From tennis and chocolate to tutus and mistletoe, here's a quick snapshot of the news worth noting in Little Rock's nonprofits this month.

10/10

Thanks to four Clinton School of Public Service students and the Women's Foundation of Arkansas, we now have a metered assessment for gender equity in the workplace.

The "gender equity scorecard" evaluates businesses' policies based on six categories: financial literacy, flexibility, job skills, leadership, mentoring and resources.

Madeline Moore, human resources manager for Arvest Bank in central Arkansas, noted at a recent Clinton School panel that the assessment serves as "a great conversation starter."

"It's just a baseline. It allows you to come to a tangible result atbout something that can seem really subjective at times and difficult to quantify," Moore said, first reported by our sister publication, Arkansas Business. "Some of the questions deal specifically with percentages of women at each level of the organization, and for me, I love that. Because I think we'd all answer, 'Do you work for an equitable workplace?' We'd all say, 'Sure, or we wouldn't work there.' But numbers don't lie. They really tell the story."

Learn more at WomensFoundationArkansas.org.

From left: Sharon Tallach Vogelpohl, president of Mangan Holcomb Partners and principal at Team SI, both of Little Rock; Madeline Moore, human resources manager for Arvest Bank's central Arkansas market; Chris Bahn, publisher of business special publications at Arkansas Business Publishing Group of Little Rock; and WFA Executive Director Anna Beth Gorman.

Tutus and Mistletoe

Love is in the air at Ballet Arkansas this Nutcracker season.

The organization is led by husband-and-wife team Michael and Catherine Fothergill, veteran performers who were frequent partners on stage. The Fothergills hold dear their memories of dancing George Balanchine's version of the beloved holiday classic, the two performing the leads together over a combined 11 year tenure.

"Dancing with the one you love during the holiday season is absolutely magical," Michael says. "Although sometimes couples butt heads during the rehearsal process, they iron out the kinks."

"It's interesting to see couples work together to bring roles like these to life. The love is real on stage and the audience can sense that," Catherine adds.

But they're not the only lovebirds in the studio.

In the principal roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, the company will feature two sets of engaged couples within this year's 40th anniversary Nutcracker Spectacular. Paul Tillman and Toby Lewellen, the company's seniormost male dancers, proposed to their fiancées within six months of one another. Paul proposed to Megan Hustel at Christmastime, and Toby proposed to Amanda Sewell in Paris following the final performances of Ballet Arkansas' 2017/18 season.

"Thank goodness both ladies said 'yes,' otherwise we'd have a casting nightmare on our hands," Michael laughs. "I'm sure that as they venture further into married life they will only have more to bring to their dancing together. Sharing the stage with Catherine has become one of my fondest memories. I hope that they too will enjoy their experiences together."

Tickets + Info: BalletArkansas.org/Nutcracker-Spectacular

Love-Love

Adding to its lineup of fitness-centered events, the Baptist Health Foundation announced its latest tournament, the Little Rock Open, is set to debut June 2019.

The tournament is part of the Association of Tennis Professionals Challenger Tour and is a United States Tennis Association Men’s Pro Circuit event, bringing professional, globally-ranked players to the Rebsamen Tennis Center to compete for places in Grand Slam competitions.

Attendees will enjoy seven days of action-packed tennis, meet-and-greets with the pros, a live concert, activities for the family and a variety of social events.

Big Moves

As the new president of Junior Achievement of Arkansas, Tonya Villines will lead work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs that reach more than 14,000 K-12 students across the state.

Save the Date

Chocolate Fantasy Ball
Feb. 9

Ready your sweet tooth and make plans to attend the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas gala that features the best chocolate Arkansas has to offer.


Evolve
April 6

Oh, the places you'll go — and one of them should be the Centers for Youth and Families yearly Evolve gala, which will get the Dr. Seuss treatment in 2019.


Sculpture at the River Market
May 3-5

The Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden never shines brighter than during this annual show and sale which debuts new artwork to adorn the banks of the Arkansas River.


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