December 2023

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Arkansas Urology AU-SOME Event


Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches Awards


Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation Gala


Starry Starry Night


Woman of Inspiration Gala


Home for Healing Monster Bash


Vesta’s Anniversary Party


ACT Spotlight Celebrity Gala

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou


Filmland 2023


AMFA Whitfield Lovell: Passages Reception

Despite a childhood defined by obstacles, Maya Angelou became a beloved American icon. The Celebrate! Maya Project brings this narrative to life for Arkansas students, and the ideal of our shared humanity is reassurance for future generations. After an impressive tenure in broadcast journalism, Alyson Courtney stepped away and realized a deep devotion to fellow Arkansans. She joined Argenta Community Theater to continue a career in cultivating community and storytelling. During a time when public school funding isn’t always allocated to arts education, Argenta Community Theater also nurtures students to become thinkers, dreamers and innovators. This is the essence + magic of the arts – bringing people together for an experience that transforms the ordinary into extraordinary and a deeper understanding of the world.


Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Reception


World Mental Health Day Luncheon


John H. Johnson Sculpture Unveiling


Philander Smith University Gala


Old State House Museum Annual Supper


Hawgs for a Cause


Burns Park Pickleball Courts Opening


UA Little Rock Distinguished Business Alumni Award

Rebel Flynn Wilson , Kim Meyer-Webb, Michele Towne, Heather Buckley


Kim Meyer-Webb, Editor publisher/owner


Michele Towne

Jeff Fuller-Freeman Lori Sparkman Photography Ron Pepper KD Reep Sara Reeves

editor Kim Meyer-Webb

art director Heather Buckley

production associate Rebel Flynn Wilson


website design Matmon Internet, Inc.


Alyson Courtney – Argenta Community Theater


Janis F. Kearney – Celebrate! Maya Project


The Dream Team – O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor


Jen Gerber - Arkansas Shorts Film Festival


Artist Spotlight - Susan Holley Williams


Simple Goodness – Central Arkansas Library System


Featured Home – Herald the Holidays

For Advertising Information Contact Michele Towne 501.960.4196 Share Your Event 501.219.1000 at least 4 weeks prior

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LLC. Copyright © 2023 Arkamedia, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission of Arkamedia, LLC is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the staff or publisher thereof. Arkamedia, LLC makes no implied or expressed guarantee of the accuracy of the information within this publication.

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ARKANSAS UROLOGY AU-SOME EVENT Friends and patrons of Arkansas Urology enjoyed this AU-SOME Event at the Statehouse Convention Center. Guests experienced A Night in Vegas featuring favorite casino games, light bites and libations as well as live entertainment by an Official Rat Pack tribute band. Proceeds support the mission fulfillment work of the Arkansas Urology Foundation: accessibility to wellness and preventive healthcare for all Arkansans. John Towne, Ellon Cockrill

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Ronnie Dedman, Marion King

Tara Shephard, Lauren Cowles, Joyce Elliott

ARKANSAS SHERIFF’S YOUTH RANCHES AWARDS Hosted at the Little Rock Marriott, the Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches Awards Dinner honored Marge Schueck for her commitment to improving the welfare of children in Arkansas. Guests enjoyed dinner and an award presentation ceremony as well as remarks from former Governor Mike Beebe. Proceeds support the programs and mission fulfillment work of Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches: preventing child abuse and creating safe, healthy and permanent homes for children. Catherine & Dan Young

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ARKANSAS BLACK HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION GALA The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation celebrated its annual induction ceremony and welcomed guests to the Robinson Center for an elegant evening of festivities. The 2023 honorees included Rev. Jerry Black, Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, Curtis Howse, James Leary, Harvey Wiley Sr. and Judge Joyce Williams Warren. Proceeds from the gala support the Black Hall of Fame Foundation’s work: providing grants and funding to Arkansas communities for educational and economic development. Jerry & Kate Black

Andrea Peel, Selma Chandler

Courtney & Jonathan Warren, Joyce Williams Warren, Jennifer Carson

Winsley Henry, Catina Dawson, Savannah TIllman, Robert Tillman & Ronda Henry-Tillman, Nancy Collins

10 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

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CENTENNIAL CAMPAIGN A year into the public phase of our $250 million Centennial Campaign, we’ve raised an astounding $180 million from 23,000 donors who believe in shaping the future of education. By focusing on enhancing scholarships, empowering visionary faculty, advancing classroom technology, and fostering academic excellence, we’re not just making noise—we’re making change. Be part of the journey and see how we’re expecting more for students and for Arkansas.

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Elliott & Stephanie Chester, Scott Allmendinger

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Ted & Jill Penick, Mary Margaret Marks, Anne & Tom Wallace

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STARRY STARRY NIGHT Presented by Bank OZK, 250 friends and patrons gathered for Starry Starry Night: the 25th Chapter. This lovely evening featured light bites and libations as well as entertainment by members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. A $250,000 challenge grant was the highlight. Proceeds of more than $1 million support the mission fulfillment work and services of ACCESS: expanding individual potential through innovative instruction by providing evaluation services, full-time education, therapy, training and activities for individuals with special needs. Matthew & Brittany Marsh

Tory Dee Freeman, Richard Walt

Lynn & Julie Marshall

Ashley Jones, Jessica Shirley

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Shalene Caple, Candace Johnson, Brenda Blakenship

David & Donna Cone

Tori Horton, Krysten Levin, Kellie Wilhite


Mark & Marci Doderer

Allie Graves, Elizabeth Pully

Ben Inmon, Judy & Scott DuVall

Ashley Caldwell, Gov Sarah Sanders

Laura Landreaux, Susan Peacock, Danyelle Musselman, Olivia Walton

Christine Phelan, Sharilyn Gasaway

Tammy Diamond-Wells, Jill McIlroy, Marisha DiCarto, Enid Olvey, LeKita Brown, Emily McCoy

WOMAN OF INSPIRATION GALA Chairmen Dana and Joe Kleine welcomed guests to the Statehouse Convention Center for this style show and dinner. Danyelle Musselman was recognized as this year’s Woman of Inspiration for her commitment to the welfare of children and Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. The evening featured fashion from Barbara Jean + Cinq a Sept. Proceeds support the important work of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas: serving as a liaison between local, regional and national support agencies and provides resources for a more coordinated and comprehensive response to child abuse. Joe & Dana Kleine

Amanda Wrinkles, Brad Burleson

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Michelle Timmermans, Tareneh Manning, Mandy Macke, Jennifer Yurachek, Brittany Adair

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Casey Hamaker, Joanna Cope, Casey Matsko, Jamey Simms

Catherine Sukup, Catherine Lee, Krystal Grime

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HOME FOR HEALING MONSTER BASH Chairmen Rennie and Brad Jenkins welcomed friends to the Venue @ Westwind for a SPOOKtacular evening of fun. Guests enjoyed devilish drinks, deviant dancing and monstrous musical entertainment. The original Home for Healing Board of Directors was recognized with the Community Impact Award for an unwavering commitment to the home and its residents. The UAMS NICU received the Heart of the Home Award. Proceeds provide critical support for Home for Healing - providing convenient and affordable accommodation for patients being treated at area medical centers and their families. Misty Virmani, Kristin Trulock

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Jennifer Loiacano, Shea Bryant, Laura Labay, Greg & Jajuan Archer, Sarah Ashley Engstrom, Anne Mann, Susanna Watt

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Nathan & Becky Pittman

Daniel Frazier, Aaron Frazier, Emily Mitchell, Blakely Cingolani

Andrea & John Kelly

Ashley & Michael Carpenter

Kristy Bondurant & Stewart Matthews

Jeanne & David Meek

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Thank You

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In-Kind Sponsors

Thank you to our food vendors: Scallions, Dizzy’s, Hope Bistro, Stickyz, The Fold, Raduno, Catina Laredo, Whole Hog Cafe, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Chick-fil-A | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 17

Connecting with COMMUNITY Mom. Journalist. Storyteller. By KIM MEYER-WEBB | Photography by MEREDITH MELODY Hair & Makeup by TYLER RICHARDS with RED BEAUTY LOUNGE | Wardrobe from INDIGO

FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, Arkansans depended on Alyson Courtney for the most accurate news available. Her career as a journalist, often defined by the spirit of community, brought her to the Natural State. During times of crisis she was a reassuring voice and she enjoyed every opportunity for joyful celebration. After an impressive tenure at THV 11 and KATV 7, Alyson stepped away from broadcast journalism; she realized a deep devotion for fellow Arkansans and the place her family calls home. “Arkansas has given far more to us than we have given back. We work daily to return the favor.” And that set the stage for Producing Artistic Director Vincent Insalaco to persuade her to join Argenta Community Theater. Inspired by human connections, the pursuit of knowledge and artistic expression – Argenta Community Theatre is a perfect place for Alyson to continue a journey of cultivating community and storytelling. “Each news assignment pushed me to explore diverse perspectives, question assumptions and contribute to the broader understanding of the world.” At Argenta Community Theater, Alyson looks forward with big plans and a bright future as she welcomes friends and patrons to Miracle on 34th Street this month. Alyson was initially introduced to Argenta Community Theater through her daughters’ interests as aspiring actors. Today, she’s equally impressed with the organization’s arts education programming. “Argenta Community Theater isn’t just a venue, it’s a space where everyone feels a part of something special.” ACT II The Sharon Heflin Performing Arts Education Center provides arts enrichment to more than 2,000 students in Central Arkansas. “This program isn’t just about teaching arts; it’s about sparking creativity and nurturing the next generation of thinkers, dreamers and innovators.” Alyson notes how critical this mission fulfillment work has become with more than 6O schools in the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County School Districts that offer no performing arts program. “We have to help supplement in this area when public school funding does not.” This broader perspective and civic responsibility fuels enthusiasm. An unwavering dedication by a cast of volunteers and patrons makes it all possible. “Our history is rich; our shows have always been a special gift and you can feel that energy at every performance. Couple that with the incredible growth during the last two years and the new ways we’re connecting with the community and you’ve got a pretty magical story.” << cue the bell from Miracle on 34th Street >> Alyson notes this holiday classic guarantees the world of Kris Kringle will dazzle and delight families. She believes it’s an opportunity to engage more constituents in the vision + values of Argenta Community Theater. “We hope people feel a sense of passion when they walk through our doors. There is a collective commitment to shaping the cultural identity of Arkansas and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come. Argenta Community Theater is working to build a legacy that extends beyond the footlights.”

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET Argenta Community Theater | December 6 – 17

VESTA’S ANNIVERSARY PARTY The Vesta’s girls hosted this special event to celebrate 25 years of fashion + fun. The anniversary party featured sips, snacks, Chanel makeovers by Dillard’s, prizes and more. The Vesta’s Girl is a strongly independent, chic and light-hearted woman who travels often + lives and loves large.

Lila Ashmore, Judi Short

Emily Armstrong, Carol Seago, Charlotte Angele

Laura Engelhorn, Diana New

Beth May, Pat Larson, JJ Mosley, Vicki Campo

Melissa Tanner, JoAnn Ritchie

You are Invited

to Celebrate with us!

Join us as we celebrate New Year’s Eve and our 10 Year Annversary! Cache is partnering with AR Circus Arts and Celebrations Events & Entertainment to create an amazing Brazilian Carnival experience. Dinner for the night will feature Brazilian steakhouse meats with a Cache flare.

Space is Limited - Reserve today!

425 President Clinton Ave. | Little Rock, AR 72201 | 501-850-0265 | 20 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

ACT SPOTLIGHT CELEBRITY GALA Friends and supporters of Argenta Community Theater gathered at Argenta Plaza for this star-studded evening. Renowned celebrities included actor + writer Mara Wilson, civil rights icon Minnijean BrownTrickey, author Spirit Trickey-Tawfiq and acclaimed actor Hisham Tawfiq who shared insight with Anne Jansen Broadwater. Proceeds support Argenta Community Theater productions and education. Mara Wilson, Hisham Tawfiq, Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Spirit Trickey-Tawfiq

Chris & Chelsea Kane, Leslie & Rhys Branman

DECEMBER 6-17, 2023

Dennis & Gayla Jungmeyer

Charles Evans, Lauren Banko, Rick Fleetwood

Alyson Courtney, Vincent Insalaco, Kathie & Vincent Insalaco

February 21-March 2, 2024

April 17-24, 2024

CELEBRATE! Maya Project “Life is a gift. Our responsibility is to untie the bow and share our gift with the world.” By KIM MEYER-WEBB | Photography by MEREDITH MELODY

MAYA ANGELOU is a daughter of the delta. Despite a childhood in Southeast Arkansas defined by racial and social obstacles, she became one of our country’s most beloved poets. Celebrate! Maya Project honors the life and legacy of this literary icon. As the organization embarks on a campaign to make a permanent home to commemorate this continued mission fulfillment work, Celebrate Maya! Project President Janis F. Kearney shares insight and inspiration. Janis recalls “A Day of Remembrance” that brought Celebrate! Maya Project into finite focus. “When Dr. Maya Angelou passed in 2014, I found that no one else was recognizing her here in Arkansas, though people all over the world were doing just that.” The organization exists to celebrate the transformative power knowledge and service. “Her poetry, humanitarianism and passion for civil rights represent a personal story of rising from a childhood of pain to become an amazing human being. We use her story as a mirror for Arkansas children to realize their own potential.” Celebrate! Maya Project partners with Arkansas schools and communities to bring this narrative to life. “Through our service to children in their ‘villages’ throughout the state – we create writing, art, poetry and history curricula for students.” This experience with literacy and the humanities reflects not only her work in academia, but also Dr. Angelou as a beacon for equity. “The children we serve

need to see success that looks like them.” Janis reiterates programming in the Arkansas Delta, where communities are underserved and impoverished, is critical. “It makes all the difference in the world when a poor child sees someone successful whose story aligns with theirs.” As Janis recounts her own life’s journey from Southeast Arkansas to the White House and back to the Capital City, she realizes her family’s commitment to education and faith facilitated an alternative to dire poverty. “I grew up within a ‘village’ where everyone took our safety and security personally.” That remains motivation for her work. “What that ‘village’ did was, not only make a difference in our present lives, but it laid the foundation for our future lives.” This kind of community is invested in the welfare of neighbors who become friends. And that is what Celebrate! Maya Project offers to student across Arkansas. Plans to renovate a turn of the century home in the Central High School Historic District will provide a place for Celebrate! Maya Project to create a Dr. Maya Angelou House. “It’s a living, breathing space for youth and the community to come experience.” It will make the resources and inspiration for personal success more accessible in a place where this vision is tangible. “We believe there is something magical about children sharing their stories and learning others’ stories. In addition to the literacy and artistic expression, Celebrate! Maya Project offers children Maya Angelou. Her story helps children see their own possibilities.”

CELEBRATE! MAYA PROJECT | 22 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

FILMLAND 2023 Friends and patrons gathered at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts for the Arkansas premiere of The Bikeriders. Hosted as part of Filmand 2023, an intimate Q&A with Jeff Nichols, moderated by Variety Magazine Chief Film Critic Peter Debruge, followed the film. Guests enjoyed a reception with light bites, libations and live entertainment by Lucero. Proceeds support the continued mission fulfillment work of Arkansas Cinema Society and the film + educational programming at AMFA. Jeff Nichols, Peter Debruge

Jeffrey Foster, Tara Meshell

Rett Tucker, Frank Scott, Jr

Sandra Marbaise, Jim Keet, Louis Petit, Sandra Bowden

Tisha Gribble, Hannah Vogler, Judy Gribble

George & Victoria Ramirez, Kathryn Tucker

Planting Seeds Growing Dreams


and help rebuild the Dr. Maya Angelou House Scan to donate

The Celebrate! Maya Project commemorates the legacy of beloved poet, author + humanitarian Dr. Maya Angelou , by promoting education, the arts and civil + human rights. | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 23

Connoisseur Team Chuck Magill & Bob Harrison


Store Leader Elliott Griffen

Public Relations Leader Kacee Hudson

Executive Assistant Leila Horsman

Headshot Photography by Sarah Oden

Company Leader Jonathan Looney

O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor three promise guarantee got a little stronger this year with the introduction of Store Leader Elliott Griffen and Public Relations Leader Kacee Hudson. Under the mentorship provided by Company Leader Jonathan Looney - this ‘dream team’ continues the tradition of optimizing service, selection and pricing for every guest that walks through their door. The team continually strives to recognize client needs and dedication to the community through what they call “The Perks” of their loyalty program including same-day delivery by the iconic Green Machine company truck. As the dream team strives to exceed expectations, this small-but-mighty shop adds Executive Assistant Leila Horsman – which now proudly transforms the ‘dream team’ to the ‘core four.’ Leila will graduate from UA Little Rock in December with marketing expertise that is current and relevant. “I’m so blown away and thankful that they are giving me the chance to be a part of this amazing team.” She reflects Jonathan’s vision of gratitude, knowledge and service making her the perfect addition to the shop. Jonathan has also curated what he calls the ‘connoisseur team’ comprised of beloved Capital City socialites Chuck Magill and Bob Harrison. These gentlemen offer personalized, custom consultation. Whether it’s event planning or pairing recommendations, Chuck and Bob provide an elevated concierge experience to clients. Jonathan adds, “I’ve respected them for years – now Chuck and Bob are the perfect touch of classic, old- school excellence that I’ve been hoping to find. With the Core Four and Connoisseur Team in place, I’m finally able to not only offer, but actually deliver the excellence that is O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor. I’ve worked toward this moment for the last 23 years.” O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor continues to play a pivotal role in building a brighter future for Central Arkansas. Between sponsoring events like Zoo Brew, supporting the “shop small and local” initiative through Market at Chenal and aligning with names like Ease Supper Club and EO Manees House – this crew is gearing up for a great new year! Come experience the excellence for yourself - take full advantage of everything this exemplary West Little Rock shop and its budding team has to offer! 3 Rahling Cir. Little Rock, Ark. | 501.821.4669 | @olooneys

AMFA WHITFIELD LOVELL: PASSAGES RECEPTION Members of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts enjoyed a preview of new Whitfield Lovell: Passages exhibition. Featuring drawings, assemblages and installations that focus on African American history – the exhibition questions identity, memory and our collective heritage. Executed on paper or salvaged wooden boards, the drawings are paired with found objects and often incorporated into larger multi-media installations or stand-alone tableaux.

Gabrielle Edwards, Charles Stewart

Brian Lang, Maggie & Dick Dearnly

Bridget Moore, Merritt & Anne Dyke, Victoria Rameriz

Jay Shinn, Cathy Mayton

Nancy Rousseau, Mary Ruth Stewart





Whitfield Lovell (New York, New York, 1959 - ), Deep River, 2013, installation with fifty-six wooden discs, found objects, soil, video projections, and sound, 198 x 600 x 600 in., Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York. Image courtesy of Jason Masters. Whitfield Lovell: Passages is organized by the American Federation of Arts in collaboration with Whitfield Lovell. Major support for the national tour and exhibition catalogue is provided by National Endowment for the Arts and the Terra Foundation for American Art. | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 25

TINSELTOWN in the SPA CITY Arkansas Shorts Film Festival Brings Hollywood to Arkansas By KD REEP| Photography by JEFF FULLER-FREEMAN | Shot on Location at LOW KEY ARTS

HOT SPRINGS is more up studying theater, acting, than 1,600 miles from dance and all these other Hollywood, but in January, forms of collaborative art, Tinseltown takes up and I was on my way to residence in the Spa City. becoming a theater major.” Presented by Low Key She studied in Chicago and Arts, Arkansas Shorts is a Columbia University in three-day film festival. Bill New York. “That’s where Solleder and Shea Childs film found me.” established Low Key Arts She heard about in 2005 with the purpose Arkansas Shorts while in of producing Valley of film school, and when Jen the Vapors Independent came back to Hot Springs Music Festival. Today, Low to work on her thesis Key Arts connects people film, she became involved and inspires creativity with the organization. “I by offering opportunities was filming and a lot of to experience musical, people said, ‘Hey, there’s cinematic and artistic this festival down the road, innovators from around and some of our films the world. Low Key are showing.’” She joined Arts Program Director Low Key Arts in 2015. Jen Gerber shares her “I’ve worked with Bill on talents and helps organize Arkansas Shorts Arkansas Shorts. ever since.” A native of Hot Springs, Next month, Arkansas Jen notes she completed Shorts will feature 35 films graduate school with plans that include work from the to share stories about the Low Key Arts Inception Natural State and fellow to Projection Program Arkansans. “I’ve been here as well as films made by ever since.” She continues national and international to surround herself with filmmakers. She notes potential. “Whether it’s there are also workshops, been making my own lectures and parties. The work or being part of festival continues to productions here in the expand programming state, I’ve been so fortunate because the quality of Filmmakers Janie Gentry, Kristine Artymowski, John Sullivan, Brendan Burks to be in Arkansas because many submissions is so it actually has a great good. “We want to make film scene.” room for all filmmakers, and we showcase some of the best short films Jen remembers her first experience on a film set as pivotal to her career that were made last year from all around the world. There are some because she immediately sensed it was what she was meant to do. At really high-profile films, too. For instance, we have some that won that time, filmmaking wasn’t accessible in Arkansas. “I didn’t even think Sundance and have played at Tribeca, even Cannes. We invite those about becoming a filmmaker. I’d always been a lover of the arts and grew filmmakers to be part of our community here in Arkansas.” ARKANSAS SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL | January 5- 7 | Hot Springs Malco Theatre |

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HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL RED CARPET RECEPTION The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival welcomed patrons and film enthusiasts to the Spa City for this 32nd anniversary celebration. Hosted at the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort Event Center, guests enjoyed this year’s opening reception with hors d’oeuvres + cocktails as well as live entertainment. The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest nonfiction festival in North America and an Academyqualifying festival in the category of Documentary Short Subject. It continues to attract more than 10,000 attendees annually.

Robbie Brindley, Annie Gerber

Brad Burleson, Dylan Hamby

Angie & Tim Wilson

Shawna French, Sarah Meadows, Renata Bodor

Chris & Tina Ho

Ken Jacobson, Natalie & Dennis Berry

Kate Schaffer, Margaret McLarty, Greg Schaffer | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 27

Curtis Craft, Iris Thompson, Sr.

Jared & Taylor Eakin

Kala Rogers, Mary Zunick, Bill Burroughs

Brent Atkins, Scott Dews, Kristi Powal

Heather Busch, Gary Troutman, Kim Kellar

Peter Guresky, Stephanie Teets, Sierra Hopper, Miranda Hogan

Kathy Childers, Ryan & Brittani Childers

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY LUNCHEON Friends and colleagues gathered at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences & Arts Creativity & Innovation Complex for this luncheon to support mental health services offered in Garland County. Guests enjoyed insight from University of Arkansas Assistant Athletic Director for Mental Health & Performance Dr. Christopher Bader. As one of the premier providers of mental health services in the county, Levi Hospital works to ensure the holistic health of the community.

Zane Jeffers, Jackie Arrison

Ramona Marshall, Lauren Shufelberger

Susan & Grady Bean

Marquita Kelley, Jamila Phillips, Brittani Childers

28 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

Kay Ekey, Linda Franklin

Sarah Fowler, Autumn Johnson

Mechele McNary, Aundrea Whitaker Crary

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in Bronze


Susan Holley Williams was born and raised in Dumas, Arkansas, where she gained an appreciation for small town life. From a very young age Susan excelled in the arts. She received a bachelor’s degree in Housing & Interior Design from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Art was still her greatest passion, which led her to pursue a certification to teach art through the Arkansas Department of Education. While teaching art for the Little Rock School District, she also managed her own interior design business. Susan was hired as one of two designers to decorate former President Bill Clinton’s personal office in the foundation building. For years Susan treated her art like a hobby. It wasn’t until her husband, Dr. Alonzo Williams, began to notice just how many pieces of sculptures began to stack up around the house. He then got her to agree that there would be no more collecting art from other artists until she started to sell and share her work with the world. Through relationships with galleries, juried shows and museums, she was able to see that there was a significant public interest in her “hobby.” Since then, Susan enjoys sculpting mostly commissioned pieces and has been overjoyed with the opportunity to create her largest and most significant piece by far. Susan was commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation and the Arkansas Parks Department to create a bronze statue of John J. Johnson for the opening of the John H. Johnson Commemorative Plaza at the southern end of Delta Heritage Trail State Park in Arkansas City, Arkansas. Johnson was born in Arkansas City in 1918. He moved to Chicago where he built an international publishing empire. “His small-town roots are very important to me. We were both born in Desha County a few miles apart,” says Susan. “He passed away in 2005, and many young people don’t know who he is. I’m interested in making sure his legacy is known and lives on. This bigger-than-life sculpture is substantial and significant in creating an awareness of his existence.” Art isn’t the only thing on Susan’s plate. Family keeps her busy the majority of her time. “I feel so blessed to have my 94 and 96 year old parents and almost 104 year old aunt still around,” she shares. Susan is a daughter, a wife, a mother and a very enthusiastic grandmother, which she is affectionately referred to as “Mimi.” Finding balance is something the Williams family strives for and Mimi is the “Glue” that holds it all together.

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Calvin Johnson, Lynn Walton

Annette Slater, Frances Harris, Alecia Smith

Fine Jewelry by


Susan & Alonzo Williams, Linda Johnson Rice, Alexa Rice

Legacy lives

JOHN H. JOHNSON SCULPTURE UNVEILING Friends and colleagues gathered at the John H. Johnson Cultural & Educational Museum, Commemorative Plaza and Statue in Arkansas City for the unveiling of John H. Johnson Sculpture. Commissioned by Arkansas State Parks and the Walton Family Foundation, Arkansas Artist Susan Holley Williams created the bronze piece and shared insight. The festivities celebrated the life and legacy of John H. Johnson, who is regarded as the most influential African American publisher in America.


Don Tilton, Ulysses Reed

museum, commemorative plaza & statue

Visit this beautiful landmark on your next natural state travel.

Statue by: Susan Holley Williams Ardren Jones, Jackie Young

Kim Davis, Joyvin Benton

6 0 4 P r e s i d e n t S t r e e t • A r k a n s a s C i t y, A R • 7 1 6 3 0 The John H. Johnson statue and commemorative plaza are maintained by Arkansas State Parks | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 31


Dr. Debra Fiser’s life has been one of mission. A native of Newport who grew up in West Memphis, Dr. Fiser began her life of service when she became a pediatric critical care physician. After graduating from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and post-graduate training at the University of Kentucky and the University of Florida, she returned to Arkansas and worked for UAMS at Arkansas Children’s Hospital as an assistant professor. It was at Arkansas Children’s Hospital where she learned her way around research and grants. In 1995, Dr. Fiser was appointed chair of its department of pediatrics and then dean of the UAMS College of Medicine in 2006. A member of St. James United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Dr. Fiser says she was introduced to the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas by invitation from Jim Argue. “Our pastor asked a few members to attend a seminar the foundation was holding, and I learned about what they do and how they do it,” she says. “I was so intrigued by how, with their partnership with Wespath, they invest funds and meet and usually beat the market.” The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2023, has more than $190 million invested with Wespath Institutional Investments, a division of the not-for-profit Wespath Benefits and Investments, an agency of the United Methodist Church. As the largest reporting faith-based investor in the United States, Wespath provides a diversified, multi-manager investment approach achieving competitive long-term performance while remaining in

alignment with the social principles of the United Methodist Church. “After the seminar, Jim Argue asked if I would join the board at the foundation, and when I did, I was added to the human resources committee,” Dr. Fiser explains. “I kept dropping hints about joining the grants committee. Well, I was not only asked to join but to chair it.” That was a decade ago, and Dr. Fiser continues to uphold the foundation’s mission of being exemplary stewards of funds invested in Arkansas’s Methodist institutions and missions. The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas now awards more grant dollars than any other Methodist foundation in the country. “We provide scholarships for seminary students and other pastoral education,” she says. “We support Philander Smith University, Hendrix College and the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church and other Methodist institutions. Our mission priority areas also include such things as addressing food insecurity, homelessness and illiteracy. One thing I am particularly proud of the foundation for is granting funds for churches to install live streams for their services during COVID-19.” Dr. Fiser says as the foundation looks toward its next 60 years, her hope is more Methodist churches in Arkansas will take advantage of what the foundation can provide them. “The foundation has a lot of opportunity Methodist congregations can use for their churches and missions,” she said. “We remain committed to socially responsible endeavors, and we want to help more Methodist institutions and missions grow in our future.”

601 Wellington Village Road • Little Rock, AR 72211 2103 S. 54th Street, Suite #1 • Rogers, AR 72758

PHILANDER SMITH UNIVERSITY GALA This annual gala celebrates the rich history and academic achievements of Philander Smith University as well as the legacy + continuing mission fulfillment work to make education more accessible to all students. More than 400 guests gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center for the inaugural gala as Philander Smith University under the leadership of Interim President Cynthia A. Bond Hopson. The evening honored three students with scholarship; proceeds from the evening support student scholarships.

Angela Person West, Shanta Arnold

Scott & Martie Hamilton

Terry Esper, Lynda Byrd, Cynthia Bond Hopson, Arthur Montgomery

Andrea & Marcus Lewis, Cara & Gary Connors

Connie Curry, Charles King

Margaret & Ronnie Dedman

Patti Freemyer Martin, Carmen Hamilton-Parks, Mary Wheeler

Your Giving Elevate your giving today, and together, we can change the future of a scholar. Your support holds the power to transform dreams into realities.

Are YOU ready to Elevate? GIVE NOW

#ElevateWithPSU | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 33


Baptist Health Corporate Vice President Surgery, Women’s and Children’s, and Rehabilitation Services My major at UALR was Business Administration which provided an excellent foundation for both my career and for graduate school. I chose UALR because of the extraordinary reputation of the University of Arkansas’ educational system, as well as the location. It was very important to me to receive my degree from an established four-year university with in-person learning. I believe that the overall educational experience at a four year traditional university is superior to many of the strictly on-line/ fast track programs. There is an additional learning experience that comes with working on group projects, classroom brainstorming sessions, and just learning from others’ experiences. Working full-time, raising two daughters, and going to college led to a unique college experience. UALR made it possible by offering flexibility… from evening classes, in-person, and on-line when absolutely necessary. In my professional career, receiving my degree from UALR gave me the confidence I needed to ask for more, and the ability to perform/produce results at a higher level. I would later go on to achieve my Masters of Health Services Administration. Having the educational knowledge, coupled with ongoing work experience, really prepared me to advance into higher administrative levels within the Baptist Health System, for which I am extremely grateful.

F I N I S H I N G S T R O N G I S O U R F O U N D AT I O N The Foundation has a vision for communities in Arkansas – to become the places your kids will want to raise their kids. As 2023 comes to an end, we want to thank all the Arkansans who shared our vision this year and invested in our communities through contributions to the Foundation. Learn about gifting, end of year donations and other opportunities at


Baptist Health is proud to celebrate Julie Nix as a leader in the Central Arkansas community. We celebrate you. And we’re honored to have you as a member of the Baptist Health team.


Corporate Vice President Surgery, Women's and Children's, and Rehabilitation Services | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 35


Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends - are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES. Kinco Constructors President Clay Gordon is making a profound impact on the future of Arkansas children and families through a dedicated partnership with Methodist Family Health Foundation. The company supports the organization’s Southern Silks Stakes, Share the Light Christmas Campaign and Get Up & Give Campaign; this exemplifies a meaningful contribution to the collective effort of improving the lives of Arkansans. Celebrating 50 years of service, Kinco Constructors provides quality general construction services and building a better community is instilled in the company values. As president, Clay manages three critical components of continued success: strategic direction and plan implementation, fostering and improving company culture, and cultivating business development. He adds, “We have a tremendous team of talented builders at Kinco who care and take pride in their work.” He notes this commitment to excellence extends beyond the office and construction sites into the community at large. Kinco Constructors supports the mission fulfillment work of Methodist Family Health Foundation financially and through volunteer engagement. Clay serves on the Methodist Family Health Foundation Sponsored by Methodist Family Health Foundation Nominations accepted at | #ShareTheLightandSHINE

Board of Directors and enjoys hearing testimonials from clients. “Often those who have received care come back to share their stories of impact and healing with our board of directors. To know that we can help provide a positive impact in that individual’s life is a rewarding feeling.” Clay emphasizes the like-mindedness of Kinco Constructors and Methodist Family Health Foundation: “The work impacts numerous local communities throughout our great state, and the services they provide improve both the health and education of families across Arkansas.” Clay’s motivation and inspiration come from his family, friends and colleagues. He credits his parents for his civic leadership and notes his wife Kelli’s humility and tenacity are equally impressive. These kinds of shared values, along with professional mentors, play a pivotal role in Clay’s life. He recognizes the importance of collaboration, “I am energized daily by so many of the new, younger team members we have at Kinco. Their excitement, passion and energy inspire me to do all that we can for them.” Kinco Constructors and Methodist Family Health Foundation represent the transformative power of strategic partnerships that will build a healthier tomorrow for all Arkansans.

OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM ANNUAL SUPPER Friends and patrons gathered at the Old State House Museum for an inspiring evening of Buffalo National River history and intrigue. Buffalo & Beyond: Arkansas Wild, Natural & Beautiful celebrates the 1984 Wildness Act that created the Buffalo National River designation. Moderator Roby Brock and panelists shared insight and a lively discussion. Hosted by the Friends of Arkansas State House Museum, proceeds support the continued mission fulfillment work of Old State House Museum: interpreting and preserving the history of Arkansas.

David Beck, Phillip Watts

Steve Hurd, Donna & David Peterson

Richard & Betsy Davies

Reed Martin, Amber & Chase Crawford

Betty Gene Mann, Ron Maxwell, Nikki Lawson, Kathy Roberts

Lana & Ed Bethune, Marty Ryall

Mary & Barnes Berry, Archie Schaffer, Heather Chilson

You are not the darkness you endured. You are the light that refused to surrender. John Mark Green 501-803-3388 Kristi Hicks, Andrea Ray, Beverly Beck | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 37

HAWGS FOR A CAUSE Presented by Centennial Bank, Hawgs for a Cause welcomed more than 275 friends + patrons of Arkansas Enterprises for the Developmentally Disabled for an evening of “hawg wild” fun. Highlights included a BBQ Dinner by Woo Pig-Q-ee featuring the “Big Frank” Razorback Grill, Wild Hog Beverage Bar and entertainment by Craig O’Neill – aka Brother Hogg. Proceeds of more than $75,000 support programs + services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Gayla & Dennis Jungmeyer

Ashley Johnson, Kerina Goucher

Kathy Bentley, Dena Rhoads, Debbie Grooms

Sara Lynn, Teresa Whitehead, Claudia Bonham

Georganna Hulddleston, Kim Pruitt

Kathleen Kennally, Tery Young

Leslie Udouj, Lexie McPherson


38 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |





BURNS PARK PICKLEBALL COURTS OPENING Friends and pickleball enthusiasts gathered at the new Burns Park Pickleball Complex for this ribbon-cutting celebration. Mayor Terry Hartwick welcomed guests to the 12-court facility that provides additional playing space for the popular sport. John Towne with Divine Mercy Health Center noted the Arvest Big Dill Pickleball Tournament in November welcomed 80 teams to the complex for friendly competition and fundraising.

Terry Hartwick, John Towne, Grant Downer

Kelly Suen, Adam Golden, Sierra Kesterson, Candace Bynum, Josh Neal

Warm Wishes!

Kenny Stephens, Shane Hutchcraft, Jason Rhodes

Neal Reeves, Lee Wilbur

Thomas Anderson, Daniel Cornelison

All the best for our friends and neighbors.

Member FDIC | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 39

Kristi Smith, James Bobo, Laterika Tooks

Phillip, Tracy & Rodney Abston

Mark Funk, Robert Mitchell, Shannon Gwinn, Casey Rockwell

UA LITTLE ROCK DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS ALUMNI AWARD Friends and colleagues gathered at the Little Rock Marriott to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s UA Little Rock Distinguished Business Alumni Award recipients. Rodney Abston was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year and Wesley Bland received the Dean’s Award for Excellence. The Distinguished Alumni Award reflects business and community accomplishments. Wesley & Amanda Bland Julie Nix, Bryan & Sherill Hosto 40 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

Rebecca Cronk, Stephanie Hill, Cathy Tuggle


JACOB Arkansas Children’s Kidney Transplant Patient



Make your gift today to champion children like Jacob. $25 = 18 aluminum finger splints for emergency departments $40 = Infant blood pressure cuff $100 = Radio Flyer red wagon for patients to use in the hospitals Visit or call 800-880-7491

2023 Year End Dec Ad_Inviting.indd 1

10/25/2023 3:15:57 PM


University of Central Arkansas HPER Center

• Held on multiple parcels of private land • Teams of 4 will be randomly paired with landowners and hunting locations • Winning team members and landowner will share equally in grand prize • Each hunter will receive a gift package

EVENING BANQUET Dinner • Drinks • Silent and Live Auctions Gun Raffle • Men’s and Women’s Raffles Polaris Ranger and Other Big Ticket Raffle Items

501-513-5191 | ARKANSASDUCKDERBY.COM | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 41

Simple GOODNESS Photography by SARA REEVES

A book lover and baker extraordinaire, Kelli Marks insists holiday cookies can be festive + fun with the perfect recipe. She recommends Central Arkansas Library System as the source for inspiration and cookbooks galore. A versatile cookie dough is perfect for snickerdoodles, sprinkle cookies and decorated works of art. Find the complete recipe on the Inviting Arkansas website -

42 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |


From the director of



100 RIVER MARKET AVENUE, LITTLE ROCK “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt is one of the most recognized and reproduced paintings in EXHIBITION ON SCREEN: KLIMT AND THE KISS the world. But just what lies behind the appeal of the painting – and just who was the artist that created it? “Theof Kiss” by Gustav is one Cassatt of the most recognizedthe andModern Woman From the director Frida and Mary – Painting Kahlo Klimt reproduced paintings in the world. But just what lies behind the comes a powerful, gripping, and passionate new From producers of Vermeer: appeal of the painting – and just who was film. the artist thatthe created it? The Greatest Exhibition, discover the scandalous life and the rich tapestry of From the director of Frida Kahlo and Mary Cassatt – Painting the extraordinary influences behind one of the world’s paintings. Modern Woman comes a powerful, gripping,favorite and passionate new film. From the producers of Vermeer: The Greatest Exhibition, Doors open at 3:00 PM. discover the scandalous life and the rich tapestry of extraordinary influences behind one of the world’s favorite paintings.

Doors open at 3:00 PM. SHAWN CAMP LIVE FRIDAY, DEC. 8 | 8 PM | $25 PICTURE SHOW THE ROCKY HORROR Join us for a homecoming concert with two-time It’s an otherworldly sensational dream! This special Grammy Award winner Shawn Camp. screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show will of Experience the gifted voice and expert musicianship include a pre-show featuring wacky games, trivia, this Perryville, Arkansas, native intoantantalize intimate and costume contests sure andsolo tease. acoustic performance as he weaves country, bluegrass, Let there be light. Let there be laughter. Let there be and Americana music into everything his songwriting that’s lips. Prop bags (with you needmagic to participate!) also be available $10 online or at the door. topped thewill charts for more for than 30 years.

A month-long slate of Christmas classics andofholiday favorites will A month-long slate Christmas classicsstart and on holiday favorites December 1. will start onSHOWTIME, December 1. 7 PM | TICKETS, $5

Doors open atView 7:00the PM.schedule and get tickets at

View the schedule and get tickets at | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 43

BEHOLD Photography by SARAH ODEN

the holidays

After more than four decades, Ron Pepper continues to transform homes during the holiday season. His philosophy, “I put my heart and soul into every home …” is certainly reflected in the attention to detail and intentional placement of every element. There’s an undeniable sense of belonging and nostalgia that makes this extraordinary space perfect for family gatherings and festive fare. From the fruits and magnolia that adorn the wreaths to the pineapples that represent hospitality, the fresh fragrance throughout the home adds a sense of tranquility and elegance. Even the outdoor living area beckons good cheer; the trees are trimmed and the mantle features evergreen branches. “I used ornaments and red eucalyptus for filler.” The nativity near the magnificent staircase represents hope for the world and love everlasting.

“It’s a reflection of me. I just love doing it.” 44 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

Designer Ron Pepper | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 45

Gifts to Give & Get

Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography

ORIGAMI SAKE Choose A Thousand Cranes or White Lotus & Enjoy! 2360 E Grand Ave, Hot Springs | 501.463.6906

BOX TURTLE Buttery Soft Reversible Travel Blankets 2616 Kavanaugh Blvd| 501.661.1167

MRS. POLKA DOT Monogrammed Gifts & More 611 Beechwood St | 501.603.5177


BARBARA JEAN For the Girl Who Has Everything 7811 Cantrell Rd | 501.227.10054

LOST FORTY BREWING Seasonal Craft Beer & Wearables 501 Byrd St | 501.319.7275

AR T’S Graphic Shirts & Holiday Gifts Galore 1218 Main St | 501.246.3500

THE GOOD EARTH GARDEN CENTER Gifts for Gardeners 15601 Cantrell Rd | 501.868.4666

not licensed to do eye exams

Jewerly For Your Eyes 5901 R St | 501.664.9350

ESSE PURSE MUSEUM Handbags, Accessories & More 1510 Main St | 501.916.9022 46 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

shop local and support small buisnesses

SISSY’S LOG CABIN Life’s Too Short For Ordinary Jewelry 1825 North Grant St | 501.663.0066

WORDSWORTH BOOKS Good Reads 5920 R St | 501.663.9198

THE FULL MOON Arkansas Artists 3625 Kavanaugh Blvd | 501.663.4367

B. BARNETT Exceptional Designers, Impeccably Curated 8201 Cantrell Rd | 501.223.2514

J. MCLAUGHLIN Cozy Cashmere Sweaters 5919 Kavanaugh Blvd | 501.500-9599

EGGSHELLS KITCHEN CO. Great Jones Cookware 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd, | 501.664.6900

FRESH I.D. Nicolette Mayer Trays 5914 R St | 501.478.6006

Happy Holidays!

Gifts that Dazzle & Delight

RHEA DRUG STORE Ezy Roller Scooters 2801 Kavanaugh Blvd | 501.663.4131

48 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |

MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY Educational Gifts 500 President Clinton Ave | 501.396.7050

GENE LOCKWOODS Stanley Tumblers 12101 W Markham St | 501.227.7678

Alfred Williams & Elaine Eubank

Todd Price, Carol Scruggs, Corey Brown

Meals | Support | HomeCare | More Resources for Older People and Their Families


Sheila & David Porter, Judy & Kelley Johnson

CARELINK AT THE TABLE Friends and patrons of CareLink gathered at the CareLink Community Kitchen for this special 10-year celebration of the organization’s Meals on Wheels initiative. Guests enjoyed an intimate and unique dinner created by The Root Café as well as insight into the Meals on Wheels Program. CareLink is also recognized as the Central Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, acting as an advocate in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski, and Saline Counties. Proceeds support the services that CareLink provides to aging Arkansans as a resource for living more independently later in life.


the gift of Fred & Sharhonda Love, David Zakrzewski


learn more

Jerry & Sherri Damerow

Sarah & Matt Epperson

With a year full of educational experiences, Museum of Discovery memberships make perfect holiday gifts!

museumofdiscovery | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 49





4910 Kavanaugh Blvd Suite B |

2911 Kavanaugh Blvd Little Rock 830 Front St Conway

Share some festive cheer as you shop and mingle with artists at one of our Holiday Season open houses! Friday Dec. 1 from 11 am - 8 pm Saturday Dec. 12 from 11 am - 8 pm Friday Dec. 22 from 11 am - 8 pm

Tues - Fri 11AM - 5PM | Sat 11AM - 3PM 1501 South Main Street, Suite H, Little Rock | 501.454.6969 |

At the Cosmetic Surgery Center,

skin begins and ends here

Botox, Dysport & Fillers | HydraFacial MD | Microdermabrasion | Sofwave Non-Surgical Lifting Laser Hair Removal | Chemical Peels | Waxing & Tinting | Latisse SkinPen Microneedling | PRP | Dermaplaning SKIN CARE LINES INCLUDE: SkinMedica | SkinCeuticals Obagi Medical | eltaMD

call for a consultation

501.227.0707 10809 Executive Drive | Suite 100 | Little Rock 50 | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 |


DEC. 1

DEC. 10

DEC. 10

DEC. 13

DEC. 18

DEC. 21

Men • Noon (DH)

Women • 2 p.m. (DH)

Men • 6:30 p.m.

Men • 6:30 p.m.

Men • 2 p.m.


Men • 6:30 p.m.

Women • 6:30 p.m.

JAN. 4

JAN. 6

JAN. 25

JAN. 27

FEB. 6

FEB. 15

Women • 5 p.m. Men • 7 p.m.

Women • 1 p.m. Men • 3 p.m.

Women • 5 p.m. Men • 7 p.m.

Women • 1 p.m. Men • 3 p.m.

Women • 5 p.m. Men • 7 p.m.

Women • 5 p.m. Men • 7 p.m.

FEB. 17

FEB. 29


Women • 1 p.m. Men • 3 p.m.

Women • 5 p.m. Men • 7 p.m.

Women • 1 p.m. Men • 3 p.m.



Scan for tickets | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 51


Santa’s saver

Roger Armstrong

In a typical November Roger Armstrong is posing for Christmas card photos and getting ready to spend the next six weeks or so dressed in a red velvet Santa suit listening to the desires of children throughout Central Arkansas. In 2021, those plans were cut short when tests at UAMS revealed the need for coronary artery bypass surgery. He underwent triple-bypass surgery to redirect blood flow around three sections of blocked artery and then spent several weeks in rehab before spending a quiet Christmas at home. He returned to his role as Santa the following year, welcoming thousands of children to sit on his knee and tell him what’s on their mind. “I didn’t realize I needed a Christmas miracle, but that’s what the Cardiovascular team at UAMS gave me. I started being Santa in 1968, and I’m grateful to see the smiles on kids’ faces when they see a real live Santa again this year.” – Roger Armstrong, Little Rock

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