Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Tonight – Science After Dark explores Arkansas Weather

science weatherEach month the Museum of Discovery hosts “Science after Dark” for adults aged 21 and up.  This month’s theme is “Science of Weather.”

Check out our partners and programs:

  • Meteorologist Natalie Walters
  • National Weather Service
  • American Red Cross
  • Central Arkansas Storm Chasers
  • Entergy Arkansas
  • All-Clean USA
  • Museum educators will also discuss lightening with the Van de Graaff Generator, clouds, fire tornadoes
  • Kevin Delaney will make a giant liquid nitrogen cloud!

Cash bar by Juanita’s, beer sold by Stone’s Throw Brewery and pizza sold by the slice by Damgoode Pies

The program runs from 6pm to 9pm. Cost is $5, FREE for museum members. (Go ahead and get a membership, it will more than pay for itself within a year!)


Little Rock Look Back: Mayor Lottie Shackelford

Mayor Lottie_ShackelfordOn April 30, 1941, future Little Rock Mayor Lottie Shackelford was born. Throughout her career in public service she has been a trailblazer.

Active in community activities and politics, she ran for the City Board in 1974 and lost.  But she was appointed to the Little Rock City Board in September 1978 to fill a vacancy.  This made her the first African American woman to serve on he City Board, and indeed on any governing board for the City (during Reconstruction, there were at least three African Americans on the City Council, but they were all men.) She was subsequently elected to a full-term on the City Board in 1980 winning 55% of the vote over three male candidates.

She was subsequently re-elected in 1984 (unopposed) and in 1988 (with 60% of the vote).

In January 1987, Shackelford became the first female mayor of Little Rock when she was chosen by her colleagues on the City Board to serve in that position. She was Mayor until December 1988.

From 1982 until 1992, she served as Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Minority Purchasing Council.  She left that position to serve as Deputy Campaign Manager of Clinton for President.  She subsequently served on the Clinton/Gore transition team. She later served on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation from 1993 to 2003. She was the first African American to be in that position.

A graduate of Philander Smith College, she has also studied at the Arkansas Institute of Politics at Hendrix College and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mayor Shackelford has also served on numerous boards including the Little Rock Airport Commission, Philander Smith College, Chapman Funds (Maryland) and Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation (Arizona).  She has been the longest serving Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Mayor Shackelford was in the first class of inductees for the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.


Local Live tonight at South on Main – Tonya Leeks Band

som leeksThis week’s installment of the free Local Live concert series features the Tonya Leeks Band!  It starts at 7:30pm.

Presented by the Oxford American, Local Live showcases the best of local and regional music talent. Call ahead to South on Main to make your reservation and ensure a table: (501) 244-9660. Local Live is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Cosmic Cowboy Music.

Tonya Leeks is a flautist, saxophonist, and vocalist from Arkansas. She was a featured saxophone soloist with Grammy nominee Gladys McFadden and the Loveing Sisters. Leeks has performed all across the U.S. as a leader and accompanist.

Leeks describes herself as a contemporary inspirational musician seeking to uplift, encourage, and entertain others while sharing the enjoyment and appreciation for the gift of music.


Tonight at Jazz in the Park – John Burnette Band

SONY DSCJazz in the Park finishes the first half of its third year tonight with the John Burnette Band.

John Burnette is a Singer, Songwriter, and Guitarist from Little Rock who combines his background in Folk, Jazz, Rock, and Blues to create a familiar yet searching blend of music that draws on his past musical experiences.

He spent the first years of his life growing up in Mountain View: the “Folk Music Capitol of the World,” in a community dedicated to supporting and continuing the tradition of live music and storytelling, which paved the way for him to learn how to play the guitar. He moved to Little Rock at age 11 with his mother and began performing at the age of 14 in open blues jams early on, then graduated to playing with various rock bands from Arkansas Tennessee. Upon graduating high school, he received a scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and holds a degree in Music with an emphasis in Jazz Guitar Studies and Entrepreneurship.

During college, he formed a Jazz group with Bassist Michael Lavender and Drummer Adam Tompkins and has been performing regularly with them since 2008. After graduation, John took on vocal duties in the band to a surprisingly warm audience reception and began writing and arranging tunes for the group. Soon after, they formed The John Burnette Band and began performing their original material. “It was a really interesting and unnerving experience going from being solely a guitar player to tackling the new territory of singing and writing tunes, but the response was really encouraging and it became a really enjoyable creative outlet that has opened up a lot more aesthetic possibilities for us,” says John. They are in the process of writing and recording their debut EP and stay busy in the meantime playing with various acts throughout the state.

Michael Lavender has a background playing Metal, Jazz, Funk, Blues, and Rock and is as proficient on a stand-up bass as he is an electric. Mike holds a degree in Bass Performance from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Adam Tompkins has been playing drums in Blues, Rock, Folk and Jazz bands as well as percussion ensembles since his teenage years and has a minor in Music focusing on percussion. “I couldn’t have been blessed with a better group of guys to play with. They have such varied backgrounds and are extremely competent in their own rights, but having them together creates an atmosphere that is really conducive to trying new things and being able to go in just about any direction we want. They’re so easy to communicate with and it’s a real blessing,” says John.

The concert will be from 6pm to 8pm in the History Pavilion in Riverfront Park.  The closest entry point to the History Pavilion is Ottenheimer Drive off of President Clinton Avenue.

In case of rain, the River Market West Pavilion will be the alternate location for the event.

jazzinpark

The event is completely free, but no coolers are allowed. Beer, wine, soft drinks and water will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Art Porter Music Education, Inc.’s scholarship fund.  Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, and there is some seating in the natural stone amphitheater at the History Pavilion.

This event is sponsored by Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and the River Market.

For more information about Art Porter Music Education, visit www.artporter.org.


Music for Double Reeds in free ASO concert this afternoon at UAMS.

aso_2-colorThe Ruth Allen UAMS Series takes place from time to time at UAMS and is free.  This afternoon at 4:30pm will be the latest concert in the series.

The musicians today will be music for double reeds!

TAYLOR Bach Goes North
BOZZA Shepherds of Provence
DIETZE Variations on a Hungarian Folksong
RATHBUN Two Marches
BACH Three Part Inventions No. 8, No. 13, and No. 15
BROUGHTON Music for Oboes
RUNNING Quodlibet
TAYLOR Bach Goes to Sea

As always, the concert is free and everyone is invited. It should be a nice way to start the holiday season. We look forward to seeing you there.

Here are the directions for the concert:

From Markham, turn south onto Hooper St.
Follow signs to Parking Lot 1.
Enter the lot, which goes underground.
Take the elevator to the “top” of the parking Lot 1, which immediately adjoins the back side of the lobby.
The Music Room is at the west end of the lobby, behind the grand piano.


Arkansas connections to 2015 Tony nominations

Rock the TonysLittle Rock native Will Trice picked up his sixth and seventh Tony nominations this morning. He was nominated as a producer for Best Play nominee Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2. He was also nominated for being a producer of Best Revival of a Play nominee You Can’t Take It with You.

Each of the past three years, Trice has earned a Tony. On June 7, he’ll find out if there will be another silver medallion or two to add to his mantle.

Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2 was the most nominated play picking up eight nominations.  In addition to Best Play, it was nominated for Actor in a Play (Ben Miles), Featured Actor in a Play (Nathaniel Parker), Featured Actress in a Play (Lydia Leonard), Director of a Play (Jeremy Herrin), Scenic Design of a Play (Christopher Oram), Costume Design of a Play (Christopher Oram) and Lighting Design of a Play (Paule Constable & David Plater).

You Can’t Take It with You picked up a total of five nominations.  In addition to Revival of a Play, it was recognized for Featured Actress in a Play (Annaleigh Ashford), Director of a Play (Scott Ellis), Scenic Design of a Play (David Rockwell) and Costume Design of a Play (Jane Greenwood).

A third title which Trice produced received a Tony nomination.  Elisabeth Moss was nominated for Actress in a Play for her performance in the revival of The Heidi Chronicles.

Another Arkansas connection to the Tonys is Japhy Weideman. A few seasons back, he was a lighting designer at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  This marked the third year he received a Tony nominations for his lighting design. This year, he picked up a Tony in both Lighting Design of a Play (for the play Airline Highway) and Lighting Design of a Musical (for the musical The Visit).  Incidentally, both of these productions opened on the same night. That put Weideman in rarefied company of having two shows opening on the same night.


Tonight at South on Main – UCA Arts Night

som uca percussionUCA Arts Night takes the stage at South on Main tonight at 7:30.  The evening is spsonored by the Oxford American in partnership with the UCA School of Fine Art and Communications.

This semester’s concert features Blake Tyson and the UCA Percussion Group performing a selection of original compositions and innovative arrangements. The event is free and open to the public, but call ahead at (501) 244-9660 to ensure a reservation at a table.

Blake Tyson is recognized as one of the finest percussionists of his generation, and his compositions are performed in concert halls around the world. His own performances have taken him to five continents and almost forty states, but he is proud to call Arkansas home. Blake will take the stage at South on Main to perform his own works, as well as works by some of his favorite composers. In addition to solo pieces, he’ll perform chamber music with a selection of his fantastic graduate students from the University of Central Arkansas Percussion Studio,