The Blue Umbrella is an extension of the Department of Human Services/Division of Disabilities Services and is a unique gift shop that embraces inclusion for all. In our store, you will find one-of-a-kind, handmade items by Arkansans with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Our mission is to celebrate these individuals who want to work and contribute to their communities while providing them a sense of pride and source of income.
The idea started in 2016 with a concept for our residents of the Human Development Center’s (HDC) and clients in the community to have an opportunity to sell their handmade items and crafts to generate income. This concept resulted in the very first Fall Fest in the fall of 2016.
The first Fall Fest was such a success that we were determined to find a way for these clients to have a space for them to sell their goods and make money year-round.
In February 2019, The Blue Umbrella opened in the lobby of DHS Central Office in downtown Little Rock.
We also provide employment opportunities and act as a temporary training ground for customer service and retail experience to help transition into longer term supported employment.
Handcrafted in Arkansas
Blue Umbrella artists are located in all four corners of Arkansas and everywhere in between. Each piece of art in the store, whether made by an individual or by a group, is unique and reflects a learned skill, hobby, or class project.