32nd Annual Community Development Institute (CDI)


When: July 30-August 3, 2018

Where: University of Central Arkansas’ Brewer Hegeman Conference Center

What: The Community Development Institute (CDI) began at the University of Central Arkansas in 1987, with the goal of equipping community leaders and economic development professionals with the tools and strategies they needed to create vibrant, successful communities. 30 years later, CDI is still the go-to resource for training.

For more information go here.


Kick Start Alma – October Community Meeting

When: October 23, 2017 from 5:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Where: Alma, Arkansas – Community Center

What: Alma citizens will participate in a Round Robin discussion that will focus on Alma’s Action Teams: Arts and Culture, Job Creation, Downtown Revitalization, Beautification and Recreation, and Branding and Marketing. Attendees will share what is going on within these areas, what needs to change, and what they would like to see happen in three to five years.

For more information go here.


ACDS 2017 Conference, Putting Community Into Practice: Some Assembly Required

When: October 24, 2017

Where: University of Central Arkansas’ Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center

Join ACDS for a day of exploring how strong social connections overcome barriers and build foundations for making communities places of opportunity and hope.

  • Learn about bridging gaps amongst groups of citizens who may think they have little or nothing in common;
  • Examine practices that have allowed communities to cross that divide;
  • Discover how the design and use of our built infrastructure reduces physical barriers and fosters social engagement;
  • Explore how strong social networks leverage opportunities for assembling lasting partnerships.

To register, go here:


Hot Spring County Conversations

When: November 1, 2017

Where: College of the Ouachitas

What: Hot Spring County Conversations is an event held in partnership with Hot Spring County, Entergy, West Central Arkansas Planning and Development, Hot Spring County Economic Development Corporation, Malvern/Hot Spring County Chamber of Commerce, College of the Ouachitas, and the University of Central Arkansas’ Center for Community and Economic Development. This event will bring Hot Spring County community leaders together to hear community and economic development professionals from across the state and offer a forum for conversation to build a bright future for the county.

To register, go here:


Community Development Basics Training

When: November 4, 2017

Where: University of Central Arkansas’ Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center

What: This training will explore the basics of community development with speakers from across the state. We encourage UCA students, specifically PhD Leadership students, to attend this event. The training is also open to the UCA campus and central Arkansas community.

To register, go here:


University of Central Arkansas Poverty Simulation

When: December 5, 2017, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: University of Central Arkansas’ McCastlain Hall – McCastlain Ballroom

What: Our team at the Center is hosting a Poverty Simulation for UCA faculty/staff members and we need volunteers to to serve as vendors for this event! The Poverty Simulation is intended to move participants to think about the harsh realities of poverty and to talk about how communities can address the problem. The simulation is a unique, interactive experience that helps people begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.

If you choose to serve as a volunteer, you will play the role of a vendor. Vendors interact with participants by imitating some of the common agency staff that individuals in poverty come into contact with. A list of vendors is provided here.

Email Sara Whisenhunt at to sign up as a volunteer.

UCA Faculty and Staff members can register to attend here.