The Center for the Arts recently honored members of the Center pARTners volunteer group who donated 300 hours of community service during the past 2016-17 season.  Volunteers were recognized during the annual celebration luncheon recently held in the BlackBox of The Center.  This years event, “Let’s Taco Bout How Awesome You Are”, was a time for volunteers to come together and be honored for their numerous hours of assisting guests and staff of The Center during the many events held this past year.  Events included Tim Hawkins Live, Tis the Season Christmas Spectacular, Lion King Jr., the US Army Field Band in Concert, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and more.

“I cannot say enough about how much our volunteers contribute to the success of an event”, stated Wendy Sparks, operations manager.  She continued with “you will see them before the curtain rises ushering guests to their seat or assisting with tickets, making sure all is ready and everyone has all they need to enjoy a great show”.  Sparks also said “the amount of time volunteers put into helping guests is greatly appreciated by Center staff, show promoters and the performers themselves.  Most people do not realize how many personnel it takes to make it all come together and without volunteers helping staff with guests needs most events would not be as successful or enjoyable.”

Also recognized during the event for outstanding service and time given to The Center was Carol Shoptaw, the 2016-17 Center pARTners Volunteer of the Year.  Mrs. Shoptaw began volunteering during the 2013-14 season and has devoted over 95 hours of time during Center events since joining the group.  This past season Carol gave 36 hours of volunteer time to Center events.  Carol plays a vital role of assisting guests to their seats, helping those in need and working with students and teachers during the Center Stage Education Series events. Rachel Armstrong, Center pARTners coordinator, stated, “Carol always steps up when we are in need of volunteers.  She and her husband, John, always make an effort to give of their time to help us make an event enjoyable for our guest”.

It is clearly evident when attending an event at The Center; the people greeting, seating, directing and taking tickets truly enjoy what they do.  “We are so blessed with the dedicated volunteers we have, we appreciate all of them and thank them for giving of their valuable time to us”, stated Sparks.

The Center pARTners currently have a membership roster of over of 35 volunteers.  If you enjoy helping others, meeting new people and serving your community, contact The Center on how you may be able to join this group.  For more information call 479-498-6600 or email at  For upcoming events visit