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Local notes: Arkansas Arts Council presents Individual Artist Fellowships

August 22, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
Joe Quinn


The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks will partner with Gravette First Responders in presenting the second annual Boots and Badges Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Gravette Civic Center, 401 Charlotte St. S.E. There will also be a bloodmobile from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Ozarks Community Hospital of Gravette, 1101 S.W. Jackson.

The Boots and Badges Blood Drive is a community initiative designed to help alleviate a critical blood shortage, while at the same time honoring area First Responders for the great work they do in the Gravette community. The Gravette Police Department hopes to retain the traveling trophy that they won in 2020 during the first competition.

All donors will receive a special Boots and Badges T-shirt, while supplies last.

Through Aug. 27 CBCO is holding an Extreme Adventure Blood Drive at their donor centers in Springdale and Bentonville.

During the Extreme Adventure Blood Drive, successful donors will receive a CBCO Adventure T-shirt. All participants in the drive will be entered to win a grand prize package that includes a two-person Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak, an Igloo Trailmate Journey 70-quart cooler, a gift certificate to 37 North Expeditions in Branson, a four-pack of tickets to Snowflex Park at Wolfe Mountain in Branson and four all-access passes to Fritz's Adventure in Branson.

Donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give to maintain social distancing guidelines and improve donor flow.


Hope Cancer

The Wellness Center for Hope at Hope Cancer Resources offers a yoga, meditation and fitness class for cancer patients and caregivers in person, via Zoom and YouTube.

Their team of counselors and social workers support cancer patients and their families every day with a focus on emotional health, no matter the circumstances.

A certified tobacco treatment specialist is available to support those looking to quit smoking with nicotine replacement therapy and counseling.

Those in need of medical supplies, liquid nutrition or durable medical equipment, such as shower chairs or walkers, are asked to reach out. Donations of new or gently used items are also accepted.

Information: (479) 361-5847 or

Arkansas Arts

The Arkansas Arts Council, along with the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the Individual Artist Fellowship awards.

"Arkansas Arts Council Fellowships showcase the wide range of arts our state has to offer," said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the department. "From music and dancing to painting and sculpture, art is a driving economic force in Arkansas, and we take pride in knowing that these grants help artists pursue their products, which in turn enhance the lives of all of us."

Individual Artist fellowships are unconditional, non-matching awards made directly to individual Arkansas artists. An independent panel annually selects nine artists in rotating categories to receive fellowships of $4,000 each. Artists from around the state submitted applications for the fellowships in three categories: cinematic arts, poetry and crafts.

The Arts Council will recognize and honor fellowship recipients in a virtual evening program on Oct. 6. The presentation will happen in conjunction with ArtLinks 2021, the virtual arts conference sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council.

Cinematic Arts:

• Rontaye Miquan Butler lives in Fayetteville, where he is studying for his Master of Fine Arts in photography. Butler's works have been exhibited throughout Texas, and he is the recipient of first prize in the Citywide African-American Artists Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston.

• Thomas James Deeter lives in Little Rock, where he earned a Master of Arts in teaching and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. He was a public-school art teacher for 12 years. Deeter created the life-size set, constructed from paper and cardboard, for his film "Shattered Dreams." He is a screenwriter and WGA winner for season 3 of "True Detective."

• Lisa Marie Evans lives in Fayetteville, where she is project manager, editor and animator at OZCast, an online creative variety show featuring local, regional and national artists. Evans is also a facilitator and administrator for Artist INC, a professional development and entrepreneurial program for artists, hosted by Mid-America Arts Alliance.


• Kaveh Bassiri lives in Fayetteville, where he is a Ph.D candidate in comparative literature at the University of Arkansas. He is author of two books of poetry, recipient of an Artist 360 grant sponsored by Mid-America Arts Alliance, Best American Poetry award by Paisley Rekdal and Best New Poets by Brain Teare, as well as numerous other awards.

• Hiba Tahir lives in Fayetteville, where she is a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in poetry at the University of Arkansas. Tahir is editor in the University of Arkansas Honors College blog and Honors College Magazine, and social media director of Open Mouth Literary Center.

• Karstin Johnson lives in Fayetteville, where she is a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at University of Arkansas. She is the co-creative writing director of Prison Stories Project at Northwest Arkansas Community Corrections Center for incarcerated women.

Painting, except for works on paper:

• Susan Chambers, of Little Rock, earned an MFA in drawing and painting from Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. She is represented by Boswell Mourot Fine Art. Her work has been included in the Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center, the Spiva Biennial 2000, and La Grange National Biennial, Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum.

• Jody Travis Thompson, of Fayetteville, is an instructor at University of Arkansas. He has shown his work in New Jersey, New York, Texas and Arkansas. His work is also in private collections in New York, Washington, D.C., Arkansas, California and more. He has participated in residencies in New Jersey and Texas.

• Ray Allen Parker, of Fayetteville, earned a BA and an MFA in English at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he later studied painting and drawing. Parker was senior merchandising manager, senior editor, creative programs development manager and photography director at JC Penney, Nationwide Headquarters, in Plano, Texas, where he worked for more than 30 years until he returned to Arkansas in 2010 to begin painting. He is represented by Boswell Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock.

Contemporary Craft:

• Aaron Calvert lives in Russellville and is professor of art at Henderson State University. He earned a Master's Degree in ceramics at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, served as director of the Russell Fine Arts Gallery at Henderson Statue University and has exhibited his ceramics work throughout Arkansas. He was the recipient of the Grand Award at the 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition.

• Kara Gunter lives in Hot Springs, where she is program manager at Emergent Arts. She earned a Master's Degree in sculpture at University of South Carolina and trained in hot glass and heavy metals at Penland School of Crafts. She has served as adjunct professor of ceramics at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia and at the University of South Carolina.

• Kensuke Yamada lives in Little Rock and is an assistant professor of art at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He earned a Master's Degree in studio art at University of Montana, Missoula, and has exhibited his work extensively throughout the United States.

Fellowship recipients will be honored for their artistic and creative excellence during the Fellowship Awards Recognition, which will be held virtually Oct. 6.

Information: (501) 324-9348 or email [email protected]

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of Arkansas, a nonprofit organization that provides financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurial education to students in K-12, is proud to announce the appointment of Joe Quinn to the organization's state board.

Quinn is a longtime public affairs, political, and communication leader helping organizations improve reputation and drive business in a cluttered digital world. Quinn helps clients with issue management by developing fully integrated strategies that overlay stakeholder, media, video, and digital work.

Also joining the state board are Andrew Faulkner, Dr. Allison Roberts, Dr. Charisse Childers, and Tim Skinner. To its Central Arkansas board, Junior Achievement added Jason Parker, Josh Hallenbeck and Laura Monteverdi. The Northwest Arkansas board welcomes Ann Owens, Consul Eldon Alik, Lynn Dauzat and Meg Gullotta.

Information: (501) 906-2401 or

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