Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

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Late Night at Arkansas Arts Center tonight – Evening Lecture and Extended Hours

AAC LinesTonight the Arkansas Arts Center is open until 9pm with a lecture, galleries and dining at Best Impressions.

From 6pm to 7pm, Ann Prentice Wagner, Curator of Drawings at the Arkansas Arts Center will present a lecture entitled “New Lines: The 12th National Drawing Invitational.”

Drawing lines is one of the oldest and most enduring of characteristically human endeavors. Ann Prentice Wagner will discuss how the 12th National Drawing Invitational challenges us to reconsider the nature of drawing. The exhibition includes distinctive graphic works by eight artists from the Mid-Atlantic region. Each artist finds a different way of imbuing marks on paper, or on Mylar, or walls, or vinyl, with meaning.

The lecture is free for members, $10 for non-members. Tickets are required.

To make reservations for dinner at Best Impressions, call 501-907-5946.

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Jazz in the Park continues with The Tri-Tones

jazzinparkJazz in the Park is back in Little Rock for the second half of the second season! Jazz in the Park is a free, family-friendly event featuring jazz in downtown Little Rock.

Things continue tonight from 6pm to 8pm with The Tri-Tones.

The event is completely free, but no coolers are allowed. Beer, wine, soft drinks and water will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Sculpture at the River Market. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, and there is some seating in the natural stone amphitheater at the History Pavilion.

This event is sponsored by Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and the River Market, with special thanks to Arkansas Sounds Music Festival and the Central Arkansas Library System.

Jazz in the Park takes place Wednesday nights in September from 6pm to 8pm. They will take place in the History Pavilion near the Junction Bridge and the River Market.

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New Illustrated Arkansas History book launched tonight

cals launchArkansas in Ink: Gunslingers, Ghosts, and Other Graphic Talesa special print edition of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (EOA), edited by Guy Lancaster and illustrated by Ron Wolfe, provides an entertaining look at Arkansas’s history through stories and cartoons.

It will take place in the Darragh Center inside the CALS main building on Rock Street.  The party will start at 6pm.

At the launch party, Lancaster and Wolfe will speak about the book and sign copies, which will be available for purchase at the event. A “drawing for a drawing” will also be held, in which one attendee will win a signed, framed, original illustration by Wolfe from the book. Beer, wine, and light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact 501-918-3033.

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Trail of Tears Commemoration Day

Today is Trail of Tears Commemoration Day.  There were several different routes on the Trail of Tears.  Little Rock was one of the only places (if not the only one), in which each of the tribes passed through on the way out west.

Much research on the Trail of Tears has been conducted by the UALR Sequoyah National Research Center (SNRC).

The SNRC recently opened an exhibit entitled “Toy Tipis and Totem Poles: Native American Stereotypes in the Lives of Children.”

"Ten Little Indians" spinning top for SNRC exhibit

Ten little Indians spinning top; Photography by George Chambers

The exhibit runs through Dec. 19. Held in the Dr. J.W. Wiggins Native American Art Gallery, the purpose of the event is to create awareness of the variety of native cultures and the achievements of contemporary American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The exhibit comes from the Hirschfelder-Molin Native American Stereotypes Collection, a collection of more than 1,500 museum objects and archival documents, possibly the largest such collection in the world.

The items were donated to SNRC in 2012 by Arlene Hirschfelder and Paulette Molin, professional educators and authors with decades-long experience in Native American education and Native American studies. SNRC archivist Erin Fehr will curate the exhibit with Hirschfelder, Molin, and SNRC staff.

The exhibit will highlight the areas of the collection dealing with children and Native American stereotypes omnipresent in the lives of American children.

By examining childhood objects – dolls, toys, books, games, clothing, sports memorabilia – the exhibit will create awareness of the inculcation of the images and the difficulty of changing mainstream thinking about Native American stereotypes.

In addition to presenting the stereotypes themselves, positive images and responses from Native people will be presented as an alternative.

UALR’s Sequoyah National Research Center is dedicated to the collection and preservation of all forms of Native American expression. Located in the University Plaza, SNRC has served as an archive for Native Americans for more than 30 years. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information contact Erin Fehr at or 501.569.8336.

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Final Weeks to Visit Wilmot Ark at the Arkansas Arts Center

Susan Paulsen, Wilmot, 2011, photograph, courtesy of the artist

Susan Paulsen, Wilmot, 2011, photograph, courtesy of the artist

Wilmot is a little town in Ashley County, in southeast Arkansas. . . .A few years ago, Susan Paulsen set out to tell a kind of story, to chronicle a place in Arkansas through evocative photographs taken there over the course of many visits, in all seasons of the year. . . . Together, they form a picture of a place. For the artist, that place has a personal importance—part of her family comes from there, and for generations it has been a kind of homing place for them. Through her photographs of this particular place, she wants, as she has said, to make a sort of poem about all such places; to find commonalities among these individuals and people in other places. Her goal, from the outset, has been to evoke all the Wilmots, wherever they might be. But still there is this town, these people. . .”  -

From the essay by George T. M. Shackelford, Susan Paulsen: Wilmot.

The evocative visual poetry of Susan Paulsen: Wilmot comes to the Arkansas Arts Center in the form of more than 70 photographic prints and groupings of photographs that she took in Wilmot, Arkansas between 1995 and 2012. Most spectacularly, one large wall is covered by a grid of 90 photographs. Susan Paulsen: Wilmot was organized by Maison européenne de la photographie, Paris. The images are coming home to Arkansas for their American debut.

They will be on view in the Townsend Wolfe Gallery until September 28, 2014.

Sponsored by:

Brenda Mize
June and Edmond Freeman

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Cast members from MEMPHIS to perform at Lobby Bar tonight

lobbybarThe cast of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of MEMPHIS is extremely talented.  In addition to displaying their talents on stage at the Rep, the performers will be showcasing their talent tonight in another downtown venue.  

The Lobby Bar will host a cabaret performance tonight featuring members of the cast.  Mark Binns, music director for MEMPHIS will be the accompanist.  The evening will features showtunes as well as standards.

There is not cover charge or admission charge.

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Little Rock Look Back: Charles E. Taylor, LR’s 42nd Mayor

Mayor TaylorOn September 15, 1868, future Little Rock Mayor Charles E. Taylor was born in Austin, Mississippi.  After locating to eastern Arkansas, his family moved to Little Rock around 1880.

Taylor graduated from Scott Street High School in Little Rock and proceeded to work for various hardware stores and other businesses.  In 1895 he married Belle Blackwood, with whom he would have four children.

In 1910, Taylor announced his intention to run for Mayor of Little Rock.  Though he had never held elective office, he had been involved in several civic organizations.  Taylor was the main challenger to Alderman John Tuohey.  Seen as a reformer, Taylor initially lost to Tuohey.  But after an investigation of voter fraud and a subsequent runoff, Taylor was elected Mayor.

Upon taking office in August 1911, Mayor Taylor focused on improving health conditions in the city, upgrading the fire department and enhancing the overall moral tone of the city.

As a progressive of the era, he fought against gambling, drinking and prostitution.  He created a Health Department and enhanced the City Hospital.  His efforts led to a decrease in the death rate in Little Rock.  As Mayor, Taylor introduced motorized vehicles to the Fire Department.  He also led the City Council to establish building and electrical codes.  Mayor Taylor also oversaw the construction of the 1913 Beaux Arts Central Fire Stations (which today serves as the City Hall West Wing).

Under his leadership, the City of Little Rock annexed Pulaski Heights. One of the selling points to Pulaski Heights residents was Mayor Taylor’s ability to provide modern services such as paved streets, water mains, fire hydrants and street lights.

Though neither his 1911 Parks Master Plan nor his dreams for a civic auditorium came to fruition, they paved the way for future successes in both of those areas.

Funding for projects continued to be a problem throughout Mayor Taylor’s four terms in office.  He believed that one obstacle to city funding was the prohibition by the state constitution against cities issuing bonds.  Though that ban has since been lifted, Taylor tried three times unsuccessfully to get it changed while he was Mayor.

In April 1919, Taylor left office after having served eight years.  He was the longest serving Mayor of Little Rock until Jim Dailey served in the 1990s and 2000s.  Following several business ventures, Taylor moved to Pine Bluff and led their chamber of commerce from 1923 through 1930.

Mayor Charles E. Taylor died in Pine Bluff in 1932. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.

During his time in office, Mayor Taylor was presented with an unofficial flag of Little Rock by a group of citizens.  During Mayor Dailey’s tenure, that flag was restored by some private citizens and presented to the City.  It is framed on the 2nd Floor of Little Rock City Hall.


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