Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

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Read and LEED – Two CALS library branches have received LEED Green Building Certification

Two Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) branches have been awarded prestigious LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (CBGI). The first LEED certified project for CALS, Oley E. Rooker Library has been certified LEED Silver, and Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center has been certified LEED Gold.

LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. In the central Arkansas area, Rooker Library is one of only nine LEED Silver projects, and the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center is one of only ten LEED Gold projects.

OLEY ROOKER LIBRARY (photo courtesy of CALS)

OLEY ROOKER LIBRARY (photo courtesy of CALS)

A building’s structure, access, and personality reflect the materials and design that went into its construction. CALS strives to show its respect for the history of our community and for its natural resources in its building design and choice of materials. With CALS’ commitment to sustainable building techniques or adaptable reuse of existing facilities in mind, Allison Architects designed the Rooker Library and James H. Cone, Inc. served as general contractor. Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects managed the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center design and East-Harding Construction provided construction services.

The Rooker Library and Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center achieved LEED certification for energy use, lights, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses, and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers, and the larger community.

LEED certification of the libraries was based on a number of green design and construction features including:

  • Geothermal heating and cooling systems and high performance building envelopes which reduce the energy needed to maintain the buildings
  • High performance glazing with sunscreens which allow for abundant daylight
  • Deep roof overhang with fritted glass filtering system
  • Maximizing open space on the site
  • Use of local materials, rapidly renewable materials, and materials with recycled content
  • Bioswale and open-grid paving
  • Use of mature tree to provide natural shade
  • Water management system including a butterfly roof and wetland for water efficient landscaping, with native plants to help break down pollutants
  • Bicycle storage on site
  • Low flow water fixtures
  • Construction practices which include reducing construction site waste, preventing pollution from erosion, and managing the building to limit air contamination


Oley E. Rooker Library

The $5 million, 13,450 square-foot Rooker Library includes sustainable features such as a geothermal HVAC system and cork or linoleum flooring throughout, and building materials include copper and Arkansas sandstone. Amenities at the library include public meeting rooms, smaller study rooms, and public access computers. Exterior features include a reflecting pool with three sculpture otters and a pavilion that can be used for library and community functions.

Funding for the Rooker Library was made available by Little Rock voters’ approval of a bond issue in 2004.


Hillary Clinton Children' s Library and Learning Center (photo courtesy of Polk Stanley Wilcox)

Hillary Clinton Children’ s Library and Learning Center (photo courtesy of Polk Stanley Wilcox)

Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center

Set on a six-acre site, the $12 million, 30,000 square foot Children’s Library includes a computer lab with fourteen computers, teaching kitchen, large activity area, individual and group study rooms, theater, and community room in addition to a collection of more than 21,000 books, DVDs, and CDs.

In 2007, Little Rock voters approved a bond issue to provide funding for the Children’s Library.

The Children’s Library’s grounds are integral to the entire facility’s program. A greenhouse and teaching garden help children learn about growing healthy foods as well as provide produce that will be used in the teaching kitchen programs. The grounds reflect the topography of Arkansas’s ecosystems, from the native hardwood trees in the highlands to vegetation of the wetland areas, which are both planted and original to the site. Walking paths offer families an attractive place for exercise while learning the names of the trees and plants, and an amphitheater has seating for outdoor programs or nature watching.

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Glen Campbell documentary screening tonight

G CampbellTonight at 7pm, the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute (AMPI) is hosting a special advance preview screening of the new feature documentary, Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me.

It will take place at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater located at 100 River Market Avenue in Little Rock. The event will feature an audience discussion with the filmmakers, Producer and Director James Keach and Producer Trevor Albert, and with members of the Campbell family.
Presented by AARP Arkansas, advance reservations for the event are $25 and available exclusively online at Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. screening, with seating first come, first served.
The event will be hosted by Brian & Brianne Bush, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), with printing by TCPrint Solutions and production services provided by Southern Arkansas University Tech.
Director and Producer James Keach (Walk the Line) and Producer Trevor Albert (Because of Winn DixieGroundhog Day) will attend and participate in an audience dialogue immediately following the film. Members of the Campbell family will also be in attendance and will present a short, a cappella performance of their favorite Glen Campbell songs.

CELEBRATE public art tonight at CALS

celebrateIn conjunction with 2nd Friday Art Night, the public dedication of Celebrate, the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) newest public art piece, will take place Friday, June 13, at 6 p.m. 
This kinetic sculpture was commissioned in 2010 by CALS, Jim Conner, and other donors to commemorate the library’s centennial of service to the community and was recently installed on the Main Library’s campus, between the patron parking lot and the Arkansas Studies Institute building. 
The sculpture, in the shape of a spinning top, is inscribed with the word “Celebrate” in numerous languages from English to Binary Code to Klingon.
Michael Warrick, the sculptor who created Celebrate, and Bobby Roberts, director of CALS, will speak at the dedication. All will be welcome to try out the kinetic sculpture by giving it a spin. Afterward, attendees will be invited into the Butler Center Galleries to enjoy refreshments and live music as part of 2nd Friday Art Night. 

ROCKing the TONY AWARDS – Wayland Holyfield

Rock the TonysHolyfield_WaylandWAYLAND HOLYFIELD

Little Rock connection: This Arkansas native wrote the song “Arkansas, You Run Deep in Me” for the 1986 Arkansas Sesquicentennial. He has performed it many times in Little Rock over the years. He was present at the opening of the CALS Ron Robinson Theater where a new video of it debuted.
Tony Awards connection: His song “May I Have This Dance” was part of the Tony nominated score of Urban Cowboy in 2003.

Architects of Little Rock the focus of June’s Legacies & Lunch

Architects of LR bookCharles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg, retired principals of Little Rock architecture firms and co-authors of the newly released Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950, will discuss Little Rock’s architectural history at Legacies & Lunch on Wednesday, June 4, noon-1 p.m. in the CALS Main Library’s Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street.

Witsell and Wittenberg are retired principals of WER Architects/Planners (Witsell, Evans and Rasco) and WD&D (Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson). Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950 profiles thirty-five architects, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, and more. Famous buildings such as the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, the Pulaski County Court House, Central High School, and Robinson Auditorium are showcased as well. Copies of the book will be available for purchase; Wittenberg and Witsell will sign copies after their talk.

Legacies & Lunch, the Butler Center’s monthly lecture series, is free, open to the public, and supported in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Programs are held from noon-1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. For more information, contact 918-3033.

Book on LR Architects celebrated tonight

Architects of LR bookTonight, the Historic Arkansas Museum will be hosting a lecture and book signing for the recently released Architects of Little Rock: 1833–1950, penned by Little Rock architects, Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg.

The evening will begin at 5:30 with a special presentation and lecture discussing the book. Speakers will include Bill Worthen, Historic Arkansas Museum; Tom Adams, WD&D; John Greer, WER Architects/Planners; Bobby Roberts, Central Arkansas Library and a special presentation will be given by Wesley Walls, President AIA Arkansas.

A reception and book signing will begin immediately following the lecture. All are invited to attend this special evening. “There are many ways of knowing the built environment. In their Architects of Little Rock, Mr. Witsell and Mr. Wittenberg explore the always complex relationship between buildings and the visionary thinkers—sometimes ordinary craftsman— who produced them. In so doing, they not only have uncovered the design rationales and circumstances of production that influenced a wide spectrum of Little Rock architecture but moreover have written a significant work of architectural scholarship that addresses the history of the architect’s profession,” Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, architectural historian and professor of architecture, University of Arkansas.

Architects of Little Rock: 1833–1950, is being released this month. The book is co-written by Little Rock architects, Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg and edited by Marylyn Jackson Parins. Architects of Little Rock provides biographical and historical sketches of the architects at work in Little Rock from 1833 to 1950. It is the story of the people behind the city’s most important buildings. Thirty-five architects are profiled, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, Max F. Mayer, Edwin B. Cromwell, George H. Wittenberg, Lawson L. Delony, and others. Famous buildings, including the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Old State House, the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, Little Rock City Hall, the Pulaski County Court House, Little Rock Central High School and Robinson Auditorium are showcased, bringing attention to and encouraging appreciation of the city’s historic buildings.

Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg are retired principals of the Little Rock architecture firms WER Architects/Planners (Witsell, Evans and Rasco) and WD&D (Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson), respectively.

CASE AGAINST 8 among Saturday films at 2014 Little Rock Film Festival

LRFF coverA full slate of films and activities is served up on Saturday at the Little Rock Film Festival.

The Case Against 8, Bryan Cotner and Ryan White’s look at the fight to overturn California’s Proposition 8 will be featured tonight at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Three films with avian inspired titles are also on tap: Brian Campbell and Will Scott’s The Night the Blackbirds Fell (at The Joint), Joel Potrykus’ Buzzard (at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater) and Mockingbird Don’t Screen: The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (at The Joint). Two other headline films this evening are David & Nathan Zellner’s Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter (at Historic Arkansas Museum) and Mariano Cohn & Gaston Duprat’s Living Stars (at Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack).

The day starts with Killing Time (Jaap van Hoewijk) and Fishtail (Andrew Renzi) followed by Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez), Point and Shoot (Marshall Curry), Big Significant Things (Bryan Reisberg), Sympathy Pains (Joe Dull) and Manny (Leon Gast & Ryan Moore).

Afternoon films include Life After Death (Joe Callander), Korengal (Sebastian Junger), Two Step (Alex R. Johnson), Stop the Pounding Heart (Roberto Minervini), Viruna (Orlando von Einsedel), The Overnighters (Jesse Moss) and I Believe in Unicorns (Leah Meyerhoff).

The Arkansas Shorts to be shown on Saturday are:

  • “Lessons in Loss” – “The Shoes of Havim” by Kenn Woodard, “A Matter of Honor” by David Bogard, “Sidearoadia” by Bruce Hutchinson and “13 Pieces of the Universe” by Tara Sheffer.
  • “Adventure Time” – “In Borrowed Time” by Dustin Barnes, “Stuck” by John Hockaday, “Spontaneous History Lesson by Evan” by Douglas Bankston, “Citizen Noir,” by Michael Ferrera, and “Undercover” by Marcel Guadron.
  • “Unbroken Spirits” – “A Broken Road to Hope” by Nathan Willis, “After the Tsunami,” “True Athlete” by Tyler West, and “Blowing Smoke” by Mike Holifield.

The World Shorts shown on Saturday are:

  • “Our Times” – “The Usual” by Dawn Higginbotham, “Families Are Forever” by Vivian Kleiman, “Confusion Through Sand” by Danny Madden, “Distance” by Aimee Long, “Little Black Fishes” by Azra Deniz Okyay, and “Broke” by Benham Jones
  • “Mental and Physical” – “By the Sea” by Robert Machoian, “LE PLONGEON” by Delphine Le Courtois, “Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told” by Joey Daoud, “Insomniacs” by Charles Chintzer Lai, “Dog Food” by Brian Crano, “The Lipstick Stain” by Dagny Looper and “Into The Silent Sea” by Andrej Landin
  • “Multifariousness” – “Sketch” by Stephen T. Barton, “X-RAY MAN” by Kerri Yost, “Breaking Night” by Yolonda Ross, “Yearbook” by Bernardo Britto, “MASTER MUSCLES” by Efrén Hernández, “Pity,” by John Pata and “One Armed Man” by Tim Guinee.
  • “Cinematic Stories” including – “Cinephilia” by Leah Chen Baker, “The Spymaster” by Patrick Tapu, “Last Shot” by Greg Popp, “Phil Collins and the Wild Frontier” by Ben Powell, “Lomax” by Jesse Kreitzer and “A Stitch in Time (for $9.99) by Mu Sun


Levi Agee will lead a discussion on “The Future of Film Tech” this afternoon as well.


For more information, visit  When attending events use the hashtag #LRFF2014 on social media posts.


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