Editor's Note: At press time, the following events and meetings were known to be still scheduled. Organizers or appropriate officials are encouraged to contact Sandra Hope at or use our newsroom email to make additions or changes.

Monday, Jan. 23

UAM slates student art reception, exhibition

The University of Arkansas at Monticello will host a closing reception for student artists from 1-2 p.m. Jan. 23 in UAM's Glassblock Gallery in the Fred J. Taylor Library and Technology Center. The exhibition will feature the paintings, drawings and photographs that Arkansas State University-Beebe and UAM students made during a visit to the Louisiana Purchase State Park in October. The public is invited to attend and meet the participating students, according to a news release.

Monday, Jan. 23

A&P finance group to meet

The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission Finance Committee will meet at noon Monday the A&P office, 623 S. Main St. Before the meeting, participants are asked to inform the staff if they plan to attend, according to a news release. Details: Betty Brown, administrative assistant, A&P commission, (870) 534-2121 or

McGehee board to meet

The McGehee School Board will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in the high school library. The agenda includes an award presentation, financial statement, updates, administrator's reports, and executive session.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Urban Renewal panel to meet

The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal agency will hold its monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave., according to a news release. Chandra Griffin is the director of Pine Bluff Urban Renewal. Details: (870) 209-0323.

Civic panel plans call

The Civic Auditorium Complex Commission will conduct a conference call meeting at noon Tuesday. Interested participants are asked to call call the Pine Bluff Convention Center, (870) 536-7600, requesting to join the conference call or send an email to The staff will email the information needed to join the call, according to a news release.


Free tax assistance set

Free tax preparation is being held by appointment from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. A Super Saturday tax service will also be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 28. The tax preparation is provided through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration (PBICVR) and the United Way of Southeast Arkansas began offering this service in January, according to a news release. To make an appointment or for details, call (870) 730-1131.

White Hall soccer registration open

The White Hall United Soccer Club will host spring soccer registration for boys and girls 4-14 years old. Registration will be held online any time in January and in person from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 14 and Jan. 28 at the Jefferson Regional Medical Center Wellness Center at White Hall. Youth can also follow the White Hall United Soccer Club Facebook page and click the link to and sign up, according to the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce newsletter.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

A&P commission to meet

The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the A&P Office, 623 S. Main St. Before the meeting, participants are asked to inform the staff so they can accommodate everyone for seating, according to a news release. Details: Betty Brown, administrative assistant, A&P commission, (870) 534-2121 or

Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadline to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Pastors, ministers or others interested in writing for the Devotional Page may also submit columns for consideration. Column writers should have connections to Southeast Arkansas. Articles should be submitted by email to Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.

Thursday, Jan. 26

Pine Bluff School District sets meeting

The Pine Bluff School District will hold a special called board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in the boardroom of the Jordan Chanay building, according to a news release.

Rice board to meet at Stuttgart

The Arkansas Rice and Research Promotion Board will meet at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Grand Prairie Center at Stuttgart. The agenda includes administrative reports, according to a news release. Details: Arkansas Farm Bureau, (501) 224-4400.

VA office sets virtual claims event

The Little Rock VA Regional Office will hold a virtual claims clinic for Arkansas Veterans from 4-6 p.m. Jan. 26. To reserve a timeslot, veterans should call (501) 370-3829 before 4 p.m. Jan. 25, according to a news release. During the claims clinic, veterans may speak one-on-one to staff of the Little Rock VA Regional Office regarding their claims for VA benefits. The staff is is available to answer questions about existing VA benefits claims and how to file a new one.

GOP to meet

The Jefferson County Republican Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Larry's Pizza, 7401 Dollarway Road, at White Hall. The agenda includes the board elections for chairman, first vice chairman, second vice chairman, secretary, treasurer and two election commissioners. The group will also discuss the fund raising ideas and plans, according to a news release.

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 26

Grand Prairie sets arts events

The 67th Grand Prairie Festival of the Arts 2023 will hold its Photography and Decorative Arts exhibits for adults and youth at the Arts Center of the Grand Prairie at Stuttgart. Exhibit dates are Jan. 26-Feb. 23 and a reception will be held Jan. 31 from 5-6:30 p.m., according to a news release. Entries may be picked up Feb. 24-25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Decorative Arts entries are to be delivered to the arts center on March 10 from noon to 5 p.m. and March 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Decorative Arts Exhibit will be at the center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays March 17-19 and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The awards reception and presentation will be March 19 at 3 p.m., according to the news release. To register or for details visit or email

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 28

TOPPS to hold sewing class

TOPPS will host the Goldman Project, a sewing class for ages 13-18. The class will be limited to 20 students. The participants will be taught sewing skills by a master seamstress, Christine Hopkins, according to a news release. The class is free and will be held at TOPPS, 1000 Townsend Drive, on Saturdays, Jan. 28, Feb 18, and Feb 25, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The student will complete the assigned project along with a garment. To enroll students, parents must call the TOPPS office (870-850-6011) Monday through Friday between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Ceramics with Jennifer Solano set at ASC

Ages 18 and older are invited to participate in a hands-on ceramics workshop with artist Jennifer Solano from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 at The ARTSpace on Main, a facility of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. The cost is $160 for ASC members and $180 for nonmembers. Class size is limited to six participants. To register, visit, call (870) 536-3375, or visit in person. Details: Kourtlynn Pinkins at

Sunday, Jan. 29

New Hope to honor musicians

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at Moscow will hold the appreciation program for their musicians, Stanley Blair Jr. and Kalebra Blair, at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 29. Special guests will include the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church Choir of Noble Lake and the Damascus Missionary Baptist Church Choir of Grady. Everyone is invited to attend, according to a news release.

Family and friends day set

Word of Faith Full Gospel Baptist Church, 1108 S. Poplar St., invites the community to its Family and Friends Day on Jan. 29. Sunday school starts at 9:45 a.m. Worship service begins at 10:45 a.m. The speaker will be Word of Faith's pastor, Henry Land Jr., according to a news release.

Historical, Genealogy societies plan gathering

The Jefferson County Historical Society and the Genealogy Society will have a joint meeting at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 in the chapel at First Presbyterian Church, 717 W. 32nd Ave. The public is invited to attend. The meeting will feature Mark Christ of Little Rock, head of adult programming for the Central Arkansas Library System, and former community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, according to a news release.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Food program extends deadline

The application deadline for the Future of Food: Opportunities and Careers for Undergraduate Students (F2OCUS) Fellowship Program has been extended to Jan. 31. Opening the realms of possibility in food science is a factor behind the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station's new program. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 31 for the paid, summer program open to undergraduates in degree programs that can be complementary to food science like physics, biology, chemistry, animal science, consumer sciences, psychology and agricultural studies like horticulture. For more information and to apply, students should visit the F2OCUS Program website at

Through Tuesday, Jan. 31

Saline River Bridge work set

Alternating lane closures will begin Tuesday on U.S. 79 between the Saline community near Fordyce and Rison for one mile across the Saline River Bridge. Due to the lane closures, the maximum load width on the bridge is eight feet, according to a news release from the Arkansas Department of Transportation. These closures will continue daily until the end of January, weather permitting, and will allow crews to conduct hydro demolition of the current bridge deck, followed by a latex-modified concrete overlay. ARDOT reminds drivers to slow down and be cautious of people in work zones.

Through Wednesday, Feb. 1

NAACP sets ACT-SO deadline

The Pine Bluff Branch NAACP is accepting applications for the 2022-23 Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technology, Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Program. ACT-SO is designed to support the academic achievements of African-American high school students. The completed form is due by Feb. 1, 2023, and should be submitted to Maryann Lee, 212 W. Barraque St., Pine Bluff, AR, 71601. Students win monetary prizes for first, second and third place in local competitions. First place winners receive an opportunity to participate at the national competition scheduled for July in Boston, Mass. Details: Maryann Lee, chair, (870) 718-5330 or The application is available at

Saturday, Feb. 4

Blues concerts on tap for downtown

The Port City Blues Society will continue its "Blues By Budweiser," live blues concerts at RJ's Sports Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St., on Feb. 4 with Arkaholics.The doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. Port City Blues Society members are admitted for free. There's a $5 cover charge for nonmembers, according to a news release. Details: or

Thursday, Feb. 2

SEA concert set at UAM

The Southeast Arkansas Concert Association will present "Deliver Us!" by Ballet Magnificat! at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello Fine Arts Center. The performance tells the story of Moses through dance, according to a news release. "The show presents the story of the enslaved Jewish people, who cry out for help as they toil under the blazing Egyptian sun. One man, Moses, emerges as a challenger to the pharaoh and leads the people to freedom," according to the release. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for veterans and $15 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased at the door, by calling the concert association office at (870) 460-1888, or online at

Through Saturday, Feb. 4

Midst: Artwork by Nick Hobbs set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is hosting the exhibit "Midst: Artwork by Nick Hobbs" through Feb. 4, 2023. "Hobbs' current practice is defined by small, highly detailed graphite drawings that interweave the everyday and the sublime in curated juxtapositions. He has been involved with amateur astronomy for over a decade, and it influences everything he does," according to a news release. Details:

Thursday, Feb. 9

Neighbor to Neighbor sets soup fundraiser

Neighbor to Neighbor, 1419 S. Pine St., will hold its annual Souper Bowl Soup Sale fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9. Participants may buy soups, chowders, and chilis made by area chefs. Cash or credit cards will be accepted, according to a news release. This year, the soup sale will be held at Neighbor to Neighbor due to a scheduling conflict at First United Methodist Church, according to the release. Details: Pat Tate, executive director, Neighbor to Neighbor, (870) 534-2883.

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 9

Dance on Main with Gia Turner set at ASC

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host Dance on Main with choreographer Gia Turner at The ARTSpace on Main on Feb. 9 and March 9, according to the news release. "This beginner-friendly class will cover the fundamentals of stretching, dance terminology and technique. A different style will be taught each week: Hip-hop, jazz and contemporary," according to the news release. The Pine Bluff native was captain of the Watson Chapel Steppers and UAPB M4 Golden Girls and coached Watson Chapel's Golden Motion Dance-Line. The cost of the dance class is pay-what-you-can, with $15 recommended. The session is for ages 16 years or older. To register, visit or call (870) 536-3375. Details: Rachael Bynum at

Through Thursday, Feb. 9

ASC sets UAPB Spring Senior Exhibition

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 2023 Spring Senior Exhibition from Jan. 10 through Feb. 9 at The ARTSpace on Main. The community is invited to view the exhibition. There will be a closing reception open to the public from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 9. Gallery admission is free.

Friday, Feb. 10

Alphas plan Valentine's fundraiser

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Valentine's Scholarship Fundraiser will be held at 7:06 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The theme is "All Black Affair with A Touch of Gold" and the attire is formal. Tickets are $40 per person. Levels of sponsorship are Jewel, Yellow Rose, Old Gold and Black. The deadline for payment is Feb. 3, according to Stuff in The The event is being presented by the Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha in conjunction with the Southeast Arkansas Jewel Foundation, according to a news release from Stuff in The Details: Arzo Knox, (501) 351-7336.

Thursday, Feb. 16

Women's group slates luncheon

The Christian Women's Connection Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Pine Bluff Country Club. The speaker will be Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington. The feature is Ellon Taylor of Pine Bluff and the devotional will be "Jesus and Women," according to a news release. The luncheon costs $16 and includes the meal, tax and gratuity. Everyone is invited to attend, however participants must have a three day advanced reservation by calling Jennifer Keahey at (870) 540-9302.

Through Saturday, Feb. 18

UAMS career programs at LR, Pine Bluff seek applicants

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is accepting applications for Health Career University, programs for students interested in pursuing careers in health care or research. The application deadline is Feb. 18 for Health Career University programs in Little Rock and Pine Bluff, according to a news release. The project provides high school and undergraduate students from underrepresented minority groups with exposure to health careers and assistance getting into medical school. Most of the programs offer stipends to students who participate. To see the program requirements and apply, visit Those interested in receiving more information can email

Through Friday, Feb. 24

Taylor exhibit addresses racism, prophecy

An exhibition at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas showcases the work of noted Memphis-based artist Madai Taylor. "An Elegy to America in Black and White II: The Artwork of Madai Taylor" features 18 pieces. Taylor's exhibition addresses racism, and prophecy. The exhibition will be on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through Feb. 24.

Friday, March 3

Agri Hall of Fame members to be inducted

Five new members will be inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame at 11:30 a.m. March 3 at the Little Rock Convention Center. Inductees include veteran cotton farmer and industry leader Steve Stevens of Tillar; Arkansas Century Farm owner/operator and philanthropist Ellis Bell of Forrest City; Arkansas State University professor of agricultural economics Bert Greenwalt of Jonesboro; innovative rice farmer Chris Isbell of Humnoke; and the late Jessie (J.D.) Vaught of Horatio, a pioneer in contract livestock production, according to a news release. Luncheon tickets are $80 each and available by calling (501) 228-1609 or emailing Tickets can be purchased at Details:

Through Friday, March 3

Zeta Phi Beta offers scholarships

Epsilon Zeta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will provide a $1,000 scholarship ($500 each semester) to a young woman enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a $500 scholarship ($250 each semester) to a young woman enrolled at Southeast Arkansas College. An applicant must have a 3.0 grade point average. The application, an official transcript, and letters of recommendation on the letter writer's official letterhead, may be emailed to or mailed to P.O. Box 1161, Pine Bluff, AR 71613, by March 3, 2023, according to a news release. For scholarship details or for an application, email Mary Liddell, second vice president, at or call (870) 643-2383.

Saturday, March 11

SEARK announces gala

Southeast Arkansas College will host the Sock Hop OVERSET FOLLOWS:fundraising gala March 11 at Seabrook, 6808 S. Hazel St., a SEARK college and community recreation center. The VIP reception is from 6-7 p.m. and the gala from 7-11 p.m., according to the newsletter of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Beginning Tuesday, March 28

Skilled technical career event set

Be Pro Be Proud will host its Draft Day, an event designed to match employers with high school seniors across Arkansas. In the region, Draft Day Arkansas will be held at the Grand Prairie Center at Stuttgart March 28-30, according to the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The purpose of Draft Day is to coordinate engagement and interview opportunities between companies and graduating seniors whose interest and experience match hiring needs. Details:

Through Monday, May 15

SBA disaster loans available

Small nonfarm businesses in 75 Arkansas counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2023, according to a news release. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive heat and drought that began on May 30. Details: Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email


Covid-19 vaccines, testing available

The Arkansas Department of Health, various pharmacies and healthcare providers offer the covid-19 vaccine, tests and other information about coronavirus. Details: Call the Arkansas Department of Health at (800) 985-6030, visit the website at or contact area medical professionals, according to spokesmen.


Unity Christian offers free financial classes

Unity Christian Fellowship Church (UCFC), 2712 S. Bay St., invites the community to its free Small Business and Personal Financial Education classes at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Recent subjects included "The Importance of Having a Financial Plan" and "Financial Literacy," according to Stuff in the Bluff website. "You cannot afford to miss out on these life-changing classes. We are practicing social distancing and will have hand sanitizer wipes available," according to the site. Anthony Armstrong is the senior pastor. Details: or (870) 329-1182.

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