits, its system of natural areas, and its grants for arts and preservation come together to support and preserve Arkansas culture and heritage” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Jimmy Bryant’s understanding and experience in the study and conservation of Arkansas history will be an extraordinary addition to this effort.”
Bryant holds a B.A. in history and an M.A in history from the University of Central Arkansas and is a certified archivist with the Academy of Certified Archivists.
He serves on the Arkansas History Commission, which is the advisory board for the Arkansas State Archives. He will resign that position before assuming the DAH director position.
He is a former chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, a former member of the Faulkner County Council on Aging, a former president of the Faulkner County Historical Society and served eight years as a Faulkner County Justice of the Peace.