Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

Leave a comment

4th Penguin Chick Born at Little Rock Zoo

Fourth Penguin ChickThe Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce that its fourth African penguin chick successfully hatched on Sept. 11 and is doing well.

A unique story follows this penguin. Unlike the Zoo’s last three, this penguin chick was hatched by penguins Mary Beth and Roy and foster parented by penguins Skipper and Eze. Skipper and Eze are parents to the Zoo’s last three chicks.

The new penguin, a male, weighed only 2.3 ounces when born. He now weighs six pounds and is growing strong. Penguin chicks grow quickly when they are first hatched and if they are healthy.

The birth of this penguin is a significant achievement in conservation because of the genetic makeup of penguins Mary Beth and Roy. Mary Beth and Roy were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is a conservation program of AZA that aims to protect and conserve endangered and threatened species. The African penguin is an endangered species whose population has declined more than 95 percent since preindustrial times. The African penguin is threatened by oil spills, overfishing, and climate change.

The chick will not be on exhibit until it is old enough to swim on its own. In the meantime, he enjoys lounging on the steps of the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe exhibit.

About the Little Rock Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things.  With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.  For more information, visit

Leave a comment

LR Cultural Touchstone: Ann Nicholson

ann_nicholsonAnn Nicholson has been in Little Rock since the 1970s. She maintains the distinctive accent of her native Great Britain, which she puts to use as the “voice of UALR Public Radio” and the host of the weekly interview show “Art Scene.”

For more than 25 years, Ann Nicholson has shared the news and promoted cultural events in Central Arkansas via the KLRE/KUAR airwaves.  Host of “The Arts Scene,” an in-depth interview program that features local and international artists in all genres and a weekly arts calendar, Nicholson has loyal listeners who have enjoyed her interviews, her soothing and inviting British accent and her tireless enthusiasm for the arts. Those at KLRE/KUAR often refer to her as “the heart of Little Rock public radio.”

Being featured on Arts Scene has been a boon to many emerging organizations and institutions.  But more than that, her insightful and engaging interview style allows listeners to learn more about the artists and the artistic process.  The program feels less like an interview and more like a chance to eavesdrop on an entertaining conversation.

In addition to hosting the weekly interview program, she has been an active supporter of Little Rock’s arts community since her arrival.  She has been on the Board of Ballet Arkansas and UALR Friends of the Arts. She is often in the opening night audience at the Arkansas Rep.  She also rarely misses a performance of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Ann was a longtime member of the Little Rock Arts and Humanities Promotion Commission. She is a supporter of the Little Rock Musical Coterie and the National Federation of Music Clubs. When that organization’s national meeting was in Little Rock in 2002, she was involved in the planning of the meeting.


Leave a comment

Portraits and Sculptures focus of new exhibits at Arkansas Arts Center

arkartsThursday, October 23, 6 p.m., Lower Lobby Lecture Hall

Member Lecture and Reception
“Making Beckman” by Tom Butler, Director of the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia

Learn more about William Beckman’s gripping drawings in the first major retrospective of this great realists artist’s work on paper. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Alice Pratt Brown Atrium. Tickets are required to attend the lecture and are $15 for non-members and free for members. For more information or to reserve your ticket, call (501) 372-4000.


Friday, October 24, 2014 through February 1, 2015, Jeannette Edris Rockefeller and Townsend Wolfe Galleries

William Beckman: Drawings, 1967-2013

This exhibition includes intimate portraits of friends and family members, alongside arresting nudes of the artist and his wife. Some of the most attention-demanding works are massive portrayals of bulls. Accompanying the exhibition is a 112-page, full-color catalogue of Beckman’s work, which includes a revealing interview with the artist by exhibition curator Tom Butler and also illustrates archival photos from his childhood and college days. The catalogue is published by D Giles, Ltd., London. The exhibition was originated by the Columbus Museum in response to the ideas of Townsend Wolfe, the long-time director of the Arkansas Arts Center.


Friday, October 24, 2014 through January 18, 2015, Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery

The Sculpture of Stoney Lamar

This exhibition presents work from 1987 to the present. Uninspired by traditional turned wood vessel forms, Stoney Lamar embarked on a personal exploration of the lathe and other tools of turners and woodworkers. This spirit of experimentation has firmly placed his work in the avant-garde of the wood turning world. Not only was he one of the first to use multi-axial turning, but eventually he added steel, color and distressed surface treatments.


Friday, October 24, 12 – 1 p.m., Jeannette Edris Rockefeller and Townsend Wolfe Galleries
Feed Your Mind Friday with Artist William Beckman

Take an hour to feed your mind and learn more about William Beckman’s work in William Beckman: Drawings, 1967-2013. While Beckman’s paintings depict landscapes, figures, and still lifes, his most celebrated drawings are those of the human figure. Sign up at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center to attend this free event. For more information, visit or call (501) 372-4000.

Leave a comment

WAIT UNTIL DARK at Arkansas Rep is focus of Clinton School lunchtime program today

THEREP_WAITUNTILDARK (no credits)-page-001The Arkansas Repertory Theatre works in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service to participate in the UACS’s Distinguished Speaker Series, hosting educational panel discussions on various Rep productions.

The latest in these takes place today, Thursday, October 23 at 12 noon at Sturgis Hall in Clinton Presidential Park.  It focuses on the Rep’s upcoming production of Wait Until Dark.

Written by Frederick Knott, Wait Until Dark was originally a play which inspired the 1967 Hollywood film of the same name.  The play and film garnered Tony, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominations. In the story, a sinister con man and two ex-convicts are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam Hendrix and his wife, Susy. With murder afoot, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, as Susy discovers the only way to play fair is to play by her rules. A panel of those involved in the production will talk about what it’s like to bring this thrilling production to life.

Join members of the production team as they discuss this chilling play selected for the Halloween season.

Wait Until Dark opens officially on Friday evening and runs through Sunday, November 9.

Leave a comment

LR Cultural Touchstone: Cheryl Griffith Nichols

C NicholsCheryl Griffith Nichols is a historian, with an emphasis on historical structures, who has lived and worked in Arkansas since 1978.

She was born and raised in Indiana and graduated from Hanover College in 1974. After working for three years as the executive director of the Bartholomew County Historical Society in Columbus, Indiana, she enrolled in George Washington University in Washington DC, majoring in American studies with a concentration in historic preservation. While living in Washington, she worked for the National Register of Historic Places.

She moved to Little Rock in 1978, where she married attorney Mark Nichols and completed her Masters degree by writing a thesis on the Pulaski Heights community; the thesis was accepted in 1981. Meanwhile, Nichols became acquainted with Charles Witsell (a prominent Little Rock architect and historic preservation advocate) while he was working with F. Hampton Roy (a Little Rock ophthalmologist, historic preservation advocate and Little Rock City Director) to write a book about the history of Little Rock. Nichols did extensive research for the book, which was published in 1984 by August House as How We Lived: Little Rock as an American City.

Nichols then became a free-lance researcher, operating a business in Little Rock which she called History, Inc. This business did research and documentation of historic structures in Arkansas, mostly but not entirely in Pulaski County. Nichols also worked for the Museum of Science and History (now the Museum of Discovery) in Little Rock, served as the Executive Director of the Quapaw Quarter Association from 1984 through 1987 and again from 1991 through 1997, and wrote several books for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (Little Rock: Driving Tour of Three Historic Neighborhoods, 1989; MacArthur Park Historic Tours, 1993, Governor’s Mansion Area, 1993; Historically Black Properties in Little Rock’s Dunbar School Neighborhood, 1999, The Arkansas Designs of E. Fay Jones, 1999, Hillcrest: The History and Architectural Heritage of Little Rock’s Streetcar Suburb, 1999, and Construction of the Military Road Between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, 2003.)

She has remained active in historic preservation efforts.  She has served on the board of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She also served on a task force to determine the best use of Curran Hall.  Much of her research has been donated to the Arkansas Studies Institute.

Leave a comment

Opera in the Rock at South on Main for Local Live – presented by Oxford American and Landers Fiat

OperaInTheRock_logo-singleskylineThe great thing about Local Live at South on Main – each week is a different kind of music.

Join the Oxford American and Landers FIAT in welcoming Opera In The Rock to Local Live. This debut venture includes a varied program of vocal entertainment with standards from Opera as well as well-known and beloved Music Theater selections.

OITR is proud to present sopranos, Stephanie Smittle and Maria Fasciano Di Carlo, mezzo, Kelley Ponder, tenor, Matt Newman, and baritone, J. Daniel Altman. At the keyboard is Kristin Harwell. We hope you will come and enjoy our program which runs the gamut of sad, humorous, dramatic, and poignant songs loosely connected to the theme of Love Is Folly.

Call ahead to reserve your table for this classic event.

It starts at 7:30 pm.

Leave a comment

THE GREAT NEW ORLEANS KIDNAPPING CASE focus of Clinton School lecture this evening

nola kidnapTonight at the Clinton School, a discussion by Michael Ross of his new book, The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case.

An associate professor of History at the University of Maryland. Ross offers the first full account of one of the events that electrified the South at one of the most critical moments in the history of American race relations. The book covers the kidnapping, where two African American women kidnapped seventeen-month-old Mollie Digby in front of her New Orleans home. From the moment it happens through the highly publicized investigation and sensationalized trial that followed, Ross paints a vivid picture of the Reconstruction-era South and the complexities and possibilities that faced the newly integrated society.

Ross’s book also serves as a reminder that a fascination with sensationalized trials is hardly an invention of the last twenty-five years.

The program begins at 6pm at Sturgis Hall.  Following the comments, Ross will sign his book.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,264 other followers