Arkansas lawmakers work to grow a creative economy across the state | Texarkana

TEXARKANA, Ark. – The state of Arkansas is hoping to boost the economy by creating more job opportunities through music, arts and technology.

Last year, lawmakers passed a bill designed to positively impact the quality of life of all residents by developing a “creative economy.”

Lawmakers are partnering “Arkansans for the Arts” to help people across the state understand what career possibilities are available when connecting arts and technology. The group of lawmakers have been in legislative boot camps all over the state, and Wednesday they made a stop in southwest Arkansas at the Texarkana, Arkansas School District.

The initiative aims to expand the creative economy, increase revenue, and grow, retain, and attract creative talent in Arkansas.

A group of students from Trice Elementary School in Texarkana showed lawmakers and community leaders how they’re infusing arts and technology into everyday life through robotics. State Sen. Joyce Elliott is a co-sponsored of the legislation.

“Let’s say we wanted to promote something in southwest Arkansas, somebody has to know how to put together the graphics and know how we’re training kids for the jobs, not just the jobs that are here, but the jobs we want to attract,” said Elliott.

Elliott say the boot camp in Texarkana is one of their last meetings, but they’re planning to continue growing the state’s creative economy into the future.

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that as many as 65 percent of children in school today will work in jobs that have not yet been created.

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