Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Mozart in A tonight

kiril mozartaThe St. Luke’s Festival of the Senses, our parish’s arts series, is gearing up for new year packed with exciting concerts and arts events. The year kicks off Monday, August 31st at 7pm with Mozart in A, a chamber music program.

The selections will be Mozart pieces composed in A major: Piano Concerto No. 23 and the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 29.musicians performing are Tatiana Roitman, piano; Kiril Laskarov, violin; Eric Hayward, violin; Katherine Williamson, viola; and Stephen Feldman, cello.

Festival of the Senses is funded by private donations, the Arkansas Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Book on Ancient Greece, Macedonia by UALR History Professor Dr. Edward Anson published

anson ualr historyInternationally renowned scholar and University of Arkansas at Little Rock history professor Dr. Edward Anson had a second edition of his book, “Eumenes of Cardia: A Greek Among Macedonians,” released this summer.

Published by Brill Academic, the book is extensively revised from his 2004 edition, with new cuneiform material and a bibliography that includes 80 new entries.

“It has been a decade since the first edition, and much new research has been added since the original,” Anson said.

Eumenes of Cardia was a royal secretary who became a major contender for power after the death of Alexander the Great and was close to securing control of the Asian remnants of Alexander’s empire. Anson’s book argues that, despite traditional telling, Eumenes’ defeat and death were not caused by the fact that he had Greek rather than Macedonian origins.

The book may be purchased at Brill Academic and Barnes and Noble. The UALR Ottenheimer library also holds a copy.

Additionally, Anson had three chapters published in books this summer:

• “Alexander at the Beas” in “East and West in the Empire of Alexander: Essays in Honour of Brian Bosworth” by Oxford University Press
• “‘Shock and Awe’ à la Alexander the Great” in “The Many Faces of War” by Oxford University Press
• “Counter-Insurgency: The Lessons of Alexander the Great” in “Greece, Macedon, and Persia: Studies in Social, Political and Military History, A Festschrift honoring Waldemar Heckel” by Oxbow Books

Anson has published more than 50 encyclopedia articles, 14 book chapters, and more than 30 peer-reviewed articles.

His recently published books, “Alexander the Great: Themes and Issues” and “Alexander’s Heirs: The Age of the Diadochi,” was called “essential for all college and university libraries” by the American Library Association.

Anson is renowned for his work and study of fourth century B.C. Greek history. He is acclaimed by scholars all over the world for his area of specialization in the era of Alexander the Great and his successors.

His degrees include a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Drake University.


Sculpture Vulture: Casey G. Horn’s TRANQUILITY

DSC_0658One of the newest sculptures in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden is Casey G. Horn’s Tranquility.  

Made of bronze and stainless steel, the inspiration for the piece was the Chinese word (character) 安 Ān: peaceful, content, safe.

As Horn says: You can derive a story from the composition of the character. It breaks down into two parts: ornamental roof and woman. Read in this way,  “a woman is at peace in a beautiful home.”

The curved shapes in Tranquility mimic the lines in some other nearby sculptures as well as the foliage in the park.  However, it is unlike any of the other sculptures. It both stands out and blends in with its surroundings.

Tranquility was purchased by the Sculpture at the River Market committee.


Little Rock Look Back: The City welcomes Katrina evacuees

Hurricane KatrinaIn light of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and City Manager Bruce Moore sprung into action to marshal resources to welcome visitors who found themselves in Little Rock. From greeting buses and aircraft that arrived with evacuees, to coordinating with churches and non-profits to distribute supplies, to working with area businesses to identify resources, Mayor Dailey, the City Manager and other City leaders worked diligently to offer assistance.

Mayor Dailey noted, “While we welcome these visitors to our City, obviously the timeframe for this stay was not of their own choosing. As they wait out the hurricane and its aftereffects, I wanted to extend this hospitality to them on behalf of all our citizens.”

One of the things the City did was distribute a list of the cultural institutions which had free admission. These museums offered a respite for people who were spending time in hotel rooms or temporary shelters. With economic futures uncertain, spending money on entertainment was not an option for many.  The chance to see exhibits for free was a break from the monotony of television coverage and endless waiting.

In addition to providing information on free and low-cost Little Rock attractions, the Convention & Visitors Bureau worked around the clock to identify available hotel rooms and other places where evacuees could stay.  Little Rock’s Animal Services division worked to find places to keep animals since some could not stay in hotel rooms.

With the breaking of the levee and the subsequent flooding, it became obvious that what many had expected to be a three-day absence from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, was going to be much longer.  The days turned into weeks; subsequently, the City shifted its focus into helping people find housing and jobs.

“I am proud of how Little Rock has responded,” said Mayor Dailey at the time. “From volunteers to utility workers, a number of our citizens are poised to go down there and help restore those basic necessities to the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. I am also proud to know that our hospitality and attraction industries in Little Rock are working to offer comfort and relief here. Perhaps most importantly, the compassionate smiles and words of encouragement extended by everyday men and women in Little Rock to our newest visitors are so significant.”

“I think we can never underestimate the value of helping our neighbors. When Little Rock has been beset by disaster, it has been the knowledge that other people cared about us that has helped as we worked to return to daily routines. While I am sorry that this situation has occurred, I am grateful that we can repay in some small way, all that others have done for us,” said the Mayor.

Ten years on, much has changed in Little Rock because of Katrina.  Some people who came here “temporarily” have stayed.  Others who returned have maintained ties with Central Arkansas friends.  Little Rock’s culinary and hospitality industry have benefitted from several of the newcomers who were brought here by Katrina.  There is perhaps a bit more diversity of beliefs, tastes, and accents because of this storm.

As they did with people stranded in Little Rock after September 11, the City’s cultural institutions opened their doors, their arms and their hearts to the Katrina visitors.  It proved again the healing power of not only the arts but also of hospitality.


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Dave Anderson’s ONE BLOCK at Christ Church

IMG_0596In recognition of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Little Rock is showing a collection of Dave Anderson’s One Block photos.

Little Rock photographer Dave Anderson followed the reconstruction of a single block in New Orleans from 2006 to 2010. This delivers a powerful portrait of the storm’s ongoing physical and psychological impact on a neighborhood and its residents.

Using portraiture, still lifes and abstract images, Anderson’s photos document the evolution of both the street and its houses as residents literally rebuild their lives, exploring the very nature of community while testing its resilience. Anderson’s compassionate treatment of the neighborhood’s straitened financial circumstances and its courageous reconstruction has drawn comparisons to coverage of the Great Depression by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and other Farm Security Administration-funded photographers.

Seventy years later, between the devastation left by Katrina and the current housing crisis, the stability and permanence of the American home are once again in jeopardy, lending Anderson’s record a heightened, timely pertinence. One Block is an extension of Anderson’s optimistic belief that the good within each of us is what unites us, as well as his hope that this commonality will afford us the grace to both endure and emerge from our current turmoil.

Copies of Anderson’s book One Block are available for purchase at the church.


Meshugga Klezmer Band tonight at The Studio Theatre

klezmerCome hear Arkansas’s premiere (maybe only) klezmer ensemble!!!

It all begins tonight at 7:30 pm at The Studio Theatre. For only a $10 cover, experience the joy of Meshugga Klezmer Band (Meshugga.org)

Meshugga Klezmer Band was formed in Little Rock in 1999 and has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, for bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, and at Jewish food festivals, Juanita’s Cantina, Wildwood Park, the Afterthought Lounge, Acoustic Sounds Café, and private parties.  They have played on the stage of both the Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium and the Ron Robinson Theater.

Klezmer music has eastern European Jewish folk roots and is characterized by the cantorial, vocal, often crying style reminiscent of Jewish prayer. Like the cantor, the lead musicians sob, laugh, and slide from note to note.

The musicians include:

  • Jim Harper: clarinet
  • Izzy Getzov: violin
  • Stephanie Smittle: vocals
  • Rand Retzloff: drums
  • Peter Miller: guitar
  • Casey Huie: Trombone
  • Roland Gladen: bass

 


Tonight at 10, Bijoux & LoVe Theory at South on Main in a Late Night Concert

bijoux.jpg.190x140_q60_cropSouth on Main welcomes Bijoux & the LoVe Theory tonight for a Late Night Concert.  Doors open at 4:00 PM, show begins at 10:00 PM. Wristbands can be purchased for $15 after doors open.

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. Her jovial spirit, endearing vocals, vibrant entertaining, and musical versatility make her concerts engaging and fun.