Upper Echelon

February 16, 2022

Restaurant News

Nothing Goes Together Like Pickleball and PB&JJ

PB&JJ

The uptown entertainment venue, JJ's Live, is getting a fun, new addition - a pickleball court and food truck via PB&JJ.

  • Fun and food: JJ's Live is a 2,500 person live music and entertainment venue with an already jam packed lineup for the 2022 concert season.
  • PB and pickleball: The latest addition to the venue is the PB&JJ food truck with peanut butter themed menu items and a legit pickleball court.

There will be a "Dink and Drink" tournament March 5 - 6 for the venue's opening weekend, and you will be able to reserve the court online beginning March 1.

Arts & Culture

VoiceJam Finalists Announced

NWA Daily

Finalists have been announced for the Walton Arts Center annual VoiceJam A Capella Festival in April.

  • Far and wide: VoiceJam attracts talent from across the country. This year, 8 teams comprised of over 100 singers, hailing from 6 different states will make their trek to WAC to put their vocals to the test.
  • Fun for all: Whether you think you enjoy A Capella or not, this competition is impressive and fun to watch. You can attend the competition at Walton Arts Center if you'd like to see it firsthand.

Check out the highlights from last year to see the caliber of talent involved in this competition.

Non-Profit Spotlight

Small Local Organization Making Big Impact

Canopy NWA

The team at Canopy NWA has been hard at work the last few months, facing the challenge of an unprecedented influx of refugees and ultimately helping over 100 Afghan refugees resettle.

  • Double time: In May of 2021, the refugee admission cap was increased by over 4x to 62,500. In August of 2021, hundreds of thousands of Afghans were trying to flee as the Taliban regained control of the country.
  • Hit the limit: With the cap raise and a catalyst for new refugees coming to the US, many resettlement organizations were left unable to handle the sudden influx. With a lot of hard work from its team and community volunteers, Canopy NWA was able to overcome this challenge.

Read more about Canopy and how it rose to the occasion here.

Travel

Route Changes to be Aware of at XNA

NWA Daily

It's time to start thinking about travel plans for the spring and summer, and fortunately the flight options out of XNA just keep getting better.

  • Returning routes: Nonstop flights to Nashville return on March 3 with options every Thursday and Sunday. The Destin direct flight returns in April and will run 6 days a week from May 16 - Aug 15.
  • Every day: The American flight to Miami that is currently offered only on Saturdays will now expand to a daily offering, making it much easier to get to the Magic City.

There are several other changes to be aware of that you can learn more about here.

Education

U of A Maintains Top Tier Research Status

NWA Daily

The U of A remained in the upper echelon of research universities in the latest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

  • What does this mean? Only 3.7% of the universities in the country achieved R1 status, the most elite classification in this ranking system, which is considered to be the standard categorization system for accredited universities.
  • Research heavy: The university spent over $165m on research-related activities each year from 2018 through 2020, helping it maintain this elite status.

Read more about these rankings here.

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