News Releases

Jessica Fulbright Hayes Named Executive Director of Western Arkansas Community Foundation

FORT SMITH, ARK. (Aug. 15, 2023) – Jessica Fulbright Hayes of Fort Smith, has been named executive director of Western Arkansas Community Foundation, an affiliate of Arkansas Community Foundation. The Community Foundation supports countywide nonprofit organizations through funding, networking and capacity building opportunities.

“Hayes brings many years’ experience, plus a wealth of nonprofit knowledge,” said Heather Larkin, president and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation. “Her leadership skills and expertise will prove to be extremely valuable to the Western Arkansas affiliate.”

After graduating from college with a biology degree, she moved to Little Rock and enrolled in the Public History program at UALR. There she began her work on “A Gathering of Women,” a traveling exhibit on women in Arkansas, and “Life Interrupted,” a multi-million-dollar project on the WWII Japanese-American camps in Arkansas. After returning to Fort Smith in 2007, Hayes held leadership positions at the U.S. Marshals Museum and The Montessori School of Fort Smith, where she served as head of school for the past nine years.  

For more information about the Foundation’s work in Western Arkansas, contact Hayes at or 479-315-6428. You can also visit to learn more about local grantees and Foundation activities in Western Arkansas. 


Arkansas Community Foundation, a statewide nonprofit organization, provides resources, insight and inspiration to build better Arkansas communities – communities where our kids will want to raise their kids. The Community Foundation is the largest grantmaker in the state in the number of grants made each year. Since 1976, the Foundation has provided more than $393 million to nonprofits. The Foundation staff works directly with donors, professional advisors and nonprofits to help strengthen Arkansas communities through strategic philanthropy and focusing on local needs. Its assets rank among the top 60 out of more than 800 community foundations in the United States. Serving statewide and local initiatives, the Community Foundation helps connect those who want to give to causes they care about. Contributions to Arkansas Community Foundation, its funds and any of its 29 affiliates are fully tax deductible.