GOLDFINGER at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater as part of the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival

Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, and Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger (1964)Before Goldfinger was an iconic film (with a great song sung by Shirley Bassey), it was a novel by Ian Fleming.

Kick off the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival with a screening of the 1964 film Goldfinger, the third in the franchise.

The screening starts tonight at 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

Directed by Guy Hamilton from a screenplay adapted by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn, this is considered by many to be the best classic Bond film.

Goldfinger is stockpiling gold reserves. Bond investigates and uncovers an audacious plan to commit the heist of the century.

Sean Connery returned as the suave spy. Joining him in this outing were Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Harold Sakata, Bernard Lee, Martin Benson, and Lois Maxwell.

The film won the Oscar for Best Sound Effects, which went to Norman Wanstall.

 

Advertisements

Start of Little Rock’s park system with land swap to create Arsenal Park

April 23, 1892, marked the beginning of the City of Little Rock’s public park sLR City Parkystem.  On that date, the City officially took possession of land which would become what is now known as MacArthur Park.

The park land had originally served as a horse racetrack in the early days of Little Rock.  By 1836, the federal government purchased the land for construction of a military arsenal.  The flagship building, the Arsenal Tower building, is the only remaining structure from that time period.

The land served as a military outpost until 1892.  On April 23, 1892, a land swap took place where in the City of Little Rock was given the property with the stipulation that it would be “forever exclusively devoted to the uses and purposes of a public park.” (Never mind that the federal government took part of the land back for the construction of the Wilbur Mills Freeway.)  In return for giving the City this land, the federal government took possession of land on the north side of the Arkansas River (then part of Little Rock) – that 1,000 acres became Fort Logan H. Roots.

After clearing most of the buildings from the land and preparing it for recreation, the park opened on July 4, 1893, with the name Arsenal Park. Since it was the City’s first and only park at the time, residents started referring to it as City Park. In time, the designation Arsenal Park fell from use.  In fact, it is referred to as City Park exclusively and officially in City documents throughout the first 42 years of the 20th Century.

The City Council’s action to name it MacArthur Park in March 1942, was accompanied by petitions encouraging the action which were submitted by the Arkansas Authors and Composers Society, the Arkansas Engineers Club and the Pulaski County Republican Central Committee.

City records do not indicate if anyone registered opposition to the name change. It would be another decade before General MacArthur would return to the site of his birth, a place he had not visited since his infancy.

Shake a Spear, or What You Will on Shakespeare’s Birthday

Today is the traditional birthday of William Shakespeare. It seems a good chance to preview the 2019 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season.

The lineup includes: The Comedy of Errors (the first Shakespeare play I ever read), The Scottish Play (sorry, but I don’t want to invoke the curse so I won’t write or say the title), as well as a streamlined version of Romeo and Juliet for families.  Also on tap, in the non-Shakespeare musical slot is Guys and Dolls.

Here is more about each show.
The Comedy of Errors
A tragic shipwreck, two sets of twins divided at birth, mistaken identities, and unrequited love provide the perfect recipe for fun in this Shakespearean farce. The fates bring the brothers and their long-lost father Aegeon together in the land of Ephesus with hilarious results.
Outside on the lawn at UCA – Performances June 7, 8, 9, 23, 26, 29, and July 4

Guys and Dolls
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on a Story and Characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
High-rolling gambler Sky Masterson never took a bet he couldn’t win, until he met the no-nonsense Sarah Brown, a mission worker set on redeeming the sinners of Broadway. While fellow gambler Nathan Detroit has his own hands full with his fourteen year engagement to Miss Adelaide. It’s the audience who wins in this delightful musical of love and luck!
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall – Performances June 15, 16, 23, 25, 28, 30 (twice), and July 2, 4, and 6.

[The Scottish Play]
Brave warrior The Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Performances are June 21, 22, 27, 29 and July 3, 5, and 7.

Family Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
The fighting families of Montague and Capulet put their feud before their children’s happiness in Shakespeare’s classic tale of “star-crossed” young love, reimagined for audiences of all ages in this one-hour adaptation.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Also available to tour.  Performances are June 26, 28, 29 and July 2 and 4.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director and Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director.

“Weathering It Together” Designing for the Anthropocene” is topic of Architecture and Design Network lecture

Image may contain: sky, ocean, cloud, house, outdoor, water and natureTonight (April 23), the Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2018/2019 June Freeman lecture series by welcoming Dr. Victoria Herrmann, President and Managing Director of the Arctic Institute for a lecture entitled, “Weathering It Together: Designing for the Anthropocene.”

This lecture is in partnership and provided by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design lecture series.  It starts at 6pm at the Arkansas Arts Center; a 5:30pm reception precedes it.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment, released in late 2018, warned that the quality of life for residents across the southeast will be compromised as the built environment becomes ever-more vulnerable to increasing temperatures and flooding brought about by a changing climate, particularly as infrastructure ages and populations shift to urban areas. Professionals in design, architecture, and historic preservation can be the game-changers needed to support the continued vibrancy and viability of resilient communities amidst rapid environmental change.

This interactive lecture will help the audience better understand the climate change impacts already underway in the southeast and, through examples from across America, the role the architecture and design community has in building a community-driven vision for a resilient future.

This lecture will analyze the gaps in climate change adaptation for the built environment, and the opportunities to co-create buildings that produce adaptation and mitigation benefits, while focusing to help understand the concept of loss and damage in climate change, and examine the role architecture and design can play in loss and damage work.

Dr. Victoria Herrmann is the President and Managing Director of the Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Arctic security research. She is one of 16 women leaders in the top 100 U.S. think tanks, and the youngest of all 100. As a National Geographic Explorer, Dr. Herrmann traveled across the country in 2016 and 2017 interviewing 350 local leaders to identify what’s needed most to safeguard coastal communities against unavoidable climate change impacts.

Her current JMK Innovation Prize project, Rise Up to Rising Tides, is creating a matchmaking program to connect skills-based volunteers with climate-affected communities for climate adaptation, historic preservation, and cultural heritage documentation projects. Dr. Herrmann teaches sustainability at American University and science communication at the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland. She was previously a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, a Fulbright Canada Awardee, a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, and a Gates Scholar at the Cambridge University.

“On the Road with the Migrant Caravan” is Clinton School program topic tonight (April 22)

Photo by Luis GarvanAlice Driver will speak about her experiences “On the Road with the MIgrant Caravan” this evening (April 22) at 6pm at the Clinton School.

For the past two years, Alice Driver has covered migration along the United States-Mexico border and throughout Central America, witnessing how U.S. policies have affected migrants and people living along the border. Driver will explore the border with curiosity and you will travel with her as she discusses her work on migration with National Geographic, Time, Longreads, Reveal and CNN.

Dr. Driver is a bilingual journalist based in Mexico City whose work focuses on migration, human rights and gender equality. She writes for National Geographic, Time, Longreads and CNN and is currently producing a radio story for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

A native of Oark, Arkansas (where she was born at home in a house built by her parents, she attended Berea College and has most recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship he Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239.

Little Rock Look Back: MOCKINGBIRD TREE sculpture installed on April 21, 2016

Photo by LRCVB

On April 21, 2016, Michael Warrick’s Mockingbird Tree sculpture was installed at the corner of Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive.

The piece was commissioned by Sculpture at the River Market after winning the 2015 Public Monument Sculpture competition.

The eighteen (18) foot tall sculpture is made out of stainless steel. It presents a fanciful version of a tree with cloud-like foliage.  Nestled in the tree are bronze mockingbirds (Arkansas’ state bird).

Warrick is a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and has been an artist and educator for 30 years. His work has resulted in more than 150 solo and group exhibitions and has been represented in 29 private collections and 34 public venues.

Easter Parade of Bunnies

Little Rock has at least four different sculptures of rabbits.  Since today is Easter Sunday and the Easter Bunny is making his rounds, it seems a good day to highlight these sculptures.

RB MonThe newest sculpture is Dan Ostermiller’s R. B. Monument.  A gift to the citizens of Little Rock by the Little Rock Garden Club, it was dedicated in 2017.

Located at the southeast corner of Kavanaugh and Pierce, this rabbit has quickly become a landmark. It is a favorite for kids and adults as they walk or drive by.  The rabbit is situated so that people can easily pose for photos with it, without the photographer having to stand in the street.  At Christmas and Easter, the rabbit has been bedecked with an appropriate wreath to add to its festive nature.

Bun BumIn the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, Laurel Peterson Gregory’s Bunny Bump has been providing whimsy since 2010.

After she sculpts an animal in wax or oil-based clay, traditional lost-wax casting processes immortalize the design in bronze. One aspect of particular interest to me, and one for which I plan early in the sculpting phase, is the complex and rich patinas that constitute another hallmark of my limited-edition sculptures. Multiple layers of chemicals and oxides are applied to the heated bronze to achieve a range of unique effects, both translucent and opaque, that complement each design.

Two stylized rabbits make for an interesting piece of artwork when they are not only dancing, but also doing the butt bump while dancing. The smooth surface and color of the bronze add to the illusion. This small piece has been placed on a pedestal to elevate more to eye level.

LopsA few yards from the bumping bunnies, James Paulsen’s Lopsided presents a much more laconic rabbit.

Paulsen is a self-taught artist. Alternately studying the wilds of the northern forest, and the open beauty of the American Southwest, he concentrates his work on natural subjects he has grown up with, and is heavily influenced by his family’s artistic background, being raised by an artist-illustrator and an author. In his work, he explores merging the beauty he sees in the natural world with the expressiveness of clay and bronze.

While having most of his work in galleries or private collections across the country, he has recently completed two public commissions

And at the corner of President Clinton Avenue and Sherman Street, Tim Cherry’s Rabbit Reach welcomes visitors to the River Market.

The sculpture is located at the corner of Sherman Street and President Clinton Avenue across from the Museum of Discovery.

The sculpture is a gift from Whitlow Wyatt and the Carey Cox Wyatt Charitable Foundation. It was given in memory of George Wyatt and Frank Kumpuris.  Those two gentlemen were the fathers of Whitlow Wyatt and Dean & Drew Kumpuris.

Cherry’s sculpture was selected for this spot because of its proximity to children at the Museum and in the River Market district.  The design and size of the sculpture encourages children to climb on it and to play around the rabbit.  While some public art is situated so it cannot be touched, this one is situated to be touched as part of the appreciation experience.