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.

Wednesday, May 24

Center to celebrate Mental Health Month

Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare Systems, 2500 Rike Drive, is celebrating "May is Mental Health Month." A special observance will be held at 3 p.m. May 24. SEABHS' event will feature several speakers including the peer specialist and clients who will be sharing their stories and experiences around their mental health journey, according to a news release. The community is invited to attend and all ages are welcome. The event will also include vendors, refreshments, a questions and answer segment and the ability to learn more about the center, according to the release.

Housing Authority board to meet

The Housing Authority of the city of Pine Bluff will hold its board of commissioners meeting at the Colonial Steakhouse, 111 W. Eighth Ave., at 6 p.m. May 24. Details: Housing Authority, (870) 541-0706.

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 Sandra Hope at or Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.


Area Agency hosts fan drive

The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas will hold the annual Beat The Heat Fan Drive for Jefferson County now through through July 17, according to a news release. The purpose of the drive is to raise money to purchase fans or air conditioners for elderly or disabled people. People who want to make a donation or purchase a fan should call Carolyn Ferguson, (870) 543-6309 or Pauline Jones (870) 543-6300, at Area Agency.

Thursday, May 25

Family agency to meet

The Family Community Development Corp., 1001 N. Palm St., will hold its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. May 25, at the agency. The community is invited to attend and refreshments will be served. Special guests will be Norma Payne of Pine Bluff Community Development Center and a report would be given by Officer Hosea Thompson with the Neighborhood Watch program. "Come out and Mrs. Payne will enlighten you on various ways you can get assistance in restoring your property. Officer Thompson will inform you of what's happening in your neighborhood and how you can stay safe in your community," a spokesman said.

VA hosts virtual claims clinic

The Little Rock VA Regional Office will hold a virtual claims clinic for Arkansas Veterans from 4-6 p.m. May 25. To reserve a timeslot, veterans should call (501) 370-3829 before 4 p.m. May 24, 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 available to answer questions about existing VA benefits claims and how to file a new one. The Little Rock VA Regional Office also operates a Satellite Office at the John L. McClellan VA Medical Center in Room 1C-151B. It is open Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to noon, and Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m.

County GOP to meet

The Jefferson County Republican Committee will meet May 25 at 6 p.m. at Larry's Pizza, 7401 Dollarway Road, at White Hall. New members are always welcome, according to a news release.

Through Thursday, May 25

Opening Reception set for "A Cast of Blues"

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host "A Cast of Blues" exhibition on view through May 25. The exhibition highlights the rich musical heritage in the Delta. "A Cast of Blues" features 15 resin-cast masks of blues legends by Sharon McConnell-Dickerson and 15 color photographs of performers and of juke joints by Ken Murphy. McConnell-Dickerson, who is visually impaired, set out to discover the face behind the music she loves. Her work "captures the flesh, muscle, bone, hair and subtle expressions of emotion," according to a news release.

Beginning Friday, May 26

Black Pilots to visit PB

The Black Pilots of America will host their annual Memorial Day Fly-In activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 26-28 at Grider Field. The community is encouraged to make plans to see Black Pilots of America fly in from across the United States for a weekend of activities, aviation camaraderie, and flying competitions. Also, Grider Field Restaurant will be open May 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and May 27 and 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Pilots will also give airplane rides to youth between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day (weather permitting). These are free airplane rides for kids ages 8-17. Parent/legal guardian approval and signature is required, according to a news release. To participate in the flights, parents must preregister at

Saturday, May 27

Russ Foundation honors students

The Carnell Russ Foundation will host the annual Mayfest and Scholarship Recipients' Recognition event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 27 at Star City in the Town Square. Entertainment will be by 'G-Band-Jazz Ensemble. There will also be vendors, family activities and other events. The community is welcome to attend, according to a news release.

Moscow church to give away covid supplies

The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at Moscow will give away covid-19 care packages May 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. The ministry is in partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to eliminate covid-19 in Moscow, Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. Care packages include disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, hand soap, disinfectant spray, gloves, covid-19 literature, masks, and T-shirts, according to the news release.

Through Saturday, May 27

ASC hosts Small Works

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host the 36th annual "Small Works on Paper" exhibition from May 4-27 at ASC's home building, 701 S. Main St. The exhibition is organized and sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council. Southeast Arkansas artists selected for this year's exhibition include Rashawn Penister of Pine Bluff and Tom Richard of Monticello. The traveling juried exhibition showcases two-dimensional artwork no larger than 18-by-24 inches and spotlights artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry. "Small Works on Paper" travels to up to 10 venues throughout the state in a yearlong show, according to a news release.

Sunday, May 28

New Community's first lady to speak

New Community Church, 321 N. Birch St., will hold its Kingdom Builders Program at 6 p.m. May 28. The speaker will be Janice Lockett, first lady of New Community. The pastor/apostle is Patrick Lockett.

Through Wednesday, May 31

Century Farm applications available

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2023 Arkansas Century Farm Program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years, according to a news release. Applications are available at There is no cost to apply. The deadline is May 31. Details: Beth Moore, (501) 539-4027 or

Through Thursday, June 1

ASC accepts entries for Rosenzweig exhibit

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is accepting entries for the 2023 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition. The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. June 1. The exhibition is open to artists 18 years or older who reside in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas, according to a news release. The Rosenzweig exhibition opens July 20 with a free, public reception from 5-7 p.m. and an awards presentation at 6 p.m. The works will be on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through Oct. 14. Visit for the submission guidelines and entry portal. The cost is $25 per entry, with a maximum of five entries accepted per artist. Details: Visitor Relations Coordinator Matthew Howard at or (870) 536-3375.

Beginning Friday, June 2

Art Rocks Summer Bash set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is kicking off summer with Art Rocks: Summer Bash at the ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. The fundraising event will feature live music, food trucks, games, art demos, art auctions, kid-friendly activities and more from 5-9 p.m. June 2 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3. On June 2, festivities kick off at 5 p.m. with traditional and modern blues featuring the Port City Blues Society. Complimentary beer, wine, and soda will be available to ages 21 and older from 5-9 p.m., courtesy of MK Distributors. The June 3 portion of the event will be all about the kids and families. Admission to this event is free. Activities include face painting, kids karaoke, and more.

Saturday, June 3

Summit to address mental health, suicide

A Mental Health Wellness and Suicide Prevention Summit will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 3 at Southeast Arkansas College in the McGeorge Building, 1900 S. Hazel St. The free summit is for ages 8 to adult and hosted by the D'Andre Seals Suicide Prevention Outreach Project, according to a news relase. The age groups, presenters and topics will include: AGES 8 TO 12 -- Dr. Nichole Bauknight Boles; "What is Mental Illness and How Do You Handle Stress?" AGES 13 TO 18 -- Dr. Kamra Mays; "How to Recognize Symptoms and What Signs to Look For." AGES 19 TO 30 -- Janie Cotton; "Trauma Informed Care." AGES 31 AND UP -- Panelists: Dr. Stephen Broughton, Mary Meacham and Bessie Lancelin; "Stigma, Anxiety, Depression and our Toolbox."

Beginning Saturday, June 3

ASC sets Fused Glass Class with Aida Ayers

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host a two-part Fused Glass Class with artist-in-residence Aida Ayers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 3 and June 10 at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. The cost is $185 for ASC members and $222 for nonmembers. Attendees can save 25 percent with the discount code "GLASS25." To register, visit or call (870) 536-3375. For details, contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at

Blues concert series gets 2nd season

The "Blues By Budweiser" concert series will be back for a second season. In collaboration with MK Distributors and RJ's Grill & Bar, Port City Blues Society will again host live blues concerts the first Saturday of the month at RJ's Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St. The doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. Port City Blues Society members are admitted free. It's a $5 cover charge for non-members. The 2023-2024 concerts include: June 3 -- Kent Burnside Band; July 8 -- Big Al and the Heavyweights; Aug. 5 -- Fonky Donkey; Sept. 2 -- Robert Kimbrough Sr. Bluesconnection; Oct. 7 -- Garry Burnside Band; Nov. 4 -- Big "A" and the Allstars Blues Band; Dec. 2 -- Johnie B and Queen Iretta Sanders Blues Review; Jan. 6, 2024 -- Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain; and Feb. 3 -- Chad Marshall Band. Details: or

Sunday, June 4

New Hope hosts concert

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at Moscow rescheduled the annual spring community concert for 6 p.m. June 4. The event is in memory of Jo Anne Jones. Choir practice dates are 6 p.m. May 30 and June 1 and noon June 3. The guest director is Jamal Gordon of Old St. James Baptist Church. Guests are invited to sing with the choir. The Rev. Stanley Blair Sr. is the pastor.

Beginning Monday, June 5

Trinity sets summer camp

Registration is underway for Trinity's Learning Center Summer Camp 2023 to be held at Trinity's Annex Building, 2900 W. Sixth Ave. The camp will take place Monday through Friday, June 5 through Aug. 11. Daily sessions will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be served, according to a news release. There is a participant limit of 30 to 40 students. The registration fee is $25 per child plus $10 weekly. Details: (870) 534-5669 or (870) 692-1127.

Saturday, June 10

Festival to host tomato luncheon

As part of the Pink Tomato Festival at Warren, the annual All Tomato Luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m. June 10 at the First Baptist Church Activities Center at Warren. The Bradley County Extension Homemakers Clubs started the All Tomato Luncheon one year after the first Pink Tomato Festival. The luncheon has grown over the years and is now one of the highlights of the festival, according to a news release.Tickets are $15 and limited. Tickets are available at the Bradley County Cooperative Extension Office. Details: Michelle Carter, county extension agent-family and consumer sciences, (870) 226-8410.

Sunday, June 11

New Community hosts Women's Day

New Community Church, 321 N. Birch St., will present its annual Women's Day on June 11. At 11 a.m., the featured speaker will be Janice Lockett, first lady of New Community. At 3 p.m., the keynote speaker will be Willie Ann Martin, a missionary at New Community. The guest choir director will be Donna Williams Huskey and the worship leader will be Dee Clay.

Through Sunday, June 11

Garden contest open until June 11

Entries are being accepted for the 10th annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Applicants may be any school, early childhood education facility, or alternative learning environment that had a school garden during the 2022-2023 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2023-2024 school year, according to a news release. Entries for the contest will be accepted through June 11. The application can be found at gardenoftheyearcontest2023. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2023.

Beginning Monday, June 12

Fire department to host junior camp

The Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department will sponsor a Junior Fire Camp from June 12-16 for boys and girls 11-13 years old. The free camp will be held Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Detective Kevin D. Collins Center (old public library) at the civic center, #1 Convention Center Drive. The camp is designed for youth to experience what it's like to be a firefighter as well as learn about fire safety. The session will be taught by Pine Bluff firefighters and will feature hands-on activities and interactive learning sessions. Details: or (870) 730-2048. The contact person is Lt. Larry Murray.

Thursday, June 15

Women's Connection sets luncheon

The Christian Women's Connection invites the community to its luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15 at the Pine Bluff Country Club.The speaker will be Karen Blankenship of Peculiar, Mo. Her topic will be the "Power of Journaling." There will also be a presentation by Shaunder Williams of Living Word Baptist Church at Pine Bluff, according to a news release.The luncheon costs $21, which includes meal, tax and gratuity. Everyone is invited to attend. For reservations or cancellations, participants should call Jennifer Keahey at (870) 540-9302. All reservations must be made three days in advance and people will be charged for reservations not kept.

Through Thursday, June 15

Grants available for public school educators

Arkansas public school employees are invited to apply for the 2023-24 Arkansas Retired Teachers Association grants, according to a news release. The Parsons-Burnett Grants are for current certified educators to further their education and the Mitchell-Fair Grants are for current classified employees who are pursuing teacher licensure. The grants are funded by contributions from members ARTA, a professional organization of Arkansas's public education retirees. Grant applications must be submitted online by June 15. For the details and the application link, visit

Saturday, June 17

Juneteenth set at Pine Bluff

The Juneteeth Celebration at Pine Bluff will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 17 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The community is invited to attend the event which will include free food and activities, according to a spokesman. Interested vendors should submit applications by June 2, according to Mary Liddell, Pine Bluff Juneteenth/city coordinator. Details: Liddell, (870) 643-2383 or

Through Saturday, July 8

"A Simple Heart" exhibit on display

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansasa presents a new exhibition by artist Kim Kwee. "'A Simple Heart' is a series of paintings, fabric works and assemblages representing a series of investigations into family, specifically mothers and daughters, and the shifting ontological status of dolls, decorative objects and ephemera like the vintage paper dolls the artist used," according to the news release. This exhibition will remain on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through July 8. Gallery admission is always free.

Beginning Monday, July 10

UAM Kids' University set

UAM Kids' University will be held from July 10-13 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The day camp aims to cultivate new interests, expand knowledge and spark imagination and creativity in children in grades 1-6, according to a news release. Early registration is open through May 31. If people sign up and pay by May 31, the registration fee is $80. If people sign up and pay between June 1-22, the registration fee is $100. After June 22, the registration fee is $125. The fee includes a T-shirt and all supplies. Register online at Details: Rebecca Newton at or call (870) 460-1596.

Friday, July 14

Women of Faith set trip

The Women of Faith will sponsor a turn-around trip to Branson, Mo., on July 14 to see the stage presentation of "Ester" at the Sight and Sound Theatre. A detailed itinerary can be obtained by contacting Jessie Clemmons at (870) 692-2194.

Monday, July 17

Area Agency hosts fan drive

The Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas will hold the annual Beat The Heat Fan Drive for Jefferson County now through through July 17, according to a news release. The purpose of the drive is to raise money to purchase fans or air conditioners for elderly or disabled people. People who want to make a donation or purchase a fan should call Carolyn Ferguson, (870) 543-6309 or Pauline Jones (870) 543-6300, at Area Agency.


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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