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Community

Calling All Foodies: Doing Good Never Tasted So Good!

These upcoming fundraisers will feature the culinary creations of seven different local chefs⁠—giving locals the opportunity to have a some delicious food and make a difference at the same time.

From brunch to hors d'oeuvres to dinner, you may work up an appetite just at the idea of supporting these local causes.

The Art of Welcome Dinner Featuring Chef Matt McClure

Dinner at 21c Museum+Hotel in Bentonville on Saturday, September 28th benefitting Canopy Northwest Arkansas

Celebrate our region's proud culinary history with a three course meal, courtesy of The Hive's award-winning Chef Matthew McClure. In addition to the dinner, the event will include art and storytelling. Through performing arts, you will experience the culture and diversity our newest Arkansans bring to Northwest Arkansas. You will also hear personal stories of resilience and triumph, and learn about Canopy's vision to see refugees and the community thriving together.

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

An Evening at The Farm Featuring Four Local Chefs

Dinner at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville on Saturday, October 5th

This intimate farm dinner benefit will be held at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm at Gulley Park. Guests will enjoy cocktails & hors d'oeuvres in the garden, live music and a multi-course dinner featuring local products and gourmet delights prepared by local chefs: Jason Paul of Heirloom at The 1907, Michael Robertshaw of Persephone on Wheels, Matthew Barclay of Bordinos, and Heather Artripe of Ozark Natural Foods.

Proceeds will support Apple Seeds and the school children in the region that participate in their educational programs across Northwest Arkansas. In 2018, Apple Seeds reached more than 10,000 school children through its school and farm-based educational programs.

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

Sunday Brunch with Chef Simon Brown at Native American Cultural Celebration

Brunch at the Museum of Native American History (MONAH) on Sunday, October 6th benefitting Partnership With Native Americans

The brunch will be the featured event on Sunday of the Native American Cultural Celebration. With a performance by the Cherokee Indian Baptist Choir, guests will be invited to dine on delicious food prepared by BlakeSt's Executive Chef, Simon Brown, listen to live music and learn about the work of Partnership With Native Americans, their new campaign, and food sovereignty. During the brunch, guests are encouraged to explore the silent auction with a number of items up for grabs. As the only paid-ticket event of the celebration, all proceeds from the event will benefit Partnership With Native Americans and their on-going work to help build strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

MONAH's Native American Cultural Celebration will celebrate the diversity and enduring spirit of Native traditions and cultures. Native artists, actors, leaders, advocates and more from across the country will come together in Bentonville to celebrate their individual cultures and experiences while providing an opportunity for the local community to learn about Native American cultures that are thriving and surviving today. The headlining presenter for 2019 is actor Wes Studi, who will receive an honorary Academy Award this year.

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

Taste of the Mountain Featuring Chef Justus Moll

A culinary tour at Mount Sequoyah on Saturday, October 12th

Lastly, join the Mount Sequoyah Center in Fayetteville for a culinary tour of the Mountain! Guests will travel across their campus and make stops in five locations. Executive Chef Justus Moll will prepare five small plates that will be accompanied by perfectly paired wine, beer, or cocktail. Non-alcoholic tickets also available. The final stop will have an extra drink and live music to enjoy!

The Mount Sequoyah Center is a community space where all are welcome to enjoy the grounds. They are a multi-faceted space with lodging, dining, event, meeting, and recreation space for the community and visitors. It is a non-profit that welcomes other nonprofits, individuals and businesses to host programs, as well as producing its unique programs such as summer camps, swimming, and tennis.

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.

Just a few more ways you can Impact Northwest Arkansas!

Arts & Culture

Intern Designs Touchable Paintings for the Blind in NW Arkansas

Mallory Lind, a Ph.D. Candidate in Art Education at the University of Georgia, interned with the Access and Inclusive Programs Department at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas over the summer.

We recently stumbled upon a post on Crystal Bridges Museum's Facebook page that read as follows: "Mallory spent her summer creating 'touchable paintings' for blind and visually impaired Crystal Bridges visitors to experience artwork through touch!"!"

The post and accompanying photos have gone viral on Facebook and Instagram, collecting over 5,000 likes and over 500 shares since it was originally posted. We reached out to Mallory to learn more about these "touchable paintings" and how she got involved. Check out our Q&A below.

Can you tell us about this project?

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Art Education at the University of Georgia. My research focuses on Rural Access to Art Museums, which led me to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Over the summer, I was an intern at Crystal Bridges in their Access and Inclusive Programs Department. This department internship appealed to me greatly because of my longstanding interest in creating more accessible, inclusive, and equitable art museums. At Crystal Bridges, I worked under Kim Crowell, head of Access and Inclusive Programs, who had previously worked to create touchable recreations of artwork for the museum. Kim and I had previously talked about our shared interest in creating inclusive art experiences and touchable artworks, so she asked that I work on creating two touchable paintings during my internship. The "touchable paintings" that I created are meant to offer ways for blind and visually impaired visitors to experience art, although they can also be used to help many museum visitors understand and experience the artworks through a multitude of senses. It was my goal in creating these artworks to have the same texture and feel that you might expect if the painting were actualized. To do this, I used a variety of materials and techniques, as well as close color matching, to create a replica that was as close as possible to the real image.

Note: A few months ago, Senior Museum Educator and Accessibility Coordinator Kim Crowell traveled to Hong Kong to teach a two-day workshop about her process for creating touchable paintings—tactile, mixed media representations that function like maps of two-dimensional images for individuals with all levels of sight. (Read more HERE)

What did you learn about CB's efforts to become more accessible, inclusive, and equitable at the museum?

While working under Kim Crowell in the Access and Inclusive Programs Department, I was able to learn about and experience the many different levels that Crystal Bridges strives to go to in order to create a more inclusive environment for all visitors. Kim is currently in the process of training all museum employees and volunteers in disability resource training. This effort will help ensure that all visitors, regardless of their ability, receive fair and equal treatment. Kim runs a Community Access Advisory Committee made up of individuals and community representatives of various abilities that she meets with to understand what different visitors might need as they come to Crystal Bridges. There are many different programs for people of all abilities including Multisensory Saturday for the visually impaired, Camp Connect for children with autism, Family Access Night for families with children of differing abilities, and Creative Connections for adults with Alzheimer's and dementia, just to name a few. These programs, as well as the support provided for other programs, ensure that each person can have a meaningful experience at the museum.

Check out a list of Museum Accessibility and Access Programs HERE.

What did you think of Crystal Bridges as a whole?

I very much appreciate the opportunity that I was given to learn about and experience Crystal Bridges as both an employee and a visitor. I had done research on the museum prior to my first time visiting, but the museum, its collection, and its beautiful grounds far exceeded my expectations. I was blown away by the multilingual portion of the permanent collection as well as the many different hands-on and interactive activities within various parts of the galleries.

What was your experience of the region like?

I was staying in Fayetteville, but I had the opportunity to visit many different communities in the region because of my research. The lush green landscape was quite beautiful and offered a wonderful backdrop to the region. I am used to the intense, overwhelming heat and humidity of Georgia, especially that of my hometown in Valdosta, Georgia, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how mild the weather was in Northwest Arkansas during the majority of my visit. I am not typically a hiker, but I loved walking the trails around Bentonville and through Crystal Bridges' grounds. I loved the quirkiness of Eureka Springs with all of its great art and architecture; I actually visited it twice during my short two-month stay. I also went to many farmers' markets around the Northwest Arkansas region where I was delighted to meet wonderful vendors and purchase delicious produce.

📷: @megan_wolo — in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Did we read you were working in rural NW Arkansas? What were you up to?

Aside from my internship at Crystal Bridges, my motivation for coming to Northwest Arkansas was to work on the fieldwork for my dissertation. I am currently getting my Ph.D. in Art Education, but my focus is on Museum Studies with my dissertation concentrating on rural access to art museums. I am originally from a small town in South Georgia with my family residing in a more rural area just outside of Valdosta. Growing up I did not have much access to arts or arts programming because the nearest museum was more than three hours away. This childhood experience inspired my dissertation's research because I wanted to understand what it would be like to have nearby access to such a wonderful world-class art museum for rural areas. Thus, I decided to come to Northwest Arkansas because of Crystal Bridges' proximity to so many rural communities. On the days that I was not working at Crystal Bridges, I would travel to various rural communities and explore the region and talk to members of the community about their experience with or attitude towards Crystal Bridges. I really enjoyed exploring the smaller and more rural communities of Northwest Arkansas and getting to know its residents.

You can experience the next Multisensory Saturday at Crystal Bridges on August 31st from 11am to 2pm!

Animals

Volunteer with a Local Animal Organization This Weekend

The Walmart Foundation is currently awarding grant dollars to area nonprofits for eligible volunteer hours by community members and associates. Here are some ways you can get involved.

This Week's Featured Projects

Below we've featured some of the upcoming volunteer opportunities that involve supporting animal organizations located in Northwest Arkansas.

Human Society for Animals: Feet for Paws (Rogers, AR)

Thursday, August 15th // Friday, August 16th // Sunday, August 18th

The Humane Society for Animals provides for the welfare of dogs and cats in Benton County through shelter and adoption services, spaying and neutering vouchers, and humane education.

If you care for animals and have a soft spot for dogs, this opportunity is for you. The shelter is looking for a few individuals that are willing to give their dogs some much needed exercise, emotional support, and unconditional love. Cat lovers are welcome too! They can use your talents to interact with their fabulous felines.

In addition, they could use some volunteers for the annual Clear the Shelters Adoption event on Saturday, August 18th. During this event, participating animal shelters waive adoption fees for all pets as part of the nationwide initiative that seeks to help families find and adopt homeless pets. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped 256,688 pets find forever homes.

Learn more and sign up for one of the upcoming volunteer opportunities HERE.

Humane Society of the Ozarks: Dog Handlers (Springdale, AR)

Saturday, August 17th

The Humane Society of the Ozarks promotes the wellbeing of animals in the region through education, advocacy and rescue. Since 1944 their organization has been on the forefront of animal welfare in Northwest Arkansas. They assist other shelters and rescues by taking custody of some of their dogs at times of high census, assist with rescue of abandoned, neglected and abused animals, and they take custody of animals in need of veterinary care.

They are currently looking for volunteers for their next adoption event at Brashears Furniture in Springdale. Volunteers will pick up dogs at DogWatch Doggie Daycare in Fayetteville and bring them to the event where they will hang out with them for a few pawsome hours. They allow the dogs inside and sometimes on the furniture, so expect this to be a very chill and fun volunteer opportunity. Once the event is over, volunteers will return the pups to DogWatch.

Learn more and sign up to volunteer HERE.

Autumns ReRide Youth Ranch: Ranch Maintenance

Saturday, August 17th

Autumn's ReRide Youth Ranch is a nonprofit horse rescue and ranch located in Bentonville. The ranch provides a safe and peaceful environment where broken children, horses and families can find hope and peace within the healing glow of unconditional love freeing them from their troubles and sadness.

Each Saturday, they need help with cleaning stalls, filling water troughs, feeding horses, and other ranch duties. All ages find their special place at the ranch; whether it is caring for horses, working with children, horseback riding, or simply, taking a walk on the property.

Learn more and sign up to volunteer HERE.

During the WalmartGivesNWA campaign, the Walmart Foundation will match volunteer hours by community members or associates equal to $10 in honor of each volunteer hour, up to a maximum total volunteer matching amount of $1,000,000. The campaign ends August 23rd!

If you sign up for an upcoming volunteer opportunity be sure to tag us on social @FindingNWA and use #ImpactNWA!

Community

5 NW Arkansas Stories That Will Brighten Your Day

These local moments evoke all the good feels.

1. Pet Philanthropists: Easton and Paisley

Easton and Paisley recently celebrated their birthday. Instead of requesting gifts, they charged guests $5 to join them on their special day. What did they do with the money? Go on a shopping spree for toys? No. Buy a bunch of candy and ice cream? Nope. The two collected $320 and donated it to the Humane Society for Animals.

The Humane Society for Animals has held over 90,000 animals since it originally opened in 1963. The facility continuously houses a total of around 85 dogs and 20 cats.

2. A Passion for Pedaling

Twice a week, volunteers gather at the Pedal It Forward locations in Bentonville and Rogers to help repair and build bikes for those who can't afford them. This past week, over 100 bikes were distributed to families and a local children's shelter.

Since 2014, the volunteers at Pedal It Forward NWA have worked to distribute over 2,300 bicycles throughout Northwest Arkansas to veterans, kids, and others who can't afford a bike.

3. Filled the Bus

Annually, the United Way of Northwest Arkansas launches the "Fill the Bus" campaign to collect school supplies for local children in need. This year, nearly 500 volunteers came together over two days to fill 10 buses located throughout Northwest Arkansas. The supplies will help send over 35,000 children back to school with the tools they need to succeed.

4. Fresh Veggies Brigade

Pictured above is a collection of fresh vegetables donated by three organizations addressing local food insecurity: Seeds That Feed, Cobblestone Farms, NWA Food Bank, and friends to the Second Street Pantry in Bentonville, AR.

Are you a gardener with an overflow of vegetables? Second Street asks that you consider donating any extras from your garden to their pantry. They would love to be able to distribute them to families in the community. Drop them off on Monday morning or on Tuesdays at your convenience!

The mission of Second Street Pantry Missions, Inc. is to help make a difference in the lives of those experiencing situational or generational poverty by providing food, personal care goods, financial assistance, and education. They offer basic groceries and personal care items, limited financial assistance, and a community meal on Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church in Bentonville, AR.

5. Marshallese Got Talent

Lastly, we have a highlight video from the First Annual Marshallese Got Talent Show at the Jones Center hosted by the Marshallese Educational Initiative. We promise that if nothing else, the first 10-seconds of this video are guaranteed to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face!

Cover photo from the Marshallese Educational Initiative photo album on Facebook

Did you witness a heartwarming moment we missed? Let us know! Send your stories to alicia@findingnwa.com

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