This month Ballet Arkansas is bringing the arts outdoors with its new series Live at the Plaza. Over the course of two weekends, May 1-2 and 21-23, the troupe will host free dance performance and fitness classes at the Argenta Plaza, all designed to engage the community.

According to associate artistic director Catherine Fothergill, the performances will feature classical excerpts, world-premiere contemporary selections and a brand new work that highlights the plaza's water wall, including pieces that are finally getting their chance in the limelight.

"Two of the works that will be performed at Live at the Plaza were commissioned last season, and they were never able to take the stage," Fothergill says. "We have been waiting for the right opportunity to bring these pieces to life after the cancellation of our spring production last year. We could not envision a better opportunity for Yoshito Sakuraba’s and Alice Flock and Florian Lochner’s works to premiere."

The series is a group effort in partnership with the City of North Little Rock and the North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The Argenta Plaza is a prime location for artistically-driven community outreach and education programs, and is a wonderful setting for Ballet Arkansas to engage with the public this spring," Fothergill says. "Live at the Plaza is the start of a new partnership that will provide the community with access to culturally enriching and engaging recreational activities and events."

The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute officially opened its new Breast Center.

The 12,000-square-foot space offers a full lineup of services including mammography, ultrasound and image-guided biopsy, with plans to install an MRI dedicated exclusively to breast imaging.

The facility is located on the third floor of the Cancer Institute, and was recently named a Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. To make an appointment, call 501.526.6100.

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas announced a new effort to conserve Blue Mountain, the 458-acre property adjacent to Rattlesnake Ridge and the westernmost peak in the Maumelle Pinnacles chain.

TNC is currently raising funds in order to purchase the property and provide long-term management, with plans to develop foot and bike trails and other amenities.

Blue Mountain

City Year Little Rock is wrapping up a six-week campaign this month designed to provide goods and initiatives to students, raise funds and spread community connection. The Red Jacket Campaign kickoff alone included the distribution of 600 spring break backpacks filled with activities, health care items and toys.

Big Moves

The American Heart Association’s central Arkansas office found its new executive director in Matthew Stripling.

Alan Tackett has been named deputy director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at UAMS.

Winrock International in Little Rock added Dr. Ruth Oniang’o and John Tyson to its board.

Reginald Ballard joined Excel by Eight as a community consultant.

Anthony Brooks, Tyler Stafford, Michael Shepard, Marc Heflin and Larry Stephen Bone joined the board at the Baptist Health Foundation.