published Community Art Grant in Blog 2023-10-06 14:44:38 -0500

Community Art Grant

The Locals is a creative placemaking organization and we want to support artists who want to create something to share with the community of Conway! We are giving out $1500 to support an artist's project. The theme of the grant is Cultivating Community--any medium is welcome: create a piece of music, a sculpture, a mural, a play, anything you can come up with that celebrates community. For all the details and to apply click here or on the image above. Please share with your artist friends!

published 2021 Accomplishments in Blog 2022-10-26 13:02:15 -0500

2021 Accomplishments

2021 was a bit of a turmoil and who knows what 2022 will bring, but all things considered 2021 wasn't too shabby for The Locals. One way or another, we were able to continue supporting and promoting projects that benefit our community. We'd like to share with you some of last year's accomplishments:
-The food recovery program partnering with Harps completed another year of donations to the Bethlehem house; 
-We gave out two garden grants--one for Mayflower elementary school, and one for UCA's department of student transition; 
-We received a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation to launch a marketing campaign for places that sell local food, and to try to increase access to that food by signing farmers up to accept EBT (food stamps)
 -Through our partnership with the Green Space Initiative and the Conway Tree Board, we gave a grant to plant a tree in the 5th Avenue Park;
-We also gave out two grants to the Urban Farm Project-- one to pay for the design of the proposed Conway Library Pavilion (see attached picture), and one to buy a freezer to provide storage for food used in community events, as well as a place to house part of the seed library collection;
We are able to do all this with the help of people like you, our community partners, and everyone who shows up and participates. If you'd like to give us an extra hand, consider making a donation or becoming a super supporter. Learn more at https://www.thelocals.be/super_support
Thank you so much and we hope to keep making our community a more creative, unique and vibrant place to live in 2022 :) 
Stay safe!

Sandra Leyva





published MOVIE NIGHT IS BACK! in Blog 2022-10-10 20:52:24 -0500


Downtown Farmers and Crafters Market

published EBT and Double Up Food Bucks in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:40:21 -0500

EBT and Double Up Food Bucks

published The Farmstand at Bell Urban Farm in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:39:46 -0500

The Farmstand at Bell Urban Farm

published Conway Locally Grown in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:40:04 -0500

Conway Locally Grown

published Conway Farmers Market in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:39:06 -0500

Conway Farmers Market

published Where to find Local Food in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:40:59 -0500

Where to find Local Food



published Eat Local in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:40:41 -0500

Eat Local


published Support Your Community in Blog 2022-09-02 09:54:09 -0500

Support Your Community


Check out more videos and info on The Locals Food Initiative by clicking this link

published Food Recovery in Programs 2022-09-01 21:46:33 -0500

Food Recovery

The Locals partnered with Harps in Conway to rescue fresh fruits and vegetables that are being thrown out and re-route them to schools and food pantries so they can fill bellies instead of the land fill! For 4 years, volunteers sorted through produce to donate what was perfectly edible and compost what was past its prime. This project rescued over 6000 lbs of food. The program is not currently running, but if you are interested in learning more, contact [email protected] 

Here is how it works:

The Locals is partnering with Harps Grocery Store in Conway to recover hundreds of pounds of food every week.

STEP 1. On Fridays at 730am volunteers show up to pick up the food at Harps

STEP 2. Separate things into Edibles and Compost (stuff that is far too gone to eat) 

STEP 3.Weigh it and record the amount via text message... 

STEP 4. Pack it all in your car...

STEP 5. Drive it to the school or drop off location....and that's it!

Now the school (or pantry) can sort it and distribute it to happy people who can add more fresh fruits and veggies to their diet :)

Once you signed up to volunteer you will receive an email confirmation and a reminder the day before.

Also, if you have an old fridge laying around, some of the drop off locations could use them to store the food, so please contact Sandra Leyva at [email protected] if you are interested in donating a fridge--you will receive a tax deductible receipt plus a lot of smiles and good karma :)

Partners include: Harps, Compass Academy, COHO, Bethlehem House, Carolyn Lewis Elementary Backpack Program, Florence Mattison Elementary Afterschool Gardening and Cooking Club, Faulkner County Library and Bell Urban Farm.

published The Locals Food Initiative in The Locals Food Initiative 2022-09-07 10:41:15 -0500

The Locals Food Initiative

 Grant awarded for workshop, encourages development of web ...

The Locals Food Initiative project was made possible by the Arkansas Community Foundation. This Food Initiative is a continuation of our organization's work strengthening the community's local food system by helping farmers connect to more customers, and more Arkansans connect to local food.

In order to achieve our goal we have focused on increasing demand for local food by increasing awareness of and access to local food in Conway. To increase awareness we launched a marketing campaign featuring the places where local food can be purchased and why it is important to support them. Check out some of the ads bellow.

We have also updated an online directory available for the public to easily find local food near you: The Fresh Directory

In order to increase access to local food we also helped farmers become authorized SNAP retailers to accept EBT and helped promote the Double Up Food Bucks program through the marketing campaign. 

published The Locals Food Initiative in Programs 2022-09-07 10:25:16 -0500

The Locals Food Initiative

The Locals Food Initiative
Posted by · September 07, 2022 10:41 AM · 2 reactions

Where to find Local Food
Posted by · September 07, 2022 10:40 AM · 2 reactions

Eat Local
Posted by · September 07, 2022 10:40 AM · 2 reactions

published May in Blog 2022-05-07 23:13:25 -0500


It is farmers market season: asparagus, strawberries, broccoli, and kale are making an appearance!! 

This growing season, The Locals are helping spread the word about the places in Conway where you can get local food. With the support of an Arkansas Community Foundation grant, we are developing a marketing campaign for The Farmstand at Bell Urban Farm, Conway Locally Grown, the Conway Farmers Market, and the Downtown Farmers Market. Click on the image above to preview one of the videos you might come across on your FB or Instagram feed :)


Local Chocolate Factory Tours Delight Kids of All Ages


The Locals are also proud to announce the winners of our Growing Farms Grant! Thanks to donations from supporters like you, we are going to be able to help the Bradford Valley Farms build a new brooder for their pastured chickens. We are also helping expand the Burrows Craft Chocolate bee hives, which will provide all the honey they will need for their new local and hand crafted chocolate business.

The Locals just made a pledge to support The Rogue Roundabout Kickstarter, and you should too! The Rogue Roundabout will be the first micro-brewery and restaurant in Conway. They plan to use local ingredients in their Craft Kitchen, and brew craft beers in their Beverage Lab. Learn more about their project, and help make this dream a reality by clicking the image above!


Stay tuned for more updates on our awesome community. Thanks for all your support!

published The FMPP grant in Farmers Market Promotion Program 2021-12-29 20:21:10 -0600

The Farmers Market Promotion Program


Funded by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Services, this project helped us increase the demand and enthusiasm for local food in our community, open six retail spaces for local food located in food desert areas, and coordinate activities to recruit and train young potential farmers. The sites of the new retail spaces include farms, schools and small stores in and around Searcy County. As part of this program La Lucha Space planned and coordinated two farm tours visiting diverse farms in Arkansas including  AR Killer Bee and Tomato Farm, Armstead Mountain Farm in Jerusalem, Falling Sky and Ratchford Farms in Marshall, Rattle's Garden in Vilonia, and Meadowcreek in Fox.

We also organized two local food festivals in Conway collaborating with the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project and the Public Library: Backyard Gourmet, celebrated in Spring, and the Urban Farm Festival, celebrated in the fall. These events include live music, educational demonstrations, games and food prepared with ingredients grown on-site.

As part of this project we also collaborated with the Arkansas Local Food Network to develop an online interactive tool that lets you search for participants of the local food movement by category and location. The info includes data on farms, community gardens, restaurants and more. Explore the Fresh Directory

published Farmers Market Promotion Program in Fresh Directory 2021-12-29 20:19:13 -0600

Farmers Market Promotion Program

The Farmers Market Promotion Program
Posted by · December 29, 2021 8:21 PM · 1 reaction

published October 2021 updates in Blog 2021-10-20 12:56:25 -0500

October 2021 updates

Check out all the fun activities that are right around the corner!

Join the Urban Farm Project's Potluck Social. This coming Saturday, October 23rd from 5-8pm. Celebrate the end of a great season and, if you haven't yet, meet the new garden programmer Erica Lunde. Enjoy roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around the firepit, and some fun games for adults and kids. The library will provide the hot dogs and fixings, and the drinks. Bring a dish to share, such as a salad, soup, vegetable side, or dessert. For all the info and to invite your friends visit https://fb.me/e/4xENXBp2x

For this month's online movie Club we are watching Adaptation with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. This meta-film takes you on a screen writers journey to adapt a book into a film, while taking every opportunity to take a filmic cliche and completely turn it on its head. Watch on your own and join us for a fun discussion via Google Meet on Thursday, October 28th, at 830pm https://meet.google.com/ngx-gqxa-mas

May be art of 2 people and text that says 'A CONWAY ART WALK'

Visit Downtown Conway to enjoy drinks and small bites, live music, retail shopping, and art demonstrations! Conway Art Walk will happen every third Thursday of the month from 5–8pm. Each month, new artists will be featured in retail shops along Oak Street, between Chestnut and Front Street.

On October 21st, 5–8pm, in honor of Hispanic Heritage month, artist in residence, Sector Sick, will be creating live art throughout the event. Live music will include an African drum circle by Ron Jensen-McDaniel and a duet by the Conway Symphony Orchestra.

May be an image of outdoors

Help Conway develop its Public Art Master Plan by filling out this survey! https://surveymonkey.com/r/XG8MGWZ

published September 2021 updates in Blog 2021-10-04 13:54:21 -0500

September 2021 updates

We are so happy to see things starting to pick up around the community. If you know of any activities or events you want to spread the word about, please let me know.

Also, we recently had a problem with our website and lost a bunch of our newsletter subscribers :(

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward it to a friend (or two, or three :) and encourage them to sign up to receive monthly community updates www.thelocals.be/newsletter


Great news! The Locals received a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation to create a marketing campaign for local food, as well as to help farm stands, farmers markets, and any place where local food is available, to apply and get set up to accept SNAP/EBT benefits. If you are interested in this please contact me at [email protected]
The more people know where local food is available, and the more accessible it is, the more local food sales will increase! Please share this so it can reach the people that can benefit from this opportunity. 

Carolyn Lewis Elementary in Conway is searching for a service member to manage the school garden from September 2021- July 15th 2022. This is an amazing paid professional development opportunityThis position pays $22,000 over the course of 11 months and includes health insurance. There is also potential for childcare assistance.

Apply using this link: https://foodcorps.org/apply/ 

To learn more about FoodCorps Arkansas, click here

You can also check out our recruitment powerpoint, here.

For any questions contact [email protected] 

Hope to see you soon!

published Newsletter 2021-08-25 12:48:47 -0500


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Creative placemaking in Conway, AR. We Support local Farmers, artists, musicians and makers. We love #localfood #livemusic and #diy workshops. #LocalFirst.