Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? tonight at Ron Robinson Theater

ferrisbFerris Bueller may have taken the day off, but his shenanigans are on the screen tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck and Mia Sara star in this ultimate movie about skipping school.  Jeffery Jones plays Broderick’s nemesis Dean Edward Rooney with Jennifer Grey playing his other nemesis, Jeanie Bueller. Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward (who fell in love while filming the movie and are now married) play the Bueller parents while Edie McClurg, Charlie Sheen, Virginia Capers and Kristie Swanson make cameos.  Former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein steals his scenes as the droning social studies teacher discussing the Laffer Curve and Voodoo Economics.

The sights and sounds of Chicago are showcased in this John Hughes masterpiece from 1986.

The movie starts at 7pm tonight. Admission is $5. Concessions are available for purchase as well.


Little Rock Look Back: Rabbi Ira Sanders

SandersIraE_fOn May 6, 1894, Ira Eugene Sanders was born in Missouri.  After receiving an undergraduate degree and rabbinate degree in Cincinnati, he was ordained a rabbi in 1919.  He served congregations in Pennyslvania and New York before coming to Little Rock in September 1926.

Shortly after arriving to lead the B’nai Israel congregation, Rabbi Sanders became active in the Little Rock community.  Among his projects were the Little Rock Community Fund, Little Rock School of Social Work (which he founded), Central Council of Social Agencies, and University of Arkansas Extension Department. During the Great Depression, he helped organize the Pulaski County Public Welfare Commission.  Other areas of involvement over his career included the Arkansas Human Betterment League, Urban League of Greater Little Rock and Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind.  On November 3, 1930, Rabbi Sanders debated Clarence Darrow about the existence of God in front of a packed house at Little Rock High School.

For his many involvements, he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 1951 from the University of Arkansas.  Three years later he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College’s Jewish Institute of Religion.

A lifelong supporter of a Jewish state, he participated in nineteen bond drives for the state of Israel.  In August 1963, he retired as the leader of B’nai Israel after over 35 years. He would remain as Rabbi Emeritus until his deal in 1985.

In January 1978, Rabbi Sanders tendered his resignation from the Central Arkansas Library board of directors.  The City Board of Directors passed resolution 5873 which noted that he had served for 51 years on the Library Board. He was first appointed in 1926.  He served during 19 different Mayoral administrations from Charles Moyer’s first term through Donald Mehlburger’s.

On April 8, 1985, Rabbi Ira Eugene Sanders died of natural causes.  He is buried in the City’s Oakland Jewish Cemetery.  The Central Arkansas Library System honors his memory with an annual distinguished lecture series.


Legacies & Lunch – Chris Engholm discusses White River Memoirs today at noon

white_riverThe White River and its tributaries represent the most ecologically intact watershed in the continental United States. Over a million people inhabit it, living in 234 communities in 60 counties. For the past two years, Chris Engholm has traveled the White River in a cedar strip canoe, listening to people connected to it and collecting the artwork of 25 fine artists who maintain a special relationship with the river.

This artwork is showcased in a gallery exhibition, White River Memoirs, on view in Butler Center Galleries, 401 Pres. Clinton Ave., now through July 25, 2015. At Legacies & Lunch, Engholm will discuss his experiences and present visual documentation of his findings.

The program takes place today at noon at the Darragh Center on the Main Library campus.

Legacies and Lunch is sponsored in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided.


Bridge to the Future Festival – today at Clinton Presidential Center and Clinton Presidential Park

emcpc042815bThe Clinton Presidential Center will host the Bridge to the Future Festival on Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, which will be held in the Clinton Presidential Park, will bring together organizations that support the missions of early learning, health and nutrition to provide fun, interactive educational activities for children and parents.
Bridge to the Future Festival
Saturday, May 2, 2015
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Clinton Presidential Park
The festival will kick off with a walk from the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge by HIPPY Arkansas participants. From there, visitors can venture into several learning zone “Villages” with the following themes: Education, Health and Fitness, Nutrition and Gardening, Safety, Environmental Health, and Activity. Each will feature interactive educational activities, as well as healthy snacks.
Each child will receive a passport, which will be stamped when they visit and participate in the Village activities for the chance to have their name entered in the grand prize drawing at the end of the festival.

Event Partners:
Arkansas Better Beginnings, Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas GardenCorps, Arkansas Imagination Library, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Central Arkansas Library System, Clinton Health Matters Initiative, Delta Dental, HIPPY Arkansas, Knowledge Tree, Master Gardeners, Reading is Fundamental, Renaissance Learning, Too Small to Fail


SOME LIKE IT HOT tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater

Some_Like_It_Hot_posterNobody’s Perfect. But Some Like It Hot comes pretty close to it.

Billy Wilder’s screwball comedy set in the 1920s stars Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.  Written by Wilder and his longtime scribe partner I.A.L. Diamond, it tells the tale of two musicians who witness the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre and must go undercover to escape the attention of some mobsters.  Along the way, they meet a big-hearted blonde who always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop stick, a randy aging millionaire and a spats wearing gangster.

Joining Lemmon, Curtis and Monroe in the cast are Joe E. Brown, George Raft, Pat O’Brien, and many others.

Shot in black and white, this movie’s zany characters provide enough color regardless of the film stock.  The film was nominated for six Oscars; it won for Orry-Kelly’s Black and White costume design.

The movie starts at 7pm tonight. Admission is $5. Concessions are available for purchase as well.


Author! Author! party, sessions and used book sales on day 2 of 2015 Arkansas Literary Festival

2015 ALF 2It is Festival Friday with the 12th Annual Arkansas Literary Festival!

A highlight is the Author! Author! Party at 7pm which allows ticketholders the chance to visit with other festival attendees as well as many of the authors and personalities who are here for the festival.

Earlier in the day, the used book sale continues from 9 to 5 in River Market Books & Gifts and from 10 to 4 in the basement of the main library.

The first session of the day is T. Geronimo Johnson on “Satire of the South.”  It will take place at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at noon.  Johnson is the author of Welcome to Braggsville.

At 6pm Michael Shermer will discuss The Moral Arc at the Ron Robinson Theater.


Rebecca Wells headlines first day of 12th Annual Arkansas Literary Festival

2015 ALF 1The 12th annual Arkansas Literary Festival kicks off today.

  • From 5pm to 7pm, there will be a book sale preview party at River Market Books & Gifts in the Cox Creative Center.
  • At 5:30, the exhibit “Page Turners” featuring Bryan Collier will open at Hearne Fine Art.
  •  At 6pm, there will be a Summer Reading Club Preview on the 3rd floor of the Main Library.
  •  Rebecca Wells will discuss “Divine Secrets” at 7pm on stage at the Ron Robinson Theatre. She is the author of the “Ya Ya Sisterhood” books. She will also return to Little Rock in 2016 to perform her one-woman show at the Arkansas Rep.

Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.

Support for the Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including Central Arkansas Library System, Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL), Arkansas Humanities Council, Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, ProSmart Printing, Little Rock Family, KUAR FM 89.1, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sync, Arkansas Life, Clinton Foundation, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Windstream, Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Arkansas Times, Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Hampton Inn Downtown/McKibbon Hotel Group, Capital Hotel, Historic Arkansas Museum , TransAmerica, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Arkansas Library Association, Pulaski Technical College, Union Pacific, Sequoyah National Research Center, Gibbs Elementary School, Rockefeller Elementary School, Hendrix College, Hendrix College Project Pericles Program, Arkansas Women’s Forum, Philander Smith College, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, East Harding, University of Arkansas at Little Rock English Department, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Rhetoric and Writing, Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing/Hearne Fine Art, Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas, Christ Episcopal Church, and Lamar Advertising. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. The Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace. A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Katherine Whitworth is the 2015 Festival Chair. Other committee chairs include Kevin Brockmeier, Talent Committee; Susan Santa Cruz, Festival Guides; Laura Stanley, Hospitality Gifts; and Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators.

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