July 2019 Magazine

Arkansas Businesses Celebrating Anniversaries: Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science, and the Arts – 25 Years


by Tristan Bennett

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science, and the Arts – 25 Years

This year many Arkansas businesses are celebrating big anniversaries alongside our state’s celebration of its territory bicentennial. Anniversaries are always an accomplishment, whether it’s one year, a centennial or more. 

Bought as part of the Louisiana Purchase, the land that became Arkansas was established as a territory on March 2, 1819, according to the “Encyclopedia of Arkansas.” To celebrate the bicentennial, Arkansans gathered at the State Capitol in March for a party complete with a birthday cake, historical displays and a speech from Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Several of the state’s businesses are holding their own anniversary celebrations this year. It’s a milestone many do not get to enjoy. Twenty percent of businesses never see their first anniversary, and only about half will make it to their fifth year, according to the Small Business Administration. Arkansas is lucky to have such a diverse economy made up of local, homegrown businesses that Arkansans have continued to support for many years. 

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science, and the Arts (ASMSA) has been educating Arkansas’ future leaders for 25 years. ASMSA opened in Hot Springs in 1993 as an investment by the state’s General Assembly. 

The school receives all its funding from the state, says Donnie Sewell, ASMSA’s public information specialist. 

“We can’t raise a millage to be able to have capital to build new buildings,” he says. 

Because of this, the school has experienced challenges with its infrastructure. The first new building since ASMSA’s opening did not come until 2012, and the Creativity and Innovation Complex opened this year as the first new academic building on campus. It houses the computer science, digital graphic art and entrepreneurship departments as well as many others.

The past several years have seen growth in the arts programs, which were added to the school in 2004. 

“We hired our first full-time art teacher about four years ago,” Sewell says, “and this year we added a second who is teaching ceramics.”

They have also hired the first full-time music teacher who directs the band and several ensembles.

ASMSA is investing in Arkansas’ future. ASMSA is able to produce such a high caliber of graduates by keeping its faculty up-to-date on the latest knowledge in their fields and providing a place where students feel like they belong.


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