Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

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FANTASTIC MR FOX today at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

Fantastic_mr_foxToday at 2pm at the Ron Robinson Theatre, the animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox will be shown on the big screen. Admission is $5.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 American stop-motion animated film based on the Roald Dahl novel. The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox’s theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes’ home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.

Development on the film started in 2004, but it was released in autumn 2009.  It features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody.  The film’s director, Wes Anderson, also voiced one of the characters.  This was Anderson’s first animated film.

The film was nominated for two Oscars: Best Animated Film and Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat).


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Final weekend for CAT IN THE HAT at Ark. Arts Center Children’s Theatre

IMG_5568Today and tomorrow at 2pm are the final two days to CATch the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre presentation of The Cat in the Hat.

“One of the most familiar and beloved picture books of the last half century will erupt with fun on the Children’s Theatre stage,” said Todd Herman, executive director of the Arkansas Arts Center.

“Young audiences and those young at heart will be transported into the world they’ve always imagined while seeing the classic book come to life.”

It’s a rainy day with nothing to do. Sally and her brother are miserable. Bored. Simply dying for fun. Then bump! Something quite unexpected. You guessed it. It’s a cat. In a hat. In fact, it’s the Cat in the Hat, and he’s just in time to show the kids a thing or two about fun. It’s just a matter of know-how, you know. So don’t listen to that fish! Jump in! The water’s fine! Just don’t tell mom!

The cast for The Cat in the Hat includes:

  • Ben Gibson of Little Rock as Boy
  • Sharon Combs of New York, N.Y., as Sally
  • Courtney Bennett of Little Rock as Cat
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Fish
  • Aleigha Morton of Beebe as Kitten 1/Thing 1
  • Lauren Linton of Memphis as Kitten 2/Thing 2

Bradley Anderson is the artistic director and Katie Campbell is the show director. Costumes are designed by Erin Larkin; technical direction by Drew Posey; lighting design by Penelope Poppers; properties and set design by Miranda Young and Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager.

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre presenting sponsor is Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the season sponsor is Dr. Loren Bartole, ‘Family Footcare’.

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

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Jazz in the Park returns Wednesday evenings in April in Riverfront Park

jazzinparkJazz in the Park kicks off its third year in April.  It comes back better than ever through a new partnership with Art Porter Music Education!

Art Porter Music Education, Inc. (APME) continues its mission of keeping the musical legacies of local jazz statesman Art Porter, Sr. and his son, renowned saxophonist Art Porter, Jr. alive with community enrichment opportunities, volunteerism, and the awarding of scholarships. Through music, APME works to enhance education by helping students improve reading, language and mathematical skills. The partnership with the River Market to support Jazz in the Park, a free, family-friendly event featuring jazz in downtown Little Rock, is a natural fit for both organizations.

The concerts will be every Wednesday in April from 6pm to 8pm in the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park.

This year’s lineup features:

  • April 1 – Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers
  • April 8 – Jazz R Us
  • April 15 – New Era Jazz Project
  • April 22 – Stellar Way
  • April 29 – John Burnette Band

The closest entry point to the History Pavilion is Ottenheimer Drive off of President Clinton Avenue.

In case of rain, the River Market West Pavilion will be the alternate location for the event.

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 Art Porter Music Education, Inc.’s scholarship fund.  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.

For more information about Art Porter Music Education, visit

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Arkansas native, FERC Commissioner – the Honorable Colette Honorable speaks today at Clinton Center

coletteArkansan Colette Honorable was confirmed as a Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and sworn in earlier this year.  Today at noon at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, she makes her first speech in Arkansas since assuming this new position.

Prior to serving as a FERC Commissioner, she served on the Arkansas Public Service Commission.  From January 2011 until January 2015, she was chair of the PSC.  As Chairman of the Arkansas PSC, Commissioner Honorable oversaw an agency charged with ensuring safe, reliable and affordable retail electric service. She participated in rate case proceedings, plant acquisitions, transmission buildout applications, regional transmission efforts and other transactions to ensure the reliability of the Arkansas grid and diversity in generation in the state. During Commissioner Honorable’s time at the PSC, Arkansas led the South and Southeast in comprehensive energy efficiency programs, and electric rates were consistently among the lowest in the nation.

Her remarks today are entitled “The Clean Power Plan and the Evolving Power Grid.”

FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects.

Honorable is past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and is known by her peers as a fair, pragmatic, moderate and hardworking leader who is able to build consensus across party lines for common goals. Honorable represented NARUC on an array of issues ranging from pipeline safety to reliability and resilience efforts, and diversity. She testified before Congress on multiple occasions and advocated for infrastructure development to ensure safety and efficiency, increased reliability and resilience efforts, and diversity of energy and the energy workforce.

A native of Arkansas, she is a graduate of the University of Memphis and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.

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Women’s History Month Throw Back Thursday: Mount Holly Cemetery Association

Mt Holly ProfileThe Mount Holly Cemetery is a treasure trove of history, architecture and horticulture on the edge of downtown Little Rock.

It was established in 1843 when Chester Ashley and Roswell Beebe donated the land to the city of Little Rock. Feeling the town fathers were not giving the cemetery the attention it deserved, a group of Little Rock businessmen formed a cemetery commission on March 20, 1877. Charter members of the commission were J. H. Haney, Fay Hempstead, James Austin Henry, Philo O. Hooper, and Frederick Kramer. However the private group of men did no better in maintaining the cemetery.

In 1914, a contingent of the town’s women became critical of the cemetery’s unkempt appearance and took over the reins from the men. Following adoption of City Ordinance No. 2199 in June 1915, the ladies’ Mount Holly Cemetery Association was incorporated on July 20, 1915. (It should be noted this action by the women came at a time when women did not have the right to vote.)

The Mount Holly Cemetery Association grew out of a meeting which took place on June 9, 1914 at the home of Mrs. A. H. Scott. Thirty-six women gathered for the purpose of improving the cemetery.

An executive committee was formed, and the women started working on improvements to the cemetery. Though first viewed by some men as an auxiliary to the Cemetery Commission, it quickly became apparent that the women were in no mood to take a back seat in matters pertaining to Mount Holly.

The first executive board (from June 1914 to July 1915) included Mrs. A. H. Scott, Mrs. B. S. Johnson, Mrs. George Thornburgh, Mrs. Moorhead Wright, Mrs. H. M. Bennett, Mrs. George Worthen, Mrs. W. E. Green, Mrs. George Stratman, Miss Louise Gibson and Miss Clara Hotze.

The July 1915 incorporators were Mrs. Scott as well as Julia E. Bennett, Eva C. Shields, Rosa M. Miller, Ruby P. Ratcliffe and Marguerite R. English. Mrs. Bennett, known affectionately as “Scrap” would serve as the first president, and Miss Miller was the first secretary.

Over the years the Association has undertaken countless projects large (construction of a mausoleum) and small (signs on the lanes) to improve Mount Holly Cemetery for its residents and for visitors.

In 1993, the Association published a history of the first 150 years of the cemetery.  More recently, they launched the annual RIP (Rest in Perpetuity) picnic held the last Sunday in April on the grounds.  They have also published a cookbook–Recipes in Perpetuity.

Today, the Mount Holly Cemetery Association is still going strong!

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Free ASO concert at Capital Hotel tonight with Rockefeller Quartet


Musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will be performing this evening in the lobby of the historic Capital Hotel. The music will start at 5:15 pm.

The concert will feature the Rockefeller Quartet.  Members of the quartet will introduce the pieces to be performed.

  • Haydn: String Quartet No. 39 in F#, Op. 50 No. 4: Andante and Minuet
  • Mendelssohn: String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80 Allegro, Vivace Assai and Allegro Assai
  • Monti: Csardas
  • McLean: “Fandango”

Unlike concerts in music halls, guests here are encouraged to bring drinks to their seats or to stand and move around while the musicians are playing.  It is a relaxed, informal atmosphere where the audience and musicians alike are able to interact with each other.

In 2011, the ASO started these free concerts in the lobby of the Capital Hotel.  The marble and tile of this historic lobby provide a wonderful acoustic backdrop for the musicians.

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The Science of Paleontology at tonight’s Museum of Discovery “Science After Dark”

0315 science after darkEach month the Museum of Discovery hosts “Science after Dark” for adults aged 21 and up.  This month’s theme is “Science of Paleontology.”

Adults may not get spring break, but tonight is a chance to feel like a student again by learning fun facts about dinosaurs and fossils. And this time, you can learn about science while drinking a beer!

Here’s what you can expect at tonight’s month’s Science After Dark:

  • Dr. Joe Daniel will answer fossil questions
  • The museum’s new dinosaur exhibit will be highlighted
  • A lot of fun exploring the museum and it’s interactive exhibits

Beer sold by Stone’s Throw Brewery and the aptly named Fossil Cove brewing; pizza by the slice sold by new MOD neighbor Damgoode Pies.

The program runs from 6pm to 9pm. Cost is $5, FREE for museum members. (Go ahead and get a membership, it will more than pay for itself within a year!)


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