Our History

Inspired by a 2012 visit to Spoleto Arts Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, ACANSA's Founder, Charlotte Gadberry approached the Mayors of Little Rock, North Little Rock and leaders of our arts communities about collaborating to make ACANSA Arts Festival a reality for Central Arkansas and they enthusiastically agreed. A grass-roots movement ensued with hundreds of volunteers working together in numerous roles to bring this annual festival to Arkansas. The inaugural festival took place September 23-28, 2014. ACANSA continues to develop year after year and is working to establish Arkansas as the next great arts and culture destination in the U.S.

Our History

Inspired by a 2012 visit to Spoleto Arts Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, ACANSA's Founder, Charlotte Gadberry approached the Mayors of Little Rock, North Little Rock and leaders of our arts communities about collaborating to make ACANSA Arts Festival a reality for Central Arkansas and they enthusiastically agreed. A grass-roots movement ensued with hundreds of volunteers working together in numerous roles to bring this annual festival to Arkansas. The inaugural festival took place September 23-28, 2014. ACANSA continues to develop year after year and is working to establish Arkansas as the next great arts and culture destination in the U.S.

Leadership

DILLON HUPP  /  Executive Director Dillon Hupp is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, where he graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2008. He attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where he graduated with a degree in American Studies and a focus in Race and Ethnicity in 2012. Following his graduation from Middlebury, he worked as a sportswriter in Vermont before moving back to Little Rock in 2013 to accept a position with the Democratic Party of Arkansas. A lifelong lover of the arts in Central Arkansas, Dillon was hired as Executive Director of ACANSA in Apil 2017. From 2013-2017, Dillon served as the assistant to the Chair, Finance Director, and Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. During his tenure he oversaw some of the greatest fundraising success in Party history, including Jefferson-Jackson Dinners with Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2015 and President Bill Clinton in 2016. He also helped coordinate and execute a successful Arkansas delegation experience at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. In his spare time, Dillon serves as the Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Pulaski County and the Commissioner of Little Rock RBI baseball, a program aimed at providing baseball instruction in a fun and safe environment for players who might not otherwise have an opportunity to play. Dillon lives in downtown Little Rock and enjoys watching sports, playing guitar, and struggling to maintain dominance over his three cats.

JOHN GAUDIN  /  President of the Board Originally from St. Martinville, Louisiana, John has made Arkansas his home since 1982. Since that time he has gone on to become a pillar of the community and devotes most of his energy to developing Argenta into one of the nation's fastest growing art communities. In 1990 John founded his holistic wealth advisory business (now called Argenta Wealth Management) and continues to advise clients on a wide range of financial matters. In the 1990s he developed a passion for painting, which led him to become involved in the non-profit art world, and volunteer on a range of boards including the Thea Foundation and City Year. In 2010 John founded Argenta Friends of the Arts and the Argenta Arts Foundation, both of which fund art initiatives in the region. In 2012 John was nominated to represent Arkansas to the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a position he continues to hold. In addition to presiding over the ACANSA board, John also co-founded the Art Connection as part of the Arkansas Innovation Hub and is proud to bring rich Arkansas stories to the table through Potluck & Poison Ivy, another arts organization he founded in 2017.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee John Gaudin - PresidentHeather LarkinKaren FetzerKen Harrison

Bernie BaskinKelley BassKirk BradshawShearle FurnishCharlotte GadberryLeslie GoldenHarry Hamlin

Cindy HedgesSharon HeflinChris JamesJanna Riley KnightJoe KolbMary KumpurisJames McBryde

Linda NewbernSteven OwenJoy PenningtonDon RigginLupita Roy-RasheedWarwick SabinMelanie TaylorBill Temple

Ex OfficioDillon Hupp, Executive DirectorPulaski County Judge Barry HydeLittle Rock Mayor Mark StodolaNorth Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith

Advisory Council

Linda Newbern – ChairJohn GaudinBernie BaskinSteve DavisonRyan HarrisTodd HermanJoe KolbPhilip MannAlan NewChristen PittsMelissa ThomaJohn Willis

Founding Member Society

These supporters contributed to the inaugural ACANSA Arts Festival Annual Fund and are now lifelong members of the Founding Member Society.

Jan & Larry AlmanAristotleArkansas Arts CouncilArkansas Black Hall of FameArkansas Children's HospitalArkansas Community FoundationArkansas Health & Wellness SolutionsJane & Bill ArthursAY MagazinePatti BaileyCatherine BaysDebbie & Rob BassSue & Richard BlakeJill & Robert BloomLee BodenhamerMelissa BondChucki & Curt BradburyLisa & Sam BrannumCharlotte & Bob BrownLinda BrownSherry & Lance BurchettBrianne & Brian BushBylitesKelley JohnsonSteve JoinerJones Film & VideoLou & John JoyceJunior League of Little RockJoe KolbMary KumpurisHeather LarkinSara & Jay LangMary Lynn & John LaningLaw Offices of Peter MillerLegacy Termite & Pest Control, Inc.Little Rock Regional Chamber of CommerceLittle Rock Convention & Visitors BureauSandy & Aaron LubinJo LuckJoJo LuskMangan HolcombCathie MatthewsBrenda MauldinSusan MayJudy McAinshPat & Jim McClellandMaryann & Bob McKuinMid-America Arts Alliance

Central Arkansas Library SystemSherry ChesserCity of Little RockCita CobbStuart CobbFran & David CockcroftEllon CockrillCatherine & Howie CockrillBarbara & Lee ColwellJohn & Dale CookJames B. ConnerCranford Robinson Woods, Inc.Catherine & Kevin CrassTrudie CromwellDassault/FalconTimothy DatersAnita DavisDorothy & Fallon DavisIrene DavisCarolyn & Max DavisRenay & David DeanDelta Trust & BankDemocrat Printing & LithographBlanche & Beadle MooreBarbara & Mal MooreDorothy Morris, Morris Foundation, IncMoses Tucker Real EstateAnne MourningDon MunroNabholz ConstructionLinda & Gordon NewbernJennifer & John NewbernCarolyn NeushwangerNorth Little Rock Chamber of CommerceNorth Little Rock, CityClair NormanWalter NunnelleyJerry ParhamBill & Kay PattonDenver PeacockDon PfeiferPike Law Firm, PLLCChristen & Kyle PittsElaine PoynterDawn PrasifkaCindy PughRelyance BankRiggs Benevolent Fund

Kearney DietzNancy DickinsDOWNSTREAM Casino ResortSusan ElderCarol & Byron EisemanEntergy CorporationSusan FarqueJoyce & James FaulknerKaren & Jerry FetzerDebra FiserJimmie Lou FisherRick FleetwoodDora Jane & Greg FlesherLorraine & David FrazierMildred FrancoGadberry Financial GroupCharlotte & Jim GadberryJohn GaudinGill Ragon Owen, PALeslie GoldenGolden Eagle of ArkansasTisha GribbleRiver City Print & ImagingMary & M. J. RobbinsBobby RobertsRoller Funeral HomesDale & Lee RonnelJennifer & Steve RonnelRotary Club 99 FoundationRose Law FirmWarwick SabinMary Ann SalmonWendy & Ted SaerSally & Walter SedelowHarryette ShueBelinda ShultsSimmons First National BankElizabeth & Thomas SmallJudy SnowdenSoiree’Ray SouthCaroline StevensonJanice & Fred TaylorT C Print SolutionsPat & William L. TedfordRhona & Bill TempleHenry ThomasTipton & Hurst

Barbara GravesHelen & Fred HarrisonKen HarrisonLeighanne & Keith HarveyBarbara & Howard HawesJulie HaughtSharon HeflinLauriann HeislerDonna HelmsAnne B. HickmanHoliday Inn PresidentialConnie & Fritz HollenbergGwen Holton LangleyWanda HooverCatherine HughesJan & Randal HundleyCary & Fred HuntRobert HuppInretrospecMyron JacksonJanet Jones CompanySue & Lynn JenkinsJill & Charles JohnsonJudy JohnsonKenda TreadwayRichard TripodiCynthia VanWinkleVerizonIrene & Gus VratsinasBeverly & Buddy VillinesSharon VogelpohlWalter F. Laman Public LibraryBetty Jo WardNancy & Harlan WeberFrank WestermanMargaret WhillockAnn & Richard WilliamsMary & Jim WohllebJessie WilsonVirginia YoungAileen & Kevin Zaffaroni