Great Gifts

Despite the cancelation of the 2020 festival, the Hillcrest Merchants Association and HarvestFest executive committee voted unanimously to continue supporting The Allen School with a $5,000 donation to further the school's work preparing special-needs kids and their parents for kindergarten.

"Ultimately, HarvestFest is about giving back to our neighborhood," says Steve Shuler, committee chair for HarvestFest, which will return for its 26th year in October. "The Allen School has been our longest-serving partner, and the work done there to support children is invaluable. We are very happy that we were able to continue our support of this gem of a school."

UA Little Rock also recently received two notable financial gifts:

• The National Science Foundation provided a nearly $325,000 grant to fund a three-year program studying anti-Muslim sentiment and Muslim hate crimes in Arkansas.

• The National Endowment for the Humanities also awarded a nearly $325,000 grant to create a digitized mapping collection tracking how urban renewal changed the city in the decades following the Central High School desegregation crisis.

All Eyes On Argenta

The Argenta Downtown Council was named a Main Street Forward Award winner, recognizing "communities that have shown exemplary recovery and resilience efforts amid the multiple crises of 2020."

A national jury of economic development experts celebrated the city council for creating the Argenta Outdoor Dining District, an outdoor seating area helping local restaurants stay in business during the pandemic.

Big Moves

► Errin Stanger is now the acting executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub after Chris Jones stepped down at the end of April.

► Thomas Kelly Jr. has been named associate director for cancer research and training at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

► Ashley Hooten has taken the role of director of development for the Salvation Army’s Central Arkansas Command in Little Rock.

Setting Up the Frameworks

The new Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA), is currently under construction in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park, and is on schedule to open to the public in May 2022.

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is officially on schedule to reopen in May 2022 after launching its $142 million renovation in 2016.