FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Walton Arts Center confirms on May 23 the resignation of three more members of its board of directors following a decision regarding its policy on drag performance.

The Walton Arts Center confirmed the resignation of Shabana Kauser, Elecia Smith and Shelley Simmons.

The WAC said Kauser is one of the seven that resigned on May 19. Smith resigned on May 22 and Simmons resigned on May 23.

The six other board members that have resigned are:

  • Mervin Jebaraj
  • Secretary/Treasurer and DEIB Committee member Casey Hamaker
  • former Board Chair, Vice Chair and DEIB Committee Co-Chair Anne O’Leary-Kelly
  • DEIB Committee member Jody Dilday
  • DEIB Committee member Cal Rose
  • DEIB Committee Co-Chair Lia Uribe

The two newest resignations come after Arkansans for Social Justice held a protest at the Walton Arts Center in response in part due to the center’s decision to no longer host drag performances where minors are present.

The Walton Arts Center recently responded to the controversy in a statement where it said the decision not to host the events centered around the heightened and divisive political conversations around drag and minors.

Northwest Arkansas Equality released its own statement regarding what it calls “misinformation” surrounding the NWA Pride Youth Zone that was hosted at the WAC.