Arkansas State University has received a challenge grant to reconstruct and rebuild buildings in the Historic Dyess Colony, an agricultural resettlement colony including Johnny Cash's boyhood home.
Ruth Hawkins, director of Arkansas Heritage Sites, heard about ASU receiving the $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities late last week, she said in an ASU news release. She said the funds from this grant will be used to rebuild the historic theater in the Dyess Colony Center as a visitor and welcome center.
Challenge grants require a three-to-one match, so in order to receive the full $500,000 grant, ASU must raise an additional $1.5 million for Dyess Colony projects. ASU has already raised about $500,000 toward the required match and has another five years to raise the money.
The $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant brings the total raised to date for the Dyess Colony project to $1.87 million, including three grants totaling $1,000,000 through the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and $373,000 in concert proceeds and private contributions, the release states.
“This challenge grant gives us tremendous momentum for developing the Historic Dyess Colony as a major heritage site for the state and the region,” Hawkins said in a statement. “Dyess is a remarkable story of a unique federal experiment during the New Deal to help farmers in the midst of the Great Depression.
Arkansas Heritage Sites develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta.