Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts lands $10 million in tax credits

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 991 views 

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) recently closed a $10 million Federal New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction which will be used to support and expand its arts programs to children throughout.

Centennial Bank, Simmons Bank and Arkansas Capital, through its affiliate Heartland Renaissance Fund, partnered to close the transaction. The transaction was also supported by both the Rose Law Firm and Friday, Eldridge, & Clark, LLP of Little Rock.

“Securing New Market Tax Credits for AMFA is testament to the important role the museum plays in serving our community and state. On behalf of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, we thank Centennial Bank, Simmons Bank, and Arkansas Capital for this allocation that will allow us to reach more Arkansans when we open the new building in 2022,” said Warren Stephens, chair of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation.

The New Markets Tax Credit Program was established by Congress in 2000 with the goal of attracting new investment capital to disadvantaged communities. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the CDFI Fund.

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, previously the Arkansas Arts Center, is home to a renowned collection of international art, exceptional performing arts experiences, and an innovative Art School.

“We at Simmons Bank applaud the inspiration, culture, and education that the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts provides for countless people, especially for children,” said George Makris Jr., chairman and CEO of Simmons Bank. “We are proud to support its mission across our state.”

“Centennial Bank is honored to follow the lead of Warren Stephens by participating in this endeavor,” said John Allison, Chairman, President and CEO of Home BancShares, the parent company of Centennial Bank. “The access to arts for many children, that is provided by the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, provides a fun and meaningful way to open a window of opportunities for the children of Arkansas. We appreciate Warren’s leadership in this project and take pride in playing a part in extending the programming efforts for fine arts in Arkansas.”

Sam Walls, President of Arkansas Capital said, “We are thrilled to support the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts continuing efforts to provide art experiences to children throughout Arkansas. For many children, the AMFA may be the most meaningful exposure to the arts that they have during their formative years. The arts are an integral part of a child’s education and the AMFA plays a crucial role in Arkansas by providing world-class exhibits and programs.”

“We are grateful for the commitment and work of the Arkansas financial and legal institutions who made these generous tax credits possible,” AMFA Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “The tax credits support the construction of the new AMFA facility and grounds in MacArthur Park, a project funded by the generosity of contributors to the Capital Campaign. The Campaign, led by co-chairs Harriet and Warren Stephens, has raised nearly $136 million to date and, in January 2021, established a new goal of $142 million.”

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts programs are supported in part by: AMFA Foundation; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.