About Scott

A cultural thinker with a life long interest in the arts and humanities: theatre, music, architecture, photography, history, urban planning, etc.

Film Screeners Wanted for 2019 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

The 2019 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is open for submissions and the films are rolling in! Persons who don’t want to wait until October to enjoy a bounty of documentaries can sign up to join the screening committee and play a vital role in the 2019 programming!Want to sign up? Here’s how!

As you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to prepare for those 9 days in October, and the process begins with the Screening Committee.  It gets to work as soon as the HSDFF is open for entries, and works through Mid-July. Here are the basic details:

The screening committee is an advisory group that serves the festival programmers. Each year, HSDFF receives over 1,000 entries, and the Screening Committee reviews them and pre-qualifies them to help the programmers make informed decisions. The Committee does not make final programming decisions, but they do make sure that each submission gets multiple viewings and ratings to expedite the programming process.

What is required? Watching films online, and writing detailed reviews on FilmFreeway.com. You’ll be provided a login when we get started up, and the site is very easy to use.

Do I have to attend meetings? There are monthly Screening Committee meetings held, mostly in in Hot Springs. Attendance at these meetings isn’t mandatory, but all are welcome to attend and spend time with their fellow screeners to discuss their favorite films.

HSDFF requests that screeners commit to viewing at least 50 films over a 5 month period, in exchange for a Film Buff pass, which will get you into all screenings. Screeners that watch 150 films or more will receive an All-Access pass that will grant you access to all the afterparties and the VIP lounge.

Training materials will be provided to all new screeners. You don’t have to write a professional quality review, but HSDFF does ask that you’re sufficiently thorough with your responses in addressing each entry’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall festival-worthiness.

Follow this link to complete your online application. It will only take a few minutes, and your contact information will never be posted publicly or be shared with anyone.


Little Rock Look Back: 57th Mayor Martin Borchert

On January 16, 1916, future Little Rock Mayor Martin Borchert was born in Stuttgart.  After graduating high school he moved to Little Rock.  During World War II, he served as a bomber.  He started work at ACME Brick and spent 21 years there before engaging in other business interests.  Among these businesses were Martin Borchert Co., ASCO Hardware, Detection Systems Inc. and Component Systems Inc.  In 2005 he was inducted into the Arkansas Construction Hall of Fame.

Mayor Borchert was elected to the Little Rock City Board of Directors in 1964 and served from January 1965 through December 1968. He chose not to seek a second term.  In 1967 and 1968 he served as Mayor of Little Rock. During this time, he laid out the vision for what has become Riverfront Park along the Arkansas River.

Other civic achievements included being a member of the Board of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, being on the Governor’s Citizens Advisory Committee, a member of the Pulaski County Quorum Court, vice chairman of the Arkansas Planning Commission, and being on the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council. In 1967 he served on the President’s National Advisory Council to the Small Business Administration.

Mayor Borchert served on the Little Rock Water Commission, including a tenure as chairman. In 1985, he was chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Policy Board and as chairman oversaw the transfer of the Central Arkansas Transit system to the Central Arkansas Transit Authority. One of the achievements of which he was very proud of was that he was one of the very first in Arkansas to receive an Adopt the Highway road.

Mayor Borchert was married for 57 years to Rosemary “Biddy” Branch Borchert.  They had two children, a son, John “Topper” Borchert and a daughter, Leslie Borchert Wilson.  He died on May 11, 2007.

Celebrate Ballet Arkansas this evening at Colonial Wine and Spirits

No photo description available.

In preparation of the second annual Ballet Arkansas Splash: Winter Wine Tasting this weekend, Colonial is celebrating Ballet Arkansas today.

Colonial is hosting a free Tasting Bar event on Wednesday, January 16. Stop by any time between 4 & 7 p.m. to sample delicious wines, meet a few of the dancers and enter to win tickets to Ballet Arkansas’s “Splash: Winter Wine Tasting” on January 19 (no purchase necessary).

Attendees will also be able to purchase tickets to the Winter Wine Tasting that afternoon at a discounted rate.

Colonial is located at 11200 W Markham St.

Tonight – Clinton School and UA Little Rock present program on The Struggle in the South mural

Today (January 16) at noon, UA Little Rock officially cuts the ribbon on the new UA Little Rock Downtown campus in the River Market district.

Tonight at 6pm, the Clinton School Speaker Series in conjunction with UA Little Rock presents a panel discussion on the Joe Jones mural, “The Struggle in the South” which is featured in that new space.  It will take place in the UA Little Rock Downtown location.

In 1935, famed American artist Joe Jones created “The Struggle in the South,” a provocative depiction of Southern sharecroppers, coal miners and a black family in fear of a lynching.

Originally painted in the dining hall at Commonwealth College near Mena, Arkansas, this 44-by-9-foot work was recently restored with a $500,000 grant from Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Center.

During this program, moderator Senator Joyce Elliott will join Brad Cushman, UA Little Rock Department of Art and Design Gallery director and curator; author Guy Lancaster; Dr. Brian Mitchell, UA Little Rock professor of history; Dr. Bobby L. Robert, former UA Little Rock archivist and Central Arkansas Library System executive director; and Taemora Williams, UA Little Rock student, to discuss the artwork’s historical significance and importance of its new home in UA Little Rock Downtown’s reflection room.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239.

Little Rock Look Back: First Little Rock Council Meeting in 1832

On January 16, 1832, Mayor Matthew Cunningham MD presided over Little Rock’s first council meeting.

Since Little Rock did not yet have a government hall, the Mayor and his wife hosted the meeting at their house. The Cunninghams owned the entire block which was bordered by what is now Main Street, 3rd Street, Louisiana Street and 4th Street.

A plaque at 3rd and Main Street commemorates this meeting and was placed at the northeast corner of the block in the 1930s. The Cunningham’s house was likely closer to the southwest corner of the block.  The records of this meeting do not exist, though the Arkansas Gazette did carry brief coverage of it. (The earliest records at City Hall date to November 1835 when Little Rock became a city.)

The plaque is on the Fulk building which now houses CJRW. The block also includes the Mann on Main project, which is comprised of the buildings originally constructed for the Gus Blass Department store.  Bruno’s and Samantha’s are also on the block.

Little Rock was chartered as a town in November 1831 and elections were subsequently held. Dr. Cunningham outpolled Rev. W. W. Stevenson to become the first Mayor. (Rev. Stevenson would be elected the second mayor in January 1833; Mayor Cunningham did not seek re-election.)

Joining Mayor Cunningham at the first meeting were the original four Town Council members – Charles Caldwell, Benjamin Clemens, David Holt and John McLain.  Both Mayor Cunningham and Alderman McLain had served on the Little Rock Board of Trustees, Little Rock’s pre-incorporation governing body.

In 1931 a plaque, as part of Little Rock’s Centennial, a plaque was erected to note the first meeting. The plaque erroneously implies that the first meeting was in 1831. This mistake is understandable since the legislation incorporating Little Rock was approved in November 1831. The plaque also refers to the body as the City Council. It was, in fact, the Town Council. There would not be a City Council until 1835 when Little Rock was elevated to City status.

Tonight at CALS Ron Robinson Theater – John Travolta in THE BOY IN THE PLASTIC BUBBLE

Image result for boy in the plastic bubbleAfter becoming the breakout of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” John Travolta’s first starring role was in the made-for-TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.  Tonight the CALS Ron Robinson Theater offers the chance to see this movie on the big screen.

It starred Travolta as a teen with immune deficiencies who has spent his life in a germ-free enclosed “bubble.” But after falling in love with the girl next door, he wants to get out of the bubble and experience life on the outside.

In addition to Travolta, the movie starred Glynnis O’Connor (who seemed to appear in every 1970s made-for-TV movie) as the girl next door, Robert Reed (in one of his first post-Mike Brady roles – but still playing a dad), and Diana Hyland. During the filming of the movie, Travolta and Hyland started dating. She was 18 years older than he and played his mom in the movie.

Others in the movie included Buzz Aldrin (as himself), Ralph Bellamy, Karen Morrow, Howard Platt, and John Megna (who had played Dill in the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.)

The showing starts at 6:30pm. The cost is $5.00.

The Pen to Podium series kicks off 2019 with HILLBILLY HELLRAISERS

Image result for hillbilly hellraisersThe first Pen to Podium of 2019 is Dr. Blake Perkins discussing Hillbilly Hellraisers at 6:00 p.m.

This program is sponsored by the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  It will be held at the DAH headquarters located at 1100 North Street.

The lecture is free and part of the 2019 Historical Writers’ Lecture Series.  The Friends of the Arkansas State Archives plan to host a reception with refreshments 30 minutes before the lecture.

Perkins’ book, Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Power and Populist Defiance in the Ozarks, has drawn praise for its insightful look into how rural people in the Ozarks reacted to and resisted federalism in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Ozarks includes parts of Arkansas and Missouri, where people have a reputation for anti-government sentiment. Perkins’ book asks what role heritage plays in perpetuating that attitude and focuses on real people’s experiences. The book traces social and political changes from the Populist revolt of the 1880s and 1890s to the modern-day Tea Party protests and the popularity of President Donald Trump.

“I think in many ways the Ozarks is an excellent microcosm of rural America in general,” Perkins said.

Perkins was born in the Ozarks and grew up on a fifth-generation farm near the southeastern Ozarks in western Lawrence and Sharp counties. He became interested in his family roots and history in elementary school. He has since become an assistant professor and chair of the History Department at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lyon College, a master’s degree from Missouri State University and a doctoral degree from West Virginia University.

Perkins said the history behind local politics and its evolution is fascinating. “As I watched anti-Obama, anti-Washington politics surge in Arkansas between 2008 and 2016, I’ve been fascinated to investigate and learn more about rural political and social history,” he said.