Arts Admin alumna wins Governor's Award for Arts Community Development
Christina Littlejohn is the CEO of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
UC College-Conservatory of Music alumna Christina Littlejohn (MA Arts Administration, '99) won the 2023 Governor's Arts Award for Arts Community Development. The awards program recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Arkansas.
“The Governor’s Arts Awards recognize Arkansans who have made significant contributions to maintaining, growing and enhancing the arts in our state,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “These artists and art supporters are part of the cultural heritage of Arkansas and are fundamental components of our creative economy and quality of life.”
As CEO of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Littlejohn has guided a once-struggling nonprofit to become the state’s leader in music education and the top employer of professional teaching artists and musicians. In addition, the organization has balanced its budget for 13 consecutive years while expanding its music education programs. ASO launched the Sturgis Music Academy in 2016 to provide hands-on music instruction by ASO instructors. The program partners with local schools without music programs of their own.
Throughout the pandemic, the ASO continued to provide performance and learning opportunities with online offerings and instructional videos. Littlejohn’s vision and commitment also paved the way for a new dedicated performance space featuring a recording and broadcast studio to reach all corners of the state. ASO will break ground on the new Community Music Center in 2023. Littlejohn used a combination of strategic planning, restructuring, board cultivation and development, sustainable operations and fundraising to transform ASO to the successful and impactful arts organization it is now.
Littlejohn is the second CCM Arts Administration alumna to win a Governor's Arts Award this year; Kathy Wade (MA Arts Administration, '81) won a Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio.