Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

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Big Boo!-seum Bash Tonight

BooseumLogo_EventIt’s the 19th Annual Big Boo!-seum Bash, where kids can enjoy a safe and fun Halloween Thursday, Oct. 30 from 6 – 8:30 p.m.  Come out and trick-or-treat, play games and have fun at participating area museums!

There will be free candy and Halloween activities for all ages. Visit every participating location to enter in the drawing for a flat-screen TV or a $100 gift card!

* Arkansas Arts Center – 501 East 9th Street

* Historic Arkansas Museum – 200 East 3rd Street

* Little Rock Visitor Center at Curran Hall – 615 East Capitol Avenue
— Arkansas State Capitol will participate on site

* MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History – 503 East 9th Street
— Arkansas National Guard Museum will participate on-site

* Mosaic Templars Cultural Center – 9th Street and Broadway
— Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site will participate on-site

* Museum of Discovery – 500 President Clinton Avenue

* Old State House Museum – 300 West Markham Street

* CALS Ron Robinson Theater – 100 River Market Avenue

* Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center – 602 President Clinton Avenue
— Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will participate on-site

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Tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater – Arkansas Sounds presents the Lyon College Pipe Band

pipe_bandThe Arkansas Sounds monthly concert series continues with a performance by the Lyon College Pipe Band at the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., on Friday, October 24, at 7 p.m. The doors to the theater will open at 6 p.m. Admission to this concert is free and open to the public; seating is first-come, first-served.

Under the direction of Pipe Major Jimmy Bell, the Lyon College Pipe Band regularly performs at official college functions such as convocations and other ceremonies, in community parades, in concerts around the state of Arkansas, and at festivals throughout the United States and abroad. The pipe band competed at the 2006 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, and won in its division. The group also won at competitions in 2013 at Sarasota, Florida, and St. Louis, Missouri, and it is currently placed at 12th in the world in its division.

Arkansas Sounds is a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies focusing on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present. For more information, call 501-918-3033.

Two Literary Prizes to Be Awarded at A Prized Evening – William D. Lindsey and Mara Leveritt will be recognized

Prized EveningTwo Arkansas authors, William D. Lindsey and Mara Leveritt, will be honored at A Prized Evening, the annual awarding of the Worthen and Porter Literary Prizes, on Thursday, October 16, at 6:30 p.m., in the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Main Library’s Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. A book signing and reception will follow the presentation, which is free and open to the public. Reservations are appreciated, but not required. RSVP to or 501-918-3033.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies will award the Booker Worthen Literary Prize to William D. Lindsey, an educator and writer, for the book he edited, Fiat Flux: The Writings of Wilson R. Bachelor, Nineteenth-Century Country Doctor and Philosopher. Lindsey is a Little Rock native who holds a B.A. in English from Loyola University, an M.A. in English from Tulane University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Michael’s College of the Toronto School of Theology. Fiat Flux is the journal of Wilson Bachelor, a country doctor and natural philosopher who chronicled his life from 1870-1902. Bachelor was an avid reader and thoughtful writer, with wide-ranging interests in literature, science, nature, politics, and religion.

Mara Leveritt, a contributing editor to the Arkansas Times, will receive the Porter Fund Literary Prize in recognition of her substantial and impressive body of work. Leveritt has written three nonfiction books about crime and public corruption: The Boys on the Tracks, about murder and prosecutorial corruption in Saline County; Devil’s Knot, about the deeply problematic trials of the teenagers who became known as the West Memphis Three; and Dark Spell, about Jason Baldwin’s West Memphis post-conviction ordeal. A feature film based on Devil’s Knot, starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon, premiered in Little Rock on May 3, 2014.

The Worthen Prize was established by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in 1999 in memory of William Booker Worthen, a longtime supporter of the public library and a twenty-two-year member of CALS Board of Trustees. It is presented annually for the best work by an author or editor living in the CALS service area. The Porter Fund was established in 1985 by Jack Butler and Phillip McMath in honor of Dr. Ben Drew Kimpel, who requested the prize be named for his mother, Gladys Crane Kimpel Porter.

Cleveland County native Johnny Cash is focus of UALR exhibit, concert

cash-image1-1-204x264The Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has announced plans to premier a new exhibit on Johnny Cash’s relationship with Arkansas. The exhibit, “Johnny Cash: Arkansas Icon,” will open in the Underground Gallery at the Arkansas Studies Institute on October 10, 2014, and run through January 24, 2015. The physical exhibit will be accompanied by a virtual exhibit with educational materials for teachers.

Opening Night

The exhibit opens Friday, Oct. 10, in the Ron Robinson Theatre.

A free concert will be at 7:30 p.m. featuring the W.S. Holland Band, with special guests Jeff Coleman and the Feedersbeginning at 6:45 p.m. Seating is limited.

Johnny Cash: Arkansas Icon

The exhibit explores the musician’s Arkansas connections over the decades, covering his 1930s childhood in Dyess, Arkansas (though he was born in Kingsland in Cleveland County), through his comeback at the turn of the 21st-century. The exhibit places special emphasis on connections between his Arkansas roots and his music from his first performance in Little Rock in 1955 to a 2002 music video. Though Cash’s career took him far from Arkansas, the exhibit argues, he never quite severed his Arkansas roots. This exhibit tells that story through narrative and archival photographs from CAHC’s own collections, as well as others.

According to Colin Woodward, the CAHC archivist who proposed the exhibit and wrote its narrative, “While writing an article about Johnny Cash’s work with Governor Winthrop Rockefeller on prison reform, I began to see the thread of Arkansas in Cash’s music and life. He was such a dynamic artist, who persevered through many personal and professional challenges. He was a great Arkansan, and I wanted to show that through historical research and archival images.”

The exhibit will cover the walls of the unique Underground Gallery and immerse visitors in an artistic representation of Cash’s life in pictures and text. Designed by Bachelor of Fine Arts student Nick Sosnoski under the direction of Tom Clifton, Department of Art Chair, the exhibit makes use of key design elements like variety, unity, and texture on a large scale. The exhibit uses rare images from family albums and other sources and incorporates Cash’s lyrics into the design. According to Sosnoski, “The design is meant to reflect Johnny Cash as a man who never forgot his roots.”

The accompanying virtual exhibit will offer deeper exploration of the topics covered in the physical exhibit. The website will include a media gallery and behind-the-scenes information on the exhibit development. Educational materials, including full lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations, will be available for Arkansas teachers to use with students before and after visiting the exhibit. Stan James, an undergraduate Social Studies Education major, worked on the project and says, “It was really exciting to be able to prepare materials that will teach students important world concepts, and at the same time, expose them to one of Arkansas’ true treasures, Johnny Cash.  These materials, along with the exhibit and related events, will guide the students through an exciting journey towards learning about key issues in our state and nation, as well as how celebrities use their influence and talent to further issues that are important to them.”

On opening night, the W. S. Holland Band will perform a free concert in the Ron Robinson Auditorium. Holland spent 40 years performing with Cash’s band, Tennessee 3, and is the only band member to stay with the group until Cash’s retirement in 1997. In his long career, Holland has toured with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins. The Holland Band performance will start at 7:30, following an opening performance by Jeff Coleman and the Feeders at 6:45. Seating is limited. Also on opening night, Shape Note Singers from Mountain Home, Arkansas, will perform for Second Friday Art Night visitors to the Arkansas Studies Institute.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Additional funding provided by the Arkansas Community Foundation. The Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fosters smart giving to improve communities. The Community Foundation offers tools to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs. By making grants and sharing knowledge, the Community Foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners to create new initiatives that address the gaps. Contributions to the Community Foundation, its funds and any of its 27 affiliates are fully tax deductible.

The UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture collects, preserves, and enables access to Arkansas records of enduring value; prepares students and the region for the 21st century through academic leadership and education on archival practices and technologies; and engages the community through outreach, programming, and exhibitions.

For more information on the exhibit or CAHC, contact us or 501.320.5780.

LR Cultural Touchstone: Deborah Baldwin

9 Deborah BaldwinAs a historian, arts patron, and administrator, Deborah Baldwin has had a hand in shaping Little Rock’s cultural scene for nearly thirty years.   As Chair of the UALR History Department from 1986 to 1992, she lead the department as it created the History Institute which sponsors the “Evenings with History” lecture series.  At the time it was started, it was one of the few lecture series in Little Rock (if not the only one).

A member of the UALR faculty since 1980, Baldwin is a specialist in modern Mexican history with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She has published a book on the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and a variety of articles, primarily on Mexican social history topic.

As a History Department faculty member, she has lead the Public History seminar. This program has documented the history of several Little Rock cultural institutions over the years including the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Museum of Discovery.  The Public History program has trained many of the museum professionals working in Little Rock today.  The Central High Museum, a private forerunner of the National Park Service Central High National Historic Site Visitor Center, was lead in a large part by persons associated with the UALR Public History Program.

Starting in the mid-1990s, Baldwin led the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  In that capacity, she oversaw the visual and performing arts programming at UALR.  Under her leadership, the Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre & Dance were all revitalized.  As a part of this, she ensured that cutting-edge technology was being integrated to arts curriculum.  She also led efforts to upgrade the performance facilities.  During her tenure as Dean, the College also played leading roles in the commemoration of the 40th and 50th anniversaries of the integration of Central High School, the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, and the “Life Interrupted” exhibit which highlighted the Japanese-American internment experience in Arkansas.  She also oversaw the creation of Finale!, an event each spring which celebrates the arts in Little Rock and honors arts patrons.

With the creation of the Arkansas Studies Institute (a collaboration between UALR and Central Arkansas Library System), Baldwin took on additional duties as UALR’s supervisor on the project.

In 2014, UALR underwent a campus-wide administrative and academic reorganization.  In conjunction with that, Baldwin became Associate Provost for UALR Collections and Archives.  In that capacity she oversees the campus library system, Center for Arkansas History and Culture and the Sequoyah National Research Center.  She continues to teach in the Department of History.

She is a past member of the board of the Arkansas Humanities Council and the MacArthur Military History Museum Commission.


First Full Day of ACANSA Offers Poetry, Visual Art, Theatre, Music

acansaThe ACANSA Arts Festival gets going with its first full day of activities today.


12:00 pm to 1:00pm
Central Arkansas Library System

Chris James, Arkansas native and member of the Foreign Tongues Poetry Troupe, will be presenting about his career as a spoken word poet.   Chris will perform his original spoken word and share information about his upcoming ventures.

Sponsored by: Anita Davis, Delta Trust and Bank, and JPMS Cox, PLLC


5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Arkansas Arts Center

Evan Lindquist was selected by Governor Mike Beebe as the first Artist Laureate of Arkansas 2013 – 2017.  He creates original prints in his private studio in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Most of his prints are engravings developed by his own original ideas and designs.   Lindquist has had more than 60 solo exhibitions and has received more than 80 awards in about 300 competitive exhibitions.  At the reception, Mr. Lindquist will speak about his works, technique and career.

Sponsored by William and Kay Patton, Nabholz Construction


ACANSA Central Arkansas's Own.CollageCENTRAL ARKANSAS’S OWN
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center

The Arkansas Chamber Singers is a 65-member vocal ensemble dedicated to performing and promoting classical and contemporary choral repertoire.  Arkansas’s newest professional opera company is Opera in the Rock, with a mission to produce main stage professional opera and showcase talented performers from the state and region.  The Muses are performers with The Muses Creative Artistry Project, blending vocal and instrumental art songs from the Baroque period to the present.  Refreshments and a cash bar will be available throughout the event.

Sponsored by James B. Conner


7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Scottish Rite Masonic Temple
$20 to $50

Compared to the work of David Sedaris, Claudia Shear and Augustin Burroughs, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING is a uniquely crafted autobiographical tour-de-force in which Bill Bowers shares funny, heartbreaking, and unbelievable true stories from his career as an actor and mime, and his life-long exploration of the role silence plays in all our lives.

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING takes you on a scenic tour of Bill’s life thus far; from his childhood in the wilds of Montana, to outrageous jobs as a performer across the country, to the whirlwind of Broadway and studying with the legendary Marcel Marceau.

Sponsored by:  Legacy Termite and Pest Control, Inc.


7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
$30 to $50

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will present a variety of small ensembles at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. This ”Informance” includes the ASO Brass Quintet, a solo by the ASO violin and strings, a Little Rock premiere for the oboe and clarinet, as well as dueling banjos. The performance is followed by a VIP reception.

Sponsored by:  City of North Little Rock, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, North Little Rock Economic Development Corporation & North Little Rock Visitors Bureau

Talk Like a Pirate at HOOK this evening

CALS HookArrggghhh Matey!  Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Don’t be a landlubber.  Discover the treasure at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater today at the screening of HOOK.

A Talk Like a Pirate Day pre-party begins at 6 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. The party will feature a pirate costume contest complete with prizes.  Tickets are $5 per person.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, HOOK features an adult Peter Pan (Robin Williams).  When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.  Also in the cast are Julia Roberts (Tinkerbell), Bob Hoskins (Smee) and Maggie Smith (a grownup Wendy).  The film was nominated for five Oscars.

The screening will feature free theme-related concessions and door prizes.


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