The state is poised to hand over control of the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame to the city of Pine Bluff. A bill passed in the Arkansas House on Friday would transfer the operation from the state Department of Parks and Tourism to the city’s Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission.
Update: The Department of Parks and Tourism provided KUAR with attendance figures for the Hall of Fame. It reveals a dramatic decline in recent years.
2017 – To date 2,675
2016 – 5,793
2015 – 7,125
2014 – 16,932
2013 – 21,102
2012 – 18,648
Posted March 17: A state Representative from Pine Bluff, Democrat Vivian Flowers, sponsored the bill at the behest of the state.
“The city of Pine Bluff already holds and owns the artifacts for the Arkansas Entertainment (SIC) Hall of Fame. About $30,000 still sits in the account and basically Parks and Tourism no longer wants to administer the program or manage the funds. It was agreed to and the governor is supportive,” said Flowers.
The state Entertainers Hall of Fame was authorized by the Arkansas Legislature in 1985. The first class wasn’t inducted until 1996 and included Glen Campbell, Jimmy Driftwood, and Mary Steenburgen among others.. A life-size animatronic Johnny Cash statue greets visitors at the Hall, located in Pine Bluff’s Convention Center.
The proposal now heads to the Senate. You can check out more on the museum and its inductees here.