fIRSTS & FACE-LIFTS
• Area airwaves have seen some big changes as NPR affiliate KUAR FM 89.1 and KLRE Classical 90.5 rebranded as Little Rock Public Radio. Marking its 50th year, the studio also named Maggie Ryan the new local host of “All Things Considered” and will host the Arkansas Tiny Desk Contest on Oct. 13.
• The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Stella Boyle Smith Music Center set in East Village. The 20,000-SF center will greatly expand the ASO’s programming and education offerings, as well as its performance space, and is set to open in September 2024.
• The Museum of Discovery will debut two new permanent galleries — the Science Lab Gallery and Dynamic Earth — in early November that will take the place of exhibits damaged by flooding from burst pipes in 2021.
• The UAMS Milk Bank, the first of its kind in Arkansas, opened last month to provide donated milk for NICU infants, "shortening the time it takes for regional hospitals to receive critical milk supplies and improving outcomes for babies." The bank will accept donations from women across the state and will also provide breastfeeding counseling, infant safety programs and support for lactation services and practices.
GIFTS, GRANTS & HIGH PRAISE
• Economics Arkansas presented its Bessie B. Moore Teaching Awards for the 2022-2023 academic year to seven teachers statewide, including Jamie Garmon of Baker Elementary and Ruthie Walls of Central High School.
• Oxford American was named one of seven national winners of the 2023 Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes.
• Quantia “Key” Fletcher, director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, has been appointed to the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums, the first in Arkansas history.
• UAMS recently received several gifts and grants of note, including $1.8 million from the National Cancer Institute to study prevention of major chemotherapy complications, $1.5 million from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to further non-opioid pain management strategies, $1.9 million from the National Institute on Aging to study the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and a gift from the estate of E. Lee Ronnel to create the first full-ride scholarship at UAMS.
• Kathy Webb is stepping down as CEO of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance after more than a decade in the role.
• Kristin Koenigsfest is the new executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas.
• At UA Little Rock, Dr. Constance Meadors has been named the first associate director of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.
• Camp Aldersgate added two new faces to its development team: Lauren Samuelson as development officer and Gabrielle Confer as grant coordinator/development associate.
• Tyler Nagle is now the community relations manager for Alzheimer’s Arkansas.
• Home for Healing hired Megan Boswell as its development director.
• The Arkansas Community Foundation added three new board members: Elizabeth Burns Anderson, Alyson Bradford and Jennifer Ronnel.
• The Salvation Army of Central Arkansas added five new members to its advisory board: Erin Argo, Barbara Day, Michelle Edmonds, Melanie Joyner and Jason Pederson.
• The CARTI Foundation added Jeff Neill and Dalton Van Horn to its board of directors.