Live Performances: The Ouachita County Community Concert Association is proud to serve the local area, bringing quality, affordable entertainment to our community. Each season we present a series of at least four live performances. We strive to offer every man, woman and child in this community the opportunity to experience the magic of affordable, live, quality performances by bringing audiences and professional artists together. That mission is reflected in our website address – www.camdenaliveonstage.com.
Community Outreach: Each season, we bring at least one of our scheduled concert performance groups into area schools. Hundreds of students are engaged by our performers each year in demonstrations and mini-concerts. We believe that it is important to use our community outreach capacity to introduce our young people to the experience of live performances.
Students Are Our Future: In addition to community outreach, we make it easy for our young people to be engaged by live performances. Students through Grade 12 are admitted free with a subscriber to every concert performance. We have seen children as young as three-years old in our audiences, usually perched on their grandparent’s or parent’s knee with eyes wide glued on the performers and their bodies moving to the music. We are proud to be doing our part in igniting the arts in our young people and stimulating their creative spirits.
Member Participation: This is your concert association and has been since 1947. We invite all those interested to participate in bringing these programs to our region by your sponsorship, encouragement, and membership in the Ouachita County Community Concert Association as a season subscriber, and by joining the Ouachita County Community Concert Association Board of Directors. Yearly memberships include Flex Passes to each of the 4 shows.
Sponsors: The Ouachita County Community Concert Association has always been supported by Friends of OCCCA, Patron Donors and Corporate Sponsors. See the Community Support section of this website.
History – How It All Began
The Camden Civic Music Association was founded in 1947 with headquarters in the old Ouachita Hotel; concert booking services were provided by the Civic Concert Service of New York. Dr. R. B. Robins served as the first president. Annual membership dues were $5.00 per year for adults and $2.50 per year for students. Four concerts were held in the new Associations first year: the piano duo of Gold and Fisdale, the National Male Quartet, Metropolitan Opera soprano Frances Greer, and baritone Robert Hall Collins.
America’s interest in live music performances had gained ground rapidly in the 1920s. Audiences to support such concerts were largely confined to major population centers. Bringing noted musical artists or groups to rural areas usually meant relying on major benefactors to underwrite as much of the cost as possible and attracting large enough audiences to meet the balance of costs. Rural communities and small cities had a hard time attracting talent without guarantees and because performing artists could not afford to travel long distances without being able to spread their cost out over several concerts in close proximity to one another.
The Community Concert movement in America was born out of that dilemma when two music managers in Chicago were desperate to keep their small booking company afloat in the face of declining attendance. In 1920, they had the idea of reducing local financial risk by organizing permanent concert associations on a non-profit membership basis and raising funds through membership campaigns to provide a budget for funding a full concert season. Once the money was raised, artists would be booked within the limits of funds raised.
In 1930, the nation’s leading artist management organizations, Columbia Artists Management, Inc. and National Artist Service (representing a majority of the established musical artists and attractions) had put the weight of their artistic and financial support behind Community Concerts. Despite the Great Depression, the organized concert membership movement rapidly expanded as artists could depend upon a network of cities with money in the bank to pay for the season’s concerts even before contracts were signed.
The Camden Civic Music Association provided live entertainment in Camden and the surrounding area for approximately 30 years before Community Concerts succeeded it. In 1979, Community Concerts reorganized as Ouachita County Community Concert Association, a 501©3 organization. Since the 2004-2005 season, concerts have been booked through Live on Stage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Over the years, Ouachita County Community Concert Association has afforded Camden and the surrounding area the opportunity to enjoy live, wholesome, professional entertainment.
The Ouachita County Community Concert Association promotes the arts and provides cultural entertainment for our community. Our goal is to present at least four professional performances each season, with a special emphasis on reaching out to young people – our future concert subscribers – to provide them with opportunities to meet our performers at masterclasses in area schools.
How to Contact Us
Write to us at:
PO Box 84
Camden, AR 71711-0084
Or fill out the form below to email us.
President: Nancy Arnold
Treasurer: Becky Lindsey
Secretary: Susan Ketchum
Venue Tech: John Dison
Marketing Chair: Norm MacNeill
Publicity Chair: Kay Martin
Nominating Chair: Becky Lindsey