Violinist Randall Goosby at Mosaic Templars this morning, presented by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO GoosbyToday at 10 a.m., the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, in partnership with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO), presents Randall Goosby.

A young African American violin prodigy, Goosby won the prestigious Sphinx competition at age 13. Goosby is currently enrolled at Juilliard under the instruction of world-class violinists, Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho. Goosby is the January guest violinist for ASO and will perform Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with the orchestra January 31 and February 1.

For more information, call Elvon Reed at 501-683-3592 or email

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.


Little Rock Look Back: President William McKinley

William_McKinley_by_Courtney_Art_Studio,_1896It doesn’t appear that William McKinley ever visited Little Rock.  He does, however, have a street named after him.  In the list of Presidential streets, he is the last President to be the namesake of a street.  It would not be until Roosevelt was named for FDR in the 1930s and Clinton Avenue was named in the 1990s that more Little Rock streets would be named for the Commander in Chief.

William McKinley, Jr., was born on January 29, 1843. He would be the last US President to have served in the Civil War, entering as a private and exiting as a major.  After the war, he returned to his native Ohio, was married and became an attorney.  From 1877 until 1883 and again from 1885 until 1891, he served in Congress.  Defeated for re-election in 1890, he ran for Governor of Ohio in 1891 and was elected. He was re-elected in 1895 but by the next year would be on the ballot for President. Famous for campaigning from his front porch, he was elected in 1896 over William Jennings Bryan.  In 1900, he was re-elected again over Bryan.  On September 6, 1901, in the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, he was shot.  He died on September 14.

President McKinley is responsible for the name Fort Logan H. Roots for the federal military installation located in Little Rock on the north side of the Arkansas River (now part of NLR). It was named for a former GOP Congressman from Arkansas.  As a civic leader, Roots had been involved in the negotiations for the land swap which led to the establishment of the military installation north of the river and the creation of City Park (now MacArthur Park) on the site of the former military outpost. He died in 1893 shortly after the deal had been executed.

Arkansas voters never gave McKinley their electoral votes. But when he was assassinated in September 1901, there was a public memorial service held for him at the Kempner Theatre in downtown Little Rock.  At the time, it was the largest indoor structure in the City for events.

Bijou with Onyx the Band headlines tonight’s Local Live at South on Main

bijoux.jpg.190x140_q60_cropTonight at 7:30, Join the Oxford American magazine for this week’s Local Live free concert at South on Main. Bijoux featuring Onyx the Band is our act this week! Call ahead at (501) 244-9660 to guarantee your seat for this popular series.

Bijoux—a native of Little Rock—is a sultry, soul singer adept in various styles. The daughter of West African parents, Bijoux grew up in a household exposed to differing genres of music including folk, classic rock and roll, makossa, country, and R&B.

Bijoux’s jovial spirit, endearing vocals, vibrant entertaining, and musical versatility make her a perfect artist for any event or atmosphere!

Band members include Quintin Stephens (drums), Jay Starks (bass), Rick Horton (keys).

Lineup for 2015 Arkansas Literary Festival announced

alf maurice               Prestigious award-winners, big names, GRAMMY nominees, filmmakers, journalists, and artists are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the twelfth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 23-26, 2015. The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops,presentations, opportunities to meet authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.

The Arkansas Literary Festival, the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, will include more than 80 presenters including featured authors John Waters, Rebecca Wells, Charles D. Morgan, Andrew Keen, Cheryl & Griff Day, Issa Rae, Ted Rall, Rick Bragg, Megan Abbott, Seph Lawless, Wesley K. Clark, and Bryan Collier.

This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Purple Heart, GLAAD Stephen F. Kolzak Award, Hugo Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Caldecott Honor, American Society of Newspaper Editor’s Distinguished Writing Award, Hammett Prize, Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, Bram Stoker Award, Whiting Writers Award, Plimpton Prize, Shorty Award for best web show, Beatrice Hawley award, New York Times Editor’s Selection, Poets Prize, Romantic Times Legend of Romance, Porter Prize, a James Beard Award nominee, the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christen Andersen Award, and more.

Special events for adults during the Festival include a cocktail reception with the authors, a session with John Waters, special art exhibits, and a workshop on developing a personal style. Panels and sessions include genres and topics such as scientific thinking, Jerry Lee Lewis, the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, comic art, romance, war, and baking.

Children’s special events include a Tiny Ninja workshop, and a play based on Chicken Little and the Little Red Hen. Festival sessions for children will take place at both the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, 4800 10th Street, and the Youth Services Department at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street. Special events for teens include a session with E. Lockhart, whose book, We Were Liars, was the best reviewed book for young adults in 2014..

Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.

Support for the Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including Central Arkansas Library System, Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL), Arkansas Humanities Council, Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, ProSmart Printing, Little Rock Family, KUAR FM 89.1, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sync, Arkansas Life, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Windstream, Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Arkansas Times, Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Hampton Inn Downtown/McKibbon Hotel Group, Capital Hotel, Historic Arkansas Museum , TransAmerica, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Arkansas Library Association, Pulaski Technical College, Union Pacific, Sequoyah National Research Center, Gibbs Elementary School, Rockefeller Elementary School, Hendrix College, Hendrix College Project Pericles Program, Arkansas Women’s Forum, Philander Smith College, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, East Harding, University of Arkansas at Little Rock English Department, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Rhetoric and Writing, Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing/Hearne Fine Art, Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas, Christ Episcopal Church, and Lamar Advertising. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Author! Author!, a cocktail reception with the authors, will be Friday, April 24, at 7 p.m. and the Fred Darragh Distinguished Lecture with John Waters, will be Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets for both events are $25 in advance, and $40 at the door, and go on sale at beginning Tuesday, April 1. Author! Author! tickets will also be available for purchase at the Main Library and River Market Books & Gifts, 120 River Market Avenue.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System.  The Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace. A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Katherine Whitworth is the 2015 Festival Chair. Other committee chairs include Kevin Brockmeier, Talent Committee; Susan Santa Cruz, Festival Guides; Laura Stanley, Hospitality Gifts; and Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators.

For more information about the 2015 Arkansas Literary Festival, visit, or contact Brad Mooy at or 918-3098. For information on volunteering at the Festival, contact Angela Delaney at adelaney@cals.orgor 918-3095.

Service Industry Night at Tales from the South

tfts sinWorking in the service industry gives people the opportunity to see the best and worst.  Tonight, Tales from the South has its first “Service Industry Night” celebrating the people who work in that industry–and the experiences they have had.  The storytellers tonight are Skip Dahlgren, Rhett Brinkley, and Bill Scott.

Music is by the Salty Dogs and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.  Tonight’s event takes place at Sticky’s Rock ‘n Roll Chicken Shack.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door if any tickets still remain.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on February 5.

Sounds of Arkansas celebrated with Arkansas Sounds concert lineup

arkansas_sounds_2013In 2015, Arkansas Sounds’ monthly concert series features diverse artists ranging from progressive jazz to historic folk music. For concerts at the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS)Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., tickets may be purchased and Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Ave. Tickets purchased online will not be mailed, but may be picked up in the theater’s lobby one hour prior to the show. For the concert at Hillcrest Hall, 1501 Kavanaugh Blvd., tickets may be purchased at the door one hour prior to the event. For concerts with free admission, reservations are not required. For more information, call 501-918-3033.

Charley Sandage & Harmony

Friday, February 13, 7:30 p.m., Free

Ron Robinson Theater

Charley Sandage and Harmony, a Mountain View trio comprising Mary and Robert Gillihan and Dave Smith, perform original songs that tell stories about people and events that shaped Arkansas. The group plays traditional instruments including fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, autoharp, bass, button accordion, harmonica, pickin’ bow, and spoons.


Bill Frisell & Kenny Wollesen

Monday, February 23, 7 p.m., $20 General Admission

Ron Robinson Theater

Bill Frisell is a jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger whose eclectic style touches on progressive folk, classical, country, and noise music. He has released over 30 albums, received numerous Grammy nominations, and won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2005. Kenny Wollesen, a drummer and percussionist, has recorded and toured with artists such as Tom Waits, Sean Lennon, Norah Jones, and John Zorn, among many others.


Celtic Cultural Celebration Featuring Lyon College Pipe Band

Saturday, March 14, 7 p.m., Free

Ron Robinson Theater

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate Celtic culture with an Arkansas Sounds concert, featuring the Lyon College Pipe Band, an award-winning bagpipe band from Batesville, Arkansas. The concert will include traditional Scottish bagpipe music, Scottish and Irish dancers, and a ceilidh (Celtic) band with guitars, accordions, uilleann (Irish) pipes, and singers.


Brian Nahlen

Friday, April 17, 7 p.m., $5 General Admission

Hillcrest Hall

Singer/songwriter Brian Nahlen, a North Little Rock native, will perform a few Beatles favorites, such as “Blackbird,” “Norwegian Wood,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and original music from his debut album, Better Than I Thought It Could Be, to be released in February, 2015.


The Wildflowers (Amy Garland, Bonnie Montgomery, Mandy McBryde)

Friday, May 29, 7 p.m., $10 General Admission

Ron Robinson Theater

Amy Garland, Bonnie Montgomery, and Mandy McBryde have recently formed the Wildflowers, performing music with folk, country, rock, and blues influences. This concert will feature a brief solo set by each artist, followed up with a full set to be performed by the trio with a backing band.


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

Tonight at Arkansas Rep – UALR History Professor Carl Moneyhon will discuss the South at the end of the Civil War

Carl_Moneyhon_smIn conjunction with the current production of The Whipping Man, UALR History Professor Dr. Carl Moneyhon will be speaking at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre this evening. His remarks are entitled “The World Turned Upside Down: The South at The End.

Dr. Moneyhon is a specialist in the history of the American Civil War and the South and is widely published in his field. He is faculty liaison with the University History Institute, an organization that develops closer ties between the department and the community. He serves on editorial boards of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly & the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. He has won the UALR Faculty Excellence Award for Research and the UALR Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching.

The program is at 6:00 tonight in Foster’s at the Arkansas Rep.  The doors open at 5:30; a cash bar will be available.  Admission is free for members of the Rep and $10 for non-members.  Registration is required and can be made by calling the Rep Box Office at 501-378-0405.