Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Sculpture Vulture: Easter Bunnys


For those who are around the River Market today, there are two “Easter” bunny sculptures they can visit.

In honor of that, today’s Sculpture Vulture features Tim Cherry’s Rabbit Reach.

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.

IMG_3987Laurel Peterson Gregory’s Bunny Bump is featured in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.  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.

The sculpture was completed in 2009 and installed in 2010.  Gregory has been featured at the Sculpture at the River Market show.  (The photo was taken during a December snow. It may be cold now, but not enough for that amount of snow.)

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Little Rock Look Back: Werner C. Knoop

Mayor KnoopTo Little Rock citizens under a certain age, the name Knoop means Knoop Park — a picturesque park tucked away in a pocket of Hillcrest.  There are, however, still many who remember Werner C. Knoop as a business and political leader who helped shape Little Rock as a modern city.

Knoop was born on this date in 1902.

In 1946, Knoop joined with Olen A. Cates and P. W. Baldwin to form Baldwin Construction Company in Little Rock.  Knoop had previously founded Capital Steel Company and established his business reputation there.  From 1945 through 1951, he served on the Little Rock School Board.

Following a series of political scandals, efforts were undertaken for Little Rock to shift from Mayor-Council to City Manager form of government.  Even before the desegregation of Little Rock Central put the city in the eyes of the world, an election for new leaders had been set for November 1957.  Knoop was on a “Good Government” slate and was one of the members elected.

At the first meeting of the new City Board, Werner C. Knoop was chosen by his fellow directors to serve as Little Rock Mayor.  Knoop served as Mayor until December 1962.  For the first several months in office, Little Rock had no City Manager so Knoop oversaw the transition of City staff as the forms of government changed.

Though City Hall generally stayed out of school district matters, that did not mean that the public viewed the two entities separately.  In September 1959, the Baldwin Construction offices were bombed as part of a series of terrorist activities protesting the desegregated reopening of all Little Rock high schools.

After two terms on the City Board, Knoop decided against seeking a third term.  He concluded his elected public service on December 31, 1962.  Following his time on the City Board, Knoop did not retire from Civic Affairs.  In 1970, he served as Chairman of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.   The previous year he served as President of the Arkansas Chapter of Associated General Contractors.

Mayor Knoop died in July 1983.  He is buried at Roselawn Memorial Park next to his wife Faith Yingling Knoop.

In the 1930s, Knoop moved into an Art Moderne house on Ozark Point in Hillcrest.  It was adjacent to Little Rock Waterworks property which was developed around the same time.  Eventually much of the land was deeded to the City for creation of a park.  In 1989, it was named in tribute to long-time neighbor Knoop in honor of his lifetime of service to Little Rock.


Mysteries of the Old State House today at 3pm

3goddessesThree goddesses once sat atop the Old State House. Sculptures representing Law, Justice, and Mercy were brought to Little Rock from the Arkansas exhibit at the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876 and later installed on the State House roof.

In 1928, the Little Rock Garden Club had the statues removed. What happened to the three goddesses?

Find out, and hear other Old State House mysteries tomorrow at 3 p.m. This is one of the free programs offered at the Old State House Museum each Saturday.

The Old State House Museum hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The Old State House is the oldest surviving state capitol building west of the Mississippi River.  In 1947 it was designated as a museum by the Arkansas General Assembly and continues to serve in that capacity.

The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and shares the goal of all seven Department of Arkansas Heritage agencies, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. The agencies are Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Old State House Museum.


Free ASO Concert Tonight

20121020-054530.jpgMany have asked what the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will do when Robinson Center Music Hall is closed for renovations starting in 2014. Currently, a task force of board members, ASO staff, and musicians is researching and visiting venues throughout Central Arkansas that might serve as suitable performance spaces.

This is where the public has a part to play.

The ASO is hosting an open rehearsal tonight at 7:15 p.m. at the Wally Allen Ballroom in the Statehouse Convention Center. This rehearsal will be open to the public and FREE—so bring your friends and family. The ASO need hundreds of people to come and fill the room so that it can hear what the sound quality is like. The ASO also need your feedback. Will this be a suitable “second home” for the ASO while it is out of Robinson?

There is limited seating for this event, so please RSVP to Kelly Parker at (501) 666-1761, ext. 114 or kparker@ArkansasSymphony.org if you would like to attend.

The music to be played includes:

GIOACHINO ANTONIO ROSSINI: The Barber of Seville Overture
KLAUS BADELT/Ted Ricketts: Pirates of the Caribbean
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER/Calvin Custer: The Phantom of the Opera: Selections
JOHANN STRAUSS II: The Blue Danube
HANS ZIMMER/John Wasson: Music from Gladiator
IGOR STRAVINSKY: The Firebird Suite
CHARLES ROMAULD GARDES nee CARLOS GARDEL/John Williams: Tango (Por Una Cabeza)—Kiril Laskarov,violin


Riverfest 2013 Lineup Announced

rvrfstlogoSugar Ray, Daughtry, Cody Belew, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Peter Frampton among headliners

Verizon will again serve as the presenting sponsor for Riverfest 2013 – Arkansas’s largest and most popular music, arts and food festival.

The following musical headliners will perform at the main stages:
Bud Light Stage: Friday – Daughtry; Saturday – Sugar Ray, Blackstone Cherry, Bush; Sunday – Cody Belew, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley.
Miller Lite/Arkansas Federal Credit Union Stage: Friday – Rodney Atkins, Jana Kramer, Darius Rucker; Saturday – Lupe Fiasco, Kelly Rowland; Sunday – Drive By Truckers, Peter Frampton

The festival is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, and will feature music and activities in Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, Clinton Center Park, Heifer International Campus and the vibrant River Market District in downtown Little Rock. Children 6 and younger are free. Local and regional entertainers will be announced over the next weeks.

Advance tickets go on sale Monday, April 1, at Walgreens stores throughout Arkansas. These tickets are $17.50 for three days’ admission – half the cost of the $35 gate admission.

The advance ticket will be exchanged at any festival gateway for an IBERIABANK wristband that can be used for admission into all three days of food, fun and entertainment along the Arkansas River.

Quantities are limited for half-price tickets, so the public is encouraged to act fast. Visit www.riverfestarkansas.com for a list of store locations selling tickets.

Three-day passes sold at the gate will be $35. Tickets are now on sale online at www.riverfestarkansas.com for $30


ASO at Capital Hotel Tonight

ASO at CHMusicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will be performing this evening in the lobby of the historic Capital Hotel.

The music will start at 5:00 pm and will feature the Quapaw Quartet.

In 2011, the ASO started these free concerts in the lobby of the Capital Hotel.  The marble and tile of this historic lobby provide a wonderful acoustic backdrop for the musicians.

The concert will feature short, accessible pieces along with commentary from the musicians.

Unlike concerts in music halls, guests here are encouraged to bring drinks to their seats or to stand and move around while the musicians are playing.  It is a relaxed, informal atmosphere where the audience and musicians alike are able to interact with each other.

This concert is part of the ASO’s ongoing efforts to play throughout the community under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann and Executive Director Christina Littlejohn.  In addition to the Capital Hotel concerts, they offer occasional free concerts at UAMS and have recently started the INC (Intimate Neighborhood Concerts) subscription series.


Science after Dark tonight: Extreme Weather

579189_304785576315615_574944738_nThis month’s Science After Dark is “In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb; The Science of Extreme Weather” and will be Wednesday, March 27.

Science after Dark occurs the last Wednesday of each month. Museum educators pick a science-related topic, and develop an event around it. The event is for ages 21 and older. General admission is $5 per person. Museum members get in free.

It is a great chance to explore the museum’s exhibits and enjoy downtown Little Rock.