From center stage to sweet potato pie, here's a quick snapshot of the news worth noting in our city's nonprofits this month.

The Right Note

"Something's coming, something good..."

That's the teaser the Arkansas Repertory Theatre has used to let the world know that, after going dark in April, the theater is ready to take the stage once again in 2019.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, organizers are set to host a special reveal party announcing the upcoming season and giving the first glimpse at the reimagined Rep. The season announcement marks a pivot from the "Save The Rep" campaign to "Rebuild The Rep" through ongoing fundraising efforts.

"Our audiences have stepped up and answered the call to help us 'Save The Rep' … We could not be more grateful, but the crisis is not entirely over just yet," board chair and interim leadership team member Ruth Shepherd says. "With the generosity and support of our audiences, we have thankfully saved the theater, but now it’s time for us to transition that same enthusiasm and commitment into efforts to 'Rebuild the Rep.'"

In the past seven months, more than $692,000 in gifts and pledges have flowed in from supporters, which was then doubled by matching grants from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The board of directors is currently working to raise an additional $1.2 million in order to retire all remaining property debt and help establish operating and facility reserve funds, as well as the new Cliff Fannin Baker Artistic Director’s Fund in honor of the theater's late founder.

Ballet Arkansas Prepares a Truly Spectacular "Nutcracker" Season

Featuring three full casts of professionals and more than 200 local children and adults, Ballet Arkansas' goliath holiday production of the 40th anniversary "Nutcracker" Spectacular with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates the past and breathes new life into the organization’s most beloved holiday tradition.

"Every so often, productions need to go through an update. Unfortunately, wear and tear to costumes is just as common as audience fatigue," executive and artistic director Michael Fothergill says. "We want to keep our audiences and our dancers excited about what they might experience at a Ballet Arkansas performance."

This year's production has undergone a large-scale renovation; the entire first act features brand new choreography.

"We wanted to give the dancers in our community more opportunities to perform with our professional dancers and feature them more on stage within our 'Nutcracker' performances. They are, after all, a valuable part of our production," Fothergill says.

In addition to the highly anticipated performances of the "Nutcracker" Spectacular, families can meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and all of her friends on stage during the Land of the Sweets Nutcracker Tea where patrons will experience a close-up performance by the cast, enjoy delicious sweets, a reading of "The Nutcracker" and even get to make it snow on stage.

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Big Moves

Wildwood Park for the Arts recently announced former artistic director Dr. Bevan Keating as the nonprofit's new executive director.

Save the Date

Say It Ain't Say's Sweet Potato Pie Baking Contest
Dec. 2

Hope you're hungry. This annual Mosaic Templars Cultural Center holiday fundraiser has music, activities for the family and a whole lot of sweet potato pie.

Arkansas à la Carte
March 14

Refine your palate with an evening flavored with a variety of the state's finest eateries to benefit Arkansas Children's Hospital.

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