Calendar for March 21, 2021

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 [email protected] to make additions or changes.

Beginning Monday, March 22

Cherry Street church opens pantry

Cherry Street AME Zion Church, 800 S. Cherry St., gives away food every Monday through Thursday, from 4:15-5:30 p.m. The church serves a grab and go sack meal consisting of an entree, vegetable, bag of chips, cheese stick, juice and milk on a first come, first served basis.

Pine Bluff School District sets spring break

The Pine Bluff School District will be closed Monday through Friday, March 22-26 for spring break. Classes will resume on Monday, March 29, according to a news release.

Through Monday, March 22

AKA, First Sisters seek scholarship applicants

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter, and First Sisters Outreach Inc. are accepting scholarship applications from graduating female high school seniors who will be attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. March 22, according to a news release. Applications and eligibility requirements are available online at or by emailing Ka'Lisa Stanfield at [email protected].

Tuesday, March 23

Pine Bluff to honor Bateman, Collins

The city of Pine Bluff will host a special event to celebrate the late business owner Wanda Bateman and Pine Bluff Police Det. Kevin Collins. On March 23, at 1 p.m., a parade will begin at Eighth Avenue and Convention Center Drive. At 2:15 p.m., a celebratory program will start at the eastern steps of city hall,according to a news release. Bateman died in February 2020 and Collins was fatally wounded in the line of duty in October 2020. Details:

Library board to hold meeting

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System will hold a special board of trustee meeting at 10 a.m. March 23, according to a news release. To attend by phone, interested persons should call the main library at (870) 534-4802.

Beginning Tuesday, March 23

Arts center invites public to help paint canvas

The public is invited to take part in a drop-in community art project March 23-27 at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC). Ages 7 and older can help complete a large canvas celebrating ASC's 2021 theater season. There is no cost to participate, according to a news release. Using a color-by-number key, visitors can paint in the outlined image on the canvas. A variety of mixed-media materials -- such as small mirrors, jewels, sequins and small trinkets -- will be available for participants to glue to the frame, decorating as they choose. The finished artwork will remain on display at ASC throughout the year, according to the release. Visitors can stop by during regular business hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Details: Shakeelah Rahmaan at [email protected] or (870) 536-3375.

Wednesday, March 24

A&P panel to meet

The Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission will meet via conference call at 4 p.m. March 24. The agenda includes committee reports and an A&P Commission application of Rosie Pettigrew (second term), according to a news release. To connect to the call, participants should contact Betty Brown, administrative assistant, before the meeting at [email protected] or (870) 534-2121.

Housing Authority board to meet

The Pine Bluff Housing Authority will hold its Board of Commissioners meeting at 6 p.m. March 24 at Colonial Steakhouse, 111 W. Eighth Ave., according to a news release. Details: (870) 541-0706.

Wednesday, March 24

Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadine to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Announcements can be for in-person services or online services as well as other ministry events. Articles may be submitted by email to [email protected]. Please include your phone number, the name and location of your ministry or city where you reside, and your photo.

Thursday, March 25

Community blood drive set

The Arkansas Blood Institute is hosting a community Blood Drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 25 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center in the banquet hall. All blood donations will support Jefferson Regional Medical Center, according to a news release. To check eligibility or to schedule an appointment, interested people may visit

UAPB to host virtual horticulture conference

The 11th annual Bi-States Cooperative Extension Program Horticulture Conference will be held virtually March 25 beginning at 9:30 a.m. The conference is sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Small Farm Program and Prairie View A&M University Agriculture and Natural Resources Program, according to a news release. Topics will include lost heirloom apple cultivars, specialty crops, small acreage crop production, soil health, plant diseases, beneficial insect pollinators in the garden and urban forestry. Interested participants should register at Details: Kandi Williams, UAPB Extension program aide, at (870) 571-9428 or [email protected] or Brandon Hawkins, PVA&MU Extension agent, at (903) 628-6702 or [email protected].

Through Thursday, March 25

Deadline set for virtual veterans' event

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) invites all Arkansas veterans to register for the Virtual Veterans Experience Action Center (V-VEAC) on April 6-8. The deadline to register is March 25. This event will offer veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors personalized assistance to access various VA and community-based services and resources, according to a news release. The services include: VA benefits (file or check status of claims and appeals); VA healthcare (enrollment, eligibility, schedule appointments); and crisis resources (homelessness, mental health, financial). Registration is available through March 25 at

AgDiscovery teen program applications set at UAPB

Applications are being accepted for AgDiscovery, a residential career and science exploration program for teens. March 25 is the application deadline, said Willie Columbus, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff educational outreach coordinator and AgDiscovery program director. UAPB will host AgDiscovery June 12-25 on campus. UAPB is among 21 institutions to host the event. A complete list of host universities, brochures, information and application forms and instructions are available online at Details: Willie Columbus at UAPB at (870) 575-7145 or [email protected] or the UAPB AgDiscovery Facebook page at

Beginning Thursday, March 26

Grand Prairie arts festival taking entries

The Grand Prairie Festival of the Arts will accept entries in the decorative arts category, according to the Grand Prairie Arts Council news release. Due to the health crisis, all arts festival exhibitions will be online. Entries from adults and youth will be received from noon to 5 p.m. March 26 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 27. The exhibit will be open April 5-30. An artists' reception open house will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. April 6. Entry pick ups will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 30 and May 1. To enter art work and for details, visit For questions, participants may send emails to [email protected]. The Arts Center of the Grand Prairie at Stuttgart/Grand Prairie Arts Council is committed to safe practice following the guidelines as directed by the governor, Arkansas Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Through Friday, March 26

Homegrown By Heroes Scholarship forms available

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas are partnering to provide two $1,000 Homegrown by Heroes academic scholarships to military veterans and active military personnel, their spouses, and children who are pursuing degrees in agriculture. Funding for the scholarships is provided by Farm Credit. Applications are due March 26 and are available at Details:

Saturday, March 27

Easter Bunny to visit White Hall

The White Hall Chamber of Commerce will hold a drive-through visit with the Easter Bunny from 10 a.m. until noon March 27 at the White Hall Community Center, 9801 Dollarway Road. Children up to 10 years of age are welcome, said Lydia Scholebo, Chamber spokesman. The bunny will hand out bags of candy-filled eggs until supplies run out.

Sunday, March 28

Raye Jean Montague Day set for Women's History observance

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority (LRWRA) will celebrate Raye Jean Montague Day on March 28, according to a news release. The late Montague, who graduated from Merrill High School at Pine Bluff and Arkansas AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), is credited with the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. At 2 p.m. LRWRA will co-host a virtual book reading for K-5 students. Montague's son, Dr. David Montague, will read "The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague." The event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required and can be made at or by visiting

Tuesday, March 30

Workshop to address doing business with government

The Generator will host a workshop about doing business with the government. The presenter will be Liz Russell, procurement counselor with the Arkansas Procurement Technical Center. Due to covid-19, seats will be limited, according to a news release. March 30 – 6-7 p.m. Marketing to the Government will be held. Interested participants may register at Details: Mildred Franco, executive director, at [email protected].

Thursday, April 1

Deadline set for Korean War vet stories in yearbook

April 1 is the deadline to submit entries for the 2021 Arkansas Korean War Veterans Yearbook. The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is participating in the project honoring Arkansas veterans. To be included, a veteran must have served in Korea or its territorial waters between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953. Veterans or relatives may submit photographs and biographies, which will be accepted on a first-come, first-accepted basis. The submission form is available at Submissions also may be sent by email with the veteran's first, middle, and last name in the subject line to [email protected].

Beginning Thursday, April 1

UAM Rodeo Weevil Stampede set

The University of Arkansas at Monticello will host the 2021 Weevil Stampede at the Drew County Fairgrounds at Monticello. The UAM College Rodeo starts at 7 p.m. April 1-2 and the Championship Round will be held at 1 p.m. April 3. Concessions and parking will be available. Three hundred student-athletes will participate and 15 teams from the Ozark Region will compete, according to a news release. Masks will be required. Seating will be limited to about 400 people to remain in compliance with state health guidelines, according to Head Rodeo Coach Rusty Jones.

ASC hosts Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., will host its first 2021 production, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: A Virtual Fractured Fairy Tale." The event will stream at 7 p.m. April 1-4. The production features a full cast of Southeast Arkansas youth ages 21 and younger. This production is directed by Kayla Lake and written by Brian D. Taylor. The play is inspired by classic fairy tales. Tickets are $7 for ASC members and $10 for nonmembers and can be purchased at

Saturday, April 3

St. John AME to give away food for Easter

St. John AME Church's "Soul Food for the Mind Body and Spirit" Feeding Ministry will give away 150 baskets with items to prepare an Easter dinner. The drive through giveaway will be held April 3 beginning at 10 a.m. One basket per family will be available and a photo identification will be requested, according to a news release.

Delta Network Food Bank to give away food

The Delta Network Food Bank will give away food in a drive-thru session at the Pine Bluff Convention Center on April 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. while supplies last. The Covid-19 Hunger Relief Donation will include a 33 pound box of chicken and will be distributed to each vehicle. Registration forms will be available on site, according to a news release. Vehicles will enter the convention center's "parking lot D" from Missouri Street. Vehicles will circle around and exit out of the parking lot and follow the directions of the traffic directors. People must remain in their vehicles at all times. Details: (870) 536-2424.

Through Saturday, April 10

ASC slates exhibits

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas announces two new exhibits. "New Territory: Paintings by Michelle Fair" will be open at ASC through April 3. The display conceptualizes figures interacting with their environment autonomously, giving the subjects of the paintings a home, yet allows the subjects and spaces to disconnect, reflecting a new stage in Fair's life, according to a news release. The exhibition, "Feeling Through: Examine Emotion in the Midst of Unrest," by photographer Catherine Elizabeth Patton will be open through April 10. The display is a self-reflection of the artist's emotions and her attempt to examine and understand them during covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Details:

Friday, April 16

White Hall scholarship deadline set

The White Hall Chamber of Commerce will award three $1,000 scholarships to three White Hall High School seniors. Any interested White Hall senior can pick up an application from the high school counselor's office. The application must be completed and postmarked by April 16.

Beginning Sunday, April 18

ASC sets Auditions for '9 to 5 The Musical'

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast ArkansasASC is seeking people ages 16 and older to audition for its theatrical production, "9 to 5 The Musical." Audition dates are April 18-20. To sign up, visit Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6-7, 13-14, and Aug. 20-21; and 2 p.m. Aug. 8, 15, and 22. Cast must be available for all performances. Details:

Through Friday, April 30

First Electric accepting scholarship applications

First Electric Cooperative is accepting scholarship applications. High school seniors whose parents or guardians are First Electric members may apply for one of nine $2,000 scholarships available each year, according to a news release. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and after graduation, they must attend an accredit­ed institute of higher learning in Arkansas on a full-time basis. The deadline to apply is April 30. For an application and details, visit online at or contact any First Electric office.

Monday, May 31

Century Farm applications due

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2021 Arkansas Century Farm program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. To apply, the same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by Dec. 31, 2021. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption. The farm must be at least 10 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income. There is no cost to apply. Online applications are available at: Details: Beth Moore, (501) 539-4027 or [email protected].

Through Monday, May 31

GYM sponsors free meals

GYM is giving away free supper and snack grab meals in a youth feeding program until May 31, according to a news release. Meals can be picked up Monday through Thursday at Watson Chapel High School Cafeteria, 4000 S. Camden Road, from 4:30-5:15 p.m.; Coleman Intermediate School Cafeteria, 4600 W. 13th Ave., from 3:30-5 p.m.; and Cherry Street Memorial AME Zion Church, 800 S. Cherry St., from 4:15-5:45 p.m. GYM is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The director is Antoinette Burks.

TOPPS hosts food program

TOPPS Inc., 1000 Townsend Drive, is participating in the At Risk Grab and Go and Parent Pick Up Food Program. Meals will be provided free to children ages 18 and under. TOPPS doesn't discriminate, according to the news release. Meals will be provided at TOPPS Teen Center, 1000 Townsend Drive, through May 2021. The Grab and Go and Parent Pick Up meals will be available Monday through Thursday, 1-4:30 p.m. Details: TOPPS, (870) 850-6011.

Boys & Girls Club hosting food program

The Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson County is participating in the At Risk Grab and Go Food Program through May. Meals will be provided free to children ages 18 and under, according to the news release from TOPPS Inc. Meals will be provided at the club at 2701 S. Reeker St. from 4:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Children may come by and sign for a supper and snack. For details contact Paulette Purchase at TOPPS, (870) 850-6011.

Through Sunday, June 6

Arts center invites artists to enter Rosenzweig Exhibition

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC), 701 S. Main St., seeks submissions to its Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition for 2021. The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. June 6. The exhibition runs July 22 through Oct. 6, according to a news release. The exhibition is open to artists 18 or older who live in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas. Details: or call (870) 536-3375.

Beginning Thursday, June 17

Merrill All School Reunion set

The Merrill High School All School Reunion will be held June 17-19, 2021. All events will be held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, according to a news release. For a registration package or details, interested participants should email Rosie Pettigrew, committee chairwoman, at [email protected] or call 404-245-5436.

Beginning Thursday, July 8

Medical mission set at Lake Village

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Delta Regional Authority (DRA) will host a medical mission at Lake Village from July 8-18 offering free medical care, according to a news release. The Lake Village site will be located at Lakeside High School. Basic medical exams, eye exams, single lens prescriptions glasses and dental services are among the services provided during Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) missions. Details:


Covid-19 vaccines available

Coronavirus vaccinations are available through various sites including Doctor's Orders Pharmacy; call (870) 218-1718 or email [email protected]; and Jefferson Regional Medical Center, visit the website For more details, visit the Arkansas Department of Health website at

Covid-19 testing sites available

Details for getting the covid-19 test are available at the Jefferson County Health Department -- (870) 535-2142; and Arkansas Department of Health's website -- Scroll down until you see the map and enlarge the map. Click on each star to see where each testing site is located.

Business Expo survey announced by chamber

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce is asking members and business owners for their thoughts on having the annual Business Expo, which was canceled last year due to the covid-19 pandemic. "While we are putting on our thinking caps to figure out a new way of serving you, we have one question: If the Pine Bluff Chamber were to host a business expo event this summer, would you, as a Chamber member or business owner, feel safe and commit to participate?" To complete the one question survey, visit


Neighbor to Neighbor open 5 days a week

Neighbor to Neighbor, 1419 S. Pine St., has reopened five days a week. The agency will be open Monday through Friday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m. For the sake of safety, Neighbor to Neighbor will continue serving to-go lunches at the door from noon to 1 p.m. and are available to anyone who is hungry. Masks are required to enter the building and hand sanitizer will be available at the door, according to a news release. New clients or those seeking assistance with bills or medications should call (870) 534-2883 for an appointment.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Alphas prepare tax returns free for low to moderate income residents

The Delta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will prepare free tax returns for low to moderate income families from 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the academy building at Pine Bluff High School, 711 W. 11th Ave., according to a news release. For covid-19 safety measures, participants will be met at their cars and the tax preparer will call them when their return is ready. Participants must bring documents including picture ID, Social Security card and dates of birth for themselves and all family members they are claiming; W-2's for all jobs the person held in 2020 and any other tax related documents, bank routing number and account number if they are having the refund direct deposited. If the taxpayer is filing with their spouse, they should bring the spouse. Details: (501) 819-2048 or (501) 500-3918.


Unity Christian Fellowship 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: [email protected] or (870) 329-1182.

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