Women Making History – Nancy Rousseau

Though not a graduate of Little Rock Central High School, Nancy Rousseau is a Central High Tiger through and through.

She has been principal of Little Rock Central High School since the summer of 2002. Born in New York, she graduated high school in Tenafly, New Jersey.  After attending Ohio University, she graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in English education.  Her first job was teaching in Port Washington, NY, where she won the “New Teacher of the Year” award.  After teaching in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she arrived in Little Rock in 1976.

From 1976 until 1986, she taught English at Pulaski Academy.  After receiving her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she was hired by the Little Rock School District as an Assistant Principal at Central High School.  From 1991 until 1998, she served in that capacity. During that time, she worked on the planning for the 40th anniversary of the integration of Central High by the Little Rock Nine.

In 1998, she became principal of Pulaski Heights Junior High School.  She led the school’s transition from a junior high to a middle school.  When the position of Central High School principal became open in 2002, she applied for the job.

Since returning to Central as its principal, Mrs. Rousseau has been a very visible champion of the school, its students, faculty and alumni.  She served as co-chair for the Central High Integration 50th Anniversary Commission.  During her tenure, the school’s physical plant has been upgrade and much of the historic façade and interior has been restored.  A Central High Alumni Association and a Tiger Foundation have been formed.  Through their effort, the arts, academics and athletics have been enhanced.

Mrs. Rousseau also participated in the planning for the 60th anniversary of the school’s integration.  She is one of a very few who worked on the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries.


Tonight at South on Main – The GinSingers

Sessions :: The GinSingersThe GinSingers will take you on a musical journey of a wide ranging world of jazz on Wednesday, March 20 for Sessions at South on Main, hosted by Read Admire. Concert beings at 8 pm. Purchase advance tickets for $8 or pay a $12 cover day of show. Tickets do not guarantee you a seat. To reserve a table please call (501) 244-9660.



“With sets that cover everyone from Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley to Nat King Cole, Tito Puente and Charlie Parker, as well as the band’s own lively originals, Cula du Café play a festive mix of pop, salsa, and jazz. Percussionist Jose Galeano ignites the band’s onstage fireworks with his thundering conga playing while drummer Chis Searles adds to the beat with his expert Latin rhythms. Meanwhile, bassist Jeff Haley and bandleader/vocalist/guitarist Joey de Lago intertwine their dancing chords, allowing sax player Elias Haslanger to captivate the audience with his smoky jazz aura.”

-The Austin Chronicle Salutes Cula du Café

Joel started playing classical guitar at age 8 under the instruction of his uncle Tom Johnson, of the University of North Texas. He began taking regular lessons with Nick Digennaro at the same time. While getting a degree in Economics at TCU Joel continued his classical guitar studies with Chip Christ. After Graduation Joel started teaching classical guitar lessons as the director of the North Dallas/Plano/Carrollton Childbloom Guitar Program. At the same time he began studying Flamenco with Miguel Antonio. Shorty after Joel met a great guitarist, Joey De Lago, who taught him the Flamenco/Afro-Cuban guitar technique, Mano-Roto. While under the musical apprenticeship of Joey De Lago, Joel founded the Music school, Child Play Music, played rhythm guitar for The Joey De Lago Band. Today, Joel runs The Child Play Music Guitar School and plays in a number of bands that gig all over the Dallas metroplex.


Read Admire is an American guitarist, songwriter, arranger, and producer. Other hats he wears include chef, farmer, and environmental steward. By day Read runs The Urban Food Loop Project, a Little Rock-based non-profit with the goal of making communities compostable. (Shout out to South on Main for being responsible composters since day ONE!!!) By night Read works his hardest to be someone Quincy Jones would hang out with. Read strongly believes nothing brings people together like food and music and has built his life around both. Read has a degree in Music History from UALRand a Masters in Public Service from The Clinton School. From 2009-2012 Read helped build the Therapeutic Music program at the Arkansas State Psychiatric Hospital.In 2015 he worked for the South African National Youth Orchestra, touring the country with the orchestra as a program consultant. During his time in South Africa, Read lived and jammed with world-class orchestral and jazz musicians, chatted with Arch Bishop Tutu at the symphony, and saw the youth orchestra make grammy award winning Finnish conductor Osma Vanska cry! (If you didn’t know, Finnish men don’t cry.) South Africa taught Read about the magic that can happen when friends gather to make music. So this month Sessions is about sharing that magic with you! Each artist or group this month was invited because they embody the magic that Read encountered in South Africa.

104 years ago today, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born. Celebrate her at special Arkansas Sounds screening

Image result for sister rosetta tharpeTonight (March 20) at 7pm at the Ron Robinson Theater. Celebrate the life, legacy and love of Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Learn about the woman who Cleveland County native Johnny Cash called his favorite singer.

Arkansas Sounds presents American Masters Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll”

The director’s cut of the American Masters documentary profiles the newly inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Sister Rosetta Tharpe, paying tribute to the Arkansas musical legend on what would be her 104th birthday. This longer version features more performance footage and a special introduction by filmmaker Mick Csaky.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00pm with general admission seating on a first come, first served basis.

Presented by Arkansas Sounds and AETN/PBS.

Sponsored by Friends of the Central Arkansas Library System (FOCAL), Acansa Arts Festival, FM 89.1 KUAR, Dr. Elizabeth Fletcher Dishongh Charitable Trust and David Austin at The Charlotte John Company.

Women Making History – Kathy Webb

While Kathy Webb has had many titles over her career in public service, Advocate for Others probably encompasses all of them.

One of the most important committees at the Arkansas General Assembly is the Joint Budget Committee.  It is chaired by a senator and a representative.  In 2011 and 2012, as a state representative, Kathy Webb became the first woman to chair the committee.  

Considering that the first woman to be sworn in to the Arkansas General Assembly (Erle Chambers) was from Little Rock, and the first woman to chair a standing committee of the General Assembly (Myra Jones) was from Little Rock, it is fitting that the first woman to chair Joint Budget was also from Little Rock.

While women had been chairing committees for two decades, no female had ever led this committee.  During her tenure, Rep. Webb received praise from people in both houses and both parties for her leadership.  She served in the Arkansas General Assembly from 2007 until 2012.  During that time, she was also named the most effective legislator by Talk Business

Now, she continues her public service in her second four-year term on the City of Little Rock Board of Directors.  She served as Little Rock’s vice mayor in 2017 and 2018. Director Webb grew up in Arkansas and graduated from Little Rock Hall High. She earned a degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and attended graduate school at the University of Central Arkansas. She has also participated in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

After working in political advocacy in Washington D.C. and throughout the U.S. for several years, she spent over 20 years in the restaurant industry in Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

Her community involvement includes service on the UAMS College of Medicine Board of Visitors, Arkansas Hospice, and First United Methodist Church of Little Rock. She was the founding president of the Chicago-area affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Director Webb has been honored by the Arkansas Kids Count Coalition, Just Communities of Arkansas, Arkansas Judicial Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, Sierra Club, Arkansas AIDS Foundation, Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Pulaski County CASA, Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice, Arkansas AARP, Arkansas Hospitality Association, Arkansas Municipal League, Hendrix College and Black Methodists for Social Renewal.

She is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. The Alliance is the statewide umbrella organization for Feeding America food banks, food pantries and agencies and hunger activists and the education and advocacy clearinghouse on hunger issues in Arkansas. Earlier in 2019, it was named Non-Profit of the Year at the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards.

Final Few Days for CHICAGO at Arkansas Rep

Image may contain: indoorThere are just a few performances (each with only a few seats) left in the Arkansas Repertory Theatre production of Chicago. 

The musical—book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse; music by John Kander; lyrics by Fred Ebb—is based on a play of the same name by Chicago Tribune reporter and playwright Maurine Dallas Watkins. Ron Hutchins directs and choreographs Chicago which runs through March 24. Tickets are available online at TheRep.org.

The story, set in the mid-1920s Jazz Age, follows the murder trial of Roxie Hart and her slick-talking attorney, Billy Flynn. Roxie quickly becomes the most popular celebrity in Chicago, dethroning fellow inmate Velma Kelly. This legendary musical takes a tantalizing look at how the allure of fame remains a fundamental motivation for those willing to sacrifice their scruples for the spotlight.

Chicago earned five Tony Awards, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, seven Drama Desk Awards and two Olivier Awards (for the British production).

The Arkansas Rep cast includes Adriana Milbrath, Daisy Hobbs, Felicia Dinwiddie, Christopher Johnstone, Matt Allen, Z. Spiegel, Matty Rickard, Erik Joshua Clack, Nicholas Karl Brown, Brian Earles, Anthony Bryant, Frederick Webb Jr., Madeleine Corliss, Joi Hester, Rachel Perlman, Sydney Ippolito, Allison Wilson and Sarita Crawford.

The design and creative team includes Trish Clark, costume designer; Lynda J. Kwallek, properties designer; Mike Nichols, resident set designer/technical director; Michael Rice, musical director; and Marty Vreeland, lighting designer. The production manager is Joshua Marchesi and the stage manager is Colin JB. Phillip T. Perez is the assistant stage manager.

Tickets may be purchased online at TheRep.org, by phone at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting the Box Office at 601 Main Street in Little Rock.

Get a Sneak Peek at QQA 55th Tour of Homes on March 30

http://www.quapaw.com/static/images/QQA_logo.pngJoin the QQA for the start of the 55th Tour of Homes, 2019!
Attendees will party like its 1929 at the Albert Pike Hotel and get an exclusive sneak peak at the homes chosen for this year’s tour in the MacArthur Park Historic District.
Saturday, March 30, 2019 – 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
$35.00 in advance until 11:59 pm on March 29 and $40.00 at the door.
QQA will introduce guests to the houses selected for this year’s tour, serve up some delicious food and a signature cocktail, and listen to music by local band Whale Fire.
The Spanish-Revival style Albert Pike Hotel was built in 1929 at a cost of one million dollars. It was one the best known hotels in Little Rock for many decades.

Women Making History – Terri Hollingsworth

On January 1, 2019, Terri Hollingsworth was sworn in as Circuit/County Clerk for Pulaski County.  She is the first African American female to hold the position (and, indeed the first African American of either gender to do so).

Ms. Hollingsworth has worked in management positions in both the public and private sectors and nonprofit organizations. She has served on all levels of government and began her career working for the City of Little Rock as a city planner and later as the economic development administrator. Ms. Hollingsworth has also worked for Arkansas Secretary of State Sharon Priest and was tapped to be the Director of the State Board of Election Commissioners. She managed the board’s daily operations and $3.2 million budget, monitored and effectively communicated the state’s position on election legislation, conducted statewide poll worker training, and was the liaison and primary contact to legislators.

Ms. Hollingsworth served as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and oversaw the daily operations of the federal agency, supervision of staff and operational management of board members, elected officials and stakeholders. Terri remains an active member of the Delta Leadership Network which supports the DRA’s work in eight states and the efforts of the Delta Leadership Institute. Before her election, Ms. Hollingsworth served as a senior advisor for business strategy at Peter Damon Group, a national strategic public affairs, business development and event management services firm.

Ms. Hollingsworth is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and is on the board of Audubon Arkansas. A graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., she earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.