The Old State House Museum team receives awards from the Arkansas Museums Association

Old State House Museum - Wednesday, September 23, 2020


The Old State House Museum team receives awards from the Arkansas Museums Association

LITTLE ROCK (Sept. 23, 2020) — During its online annual meeting on Sept. 15, the Arkansas Museums Association honored the Old State House Museum with two awards for museum excellence.

The association awarded Bill Gatewood, the Old State House Museum’s director, the Peg Newton Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for his ongoing contributions to the preservation of Arkansas heritage and his lifelong commitment to the museum community.

Over the past 28 years with the Old State House Museum, Gatewood has made significant contributions toward preserving the state’s history, including leading efforts to restore and repair the historic building’s foundation and guiding efforts to upgrade technology.

“We value the progress that Bill has made in expanding and protecting the museum’s collections and enhancing its educational programming,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “He is very deserving of this honor, and we congratulate him wholeheartedly.”

In addition, the Arkansas Museums Association gave the Outstanding Museum Volunteer of the Year Award to Elizabeth Colclasure, the 15-year-old daughter of Amanda Colclasure, the museum’s youth education coordinator. Elizabeth Colclasure volunteered approximately 60 hours in 2019 helping with the Little Beginnings Pre-Kindergarten Program. This was her fourth year volunteering with the museum, and she has also helped with other events.

“Despite the hardships of this year, the Old State House Museum continues moving forward in its mission to preserve, share and celebrate the history of Arkansas and its people,” said Jimmy Bryant, director of Arkansas Heritage. “This is largely due to the efforts of the dedicated staff and volunteers, like Bill and Elizabeth. We appreciate their hard work.”

About the Old State House Museum:

The Old State House Museum is located at 300 W. Markham St. in Little Rock. To protect the public during the pandemic, the museum hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free; the museum can validate parking at the DoubleTree hotel. Metered parking near the museum is free on weekends. For more information, call (501) 324-9685 or visit .

The Old State House Museum, a museum of Arkansas Heritage, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center are also parts of Arkansas Heritage, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

About the Arkansas Museums Association:

The Arkansas Museums Association (AMA), nonprofit membership organization, is an association of museums and museum personnel.

The AMA is dedicated to:

1. The promotion of professional standards in Arkansas museums

2. The encouragement of interaction between members

3. The development of public support for and interest in Arkansas museums