IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

If you’re able to give, but aren’t sure where to turn, or if you’re a nonprofit in need, the Arkansas Community Foundation is offering $1,000 mini-grants for COVID-19 response. Apply for a grant or give to keep them coming at ARCF.org/COVID19.

AN MTCC MILESTONE

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center recently achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition a museum can receive. The MTCC was founded in 2001 with the mission to “preserve, interpret and celebrate Afrifan American history and culture in Arkansas.”

“Accreditation is an external validation that Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has policies and practices in place to deliver high quality programming and exhibits,” MTCC director Christina Shutt says. “It signifies our commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued improvement.”

The five-year process included a year of self-study, an on-site review and the process of determination by AAM’s Accreditation Commission. Currently the AAM comprises 33,000 museums, and only 1,087 are accredited. The MTCC accreditation is the ninth rewarded to a black culture/history institution nationwide and only the third in the South.

“Mosaic Templars Cultural Center has earned a place among some of the most prestigious museums in the country, like the Frederick Douglass House and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum,” says Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.


BIG MOVES

Jessica Hughes Ford of the Arkansas Community Foundation.

Jessica Hughes Ford is now the new communications director for the Arkansas Community Foundation.


BIG WINS

Larry Freeman, founder and CEO of Synergy Saturday Inc. of Little Rock, was named Nonprofit Executive of the Year.

Little Rock nonprofits took home top honors at the 32nd annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards. Larry Freeman of Synergy Saturday Inc. was named nonprofit executive of the year, while Women and Children First earned the title of nonprofit organization of the year.

The Arkansas Arts Council, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, hosted its annual Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony “[recognizing] individuals and businesses for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Arkansas.” Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, received the Arts Community Development Award, and Little Rock’s Arkansas Health and Wellness took home the Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award.


A NEW ROUTINE

While theaters across the country may be dark for the time being, Ballet Arkansas — despite canceling the remainder of its spring performances — has switched gears to engage the public by broadcasting past performances to audiences in the comfort of their homes.

For the past three years, the troupe has recorded and livestreamed its productions across the globe, a digital library they are now sharing with the community free of charge as part of their new "Encore" program.

“When times are tough, folks rely on the arts more than ever,” says Michael Fothergill, executive and artistic director. “Our community supports us throughout the year, and now we must support them. If nothing else, we will give them something special to take their mind off the uncertainty in the world right now.”

Encore audiences can view full-length productions each Saturday and Sunday. In the first installment, their recent box office hit “Cinderella” was viewed nearly 600 times.

To help with cabin fever, Ballet Arkansas is also inviting viewers to join in its new “Learn from Home” program, presented in partnership with Acansa. Through a series of easy-to-follow videos featuring the professional dancers of Ballet Arkansas, viewers can stay fit and have fun while social distancing.


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