Hempstead Hall, the performing arts and conference center on the University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana's Hope campus, will remain closed to the public until at least December 2020 due to public health and safety measures surrounding COVID-19. All clients have been notified of the closure and no future bookings are being taken at this time.
But just because in-person events will not be taking place within the walls of the building, that does not mean the entertainment and community enrichment has stopped. “We are challenging ourselves to find new and interesting ways to stay connected with the community,” said Amanda Lance, Director of Hempstead Hall and Workforce Development. “The Hempstead Hall team has learned many new skills during the pandemic, such as how to create virtual events.”
Hempstead Hall recently produced a livestreamed concert featuring local band, South Down Main, which benefitted the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce and raised over $15,000 for the Chamber. “Our mission is to provide connections through our community to promote life-long learning and enrichment, and that looks a little different in 2020,” said Lance. “One example of that was the ‘NOT The Watermelon Festival Concert CONCERT’ with the Chamber. We were thrilled when the Chamber wanted to partner with us as we learned how to bring an actual live concert safely to our area.”
Hempstead Hall will host several other virtual events in the near future including two concert events in October as well as five drive-in movies throughout the fall.
Drive-in Movie Schedule: September 25 – Knives Out October 9 – Just Mercy October 23 – The Nightmare Before Christmas November 6 – Rudy November 20 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
All drive-in movies will be held behind the Science & Technology Building on the Hope campus. Cost is $15 per vehicle and tickets may be purchased in advance at hempsteadhall.com or may be purchased the night of the movie.
October 15 – a night of music arranged by Arnetta Bradford to show appreciation for those in the community who have be affected by COVID-19. More information to follow.
“We are also working closely with the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council’s community theater troupe, the SWActors, to bring a concert-play hybrid to life in December,” said Lance. “It’s important for us to find ways to connect with people while following the health and safety guidelines that are currently in place. I want to encourage all our community to continue to support the events industry through this difficult time, even when the events aren’t exactly what you would want. It’s important to keep our industry going strong so that when restrictions are removed, we can continue to bring you entertainment and educational opportunities.”