Honoring Dorothy Morris
This year’s recipient of the Pillar of the Arts award.
Dorothy Morris, President and CEO of the Morris Foundation, was born in Hot Springs County and lived in Dallas, Texas, for many years before returning to Arkansas in 1985. She resides in Hot Springs and continues the work of her late husband, Walter Morris, a pioneering philanthropist who helped create Heifer Project International.
Through the Morris Foundation, Dorothy supports more than 50 nonprofits annually and provides seed money to many organizations. From food banks to the Fine Arts and medical research, the Morris Foundation has nourished Arkansas’s cultural institutions, both large and small, for decades.
As a co-founder of the Hot Springs Giving Circle, with Don Munro, Dorothy works with a group of dedicated philanthropists to create a model of “targeted giving,” having disbursed more than a $600,000 since the inception of the Giving Circle in 2007.
An enthusiastic collaborator, Dorothy worked to raise funds for Hot Springs artist Linda Williams Palmer, which resulted in a touring exhibit of the “Champion Trees” project and an AETN Emmy Award-winning documentary film of the same name. Dorothy is on the Board of Visitors for UAMS and advises or supports the Hot Springs Cultural Alliance, Hot Springs Music Festival, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Point Cedar Food Bank, National Park College, Henderson University, Ouachita University, Arkansas Food Bank, UALR, Arkansas Policy Foundation, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Thea Foundation and ASMSA.
Dorothy continues her life’s calling in Hot Springs, working to establish and maintain arts festivals through the city’s Cultural Alliance while mentoring young people and inspiring all who know her.