A new arts group will host its inaugural meeting and idea-generating session on May 10.

The Ashley County Arts Association will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 10, at the second pavilion at the Crossett City Park.

Organizer Doris Bakke said all are welcome to attend the meeting, at which guidelines and goals for the group will be set.

“There are so many talented people in this town, and our young people need someone to look up to,” she said. “If I can get some of these local artists — not just people who can paint or sing or dance, I mean all kinds of artists — and bring them together with these young people and expose them to something more, that would be great.”

Bakke said among her goals for the arts association would be to bring a ballet to Crossett, or to have young artists learn skills from an older artist.

“So many talents are dying out because people are not educated about them,” she said.

The working definition for “art” that the Ashley County Arts Association is using includes but is not limited to writing, welding, woodworking, wine making, seam stressing, cooking or baking, or any other kind of craft in addition to performing. A wine making class is already in the works.

Bakke said she has lots of ideas for the organization, but she doesn’t want to commit to too many goals until she gets input from other interested parties. 

“I certainly hope it goes beyond the scope of my imagination,” she said.

Once the goals are set, Bakke said, she would like to have the group formally incorporate as a non-profit.

But even before then, the association has something in the works to whet the whistle of any local artists — or would-be artists. The group is planning an Arts in the Park event for members of the community to show off their artistic skills. 

But first, there’s the planning meeting.

“I want to hear what other people would like to see,” Bakke said.

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