UCA News

UCA names Amanda Horton executive director of Public Appearances

Conway Institute of Music

Horton to oversee new Windgate Center, Reynolds Performance Hall

CONWAY–The University of Central Arkansas has named Amanda Horton as executive director of Public Appearances, overseeing the soon-to-open Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts, as well as the Reynolds Performance Hall.

“It’s been an honor to serve the UCA campus and central Arkansas community by presenting world-renowned performing arts events at Reynolds Performance Hall. I’m thrilled with the opportunity to build upon this work with the addition of the Windgate Fine and Performing Arts Center that will showcase a variety of arts disciplines with its multiple event spaces,” Horton said.

The new 114,000-square-foot Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts will merge art, music and theater in one place and build upon the two-decade success of Reynolds Performance Hall. Windgate’s new performance spaces will open more dates for Broadway tours and cultural performances in Reynolds’ already popular subscription series and provide an avenue for presenting emerging and niche market artists.

Amanda Horton
Amanda Horton

“UCA has repeatedly shown its dedication to arts education and integration with its educational degree programs, Reynolds Performing Arts Season, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Festival and more. This new center emphasizes this commitment to our students and community by offering unique cultural opportunities in an extraordinary setting,” Horton said.

Listen to podcast episode with Amanda Horton and Wendy Sparks of Reynolds Performance Hall

The Windgate Center will open for public performances in 2023, adding to the cultural offerings in central Arkansas and the entire state. Windgate’s Opening Night performance will be announced in January 2023.

“UCA is fortunate to have a leader in the arts community like Amanda Horton who has the knowledge and experience to showcase the magnificence of this building and all that it has to offer to patrons here in central Arkansas and the entire state,” said UCA President Houston Davis.

Horton earned a Bachelor of Arts at UCA and a Master of Arts at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has served as director of Reynolds Performance Hall since 2013. Under her leadership, average ticket sales growth exceeded 70% before the pandemic. She has programmed iconic artists, speakers, and shows such as Buddy Guy, Randy Newman, Blue Man Group, Kinky Boots, Bill Nye, Common and Rita Moreno.

She took the helm in creating the Main State Education Series at UCA, which exposes students from local schools to experience the performing arts. Since its inception, Main Stage has welcomed more than 50,000 students to campus to experience live, professional performing arts. In founding this program, Horton has worked to secure annual funding to provide no-cost tickets to students who receive free or reduced lunch. She also started the establishment of the Main Stage Education Series Endowment to fund the program sustainably.

More information about the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts is available here.

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