Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


LITTLE ENGINE running at Arts Center Children’s Theatre

As the state’s premiere center for visual and performing arts with a renowned collection of international art, the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will present The Engine That Thought It Could November 29 – December 22.

“We are thrilled to bring this wonderful children’s book to life with the excitement and magic that only live theater can,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “Generations will enjoy the style and spirit of a story they know and love.”

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will take the audience on an exciting journey in this classic tale of determination when it’s left up to the little engine to save the day. The little engine learns that hard work pays off even when faced with adversity. The Engine That Thought It Could is written by Alan Keith Smith and is based on the 1906 story by Reverend Charles S. Wing.

The cast for The Engine That Thought It Could includes:

  • Veronica Lowry, of Charlottesville, Va., as Fast Fanny
  • Jeremy Matthey, of Little Rock, as Mister Moon/Big Electric Bill/Yard Hand
  • Aleigha Garstka, of Little Rock, as Big Momma Engine
  • Sissy Anne Quaranta, of Denver, Colo., as Miss Phoebe Sunshine
  • Ben Fish, of Little Rock, as Uncle Big Reggie Engine/Yard Hand
  • Erin Fowler, of Little Rock, as Yard Hand/Choreographer
  • Mark Hansen, of Little Rock, as Conductor Mike/Big Don Diesel
  • Madison Stolzer, of Little Rock, Little Millie Engine

The production is directed by John Isner, artistic direction by Bradley Anderson, choreography by Erin Fowler, costumes are designed by Erin Larkin, technical direction by Drew Posey, lighting design by Penelope Poppers, musical direction by Lori Isner, properties by Miranda Young, scenic design by Mary Alyce Hare and Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager.

Presenting sponsors are Landers FIAT in Benton, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, JPMS Cox and Centennial Bank.  This production also sponsored by All Aboard Restaurant.

Recognized by The Drama League as one of the best regional theatre companies in America, the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre is the only professional company in Arkansas that produces children’s literary works for the stage. Since 1979, Children’s Theatre has been creating unique experiences for family audiences. During the 2012-13 season, nearly 43,000 children and families enjoyed Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre productions which included more than 200 schools across Arkansas.

For more information, visit arkansasartscenter.org or call (501)372-4000. “Like” the Arkansas Arts Center on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on exhibitions, events and educational offerings.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Contact: (501)372-4000
Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre – 9th and Commerce, Little Rock, AR 72202
Cost: General Admission Tickets are $12.50 for children and adults & $10 for AAC members.

Performance Times: Friday at 7 p.m.
Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Sunday at 2 p.m.
Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by: the City of Little Rock; The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; The City of North Little Rock and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.


November Science After Dark: Science of PI(E)

Usually the Museum of Discovery’s SCIENCE AFTER DARK takes place on the final Wednesday of the month. Because that is Thanksgiving Eve, they have moved it to the final Tuesday in November.
In honor of Thanksgiving, the Museum of Discovery’s monthly adult event, Science After Dark, will focus on the science of pi as well as pie.

  • Enjoy pi-centric math activities as well as a pi-based art project
  • Learn the secret to the perfect pie crust with Rock Town Distillery
  • Get a pie thrown in your face
  • Participate in a pie eating contest
  • Learn about the latest dough recipe from Damgoode Pies
  • Enjoy complimentary pie from local bakeries

Damgoode Pies will sell pizza by the slice and Juanita’s will provide a cash bar
Tuesday, November 26 from 6-8 p.m.
@ Museum of Discovery
Ages 21 and older

Cash Bar Available

Admission: $5 per person; members FREE


Little Rock Look Back: Mayor Horace Knowlton

On this date in 1872, future Little Rock Mayor Horace A. Knowlton Jr. was born.

In April 1920, he was elected City Clerk of Little Rock.  He served in that position until April 1931.  That year, he was chosen as the Democratic nominee for Mayor, denying incumbent Mayor Pat L. Robinson a second term.  The primary race against Mayor Robinson was close.  When the results were first announced, it looked as if Mayor Robinson had prevailed.  But after challenging ballots, Mr. Knowlton was declared the winner.  Since Little Rock was primarily a Democratic Party city, unsurprisingly Mr. Knowlton was elected Mayor in April 1931 and served two terms as Mayor.

He oversaw the start of some of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs in Arkansas during his tenure.  In 1934, he negotiated the purchase of Gillam Park for the City which established the first public park in Little Rock for African Americans.  This was a very forward-thinking action at the time.  One of his final acts as Mayor was to participate in the groundbreaking for the Museum of Fine Arts building in City Park (now a portion of the Arkansas Arts Center building in MacArthur Park).

Following his departure from public office, Mayor Knowlton and his wife (who had been an elementary school teacher) eventually moved to Florida and resided in the Tampa Bay area.  His son and grandson (Horace III and Horace IV) have both been lawyers in the Tampa Bay area.  Mayor Knowlton died on February 14, 1965 and is buried in the Oak Grove cemetery in Conway.


Thanksgiving Week Sculpture Vulture: Sierra

20121104-083039.jpgWith Thanksgiving later this week, today’s Sculpture Vulture focuses on one of sculpture which highlights items from a harvest which might appear in a Thanksgiving meal.  The sculpture, Sierra, was installed in the summer of 2012. Wayne Salge’s piece celebrates the gifts of women.

The sculpture depicts a stylized woman carrying an urn, several bottles and some fruit. It stands 9 feet and three inches tall and is cast in bronze.

The sculpture stands at the southeast corner of the intersection of 2nd Street and River Market Avenue. It was donated by Everett Tucker III in honor of Rebecca Bost Tucker, Michael Hickerson in honor of Meredith Berry Hickerson, Doyle “Rog” Rogers in honor of Carolyn Wilmans Rogers, Mack and Franklin McLarty in honor of Donna Cochran McLarty, and the Dolphin-Laser Swim team in honor of Mary Grace Tucker.

Salge sculpting SIERRA

Salge sculpting SIERRA

When Salge is creating art, he says that he attempts to emphasize both contemporary and classic design elements: line, space, texture and color reflected by intricate patinas. His abstracted human and animal figures are then cast in small limited editions. Bronze is the ideal medium to continue this melding of old and new with his signature style resulting in the expression of attitude or emotion.

Born and raised in San Antonio, he has also lived in Massachusetts, Washington DC and Denver.  He now resides and creates art in Johnstown, CO.  In the late 1960s, he was stationed in Vietnam.  He has studied at San Antonio College, La Villita School of Art and various sculpture workshops.

Over the years, Salge has had a variety of professions including: Television art director, Army illustrator, Advertising agency art director, Freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Painter (oils and acrylics) and Sculptor (stone and bronze).


Little Rock Look Back: Mayor Charles Bertrand

Bertra1Two hundred and five years ago today, on November 23, 1808, future Mayor Charles P. Bertrand was born in New York.  He was the son of Pierre and Eliza Wilson Bertrand; his father died in 1809 in an uprising in Haiti and his mother eventually remarried.  With her new husband, Dr. Matthew Cunningham, she and the family moved to Little Rock in 1820.

After apprenticing with family friend William Woodruff at the Arkansas Gazette, Bertrand opened the Arkansas Advocate newspaper.  He later studied law under Robert Crittenden and entered the legal profession.

In 1835-1836, he served as State Treasurer for the Arkansas Territory, and in 1836 as secretary for the first constitutional convention. He was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1840-1841 and 1844-1849.

Bertrand followed in his stepfather’s footsteps and became Mayor of Little Rock.  (Dr. Cunningham had been the first Little Rock Mayor in 1831.)  He was in office from January 1855 through January 1857, serving two one-year terms.  He later served on the City Council and filled in as acting mayor. (Another influence on his upbringing was studying under future Mayor Jesse Brown who taught at the first school in Little Rock.)

Bertrand, as acting mayor, was involved in the negotiations of the surrender of Little Rock to federal troops in 1863.  He also later corresponded with President Lincoln on behalf of Little Rock citizens.  Though a staunch Confederate, his good will toward the Union soldiers and federal officials is credited with helping to save Little Rock from the destruction which befell many other Southern cities.  He is also credited with delaying the start of the Civil War.  Prior to the attack on Fort Sumner, members of the Arkansas Militia were planning to attack the Federal Arsenal at Little Rock during the absence of Governor Rector.  This would have been viewed as an act of war.  Bertrand was able to dissuade them from the attack.  Had he been unsuccessful, the Civil War would have likely started in Arkansas instead of South Carolina.

He had put his considerable fortune into Confederate money during the war. At the Civil War’s conclusion, the family was financially ruined. Though they had vast land holdings, those would be sold off in parcels to pay for taxes.

Bertrand died August 27, 1865, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War.  He, like his mother, step-father, and several other relatives is buried in Mt. Holly Cemetery.


Steven Lin at Chamber Music Society of LR tonight

steven linSteven Lin will be the featured artist tonight at the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock concert.  The event will take place at 7:30 tonight at Trinity United Methodist Church.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Chamber Music Society website.

A victory at the 2012 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition is the latest in a growing list of awards for Steven Lin, an immediately engaging and imaginative young Taiwanese American pianist.  The Baltimore Sun declared his recent performance “elegantly refined,” listening to Lin as soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Baltimore Symphony.  His vibrant playing at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was recognized both by the critics (“…thoroughly enjoyable both as music and as a performance”–Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) and the judges, who selected him for the John Giordano Jury Chairman Discretionary Award.

Highlights of his 2013-14 season include debut recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (CAG New York Series) and Merkin Concert Hall, the Gilmore Rising Stars series (Kalamazoo, MI), Pepperdine University Center for the Arts (Malibu, CA), Chamber Music Society of Little Rock (AR), and the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech University.  Featured concerto engagements include the Tulare County Symphony (CA), where he plays Michael Daugherty’s Le Tombeau de Liberace.  The season began with summer festival performances at the Aspen Chamber Music Workshop, under the mentorship of David Finckel and Wu Han, and the La Jolla Summerfest, curated by violinist Cho-Liang Lin.

Steven Lin’s artistry was clear from an early age when he was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division on a full scholarship at the age of ten to study with Yoheved Kaplinsky.  A two-time winner of the Juilliard Pre-College Piano Competition, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in Avery Fisher Hall at the age of 13.  Additional concerto engagements include the New Jersey Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony and Sendai Symphony Orchestra in addition to the Baltimore and New York appearances.

The pianist’s broad musical interests allow him to move with ease between concertos, recitals and chamber music, enjoying appearances around the world at important venues including the Louvre and Salle Cortot in France, National Dublin Hall in Ireland, Seoul Arts Center in Korea, Sendai Cultural Center in Japan, and Avery Fisher Hall in the United States.  Recent recitals debuts include the National Chopin Foundation in Miami and the International Piano Series in Charleston.  Steven Lin has appeared on radio broadcasts including NPR’s From The Top and WQXR’s McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase.

During the CAG Competition, Mr. Lin’s compelling artistry was further recognized with a special piano prize.  Also in 2012, he was a prizewinner at the William Kapell International Competition, The Juilliard School’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition and he claimed an unprecedented three honors at the 2012 International Hilton Head Piano Competition, cited for his excellence in baroque and contemporary music as well as his overall pianism.

Steven Lin earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at The Juilliard School, studying with Robert McDonald and Matti Raekallio.  In fall 2013 he will pursue a Performance Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, under the guidance of Robert McDonald.  When not making music, Steven Lin describes himself as an “NBA basketball fanatic,” a source of great pride and commitment which began when he was eight years old.


RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles at Robinson Center tonight

Rain Tour - A Tribute to the beatlesThough there is only one Fab Four — a quartet of singing musicians will be on stage of Robinson Center Music Hall tonight to pay tribute to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES is a live multi-media spectacular that takes you on a musical journey through the life and times of the world’s most celebrated band. Going further than before, this new RAIN adds even more hits that you know and love from the vast anthology of Beatles classics such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together” and “Hey Jude.”

This stunning concert event takes you back in time with the legendary foursome delivering a note-for-note theatrical event that is the next best thing to the Beatles. Don’t miss the Broadway smash that’s taking the world by storm…RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES.

Ticketing phone: 501-244-8800

Group Sales phone: 501-492-3311

Box Office (where to buy in person):

To purchase tickets in person for RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles at the Robinson Center Music Hall

Little Rock Ticket Office
300 S. Spring Street, Suite 100
Little Rock, AR 72201