Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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Culture Turkey – Herb Mignery’s LORD FEATHERWICK

DSCF9009Happy Thanksgiving. Today’s entry comes from the Culture Turkey, not the Culture Vulture.

One of the newest sculptures in Riverfront Park is “Lord Featherwick” by Herb Mignery. It is sited near the Belvedere in the park.

“Lord Featherwick” is part of Mignery’s anthropomorphic series.  It whimsically depicts a turkey with a top hat, jacket, spats, umbrella and monacle.

He is probably very relieved to have made it through another Thanksgiving.

 


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Tonight at South on Main – Bonnie Montgomery headlines Local Live concert

Bonnie MJoin the Oxford American magazine and Landers FIAT of Benton at South on Main this week for the free Local Live music series, featuring Bonnie Montgomery and Friends! Call ahead and make a reservation to ensure your seat.

Arkansas born and bred Bonnie Montgomery is a classically trained composer and oprea singer by day and country queen by night. Briging her raucous spin on traditional Southern music to the U.S. and Europe, Bonnie’s catalog hails from a place where outlaw country saddles up with Americana and folk. In July, she released her first full length album, Bonnie Montgomery, and is currently touring with her Arkansas/Austin-based band.

 


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FREE Arkansas Symphony concert today at UAMS

ASO_revThe Ruth Allen UAMS Series takes place from time to time at UAMS and is free.  This afternoon at 4:30pm will be the latest concert in the series.

The musicians today will be Violin/Harp duo: Drew Irvin, Co-Concert Master of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Alisa Coffey, Principal Harp of the ASO.

Bela Bartok: Rumanian Folk Dances
Camille Saint Saens: Fantasie for Violin and Harp, Op. 24
Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel
Gaetano Donizetti: Larghetto and Allegro for Violin and Harp
Vittorio Monti: Czardas
Jules Massenat: Meditation from Thais

As always, the concert is free and everyone is invited. It should be a nice way to start the holiday season. We look forward to seeing you there.

Here are the directions for the concert:

From Markham, turn south onto Hooper St.
Follow signs to Parking Lot 1.
Enter the lot, which goes underground.
Take the elevator to the “top” of the parking Lot 1, which immediately adjoins the back side of the lobby.
The Music Room is at the west end of the lobby, behind the grand piano.


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“Say What?” as Tales from the South returns to Stickyz tonight

talesfromthesouthThere are times in all of our lives when we want to do a double-take, scratch our heads, and/or utter “Say What?”

Tonight, Tales from the South returns to Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack with stories about experiences just like that.

The featured storytellers include Bill Scott and Jennifer Winningham,.  Live music is provided by The Salty Dogs and bluesman Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Doors open for dinner, socializing at 5 pm; Live music at 6 pm; Dinner available for purchase until the kitchen closes at 6:30.  Show starts at 7 pm Tickets $10 (show only).

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on December 18.


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Little Rock Look Back: Horace Knowlton, LR’s 46th Mayor

IMG_3227On this date in 1872, future Little Rock Mayor Horace A. Knowlton Jr. was born.

In April 1920, he was elected City Clerk of Little Rock.  He served in that position until April 1931.  That year, he was chosen as the Democratic nominee for Mayor, denying incumbent Mayor Pat L. Robinson a second term.  The primary race against Mayor Robinson was close.  When the results were first announced, it looked as if Mayor Robinson had prevailed.  But after challenging ballots, Mr. Knowlton was declared the winner.  Since Little Rock was primarily a Democratic Party city, unsurprisingly Mr. Knowlton was elected Mayor in April 1931 and served two terms as Mayor.

He oversaw the start of some of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs in Arkansas during his tenure.  In 1934, he negotiated the purchase of Gillam Park for the City which established the first public park in Little Rock for African Americans.  This was a very forward-thinking action at the time.  One of his final acts as Mayor was to participate in the groundbreaking for the Museum of Fine Arts building in City Park (now a portion of the Arkansas Arts Center building in MacArthur Park).

Following his departure from public office, Mayor Knowlton and his wife (who had been an elementary school teacher) eventually moved to Florida and resided in the Tampa Bay area.  His son and grandson (Horace III and Horace IV) have both been lawyers in the Tampa Bay area.  Mayor Knowlton died on February 14, 1965 and is buried in the Oak Grove cemetery in Conway.


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Commemorate Native American Heritage Month at Historic Arkansas Museum

HAMCollectionHeadPotNovember is Native American Heritage Month.  It’s a great time of year to visit Historic Arkansas Museum and explore their permanent exhibit “We Walk In Two Worlds: The Caddo, Osage and Quapaw in Arkansas.”

And remember – Admission to the galleries at Historic Arkansas Museum is FREE!

This exhibit tells the story of Arkansas’s first people–the Caddo, Osage and Quapaw Indian tribes–from early times to today. More than 150 objects, such as pottery, clothing and weapons, are on display.

The exhibit has six thematic areas that are arranged chronologically.  Along with objects and a historical timeline are passages of relevant research from archeologists, historians and ethnographers.

Throughout the exhibit, is the dominant presence of the Native American voice, from each of Arkansas’s three prominent tribes. During the two years of exhibit development, many tribal members were interviewed and it is this voice that informs, educates and guides visitors through the exhibit. Historic Arkansas Museum chief curator and deputy director Swannee Bennett said, “What makes this exhibit unique is that it is a story of the Arkansas Native American told in large part with an Indian voice.”

This permanent exhibit enables the museum to tell the bigger story of Arkansas’s frontier history. “We Walk in Two Worlds is a milestone as the State of Arkansas officially partners with the Caddo, Osage and Quapaw Nations and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to tell this story of struggle and endurance.” said museum director Bill Worthen.


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Little Rock Look Back: Charles P. Bertrand, LR’s 21st Mayor

Bertra1Two hundred and six years ago today, on November 23, 1808, future Mayor Charles P. Bertrand was born in New York.  He was the son of Pierre and Eliza Wilson Bertrand; his father died in 1809 in an uprising in Haiti and his mother eventually remarried.  With her new husband, Dr. Matthew Cunningham, she and the family moved to Little Rock in 1820.

After apprenticing with family friend William Woodruff at the Arkansas Gazette, Bertrand opened the Arkansas Advocate newspaper.  He later studied law under Robert Crittenden and entered the legal profession.

In 1835-1836, he served as State Treasurer for the Arkansas Territory, and in 1836 as secretary for the first constitutional convention. He was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1840-1841 and 1844-1849.

Bertrand followed in his stepfather’s footsteps and became Mayor of Little Rock.  (Dr. Cunningham had been the first Little Rock Mayor in 1831.)  He was in office from January 1855 through January 1857, serving two one-year terms.  He later served on the City Council and filled in as acting mayor. (Another influence on his upbringing was studying under future Mayor Jesse Brown who taught at the first school in Little Rock.)

Bertrand, as acting mayor, was involved in the negotiations of the surrender of Little Rock to federal troops in 1863.  He also later corresponded with President Lincoln on behalf of Little Rock citizens.  Though a staunch Confederate, his good will toward the Union soldiers and federal officials is credited with helping to save Little Rock from the destruction which befell many other Southern cities.  He is also credited with delaying the start of the Civil War.  Prior to the attack on Fort Sumner, members of the Arkansas Militia were planning to attack the Federal Arsenal at Little Rock during the absence of Governor Rector.  This would have been viewed as an act of war.  Bertrand was able to dissuade them from the attack.  Had he been unsuccessful, the Civil War would have likely started in Arkansas instead of South Carolina.

He had put his considerable fortune into Confederate money during the war. At the Civil War’s conclusion, the family was financially ruined. Though they had vast land holdings, those would be sold off in parcels to pay for taxes.

Bertrand died August 27, 1865, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War.  He, like his mother, step-father, and several other relatives, is buried in Mt. Holly Cemetery.

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