WRI to host speaker

Joy Jinks, who helped put Colquitt, Ga., on the map through her development of the community performance theater known as Swamp Gravy, will speak at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Friday, May 6, as part of the Uncommon Communities initiative.

Registration for Jinks’ address will be open to the public free of charge, though lunch may be purchased with registration.

Jinks will talk about the development of Swamp Gravy, how it turned into an internationally recognized phenomenon and the importance of having pride in one’s community.

“The economic factor is important, but it’s what we’ve done to enliven the spirit that is most important,” Jinks said. “It’s the pride in spirit, pride in talent and being an inspiration to others that keeps us going.”

Uncommon Communities is a community and economic development program aimed at producing a group of community leaders who are equipped to assess, plan, visualize and mobilize citizenry to work together in the areas of economic development, education and workforce development, as well as quality of life and place—the critical elements of thriving communities. The goal of the program is to help these communities become vibrant and sustainable in the 21st century global knowledge economy.

To date the participants of Uncommon Communities have represented Conway, Perry, Pope, Van Buren and Yell counties.

“We are honored to have Joy Jinks come and address our community leaders,” said Janet Harris, director of programs at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. “The story of Swamp Gravy is an inspiring tale of a community finding success by embracing its heritage. We are sure this story will resonate with our own uncommon communities.”

To register for free for Jinks’ keynote, go to http://wriuc5swampgravy.eventbrite.com.

Jinks’ keynote address is being sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis-Little Rock Branch. The May Uncommon Communities session is being sponsored by Lisenne Rockefeller and Family, Entergy Arkansas and the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program.

For more information about Uncommon Communities, visit rockefellerinstitute.org/uncommon.