Local notes: Arkansas Girls State and Boys State set for May in Searcy; Citywide Garage Sale coming; OLLI announces classes

ARcare Foundation

The ARcare Foundation recently received a transformative donation that has the potential to improve the health outcomes of those living in the Northwest Arkansas region. Through this generous van donation, the organization will be able to prioritize its aim of aiding patients who may not have reliable transportation and focus on its commitment to providing accessible healthcare to all.

Avis Bailey, the principal owner of Superior Nissan in Fayetteville, kindly donated a special transportation van that will be used for ARcare patients in the NWA region. The vehicle arrives at a critical moment, resolving a particular concern raised by an ARcare provider about the difficulties with transportation experienced by those reentering the community after incarceration into transitional housing in Springdale.

The donation's origins were explained by David Orr, Director of the ARcare Foundation. A clinician at the ARcare clinic in Springdale brought to light the challenges with transportation that patients living in transitional housing were encountering. Due to restricted transportation, many were "timing out" of their housing, which interfered with their therapy. After visiting Bailey at the dealership, she graciously agreed to personally donate the van to these patients after learning about the need.

Information: arcare.net.


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas has announced the following classes:

Feb. 26: Outreach and Volunteering: Archaeology for the Public. Find out about the Arkansas Archaeology Society and how you can help with programs and research. 10 a.m. to noon, AR Archaeology. $19 members, $34 nonmembers

Feb. 26, March 4 and 11:Ancient Cosmogonies and Theogonies. 3 to 5 p.m. OLLI Office. $45 members, $60 nonmembers

Feb. 27: Catcher Race Riot of 1923. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. OLLI Office. $35 members, $50 nonmembers

Feb. 27, March 5 - Jazz/Rock Fusion: The Music That Reintroduced Jazz Into American Life. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. OLLI Office. $35 members, $50 nonmembers

Feb. 28 - Create Your Own Watercolor Tulips. All materials included. Studio in Springdale. $79 members, $94 nonmembers

Feb. 29 - Getting to Know Grief. 10 a.m. to noon. OLLI Office. $19 members, $34 nonmembers

March 1 - Create A Taste of Elegance. 1 to 2:30 p.m. BloomingGayles, Farmington. $69 members, $84 nonmembers.

Information: (479) 575-4545 or olli.uark.edu.

Citywide sale

The annual City of Bella Vista Citywide Garage Sale is set for the last weekend in April, starting at 8 a.m. each day Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27.

Plan to set up your sale to make some extra cash and let the city do the advertising.

Or if you'd rather shop, spend the weekend finding treasures at the more that 400 participating addresses, grabbing lunch or dinner at one of Bella Vista's local eateries, and enjoy Bella Vista.

Participating addresses will be uploaded to a Google map that can be viewed on a desktop or mobile browser before or during the event. Each listing can include information about what items are available for sale, such as toys, furniture, tools, etc.

Enter participating addresses online at https://bellavistaar.gov/citywidegaragesale or email the complete address of the sale (full street address plus zip code) and any additional information, such as what type of items you will be selling, to [email protected], using Garage Sale as the subject line.

If you operate a business in Bella Vista and want to get involved, contact Cassi Lapp by email at [email protected]. Businesses are encouraged to participate in this event by hosting a sidewalk sale, offering promotions for garage sale shoppers and diners or whatever you choose, and that information will be included plus your business' branding on the website and social channels for shoppers to see.

For more information: bellavistaar.gov/citywidegaragesale.

Visual Arts receives grant

The Institute for the Creative Arts in Fort Smith has announced an award of a Charter Schools Program Subgrant (CSP) in the amount of $1.25 million. The Subgrant is awarded by the Arkansas Public School Resource Center for the purpose of assisting new charter schools in start-up costs.

The Subgrant is awarded in three phases with $100,000 provided for planning that includes recruitment of students and personnel, $525,000 provided for start-up costs such as equipment, curriculum, and other materials, and an additional supplemental amount for $625,000 in start-up funding once the school officially opens.

It is anticipated that the grant will fund state-of-the-art equipment for animation and gaming, digital film equipment, pianos and other instruments, recording equipment for the high-tech recording studio, smart boards and led screens, tools for theatre tech, sewing machines and other equipment for costuming, and cutting-edge sound and lighting equipment for performances. In addition, top-level personnel will be supported on the grant.

The new Performing & Visual Arts High School, called the Institute for the Creative Arts, is the first of its kind in Arkansas and will open in August 2024. The school day will run from 8am-4pm with the day divided between academic and arts instruction.

The school is open to all Arkansas students and is tuition-free under the open-enrollment charter laws in Arkansas. The Institute, sponsored by Community School of the Arts, will be housed in the new Center for the Creative Arts facility on a beautiful 10-acre campus located at 1101 Riverfront Drive in Fort Smith. The state-of-the-art Center includes music rehearsal halls, recording studio, digital media labs, film room, culinary space, dance studios, classroom spaces, a Black box theatre, and a 350-seat performance theatre. Students will divide their day between a rigorous college preparatory academic program and pre-professional training in the arts. Specialized arts programs not typically available in a traditional high school will be offered.

ICA will open with arts programs in contemporary music including jazz and pop styles, music composition & technology, musical theatre, dance, creative and theatrical writing, and studies in visual art including digital art, animation, and gaming. Students will have the opportunity to select their choice of arts study.

Enrollment is now open and taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Information: (479) 434-2020, csafortsmith.org/ica-enrollment, email [email protected] or [email protected].

Girls/Boys State

Arkansas Girls/Boys State is an immersive civics education program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. For many years the Arkansas Girls/Boys State programs have been working to teach future generations of Arkansas citizens to be actively involved in their communities and government at every level.

Eligibility is limited to any young man or woman who is currently in their junior year of high school. Students are selected by their local high school guidance counselors based on leadership, character and honesty, scholarship, cooperativeness and community participation and service.

Each participant of the program is assigned a place in a mock political party, city and county. Over the course of the week, delegates will nominate and elect officials to the various levels of their government. The programs are designed to offer practical instruction on the duties and responsibilities both of a citizen and of public officials.

This year's Girls State program will take place from May 26-31 at Harding University in Searcy. The Boys State program will be from May 28 to June 2 at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

High school juniors should talk to their high school guidance counselor about attending Arkansas Girls or Boys State 2024.

Information: arkansasgirlsstate.com or arboysstate.org.

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