Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

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Go “Behind the Theme” tonight at Arkansas Rep before next month’s THE LITTLE MERMAID

LittleMermaidTonight, Monday, November 23, join the Arkansas Rep for its new event series, Behind the Theme, for a discussion of  The Origin of Fairy Tales!

The Little Mermaid is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s folktale of the same name.  Before you plunge into the colorful depths of the Rep’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, UCA professor Jay Ruud will lead a discussion on Tolkien’s theory on the nature of myth and ‘fairy-stories.’ Find out where fairy tales originated and how they’ve become the stories we know and love today. 

Monday, November 23, 6 p.m.

Foster’s, located on the first mezzanine

FREE and open to the public

Cash bar available

Please RSVP to Allyson Gattin

501.378.0445 ext. 125 |

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Music inspired by Shakespeare focus of program with youth divisions of ASO and Ballet Arkansas

ballet_and_ASOYEThe future of the arts is on display tonight in downtown Little Rock at the Albert Pike Memorial Temple at 7:30pm

The Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and Ballet Arkansas Preparatory Program present their annual partnership and a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  The music comes from musical works adapted from Shakespeare’s plays.

The program includes music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Bernstein’s West Side Story and Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” ASYO is the premier ensemble of the Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles Program.


For the 3rd consecutive year, the dancers from Ballet Arkansas’ Preparatory Program under the direction of Kim Nygren Cox join the members of the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra under the direction of Geoffrey Robson for a joint performance.

Don’t miss this delighful collaboration! $20 General Admission, $10 for Students


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New book EMPIRE OF COTTON focus of Clinton School lecture

In “Empire of Cotton,” Sven Beckert tells the epic story of the rise and fall of the cotton industry, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities.

“Empire of Cotton” weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist. The book won the Bancroft Award, The Philip Taft Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Sven Beckert is an American historian and Laird Bell professor of American History at Harvard University, with a particular emphasis on the history of capitalism, including its economic, social, political, and transnational dimensions.

The program starts at 6pm tonight at the Clinton School of Public Service.

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Four Elections which shaped 20th Century focus of Clinton School lecture tonight

Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections that Shaped the Twentieth Century

6pm, November 16 – Clinton School Sturgis Hall

In her book, “Pivotal Tuesdays,” Margaret O’Mara looks back at four pivotal presidential elections of the past 100 years to show how they shaped the twentieth century. Exploring personalities, critical moments, and surprises of the elections of 1912, 1932, 1968, and 1992, this book shows how elections are windows into changing economic times and how history is made when ordinary people cast their ballots. A book signing will follow.

Margaret O’Mara is an associate professor of History at the University of Washington in Seattle, specializing in the political and economic history of the twentieth century United States. Her research and writing focuses on the history of the high-tech industry, the history of American politics, and the connections between the two. In addition to her academic work, she has collaborated with government, business, and civic organizations on a range of projects exploring how innovation drives growth and change.

Special Tales from the South tonight at Wildwood with Nancy Nolan and friends

talesfromsouthWildwood welcomes Tales from the South and a Tin Roof Project featuring Nancy Nolan this Tuesday, November 10th. The event includes a Community Conversation featuring exhibiting artist Nancy Nolan, Dave Anderson, Park Lanford, and Ken Clark of Chenal Family Therapy. Live music will be performed by Joshua Asante, lead singer in Amasa Hines and Velvet Kente bands.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

6pm:  Dinner with Music performed by Joshua Asante (Amasa Hines, Velvet Kente)

7pm:  Storytelling by Nancy Nolan

7:30:  Community Conversation   

To purchase tickets, click here.

$15 General – Storytelling & Community Conversation Only 

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell.“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. 

Little Rock Look Back: Adolphine Fletcher Terry

Photos from the collection of the Butler Center

Photos from the collection of the Butler Center

Adolphine Fletcher Terry was born on November 3, 1882 to former Little Rock Mayor John Gould Fletcher and his wife Adolphine Krause Fletcher.

Raised in Little Rock, in 1889 she moved into the Albert Pike House on East 7th Street, when her aunt transferred the title to her father. That house would be her primary residence the rest of her life.  Her sister Mary Fletcher Drennan never lived in Arkansas as an adult after marriage. Her brother John Gould Fletcher spent much of his adulthood in Europe before returning to Little Rock and establishing his own house, Johnswood.

At age 15, Adolphine attended Vassar. She later credited that experience as broadening her views on many issues.  After graduating at age 19, she returned to Little Rock.  Her parents both died prior to her 1910 wedding to David D. Terry, which took place at what was then known as the Pike-Fletcher House (and today is known as the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House).

She is perhaps best known today for establishing the Women’s Emergency Committee in 1958 and for her subsequent deeding of the family house to the City for use by the Arkansas Arts Center.  But her entire life was based on civic engagement.

She was instrumental in establishing the first juvenile court system in Arkansas and helped form the first school improvement association in the state. She was long an advocate for libraries, serving 40 years on the Little Rock public library board.  Through her leadership, the library opened its doors to African Americans in the early 1950s. Today a branch of the Central Arkansas Library System (the successor the Little Rock public library) is named after her.  Another branch is named after her Pulitzer Prize winning brother.

Adolphine formed the Little Rock chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Pulaski County tuberculosis association and the Community Chest.

In 1958, when the Little Rock public high schools were closed instead of allowing them to be desegregated again, she called Harry Ashmore the editor of the Gazette and exclaimed, “the men have failed us…it’s time to call out the women.”  With this, she formed the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools. This group played a major role in getting the four high schools open the following year.

From 1933 to 1942, David Terry served in the U.S. Congress. During that time, Adolphine alternated her time between Washington DC and Little Rock. But she spent much time in Little Rock raising her five children.

After her husband’s death in 1963, she continued to remain active in civic affairs. In the 1960’s, she and her sister deeded the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House to the City of Little Rock for use by the Arkansas Arts Center upon both their deaths.  Following Adolphine Fletcher Terry’s death in 1976, Mary turned over the title to the City.

Adolphine Fletcher Terry is buried in Mount Holly Cemetery alongside her husband. Three of her children are also buried in that plot.  Her parents and brother are buried in a nearby plot.

Her son William Terry and his wife Betty continue to be active in Little Rock. Their daughters and their families also carry on Adolphine Fletcher Terry’s commitment to making Little Rock better.

Little Rock Look Back: J. N. Heiskell

At the age of 87, J. N. Heiskell in 1960.

At the age of 87, J. N. Heiskell in 1960.

John Netherland (J. N.) Heiskell served as editor of the Arkansas Gazette for more than seventy years.

He was born on November 2, 1872, in Rogersville, Tennessee, to Carrick White Heiskell and Eliza Ayre Netherland Heiskell. He entered the University of Tennessee at Knoxville before his eighteenth birthday and graduated in three years at the head of his class on June 7, 1893.

His early journalism career included jobs with newspapers in Knoxville and Memphis and with the Associated Press in Chicago and Louisville. On June 17, 1902, Heiskell’s family bought controlling interest in the Arkansas Gazette. Heiskell became the editor, and his brother, Fred, became managing editor.

Governor George Donaghey appointed Heiskell to succeed Jeff Davis in the United States Senate after Davis’s death in office. Heiskell served from January 6, 1913, until January 29, 1913, when a successor was elected.

On June 28, 1910, Heiskell married Wilhelmina Mann, daughter of the nationally prominent architect, George R. Mann. The couple had four children: Elizabeth, Louise, John N. Jr., and Carrick.

In 1907, he joined a successful effort to build the city’s first public library. He served on the library board from that year until his death and was issued the first library card.  He also served on the City’s Planning Commission for decades.

In 1912, he was instrumental in bringing John Nolen to Little Rock to devise a park plan. Heiskell was also largely responsible for the location of Robinson Auditorium. When City Council members had competing locations, he advocated for the corner of Markham and Broadway. And kept at it until the site was selected.

In the paper and in his own personal opinions, he crusaded on a variety of progressive causes.  Perhaps the most famous was the Gazette’s stance in the 1957 Central High desegregation crisis.  It was for this effort that the paper received two Pulitzer Prizes.

Although Heiskell stopped going to the office at age ninety-nine, he continued to take an active interest in the newspaper. He began by having a copy of the newspaper delivered to his home by messenger as soon as it came off the press each night. Eventually, he switched to having his secretary call him daily at his home and read the entire newspaper to him. He operated on the premise that “anyone who runs a newspaper needs to know what’s in it, even to the classified ads.”

A few weeks after turning 100, Heiskell died of congestive heart failure brought on by arteriosclerosis on December 28, 1972. He is buried in Little Rock’s Mount Holly Cemetery.  Interestingly, he is buried in the same cemetery as two of his most notable adversaries: Governor Jeff Davis, and segregationist Congressman Dale Alford.


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