- Provide scholarships to talented Arkansas music students in need of financial assistance to pursue higher education from an accredited college or university.
- Promote community service and volunteerism.
- Enhance reading, language and mathematical skills and other learning experiences.
- Develop leadership skills, including collaboration, team building, patience, persistence, discipline and self-esteem.
Art Porter,Sr. Music Education, Inc. (APSME), was founded to preserve the memory of musician, educator and producer, Art Porter, Sr., deceased July 22, 1993. He was well known for his extraordinary musical ability but also revered for his altruism. As founder of APSME, Art Porter Jr. wanted to honor his father’s legacy by continuing his love of music and promoting the importance of education through scholarships. Enlisting the help of his mother, Thelma and wife Barbi, the 501(c)(3) organization was incorporated in January 1994.
On November 23, 1996, Art Porter, Jr. perished in a boating accident in Thailand. Although both ARTS have transitioned to a higher realm of life, their spirits still live on in the organization, now renamed Art Porter Music Education, Inc. (APME), to include Art Jr. who, like his father, dedicated his life to music education, musical performance and community service.
After six years of fundraising and five scholarships awarded, fundraising activities ceased after the untimely death of Art Jr.’s wife, Barbi, who succumbed to cancer February 2, 2001. All efforts became focused on the well-being and development of the Porter children.
In 2010, family and friends reorganized APME with an expanded agenda that not only includes awarding scholarships, but also provides unique musical and educational opportunities for students. APME is committed to inspire the next generation of musicians, whether as educators, performers or producers, to explore non-traditional opportunities, and create interactive ways to inspire communities and future generations.
A WORK OF ART, the organization’s primary fundraiser was first held in 2011 to celebrate what would have been the 50th birthday of Art Porter Jr. This week-long fundraiser represents the untraditional diversity and distinctiveness that Art Jr. brought to the art of performance. An impressive group of local artists, music students, and national recording artists provide a week of unique educational experiences and unparalleled musicality! A WORK OF ART is held the first week of August, the birth month of Art Porter, Jr.
FOR THE LOVE OF ART, lovingly refers to the ‘maestro’ Art Porter Sr. and represents his love for community and generous spirit. In 2012, a musical tribute to Art Porter Sr., featured performances by local artists who were taught or inspired by Porter, Sr., at a free admission concert, made possible by the talented Arkansans who donate their time and talents. Supported by the donations of appreciative audiences, these fundraisers continue annually the first week in February, the birth month of Art Porter Sr.