Arkansas State University has named an assistant director of the Heritage Sites. Penny Toombs will take on the role after serving as the director of two of the A-State Heritage Sites, which includes the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and Southern Tenant Farmers Museum since 2020.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to working with Dr. Adam Long and the site directors to expand our educational programming, grow community partnerships, and broaden our collaborations with departments on campus,” said Toombs.
Prior to her work at A-State, her background was in K-12 education where she worked as the gifted and talented and advanced placement coordinator for Piggott Public Schools.
She also served on the advisory committee for another A-State Heritage Site, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center located in Piggott.
Adam Long, executive director for the Heritage Sites, said he is happy to have Toombs move into this new role.
“The Heritage Sites serve as important living laboratories for students throughout the Delta. I’m excited by the level of energy and experience that Penny brings to our educational mission,” said Long.
Over the last few years, Toombs has helped spread the reach of the Heritage Sites, adding a songwriting event for veterans that featured performances of their songs in Jonesboro among other events.
There are four heritage sites that are operated by the A-State Heritage Sites Office. The historic properties have regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta.
Sites include the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Hemingway-Pfeifer Museum and Educational Center, and Lakeport Plantation
The sites stand as physical representations of the historical significance of the locations. Most of the locations offer tours as well as various educational opportunities throughout the year. Offices for the Heritage Sites are located in the historic V.C. Kays House on the A-State campus
In addition, they serve as economic catalysts in communities where they are located by attracting heritage tourists from around the country.