Murphy Foundation commits $5 million to El Dorado festival events

The Murphy Foundation has committed $5 million to support El Dorado Festival and Events Inc.

The El Dorado based non-profit organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life primarily through strategic support of educational and cultural programs, a spokesman said.

EFEI is a private non-profit group that promotes a local art collective and district working to bring more than 250 performances a year to the community.

Last week, the El Dorado City Council voted 8 to 0 to support the plan and provide $9 million.

“The Murphy Foundation believes that a solid business plan is the key to success,” said Madison Murphy, president of The Murphy Foundation. “El Dorado Festival and Events Inc. has provided a road map, backed by research and key demographic data, that will foster this culture of Southern arts and, in turn, create a tremendous opportunity for El Dorado and the region.”

The EFEI will collaborate with the Southern Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the longest continually running orchestra in the state, and the Southern Arkansas Arts Center (SAAC), a community organization that supports and represents local performing and visual arts. It will also renovate our Rialto Theatre and upgrade it into The Southern Theatre Festival. The total cost of the project is $50 million.

“We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of The Murphy Foundation,” said Austin Barrow, president of El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc. “This project will be a true partnership and will reflect the strengths of our community.”