Lifestyles

Center provides creative outlet for Siloam Springs community

Sager Creek Arts Center has served as a source for visual arts in Siloam Springs for almost 30 years. The Center’s goal is to be an entertainment anchor in securing Siloam Springs as a destination location.

Founded in 1984, the Center provided access to the arts for the local community and surrounding areas. The name for Sager Creek comes from the landmark creek that runs through the middle of the town, named in remembrance of the first white family to settle the area in 1839.

The Center’s mission is to enrich and educate the community in the visual and performance arts.

They occupy the old sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church downtown. Built in 1921, the church is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Stephen Sbanotto served as a member of the Center in his youth and is now one of its board members.

“Sager Creek Arts Center has provided quality, entertaining, educational, and culturally enriching experiences for the community of Siloam Springs and surrounding areas through the last 29 years,” he said.

“The arts provide a means through which we can grow as individuals as well as connect with one another – just as true for those who produce the art as those who interact with it,” Sbanotto continued. “The impact of the Arts Center in my life started at seven years old when I began acting [there]. Acting gave me a way to get my creative energies out.”

John Brown University is one of the largest organizational connections the Center has in the community. In conjunction with University students, the Center leads the way for arts and entertainment in Siloam.

The two organizations worked together in the past to feature artists and thespians in several theater productions.

The Center houses an art gallery and offers dance and playwright competitions that are open to the community. University photography majors can display their work, if there is space available.

The Center is a volunteer-led organization, and hours of operation are limited to the availability of the volunteer staff. The Center hopes to increase revenue through memberships, sponsors and sold-out venues. Future plans include increasing hours of operation and growing the number of memberships.

Tom Leadabrand, owner and operator of Fratelli’s Pizzeria supports the Center by offering dinner discounts and pizza ingredients named after them. He hopes they will continue to grow and stay open for longer periods of time.

“The value of entertainment along with the retail shops and restaurants will continue to help put Siloam Springs on the map as a destination in the northwest Arkansas region, and that should be a community goal,” Leadabrand said.

Patrons and community visitors can visit the Center’s website at www.sagercreekartscenter.com for more information on performance schedules and previous productions. Production and gallery space are available to the community. The Center plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2014.