Hardison named to Calico Rock Museum Board

Freda Cruse Hardison has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Calico Rock Museum Foundation. She was born and raised in Stone County and has a passion for the region’s history. Hardison was instrumental in the development of the Native American and Jesse James exhibits through her extensive research and effort.

She is an award-winning artist, acclaimed author of history books, and acclaimed researcher. She has specialized in bringing the history of the area to print by sharing stories from people’s everyday lives. Her book, Frank and Jesse James “Friends and Family,” was recognized with the Sons of Confederate Veterans Literary Award. She was also honored with the 2017 Folk Life Award by the Arkansas Arts Council for her work in preserving oral histories, historic cemeteries, and historic sites in the area.

Hardison has devoted her retirement years to advancing causes that matter to her. Following the death of her daughter, she founded the Nikki Lee Atwell Foundation as a national nonprofit supporting art, music and humanities in Izard, Stone and Independence county.

She and her husband Beau, owner of Aircraft Structural Inspections, make their home in the Livingston Creek community. Her daughter Mariah Gayler lives in San Diego and her daughter Annie Phillips lives in Denver.

Calico Rock City Council member Junior Watts say without question, there is no one more passionate about Calico Rock history and supporting the museum than Hardison.

Museum executive director Gloria Sanders concurs adding Hardison brings experience and a passion that will help the museum continue to expand and grow.

The Calico Rock Museum System encompasses the Heritage & Visitor Center and the Tomlinson Art & Science Center. For more information, call 870-297-6100 or visit www.calicorockmuseum.com .

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