Two years after setting its sights on Blue Mountain, The Nature Conservancy and Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission have completed the highly anticipated Blue Mountain Trail System, giving locals the keys to exploring the westernmost peak in the Maumelle Pinnacles chain. The trails connect to the adjacent Rattlesnake Ridge system and are now open to the public.
IN OTHER EARTH-FRIENDLY NEWS:
Local nonprofit Epic Glass Recycling is teaming up with Ace Glass and Plastics as it inches closer to building a glass recycling plant in NLR. The plant will "close the loop" by collecting, recycling and manufacturing new glass products in one location, and is set to open early next year.
GIFTS & GRANTS
• Les Moderns, a nonprofit that raises funds by volunteering as ushers for Robinson Center shows, donated $16,000 to 11 local charities following the 2022-2023 Broadway season.
• The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub received $99,789 from the Simons Foundation to support traveling STEAM educational experiences in 25 rural Arkansas cities leading up to the April 2024 solar eclipse. The Hub also secured its third consecutive grant from the PPG Foundation to support its Skills to Launch program providing training and workforce development initiatives.
• AARP Arkansas awarded $51,000 to five organizations across the state through its 2023 Community Challenge Grants, including supporting the Central Arkansas Library System Foundation's mobile tech classroom designed to increase digital literacy among older adults.
• The UAMS Center for Musculoskeletal Disease Research received a $11.5 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, its second from the NIH branch. The first award of $11.3 million helped establish the bone research center in 2018. Likewise, the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute received a $583,200 grant from the American Cancer Society to study radiation resistance in pancreatic cancer, while the Arvest Foundation granted $50,000 to support the UAMS Research Center for Organ Engineering and Gene Therapy.
SAVE THE DATE
Last year, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts announced its best-known annual show, the "Delta Exhibition," would move to a triennial format beginning in 2024, and now we have details. The "Delta Triennial" will be on display June 14 - Aug. 25, 2024, in the Harriet and Warren Stephens Family Gallery. The juried exhibit took the form of the smaller "Delta Voices" series while the AMFA underwent renovations, but will return to showcase artists from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
"There are artists all across this region who are essential figures in the national conversation on contemporary art, and we want to ensure the 'Delta Triennial' represents a diverse range of their stories and perspectives,” AMFA Curator Theresa Bembnister says.
ALSO ON THE CALENDAR:
The eighth annual Acansa Arts Festival of the South is set for Sept. 7-23, bringing eclectic live performances to venues across the metro. Learn more at acansa.org.
• UA Pulaski Technical College announced multiple leadership transitions, including Ana Hunt as provost, John Lewis as vice chancellor of enrollment management and student life and Michelle Anderson as dean of student life and wellness.
• Rich Huddleston has been hired as program director for the Arkansas Community Foundation.
• Tasha Flowers is the new chief finance operating officer for ARORA.
• The AMFA added Amy O’Connor, Elizabeth (Betsy) Rhodes and Mary Ritchey to its board of trustees.
• The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance named Jennifer Owens Buie as its new director of development.
• Philander Smith College appointed Cynthia Bond Hopson as interim president and Gregory A. Hudson as interim executive vice president and chief operating officer.
• Kimberly Walker has been hired as chief nursing officer at Baptist Health-North Little Rock.
• AR Kids Read added five new board members: Scarlett Burks, Don Gooch, Katrina Owoh, Rosa Perez and Marty Schack.
• Tom Clifton began his new role as the interim dean of the UAMS College of Business, Health and Human Services.
• The Economics Arkansas Foundation added eight new members to its board of directors: Matuschka Lindo Briggs, Phillip Carlock, Jason Chacko, Jared Cleveland, Miles Goggans, Patrick McAlpine, Matt Vick and Matt Wahl.