Discover World-Renowned Museums, Galleries and Performing Arts Venues in Greater Little Rock
Galleries, museums and local theaters dot the map all across central Arkansas, making for a vibrant arts scene. The capital city’s stage lights shine on both natives and traveling professional actors, while area art galleries showcase creations from artists of varying fame.
Little Rock visitors can travel back in time to a variety of eras in one afternoon. Explore Civil War history at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History; relive the early settler experience at Historic Arkansas Museum; walk in the footsteps of the 42nd President of the United States at the Clinton Presidential Center; grasp the significance of Little Rock Central High School in the Civil Rights Movement; or tour a World War II era submarine in North Little Rock.
As for the performing arts and fine art galleries—there’s no shortage of those either.
The area’s best and brightest include the Arkansas Arts Center, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the Robinson Center, which recently completed a $70 million renovation and expansion.
The following directory reveals a host of places to be inspired by the past and experience the future of art, music and theater.
• Downtown • North Little Rock
• The Heights • Hillcrest/Midtown • West Little Rock
• 413 Main St., North Little Rock
Open by appointment only.
• 711 Main St., North Little Rock
Collection of Barry Thomas original works. Various workshops/classes scheduled throughout the year. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
• 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
This gallery, with locations in Miami and Little Rock, carries fine art by local, national and international artists for the emerging and established collectors. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
• 401 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
The Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) art program is located in the Arkansas Studies Institute building, which houses four art galleries. The Butler Center galleries include a retail gallery featuring the work of Arkansas artists, as well as galleries featuring rotating exhibits and works from the CALS permanent collection. Original paintings, pastels, photography, woodworking, sculpture and ceramics can be found in the retail gallery. A percentage of sales benefit the acquisition and conservation of the library’s permanent collection of Arkansas artwork. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
• 8208 Cantrell Road, Little Rock
Cantrell Gallery features art by around a dozen established and emerging local and regional artists and nationally and internationally known artists. For over 45 years, Cantrell Gallery has provided an environment that brings art lovers and those who create art together. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday or by appointment.
• 5208 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite 5, Little Rock
DRAWL is an art gallery dedicated to promoting the Southern aesthetic with a collection of work by both established and emerging talents from all over the South. Open 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
• 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite 1, Little Rock
For more than 20 years, Gallery 26 has been representing some of central Arkansas’ most cutting edge and innovative artists. They also offer quality custom and do-it-yourself framing. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
• 429 Main St., North Little Rock
The gallery provides 3,000 square-feet of both public and private viewing space with a focus on art by important Southern regionalists, making it a destination gallery for the genre. They offer an in-depth representation of 20th century modern art from private collections around the world, as well as a select representation of some of the top artists from the South. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment. Open 5-8 p.m. the third Friday of each month for 3rd Friday Art Walk.
• 1001 Wright Ave., Suite C, Little Rock
Both first-time investors and seasoned collectors can explore the collection of works by noted artists such as Dean Mitchell, Kevin Cole, Artis Lane, Benny Andrews, Alonzo Ford and Marjorie Williams-Smith. The full-service gallery provides consulting, placement and hanging, searches, appraisals, conservation framing and more. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and by appointment Sunday.
• 11525 Cantrell Road, Suite 918, Little Rock
Located in Pleasant Ridge Town Center in west Little Rock, M2 Gallery showcases a wide range of original works of art by local, regional, national and international artists. The gallery also offers a large selection of custom framing materials. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday or by appointment.
• 108 W. Sixth St., Suite A, Little Rock
Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery has contemporary fine art from some of the best artists in Arkansas, the region and the nation—paintings, sculpture, drawings, photography and mixed media. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
• 3715 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock
Fine art gallery and custom framing shop in the Historic Park Hill neighborhood of North Little Rock. Open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
• 606 N. Olive St., North Little Rock
SWAG is a supportive, nurturing marketplace and gallery for local women artisans to display and sell their creations. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Festival of the Arts
• 20919 Denny Road, Little Rock
Wildwood Park for the Arts is home to Little Rock’s unique botanical gardens situated on a lovely 105 acres with pavilions, gardens and a 625-seat theater complex. Wildwood is anchored by park-wide festivals celebrating a diversity of arts. Events include the annual Wine & Food Festival, HARVEST! Festival in the fall and LANTERNS!, a mid-winter, nighttime festival featuring cultures from around the globe. Open free daily; admission is charged only on festival weekends. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
• 501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock
The Arkansas Arts Center is an art museum and active center for the visual and performing arts. Featuring a world-class international collection of art, live theater productions, art classes, lectures, films, family programs, and shopping and dining, the Arkansas Arts Center offers something for everyone. Visit today and find your inspiration! Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
• 120 Riverfront Park Drive, North Little Rock
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is home to two historic World War II vessels: the tugboat USS Hoga, which was in Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7th, 1941, and USS Razorback, which was present in Tokyo Bay for the formal surrender of Japan in 1945. Hoga is a National Landmark and Razorback is the longest-serving submarine in the world. A guided tour of the submarine takes visitors through seven watertight compartments, where they see firsthand how submariners lived, slept and worked. Summer hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day): 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Winter hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Note: November through March the museum closes at 4:30 p.m. The submarine tour is not recommended for children younger than 5.
• Sixth & Missouri Streets, Camp Robinson, North Little Rock
The museum tells the story of the Arkansas National Guard from its militia roots to its participation in the current global war on terror. It also tells the story of Camp Pike/Robinson. Displays include two large-scale models of the post (WWI and WWII), weapons, vehicles, airplane models, uniforms and photographs. Free audio tour is available. Open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday and one weekend per month.
• 3 Verizon Arena Way, North Little Rock
This facility salutes the state’s sports legends and the more than 370 inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame since its formation in 1958. The museum gives a historical look at sports in Arkansas, focusing on football, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf and racing and the careers of Arkansas natives, including Cliff Lee, Mark Martin, Torii Hunter, Stacy Lewis, Scottie Pippin and John Daly. Open by appointment only. Call (501) 313-4158 to book.
• 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
The Clinton Center is a world-class educational and cultural venue offering a variety of special events, exhibitions, educational programs and lectures throughout the year. Most importantly, the Center is a reflection of the work—past, present and future—of the 42nd President of the United States. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
• 1510 Main St., Little Rock
ESSE Purse Museum & Store is the only dedicated brick-and-mortar purse museum in the United States. The museum is the culmination of owner Anita Davis’ dream of sharing her love of purses, art and history—while honoring women and their struggles, accomplishments, hopes and dreams. ESSE shows the evolution of the 20th-century American woman, decade by decade, not only through the bags she carried but through their contents. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
• 200 E. Third St., Little Rock
Explore seven galleries featuring historical exhibits, contemporary Arkansas-made, exhibitions by Arkansas artists and an interactive children’s gallery. Permanent exhibits: Arkansas Made Gallery, We Walk in Two Worlds: The Caddo, Osage and Quapaw in Arkansas and The Knife Gallery: American Bladesmith Society Hall of Fame. Parking and admission to the galleries are free.
Explore a pre-Civil War neighborhood including the Hinderliter Grog Shop c.1827, the oldest surviving structure in Little Rock, as well as an 1850s farmstead. Guests can encounter living historians portraying residents of the neighborhood every day on the historic grounds. Guided tours of the grounds are available on Monday and Tuesday or guests can explore the grounds at their own pace on self-guided tours Wednesday through Sunday. Join us for 2nd Friday Art Night from 5-8 p.m. for new exhibit openings, live music and free refreshments. Unique Arkansas-made gifts are available in the Museum Store.
Admission to the grounds is $2.50 for adults, $1 for children under 18, $1.50 for senior citizens (free admission on the first Sunday of each month). Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
• 2120 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock
In September 1957, Central High School became a battleground in the struggle for civil rights and integration when the Little Rock Nine enrolled at the formerly all-white high school. At the National Park Service Visitor Center, located diagonally across from the school campus, visitors can explore exhibits describing the desegregation events that divided the nation. Still in operation by the Little Rock School District, Central High School itself is not open to visitors unless they are on a free ranger-led guided tour, available by advance reservation. Visitors may take self-guided walks along Park Street to view and photograph Central High’s architecture.
Visitor Center with films and exhibits open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily (except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). One-hour guided walking tours of Central’s interior are by reservation, Monday-Friday, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Central High is still a public school and is not open to the general public except by NPS guided tours.
• 503 E. Ninth St., Little Rock
Housed in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal, the museum commemorates the state’s military history from the territorial period to the present. Permanent exhibits depict the Jeep’s impact on WWII, the history of the Little Rock Arsenal, and the arsenal’s role during the Civil War. The gift shop offers books and collectibles related to Arkansas military history. Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
• 501 W. Ninth St., Little Rock
This state-of-the-art facility houses more than 8,000 square feet of interactive and educational exhibits focusing on preserving, interpreting and celebrating African American history. Guests can learn about achievements Black Arkansans have made in politics, business, and the arts through guided tours, family-friendly workshops and activities, and our signature Family Fun Saturdays. Admission is free. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday.
• 500 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
Located in the River Market District, the museum offers hands-on exhibits for the entire family. Visitors can explore the wonders of nature, science, technology and history in an interactive, educational environment. Group rates are available for camp-ins, birthday parties and rentals. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for ages 12 and under. Free for children under 1. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Open on Monday holidays and summer.
• 506 Main St., North Little Rock
The North Little Rock Heritage Center showcases North Little Rock history. Open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
• 300 W. Markham St., Little Rock
Arkansas starts here. Already under construction when Arkansas became a state in 1836, the Old State House represents 179 years of Arkansas history. It served as the state capitol until 1911 and is a National Historic Landmark. The building is now home to a museum highlighting the fascinating history of Arkansas. Featured exhibits include True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley,” which demonstrates how one man’s devotion can result in profound works of art, and “Cabinet of Curiosities: Treasures from the University of Arkansas Museum Collection,” an exclusive look at an extensive collection that has been closed to the public for over a decade. Admission is free. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, for field trips and tours, but they must be scheduled in advance.
• 405 Main St., North Little Rock
The Argenta Community Theater (ACT) is a nonprofit organization committed to serving the community through education and advancement of the performing arts. The facility offers a unique versatility unlike any other in Arkansas. Check dates and times of events on website or email Info@ArgentaCommunityTheater.com.
• 501 E. Ninth St., Little Rock
Recognized by The Drama League as one of the best regional theater companies in America, Children’s Theatre is the only professional company in Arkansas that produces children’s literary works for the stage. Since 1979, Children’s Theatre has been creating exceptional theater for family audiences. Performances take place 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Ticket office is open only on performance days and opens one hour prior to curtain.
• 601 Main St., Little Rock
The Rep presents six main stage performances and several special events each season. Performances are held in the restored Galloway building in downtown Little Rock. Group rates are available. Call for reservations. Student matinees are at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays for certain productions, listed on The Rep’s website. The season runs from August to June.
• P.O. Box 7328, Little Rock
Performances downtown at The Robinson Performance Hall
The ASO is a non-profit professional orchestra serving Arkansas. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call or visit website for tickets and more information.
• 520 Main St., Little Rock
For nearly 40 years, Ballet Arkansas is the state’s foremost professional ballet company. With 13 professional dancers from across the country, Ballet Arkansas continues to be a trailblazer for the advancement of dance in Arkansas. From the revival and performance of world-renowned classical ballets to the commissioning of newly created choreography, Ballet Arkansas performances are not to be missed. For more info, visit the website or follow on social media on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
• 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock
The CALS Ron Robinson Theater is a 315-seat multi-purpose event venue in the River Market district, on the Main Library campus. The theater hosts programs for all ages including films, music performances, plays, readings, lectures, speakers and children’s activities. Get the schedule of movies and activities at the theater's website.
• 300 S. Spring St., Suite 100, Little Rock
Performances downtown at The Robinson Performance Hall
Greater Little Rock is treated to national touring Broadway shows each year, courtesy of the Celebrity Attractions Broadway season. Hours vary with production.
• 320 W. Seventh St., Little Rock
For more than 50 years, the Community Theatre of Little Rock has been presenting comedies, dramas and musicals. A volunteer staff is responsible for each production. Performances are presented at The Public Theatre in downtown Little Rock. Call for current show information.
• 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
Jazz in the Park is a free, family-friendly event featuring local jazz performers held each Wednesday night in April and September, inside the natural stone amphitheater at the History Pavilion, in the city’s beautiful Riverfront Park. The event is completely free, and open to the public. Learn more at RiverMarket.info.
• 301 Main St., North Little Rock
Cafe (501) 372-0210 | Reservations (501) 372-0205
The Joint is a unique theater and coffee shop that offers custom coffees and blended drinks as well as pastries and snacks. Use our free Wi-Fi and relax in the cafe or out in the courtyard. Then return for cocktails in the evening while you enjoy a variety of entertainment Tuesdays through Saturdays. Open 7:30 a.m. until late Tuesday-Friday and 8:30 a.m.-until late Saturday.
• 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock
Movies in the Park is a free, annual outdoor movie series, open to the public, that is held each Wednesday night at sundown, June–July, at First Security Amphitheater on the shores of the Arkansas River, directly behind Ottenheimer Market Hall, inside Riverfront Park. To learn more, go to the website or visit the Facebook page.
• 6323 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock
Murry’s Dinner Playhouse has offered an all-you-can-eat buffet and Broadway’s best comedies and musicals since 1967. Tickets range from $23-$37 and includes dinner, show, coffee, tea and tax. Full bar available. Open 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Sunday and special Wednesday matinees open at 11 a.m., show starts at 12:45 p.m.
• 426 W. Markham St., Little Rock
(501) 370-3246 (booking information) | (501) 376-4781 (main)
Arkansas’s premier performing arts facility, the Robinson Center just celebrated its grand re-opening in November 2016 after completing a $70 million re-imagining and expansion. Its new, state-of-the-art, 2,214-seat Robinson Performance Hall is the performance home to a number of our city’s performing arts partners, including the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas and Celebrity Attractions’ Broadway Theater Series. Visit the website to learn about upcoming performances or purchase tickets.
• 1001 W. Seventh St., Little Rock
The Weekend Theater is a unique black-box theater at the corner of Seventh and Chester streets, producing socially conscious plays in Little Rock since 1993. The theater is decidedly New York in character– apartments upstairs, theater downstairs, pizza joint/microbrewery across the street, and the local fire station across the other. Productions run on weekends only. Tickets from $12 to $20. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and select Thursdays. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. and shows start at 2:30 p.m. on select Sundays.