Nonprofit News: February Edition


Library Square — the cluster of Central Arkansas Library System locales in the River Market — is getting a makeover. CALS announced a large-scale renovation of the Main Library branch that will shut down the building from fall 2023 to early 2025, but hopes to bring “a more robust community resources area, better use of the outdoor space, a retail/cafe section and an overall more welcoming atmosphere for any visitor.”

A temporary circulation desk, public computer lab and meeting spaces will move across the street to The Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square during the process. Unfortunately, the retail space will not return after the temporary setup moves out, but CALS has plans to reimagine it to best suit patrons’ needs. And don’t worry, the popular Friends of CALS Used Book Sales will continue throughout the renovation, though locations are TBD.


Just before the holidays, The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas celebrated a milestone: the completion of the Blue Mountain Natural Area trailhead. TNC and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission have teamed up to conserve the westernmost peak in the Maumelle Pinnacles chain, saving rare species and providing new recreation opportunities for explorers.

“Because supporters of The Nature Conservancy’s response to our request to protect Blue Mountain was so quick and so generous, we add to the natural areas in the state’s urban center, a rarity, with easy accessibility by so many,” TNC Philanthropy Director Jennifer Barnhouse says. “Blue Mountain is proof of a wonderfully collaborative conservation community in Arkansas that gets things done. We look forward to welcoming the public in spring 2023.”


After flooding damage displaced Special Olympics Arkansas from its headquarters at 2115 Main St. in North Little Rock, the organization has spent the past three years in a temporary location that didn’t fit its growing needs. Now, SOAR has announced plans to rebuild on the Main Street lot, plans that promise an additional 4,680 SF of office space, modern design and other much-needed upgrades. Visit to learn how you can contribute to the capital campaign.


• Jonathan Seaborn has been named the new general manager of UA Little Rock Public Radio.

Credit: Jonathan Seaborn

• Arthur Orduña is the new executive director of The Venture Center.

Credit: Arthur Orduna

• City Year Little Rock added two new teammates: Alexis Freeman as community partnership manager and Marlie Mehu as learning and experience manager.

Credit: Alexis Freeman and Marlie Mehu

• Dr. Jess Porter, associate professor of geography at UA Little Rock, has been named the executive director of the university’s Center for Arkansas History and Culture. 

Credit: Jess Porter

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