Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday that the state is halfway to its $1 million fundraising goal to replace its statues in the U.S. Capitol.
The state is working to replace its current statues in National Statuary Hall of attorney Uriah Rose and former Arkansas Gov. and Sen. James P. Clarke with statues of civil rights leader Daisy Bates and music icon Johnny Cash.
Hutchinson said the state has $510,000 in pledges and cash for the project.
“Today I am announcing that we are entering the public phase of our fundraising campaign,” Hutchinson said during a news conference held at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock.
Anyone wishing to donate to the project can visit this website: https://arkansasheritagefoundation.org/donate/.
Hutchinson said the $1 million goal for the project will cover the selection of sculptors, completing the work of having approval from the architect of the Capitol, and having the works shipped and placed in the Capitol.
“In the last 100 years Arkansas has changed as a state,” Hutchinson said. “ But the changes we have seen as a state are not reflected in our nation’s Capitol, and our visitors do not get to see that change in our representation in Arkansas.”
Hutchinson said his goal is to have both of the statues in place before he finishes his term as governor.
Shane Broadway is the chairman of the state’s National Statuary Hall Steering Committee.
“Millions of visitors from all around the world will now see and hear the Arkansas story of Daisy Bates and Johnny Cash, and how their lives, their actions, and words impacted people around the world, as well as their home state,” he said.
Bates was a civil rights activist and journalist, as well as a mentor to the nine children who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. She was born in Huttig, Arkansas, and died in 1999. Wednesday would have been her 106th birthday.
Cash, who died in 2003, grew up in Dyess, Arkansas. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and the Songwriter Hall of Fame.