Task force looking at future opportunities for Little Rock Zoo announced

City of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and the Arkansas Zoological Foundation announced today the formation of a task force to study planning and development for the Little Rock Zoo’s future.

The task force is part of an initiative of Mayor Scott’s to improve quality of life and to RevitalizeReimagine, and Reinvest in the War Memorial Park area.

“As one of the largest tourist attractions in the state and the only accredited zoo in Arkansas, the Little Rock Zoo is an important part of War Memorial Park and our City,” Scott said.

Task Force Members will consist of:

  • Brad Cazort, Chair of the Zoo Board of Governors
  • Lisa Buehler, Chair of the Arkansas Zoological Foundation
  • State Senator Joyce Elliott, Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Quality of Life Subcommittee for the Scott Script
  • Kathy Webb, City Ward 3 Director and liaison to the Zoo Board of Governors
  • Jessica Poynter, Chair, Generation Zoo Young Professionals
  • Chad Causey, Causey Law Firm, Board Member, Arkansas Zoological Foundation
  • Dr. Andrew Rogerson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Hank Kelley, CEO/Partner, Flake & Kelley Commercial
  • Tab Townsell, Executive Director, Metroplan
  • Rhonna Wade, Chair, Create Little Rock
  • Gretchen Hall, Executive Director, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Brandon Bibby, Associate AIA, WER Architects/Planners
  • Nate Coulter, Director, Central Arkansas Library System

Zoo Director Susan Altrui, City Manager Bruce Moore, and Jay, Chessir, President and CEO of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, will serve in Ex-officio roles.

The Task Force for the Zoo’s Future will review the Zoo’s current business model, help develop an action plan for future funding and also review the Zoo’s current facilities Master Plan developed in 2014 to look for new opportunities in animal habitat design, guest amenity and park design. The task force is comprised of a diverse range of individuals who offer a variety of perspectives.

Zoo consulting firm Schultz & Williams has been tapped by the Arkansas Zoological Foundation to assist with the task force. Schultz & Williams has decades-long experience working with zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and assisting them with business planning specific to developing public/private partnerships. Dozens of zoos and aquariums have used Schultz & Williams to develop future plans for long-range financial and organizational success.

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FILMLAND to feature Andrew Stanton of TOY STORY 4 and “Stranger Things”

Two-time Academy Award winner Andrew Stanton is bringing Toy Story 4 to FILMLAND!

He also directed episodes of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things and will screen Episodes 4 & 5 of Season 2 as well.

Tickets are not yet on sale for individual screenings, but if you want to have the first opportunity to reserve a seat, you can purchase a FILMLAND Pass.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton was raised in Rockport, Massachusetts. He was educated at The California Institute of the Arts (or “CalArts”) in Los Angeles, where he studied character animation. After graduation, Stanton began working as a writer on the TV series Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (1987). In 1990, he became only the second animator and ninth employee to join Pixar Animation Studios.

Stanton went on to help establish Pixar as one of the world’s leading animation studios. He was designer and writer on Toy Story (1995), for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He went on to write and direct such worldwide hits as A Bug’s Life (1998), Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL·E (2008), the latter two both winning Oscars for Best Animated Feature. Stanton also dabbles in voice work, perhaps most memorably as Crush, the laid back turtle, in Finding Nemo (2003).

New sculpture dedicated in MacArthur Park

BLOOMING, a new sculpture, was dedicated in MacArthur Park today (July 11).  It is a gift from Hanam, South Korea, one of Little Rock’s Sister Cities.

In 2017, Little Rock sculptor Michael Warrick traveled to Hanam and installed a sculpture in a park there in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between the two cities.  This new sculpture, which represents a ginkgo tree, is a reciprocal gift.

At the dedication ceremony, in addition to remarks by Mayor Frank Scott Jr., and Hanam May Kim Sang Ho, comments were given by former Little Rock mayors Sharon Priest, Jim Dailey, and Mark Stodola.  In addition, Mrs. Sun Cha Lee, chair of ATA International spoke.  Mrs. Lee and her late husband, Eternal Grand Master H. U. Lee, first suggested to Sharon Priest the possibility of a Sister City relationship between Little Rock and Hanam.