FROM DREAMS TO REALITY
Beginning as a dream by teachers, students, and parents, through the dedication and commitment of the Tiger Fund-raising committee, the tremendous contributions of the Ferold Arend Family, the Jack Shewmaker family and several private and corporate donors, the AREND ARTS CENTER officially opened its doors on January 20, 2003, to throngs of young and old alike proudly beaming at this new theatrical treasure.
The Grand Opening week was kicked off by members of BHS Forensics conducting tours through the facility. Featured stops were the JACK SHEWMAKER FAMILY GALLERY, featuring art works from several Bentonville High School students, and the backstage area of the Center. Everyone agreed that the theatre was something special. Following introductions and words of thanks, the evening culminated with an electrifying and entertaining presentation by award-winning and renowned concert pianist, Vladimir Zaitsev. His wit, humor, and expertise on the piano rang out through the hall and the audience, with a unanimous standing ovation, almost seemed sad to have the evening end. The week continued on Tuesday, January 21, with performances by BHS Drama and Forensics students. Wednesday, the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce held the official ribbon cutting ceremony, and the 4 days of festivities ended on Thursday, January 23, with performances by bands and choirs from the Bentonville Public Schools.
The DREAM had truly become a REALITY!