Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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Little Rock Look Back: Little Rock Public Library opens in 1910

On February 2, 1910, the Little Rock Public Library officially opened its doors.  There had been an open house the night before, but this was the first day of acquiring a library card and checking out books.

Various private libraries had existed sporadically in Little Rock throughout the 19th Century.  In November 1900, a Little Rock School District committee made the first inquiry into the the creation of a Carnegie Library in Little Rock.  Over the next several years, numerous entreaties were made, but funding for the City’s portion was an obstacle.  On December 17, 1906, the Little Rock City Council passed an ordinance to move forward with building, furnishing and equipping a library.  Finally, in February 1908, the City approved acceptance of $88,100 from Andrew Carnegie.  The building would be designed by Edward Tilton, who designed Carnegie libraries, working with local architect Charles Thompson.

Mary Maud Pugsley was hired as the first librarian for Little Rock in May 1909. She began her duties on September 15, 1909, in order to get ready for the opening of the library at the southwest corner of 7th and Louisiana Streets.

On February 2, 1910, formal circulation of books began.  J. N. Heiskell was issued library card number 1.  He was secretary of the Library’s Board of Trustees and had long been an advocate for a public library in Little Rock.  He had often used his bully pulpit as editor of the Arkansas Gazette to advocate for a public library since arriving in Little Rock in 1902.  (Years later — he lived until 1972 — he received a replica of the library card made out of gold.)

That first day of operation, 500 people had applied for library cards. The application process required one to be a Little Rock property owner or to have a property owner sign the application.

Within the first year of operation, 2.5% of Little Rock’s population of 45,951 had applied for a library card.

For more on the history of the transformation of the Little Rock Public Library into the Central Arkansas Library System, read Shirley Schuette and Nathania Sawyer’s From Carnegie to Cyberspace — 100 Years at the Central Arkansas Library System, published by Butler Center Books.


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And the 2016 Ellie for General Excellence in Literature, Science and Politics goes to THE OXFORD AMERICAN!

2e6b4_1320267846-oxa_logoOn February 1, at a ceremony in New York City, the Oxford American received some very good news: They won the 2016 Ellie – National Magazine Award in General Excellence! 

The OA was recognized in the Literature, Science and Politics category.  The other nominees were Aperture; Foreign Affairs; Nautilus; Poetery; and Virginia Quarterly Review.
Honors smaller-circulation general-interest magazines as well as publications covering the arts.

 

This is the Oxford American’s thirteenth National Magazine Award nomination since the magazine’s founding in 1992, and their first for General Excellence since 1999.  The award recognized both the efforts of former editor Roger Hodge and current editor Eliza Borné and the OA staff.
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the awards.
Other winners of the evening were:

General Excellence

  • News, Sports and Entertainment – New York
  • Service and Lifestyle – Lucky Peach
  • Special Interest – The Hollywood Reporter

Design – Wired
Photography – The California Sunday Magazine
Single-Topic Issue – Bloomberg Businessweek for “Code: An Essay,” June 15-28
Website – New York
Multimedia – New York for “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,”
Video – Vice News for “Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s Army Checks In to Ukraine
Public Interest – BuzzFeed News for “The New American Slavery,” and “All You Americans Are Fired,” by Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine,
Personal Service – FamilyFun for “The Happy Family Playbook,” by Jennifer King Lindley
Leisure Interests – Eater for “The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World
Magazine Section – New York for “The Culture Pages”
Reporting – Matter for “My Nurses Are Dead and I Don’t Know If I’m Already Infected,” by Joshua Hammer
Feature Writing – The New Yorker for “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz
Feature Photography – Politico for “Front Row at the Political Theater,” photographs by Mark Peterson
Essays and Criticism – Esquire for “The Friend,” by Matthew Teague
Columns and Commentary – The Intercept for three “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison” columns by Barrett Brown: “Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels,” “A Visit to the Sweat Lodge,” and “Santa Muerte, Full of Grace.”
Fiction – Zoetrope: All-Story for “The Grozny Tourist Bureau,” by Anthony Marra
Magazine of the Year – The Atlantic

The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for magazine journalists in the United States. The members of ASME include the editorial leaders of most major consumer and business magazines published in print and on digital platforms. Founded in 1963, ASME works to defend the First Amendment, protect editorial independence and support the development of journalism. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards in association with the Columbia Journalism School and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.


Oxford American nominated for 2016 National Magazine Award!

2e6b4_1320267846-oxa_logoLast week the Oxford American received some very good news: They were nominated for a 2016 National Magazine Award in General Excellence! 

This is the Oxford American’s thirteenth National Magazine Award nomination since the magazine’s founding in 1992, and their first for General Excellence since 1999.
Editor Eliza Borné and the OA staff are proud to be recognized among many other wonderful publications, and were grateful for our amazing writers, artists, contributors, and dedicated readers.
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards when each of the 114 finalists is honored at the annual awards dinner on Monday, February 1, at the Grand Hyatt New York.
The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for magazine journalists in the United States. The members of ASME include the editorial leaders of most major consumer and business magazines published in print and on digital platforms. Founded in 1963, ASME works to defend the First Amendment, protect editorial independence and support the development of journalism. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards in association with the Columbia Journalism School and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.


Little Rock Look Back: Mayor Webb Hubbell

Mayor HubbellOn January 18, 1948, future Little Rock Mayor Webster “Webb” Hubbell was born. After playing football in high school, he played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.  He also received his law degree from the U of A.

At the age of 30, already a successful attorney, Hubbell was appointed to the Little Rock City Board of Directors to fill a vacancy in September 1978.  In 1980, he was elected to a four year term on the City Board.

In June 1979, there was a vacancy in the office of Mayor of Little Rock.  Hubbell was selected by his fellow City Directors to serve as Mayor until December 1980.  In January 1981, he was selected to serve another term as Mayor.  In June 1981, he stepped down as Mayor but continued to serve on the City Board of Directors.

In 1984, Hubbell was appointed to serve as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court to finish out the term of Richard B. Adkisson.  Following his service on the court, he returned to the practice of law at the Rose Law Firm.  He later served as the Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration.

Hubbell resigned from the Justice Department due to an investigation related to Whitewater.  He has been an author and management consultant.  His novel, When Men Betray, was published by Beaufort Books in May 2014.  His next novel Ginger Snaps was released in May 2015.  A Game of Inches, another mystery novel, will be released in 2016.


Senator David Pryor in conversation with Skip Rutherford at today’s Legacies & Lunch

CALS PryorLegacies & Lunch: Senator David Pryor
Senator David Pryor, founding dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, will be interviewed by Skip Rutherford, current dean of the Clinton School. Topics will include Pryor’s interest in history including his founding of the Pryor Center at the University of Arkansas, his life in politics, and his work at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics at Harvard and at the Clinton School.  Senator Pryor will also discuss his late colleague Senator Dale Bumpers.

The conversation will take place today, January 6, at 12 noon at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

Pryor is the only person in Arkansas political history to have served in the Arkansas State Legislature, the United States House of Representatives, as governor of Arkansas, and in the U.S. Senate.
As a student at the University of Arkansas, Rutherford supported Pryor in his 1972 U.S. Senate campaign against Senator John McClellan. When Pryor was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978, Rutherford joined his staff and served there for almost six years. When Pryor stepped down as dean of the Clinton School in 2006, Rutherford succeeded him.
Legacies & Lunch is free, open to the public, and sponsored in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided.
They are expecting a large turnout for Legacies & Lunch . Parking at the CALS Main Library campus, where the Ron Robinson Theater is located, is very limited. Please plan to arrive early to allow ample time for parking and walking to the theater. Attendees may park for $2/hour per vehicle at the River Market Parking Deck, 500 East 2nd Street, which is operated by the City of Little Rock. This is the closest paid parking option. Attendees may also park for free at the Clinton School of Public Service and walk to the theater (approx. 0.5 mile, 10-15 min. walking distance).


15 Highlights of 2015 – Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter led panel at Clinton Presidential Center

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter addressing the audience. Photo by James Doyle

On October 21, 2015, Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter and a distinguished panel of Arkansas educators and artistic directors discussed national trends in teaching the arts and humanities, while exploring new ways to give Arkansas schools access to combined national and local resources.

While no single cultural institution in Arkansas can match the reach & multi-disciplinary offerings of The Kennedy Center, Little Rock and Arkansas have many of the same resources distributed across multiple institutions. Educators and arts advocates from across the state participated in this very important conversation about the transformation of arts and humanities education in Arkansas through deeper collaboration between these institutions.
The program included two engaging panels.
Educator Discussion Panelists
  • Joy Pennington ( Moderator ), Executive Director, Arkansas Arts Council
  • Zinse Aggine, Teaching Artist and Musician
  • Jama Best, Senior Program Officer, Arkansas Humanities Council
  • Dr. Jeff Grubbs, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Lana Hallmark, Fine Arts Coordinator, Arkansas Department of Education
  • Melanie Landum, Executive Director, Arkansas A+ Schools
  • Dr. Lenore Shoults, Executive Director, The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
Institution Discussion Panelists
  • Dr. Todd Herman  ( Moderator ), Executive Director, Arkansas Arts Center
  • Sericia Cole, Director, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
  • Robert Hupp, Producing Artistic Director, Arkansas Repertory Theatre
  • Philip Mann, Music Director, Arkansas Symphony
  • Deborah Rutter, President, The Kennedy Center
  • Stephanie S. Streett, Executive Director, Clinton Foundation
This event was hosted by the Clinton Foundation; President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts member, Kaki Hockersmith; Mid-America Arts Alliance; Donna and Mack McLarty; and the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.


15 Highlights of 2015 – Chelsea Clinton was 1,000th Clinton School Speaker

chelsea

Eleven years to the day of the first Clinton School Speaker Series public program, that initiative celebrated its 1,000th speaker on September 18, 2015.

In “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!,” Chelsea Clinton tackles the biggest challenges facing us today. She combines facts, charts, photographs and stories to give readers a deep understanding of the world around them and how anyone can make a difference. With stories about children and teens who have made real changes big and small, this book inspires readers of all ages to do their part to make our world a better place.

One of Clinton’s favorite childhood books was “50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth.” As an elementary school student in Little Rock, she helped start a paper-recycling program at her school; as a teenager in Washington, D.C., she led her school’s service club; and as a student at Stanford University, she volunteered as a reading and writing tutor and at the Children’s Hospital.

Today, she is Vice Chair of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation where she helps lead the work of the Foundation across its various initiatives, with a particular focus on work related to health, girls and women, creating service opportunities, and empowering the next generation of leaders. Chelsea holds a BA from Stanford University, an MPH from Columbia University, and an MPhil and doctorate degree in international relations from Oxford University.

The lecture featuring Chelsea Clinton was the 1,000th public program for the Clinton School of Public Service. On September 18, 2004, the Clinton School welcomed their first public program speaker, Senator Bob Dole.

This event will be at the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center at 6pm.

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