Recently, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's MovieStyle Editor/Columnist Philip Martin stated in a piece about the Ozark Foothills FilmFest that "[the festival] has been around long enough for us to take it for granted, and that's a shame." Martin is correct on both counts, and it is important that we understand and recognize the impact that the Ozark Foothills FilmFest has on our community and economy. As Martin stated in his article, the festival creators, Bob and Judy Pest, realized that a film festival could "generate interest in the arts by bringing movies and moviemakers to town," and this is what the Ozark Foothills FilmFest does. Besides culturally enriching our community--an important aspect of the festival to be sure--the Ozark Foothills FilmFest generates tourism interest and revenue. For the two weekends that the film festival takes place, our local economy is given an a boost, and those who attend the festival's many screenings, panels, and other activities have the Batesville area permanently etched into their minds. Many Ozark Foothills FilmFest attendees (film viewers and makers alike) return year after year to visit our community and tell others about all that the Batesville Area has to offer. The Ozark Foothills FilmFest is an opportunity to showcase our community's character, hospitality, and place on the tourism stage. We most certainly should not take that for granted!

Check out the Ozark Foothills FilmFest this Friday and Saturday (Apr. 3 and 4). Visit for more information about the festival or a complete festival schedule and film lineup.

United Way Begins Accepting Applications for 2016 Funding


United Way of North Central Arkansas has announced they are starting a new cycle of funding and initiative work for 2016. Interested non-profit agencies working in the areas of education, financial stability and health are invited to submit an application for United Way funding for 2016.

To be considered for 2016 funding, applications must be completed and filed with the United Way office by Wednesday, March 31, 2015. An applying organization must be a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization providing a direct and meaningful service to the people of North Cleburne, Independence, Izard, Sharp and/or Stone Counties, and must have been in existence for at least 2 years.

“This is the most exciting part of our work,” said United Way Executive Director, Allison Phelps, “Putting the dollars we raised back into our community to provide much needed services makes the fundraising we do year-round very rewarding.” United Way’s yearly campaign funds partner agencies and initiatives dedicated to improving the quality of life in their respective communities.

United Way of North Central Arkansas is in the middle of their 2014-2015 Campaign, which will end in June and is just under $60,000 away from reaching its goal of $315,000. Your generous support of United Way helps our community all year long. United Way resources help children and youth succeed, strengthen and support families, promote self-sufficiency and support vulnerable and aging populations.

For those in need of an application for funding or for those interested in giving to the United Way community fund, contact the United Way office at (870)793-5991, or visit our website at

Completed applications should be directed to Steve Ringwald, Agency Relations Committee Chairman, P.O. Box 2639, Batesville, AR 72503.

About United Way of North Central Arkansas:
United Way of North Central Arkansas has been mobilizing the community to advance the common good since 1981. United Way of North Central Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another. United Way of North Central Arkansas serves North Cleburne, Independence, Izard, Sharp and Stone Counties.

Allison Phelps

Theater Workshops With founder and Director of Intrepid Fringe, Hal Evans


In collaboration with the Batesville Community Theatre, the Batesville Area Arts Council will be hosting 3 separate theater workshops, taught by hal evans, that will run throughout the months of March & April. The workshops will be held at the Batesville Area Arts Council’s Gallery on Main, at 226 E Main Street.

The Actor Prepares: In Character, in the Moment
March 17, 19, 31, & April 2
In this workshop, hal evans will conduct an open workshop for advanced actors seeking to improve their skills. The sessions will include techniques for developing character from text analysis to physicality to organized repeatability on stage.

Cost is $50/person and is open to adults and students 14 years and older.

Playwright’s Workshop: Perfecting the 10-Minute Play
March 17, 31; April 2, 21, and 23
This workshop will impart all the steps to completing a 10-minute play. Participants will complete their own play(s) while they enjoy hal’s guidance, as he makes the process accessible and achievable. More than 2 dozen of his plays have been produced in venues from Houston, TX to London, England.

Cost is $65/person and is open to all aspiring playwrights.

Directing 101: Essentials Made Easy
Saturday, April 25
This one-day workshop will equip directors, first-time or lifelong, with concise concepts and fresh tools for taking plays from page to stage. Time-saving tips will demonstrate how to read a script and begin mining text immediately. Issues of casting, staging, proxemics, and ensemble will all be addressed. Scripts for the practice of these concepts will come from the Playwright’s Workshop, as well as classical and modern material.

Cost is $45/person (or $25 reduced fee if participating in another workshop) and is open to all aspiring directors.

March issues are ready to read!


The magazines can be found under their tabs, Eye On Jackson or Eye On Independence!

EOI-3-2015-Cover High-Res-FileCoverHighRes-EOJ-3-2015

Walking Across Arkansas


Walk Across Arkansas, one of the largest public fitness initiatives in the state, began its spring 2015 edition on Feb. 16. “With more than 5,000 Arkansans taking part in the program, Walk Across Arkansas has become a staple in many people’s efforts to stick with their fitness resolutions. Jackson County participants walked 61,331 minutes, with a healthcare savings of $6,133.00 last year! Our goal for 2015 is to increase participation and minutes walked! Taking part is easy. Sign up and record the number of minutes you walk or do other exercise for eight weeks. Walkers are encouraged to form teams to keep the enthusiasm high. Participants who report their minutes all eight weeks of the event will earn a Walk Across Arkansas shoe wallet – a handy device that holds keys and IDs by hook and loop closure.
The idea behind Walk Across Arkansas is simple. Over eight weeks, one develops the habit of exercising. Walk Across Arkansas leads participants down the road to regular physical activity and better health. To register, go to or click the Walk Across Arkansas icon on the homepage at Then start walking through April 12, recording minutes as you go.
For more information about taking steps to lifestyle changes, visit or call 870-523-7450.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Sarah Henry Metzger

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