When art collector Pierrette Van Cleve visited UA Little Rock last fall, no one could have guessed this outcome. At the time, she presented a series of lectures about an exhibit featuring pieces from her collection addressing the oppression of Southwest Asia and India. She also donated a painting to the school in honor of art gallery director Brad Cushman.

Then, after still feeling a connection with UA Little Rock months later, Van Cleve decided to donate 43 more pieces from the exhibit to the school.

“A donation of one work of art turned into a donation of 43 works of art. I was stunned,” Cushman says.

Artists represent Cambodia, China, India, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam and more, highlighting Van Cleve’s proclivity toward freedom, equality and justice.

“The artwork needs to be at UA Little Rock,” Van Cleve says. “The global focus of my collection will bring an international voice to the art collection at the university. The artists in my collection are not as well known in this country. Today, more than ever, it is very important to teach cultural diversity and give students a perspective beyond their immediate surroundings.”


After much suspense, executive and artistic director Michael Fothergill revealed the details of Ballet Arkansas’ 41st season at the eighth annual Turning Pointe Gala held March 30 at Dassault Falcon Jet. Filled with world-premieres, sensory-adapted performances, beloved stories and bold contemporary triple bills, the season lineup has since garnered a lot of excitement in town.

Just in time for Halloween, the troupe will open the season with a world-premiere multimedia production of “Sleepy Hollow” in partnership with Cranford Co. In the same vein as the wildly popular “Dracula” from the previous season, “Sleepy Hollow” includes 360 sound and interactive photo and video projection.

Next up is “Debut,” a fully contemporary program pairing world-premiere works by Ballet Arkansas company dancers with works by celebrated international choreographers. The holiday season brings the favorite “Nutcracker Spectacular” with music provided by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and a community cast of more than 200 dancers and two choral ensembles.

The new year will begin with a world-premiere full-length production of “Cinderella” featuring a community cast of 40 local dancers.

“The only true comedic classical ballet, audiences laugh out loud and will be wowed by virtuoso dancing,” Fothergill says.

Bringing more princesses to the stage, “Snow White” will be a perfect fit for families featuring a community cast of 20 dancers. Closing the season is “Masterworks,” the third part of a three-year series sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust. Combining critically acclaimed repertory with masterpieces of both music and visual art, the program brings together people of all walks of life to celebrate and elevate art as a whole. Special events will proceed or follow each seasonal production.

To learn more about the upcoming season and to purchase your tickets or subscriptions, visit BalletArkansas.org.


The Baptist Health system announced the selection of Reanetta Hunt as its new chief development officer and CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation.

 Nate Kennedy was recently named executive director of SoMa 501 to help enhance economic development and quality of life in the South Main business district.

Jennifer Martinez Belt has been appointed to the board of directors of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

Reanetta Hunt, Nate Kennedy and Jennifer Martinez Belt


Junior League of Little Rock Open House
May 9

Curious about joining the nonprofit powerhouses at JLLR? Check it out in person at this informational event or apply before June 5.

Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame
Aug. 29

A whole lot of girl power is headed to the Statehouse Convention Center for this fifth annual induction ceremony.

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