► In the spring, the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement dedicated the first gravesite marker in its mission to honor the Elaine 12, a group of sharecroppers wrongfully convicted of murder following the brutal 1919 Elaine Massacre, the deadliest racial conflict in state history. The APJMM and others gathered to honor Frank Moore, a World War I veteran and one of the 12, unveiling the historic marker at his burial site in Little Rock National Cemetery.
► Thea Foundation has called Argenta home for years and recently gained a generous new neighbor in international telecommunications company First Orion. The nonprofit received a $10,000 donation from First Orion to kick off its Giving Tuesday Now fundraising drive to help stock Thea’s Art Closet budget ahead of the 2020-21 academic year.
► Thanks to a team effort between City Year Little Rock and the Little Rock School District, local students got a little extra help outside the digital classroom. Members of City Year, a nonprofit dedicated to helping students succeed, offered free virtual tutoring for LRSD students through the end of the school year.
► A grant from Main Street Arkansas helped the Downtown Little Rock Partnership support local businesses and worthy causes. The DLRP was able to purchase meals from restaurants like Community Bakery and Three Fold to feed the folks at Jericho Way Day Resource Center, the overnight ER team at UAMS, first responders and other essential workers.
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BEAUTY BRINGS US TOGETHER
On Giving Tuesday, May 5, Ballet Arkansas launched its Beauty Brings Us Together capital campaign in support of the nonprofit’s artists and activities. Like many organizations in the performing arts, the ballet made the very difficult decision to cancel its spring performances and education programs out of concern for the safety of the community.
“The pandemic has presented us all with challenges. In our case, the loss of ticket revenue has hit us hard,” says executive and artistic director Michael Fothergill, who estimates a shortfall of nearly $90,000 between April and August. “While ticket sales make up a large percentage of our budget, there’s no question that cancellation was the right decision. At Ballet Arkansas, the community always has and will continue to come first.”
The campaign will progress through a series of three phases with an end goal of raising $150,000 by Jan. 1 to support the company’s 15 professional artists and to advance the organization’s beloved performances and education programs that reach more than 20,000 Arkansans each year. With support from the board of directors, the company raised $20,000 of its campaign goal on Giving Tuesday.
“This is a great start, and we are fortunate to have the support from our community,” says Fothergill, under whose leadership the organization now boasts zero debt and has increased sales by more than 65%.
“We’ve worked hard for 41 years building a foundation for the performing arts to thrive in communities across the state. We are now a world-class professional dance company thanks to these communities, and we need their support to continue on to a new era.”
► Chris Shenep was named director of the newly launched Arkansas Urology Foundation.
►Audria Trimble joined the Wolfe Street Foundation as its new director of programs.
See how local nonprofits have adapted to the global health crisis at Keeping Up the Kindness.
Send your nonprofit news to Info@LittleRockSoiree.com