Brandon House Cultural & Performing Arts Center was co-founded in 2010 by members of the Bax family, Paul Bax, husband to Dr. Pamela Bax and father to Dr. Patrice Bax and son, Dion Bax. Paul Bax is the visionary behind the creation of the Brandon House. He is a seasoned professional accountant by trade, is also a visionary business leader who inspired the Bax family to start and realize their dream of developing the Brandon House business as a nonprofit organization
While pursuing her graduate degree from the UALR, it was driving down 12th & University in Little Rock where the former Brandon House Furniture store was located that Paul’s vision and Dr. Patrice’s desire to see some type of building or a gathering place where cultural activities would illuminate, educate and entertain through affordable cultural opportunities that could enrich the quality of life of diverse audiences in a venue located outside of downtown Little Rock.
Oftentimes, the Bax family would walk around the former Brandon House Furniture store to peep inside as they envisioned what a building could encompass relative to arts-based programming. During one of their visits to the former furniture store, Dr. Pam Bax noticed the inscription on a plaque on the outside wall inscribed by the general contractors. This inscription further inspired the Bax family’s vision to create a building or space that could house community arts-based programming and to name the organization the Brandon House Cultural & Performing Arts Center. The plaque on the outside wall of the furniture store building had the inscription:
“Faith in God, faith in the free enterprise system, faith in ourselves, our employees and our customers enabled us to build this building. To men and women in government, in business, in community service, in family life—to all who believe in the free enterprise system and practice its principles –and to those in the armed forces who have offered their lives to defend this system, we dedicate this building.”
Additionally, the Bax family was guided in the development and creation of the vision by Habakkuk Chapter 2, verses 2-3 – 2 Then the LORD told me: “I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance. 3 At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen! Contemporary English Version
The Bax Family created a document entitled Shaping the Vision which served as the business plan and guide for developing Brandon House Cultural & Performing Arts Center. On February 2, 2013, a meeting was convened with select individuals who formed the Brandon House development team who would go on to guide and lead the organization during its formative years and grow the organization to its current status. Through the development team, the vision emerged to have a venue that not only would offer arts education and arts-based performance activities, but the vision included arts-based business incubation services for aspiring and novice artists; a business entrepreneurial training program for local artists and arts-based businesses; arts-based internship opportunities; and arts-based workforce training. The development team envisioned the venue serving both youth, young adults, college students, and elderly community residents through various arts-based programming.
Through research conducted by Dion Bax which entailed looking at existing performing arts centers and arts-based programming to define Brandon House’s niche, the development team and the co-founders came to understand that Brandon House did not propose to be an exclusive arts performing center. Rather they see Brandon House as an urban community-based multi-discipline, multicultural center that supports the efforts of school districts; faith-based community based organizations, and other arts and cultural groups through creative and innovative partnerships for all ages across all genres and arts-based mediums.
Each year, the senior Bax members travel in and around the United States seeking new talents and different ways to bring quality arts-based programming to the communities we serve. The Bax family continues to inspire the vision as Brandon House seeks to expand its services and programs and under his visionary guidance, we will continue to propel the vision forward.