May Skill Share: Building Basic Rain Barrel Systems

May Skill Share photoWhat: Community Skill Share on Building Basic Rain Barrel Systems

When: Saturday May 21st 12:00-2:00

Where: McElroy House 420 S. 2nd Dardanelle, Arkansas

Contact: 479-957-0551 or

Click here for fb event. 


The McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources invites you to join us for a workshop on building basic rain barrel systems for your home or business!

Sergio Picado of Dover will lead this interactive skill share on building and installing simple rain barrel systems in your home or business! He will build and install our system at the McElroy House while explaining the process and walking participants through each step. You’ll leave with tools needed to implement similar systems at your home.

The McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources offers one skill share a month led by community members and visitors. All events are free and open to the public!  Keep up to date with us on facebook by clicking here. 

For more information call 479-957-0551

April Skill Share: Butterfly and Bee Gardening for Grief and Healing

first bloomWhat: Community Skill Share on planting butterfly and bee loving story gardens

When: Saturday April 30th 12:00-2:00

Where: McElroy House 420 S. 2nd Dardanelle, Arkansas

Contact: 479-957-0551 or


The McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources invites you to join us for a workshop on creating butterfly and bee loving gardens.

During this event we will be planting heirloom flowers and native varieties known for attracting pollinators. We’ll learn more about what kind of varieties we need to support butterfly populations and keep our crops healthy, and we’ll also be putting in some drip hoses for watering. Gardens are places for both grief and healing. Let’s share stories and grow a garden together!

McElroy House volunteers getting our raised beds ready.

McElroy House volunteers getting our raised beds ready.

All of our workshops are interactive, and for this workshop we are asking community members to consider bringing “story” plants to the gathering—the kind passed down among generations and communities and/or any varieties that are especially meaningful to you. Together we will add these plants to our butterfly story garden. If you are willing to share, we would love to document the story behind your plant and keep it with our garden so we can share it with the wider community. Your plant could be something in honor of a lost loved one, a past home, or even a plant in honor of an idea.

Of course, no need to bring a plant to attend! Just bring yourself! You’ll leave with information and resources for creating a butterfly garden at your own home or business.


McElroy House members and volunteers getting city compost for the garden.

McElroy House members and volunteers getting city compost for the garden.

Follow McElroy House on fb at www/

February Skill Share: Home Weatherization with Interfaith Power and Light


interfaith power and lightWhat: Home Weatherization Skill Share with Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light

When: February 27th 9:00-3:00 p.m

Where: McElroy House, 420 S. 2nd Street Dardanelle, Arkansas 72834

Contact: Meredith at 479-957-0551 or

Join us for a free hands-on skill share in partnership with the faith-based group Interfaith Power and Light. We’ll be working together to to weatherize our building while also offering a working example of how to translate these techniques for your own home or rental property.

Matt Poe of the United States Green Building Council will be leading the workshop and will lead participants in simple, DIY techniques for ensuring that your older home stays warm and saves energy. You’ll leave the workshop with the tools and skills needed to make changes in your own property as well as a free goody bag filled with LED lightbulbs.

Interfaith Power and Light will also be providing all participants with a free lunch at Tarascos in downtown Dardanelle.

The Arkansas Affiliate of Interfaith Power and Light is established by individuals and participating congregations who share a concern for the earth’s environment from a unique, nonpartisan, theological perspective. In addition to leading this workshop they are also working with the McElroy House to raise money for our weatherization work, enabling our center to be a working example of affordable and sustainable green retrofitting.

Once complete our building will serve as a working example for home owners, renters, and landlords seeking to make similar changes to their own properties. The McElroy House is working alongside Interfaith Power and Light to seek donations earmarked for this work. Donations of 100.00 or more will have their names engraved on bricks for our walkway. If you’re interested in making a donation to our green building fund, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Please call 479-957-0551 for more information!

View and share the facebook invite here 

Upcoming: February Conversation: Reducing Incarceration in Arkansas


Image from Seeds of Liberation director, Omavi Shukur’s article , ““Prisons, Profit, and Politics: How Arkansas Politicians “Fixed” a System That Wasn’t Broken.”

What: Reducing Incarceration in Arkansas, a Community Conversation with Seeds of Liberation director, Omavi Shukur

When: February 6th 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Where: The Cavern, 316 West B Street, Russellville, Arkansas

Contact: Meredith at 479-957-0551 or

Please join the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources for our February Community Conversation in partnership with Seeds of Liberation, an organization working alongside Arkansas’ marginalized communities to create a just, equitable and empowering means for addressing crime through policy research, community education and amplifying the voices of the formerly incarcerated.

Arkansas has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. Once incarcerated, former felons—urban and rural, men and women—find it hard to gain employment and build back their lives.

Seeds of Liberation Director Omavi Shukur will provide some context on Arkansas’s incarceration rates and then open up the room for discussion. Formerly incarcerated people and their families and friends are especially welcome. Please come share your stories, learn more about Seeds of Liberation, and come together to build just systems for all.

Shukur is the author of the recent article, Prisons, Profit, and Politics: How Arkansas Politicians “Fixed” a System That Wasn’t Broken.” Before founding Seeds, Shukur was a Staff Attorney at the Orleans Public Defender’s Office in New Orleans.

Learn more here:

About Our Living Room Conversations: This event is part of our Living Room conversations, a series of monthly gatherings hosted by the McElroy House. The goal of these events is to bring community members together to discuss human rights, economies, and building what Martin Luther King called “beloved community.” These conversations serve as a catalyst for community action that brings people together across division. Some of these events take place in our center in Dardanelle; others are hosted at community buildings around the area.

For more information call 479-957-0551

View and Share the facebook invite here. 


Upcoming: Open House and Healing Herbs Skill Share


Open House Version 34566What: Open House and Herbal Medicine Workshop at the McElroy House

When: Saturday January 30th 10:00-2:00 p.m. (Herbal workshops at 10:30 and 1:00)

Where: McElroy House, 420 S. 2nd Street Dardanelle, Arkansas 72834

Contact: Meredith at 479-957-0551 or

Please join us for our first Open House! We recently hosted our second annual Harvest Run and now we’re getting ready to kick off a year’s worth of skill shares and workshops created by and for the community. Come see our space, share your ideas, and learn more about what we do.

We will be hosting a skill share during the open house entitled, Plants Heal Too! From workshop leader, Kristin Simmons, RN, BSN: An insightful look into easily grown and maintainable herbs with medicinal properties. We will also hold a workshop on how to make an old family herbal recipe to tackle the common cold and fever.” Simmons and her family live in Dover and raise chickens and plants.

This is a come and go event and children are *always* welcome! We’ll be hosting raffles and giving away gift certificates and a few of our t-shirts as well!

We’d love to meet you and hear your ideas for our space.

View and Share fb invite here. 


[All our programs are volunteer driven and we exist through personal donations and money raised through our yearly Harvest Run. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to our organization and/or any of our specific programs, please don’t hesitate to contact our director at or 479-957-0551].

Donation Boxes for the Diaper Bank!

Donation boxes created by Anola Franks!

Donation boxes created by Anola Franks!

Last year our most well attended skill share was the cloth diaper workshop. We were able to pass on over fifty cloth diapers to new caregivers in the region.

Anola Randles Frank has taken the lead on this amazing initiative, and has help to grow the diaper bank idea in recent months. She created donation boxes, a form to keep track of the diaper donations and placement (and to ensure everyone is covered legally) and has set up donation spots around the community.

As Anola pointed out in her presentation and worksheets (which you can download for free here!), so many families have to choose between diapers and food. Cloth diapers can save families hundreds of dollars and are better for the environment. But they come with a great deal of upfront costs. Our diaper bank mitigates those costs and ensures that diapers are passed down in our community to people who need them.

Our diaper bank will be free and accessible to caregivers in the region and after filling out the application to keep track of our donations, caregivers will be allowed to keep the diapers as long as needed. Once returned we’ll disinfect them and mend them if needed! As we beginning offering office hours at our center, caregivers can come borrow diapers and we’ll offer regular skill sharing workshops on using cloth diapers a few times a year.

Meeting at the ARVAC foodbank for a cloth diaper skill share

Meeting at the ARVAC foodbank for a cloth diaper skill share

There are currently donation boxes located at Health Food Garden, Mulberry BushCrisis Pregnancy Center,  and Southern Gypsy store.  We’ll also be working to get some donation boxes set up in other communities. If you’d like to donate diapers or money toward diapers, please let us know! We could also use people who would be willing to help mend diapers.


You can contact Anola Frank at 479-926-6946, or send us an email to:


Our caregiver cabinet with baby carriers, cloth diapers, maternity clothes and more!

Our caregiver cabinet with baby carriers, cloth diapers, maternity clothes and more!




Join the Second Annual Harvest Run to Support Our Work!

11721445_10101821313125897_115215034_nOur second annual Harvest Run will take place December 5th and scenic Bona Dea Trail in Russellville, Arkansas. This year’s run will also feature a Kids Fun Run!  This is our major fundraising event, and all proceeds go toward supporting our community work. Sign up here!



You have lots of options for support! You can do the walk/run, you  can become a sponsor (our Feed a Runner Sponsor starts at 10.00!), or, if you live far away or are busy that day you can do a virtual run! However you want to do it, your donations support our work! 

Our goals are broad, but our strategies concrete. We seek to bring people together across differences to stand for beloved community. Our resources focus on low-income communities and center anti-racism in all we do, especially in reaching out to fellow white people to fight for the rights of all.

This takes on many forms and we seek to always listen to what people in the community say they/we need. We also strive to build partnerships in both rural and urban communities in our region, creating spaces both literal and metaphorical that bring people together for justice and growth.

Here’s a short list of what you’d be supporting:

  • Monthly Skill Shares on everything from permaculture to cooking from scratch on a budget (using local grandma recipes!), to weatherizing old homes on a tight budget (we’ll be using our space as a working example).
  • The expanding of our local cloth diaper bank and other related resources for caregivers.
  • The creation of a tool lending library and other garden resources for beginning growers.
  • The creation of our community flower gardens for spaces of grief and growth.
  • Community-led workshops and discussions on immigration and supporting recent immigrants in our communities, fighting racism, exploring souring incarceration rates and discussions with Seeds of Liberation about ways we can reduce rates; growing partnerships with organization across rural and urban central Arkansas to bring people together across difference to fight for change in low-income communities.
  • Last year our run was a huge success and allowed us to really get going. Here are just a few samples of what your donations funded last year:

Once a Month Skill Shares Around the Community:


A Series of Living Room Conversations and actions on fighting racism and coming together across difference to build Beloved Community and a partnership with the Other Arkansas campaign. 

The Creation of  Resource Banks and Community Teaching Tools on site: 


Helping to Build the Freedom House Garden and Related Curriculum in Partnership with Residents 

Preparing our Community Hub for Our Own Gardens:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.