Alvin Irby

STAND-UP COMEDIAN former kindergarten teacher, public speaker, author, social entrepreneur, education innovator—Alvin Irby wears a lot of hats. He wears them here in his native Little Rock, at home in New York City, at conferences, at elementary schools, pretty much all over the place. But his primary focus is to inspire a love of reading…

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Jessica Olson

AFTER THE COMPACT of Free Association with the U.S. was signed in 1986, many Marshallese settled in the Springdale area as transfers from Tyson Foods facilities in the Marshall Islands. Now with more than 4,300 members, Northwest Arkansas is home to one of the largest Marshallese communities in the U.S. Jessica Olson and her family…

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Austin Barrow

YOU MAY NOT think of El Dorado as a hotbed for the performing arts. But you’d be wrong. This is largely due to the efforts of visionary Austin Barrow, a native son who returned home to help create what we now know as the Murphy Arts District, which opened to much fanfare this September. Acting…

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Annette Dove

SHE’S A HUGGER. This is the defining characteristic of Annette Dove, and it says everything about her. Along with her late husband, Annette founded Targeting Our People’s Priorities with Service (TOPPS) as a nurturing place for disadvantaged children in the Pine Bluff area. Over 250 children and teenagers are now enrolled in the program and…

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Mayor Lioneld Jordan

THIRD-TERM FAYETTEVILLE MAYOR Lioneld Jordan has proven to be a municipal maestro in managing one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. His forward-thinking philosophies on infrastructure, energy efficiency and inclusiveness within the community have Fayetteville positioned as an example for other cities today and decades from now. A Northwest Arkansas native, born in…

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Work of the Quiet Mountains

What I remember most about that day in Tarlton Cemetery is the wind.  It was a ferocious, fanged February wind barreling across the Ozark Plateau, wailing through hills and hollows before finding friends and family of the deceased on an unprotected flat surrounded by pasture. The wind pushed against the six men weaving across the…

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