Cultural Spring Break in Little Rock

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It is Spring Break week! Several Little Rock museums have special activities planned.

Museum of Discovery
March 18 – March 22 • 10 am to 4 pm
Monday, March 18 – Meet and have your photo taken with Jet Propulsion from “Ready Jet Go!”  Enjoy hands-on activities that teach about space and more.
Tuesday, March 19 – Meet and have your photo taken with Nature Cat, the star o PBS Kids’ “Nature Cat”!  Enjoy hands-on activities about the wonderful outdoors and meet some of nature’s coolest animals!
All Days
Tesla Shows: 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Awesome Science Demos: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Meet Museum Animals: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Historic Arkansas Museum
Spring Break 2019: Settling in Arkansas
March 18 – March 22 • 10 am to 4 pm
In celebration of Arkansas’s Territorial Bicentennial, our Spring Break activities will focus on settling this state. The museum’s historic block has countless stories of making a life in early Arkansas, from just after becoming a territory to a decade after Statehood. Visitors can spend each day learning about a different person’s path to Arkansas. We will cook Pioneer food, make hands-on crafts, and share a few pioneer skills.

Little Rock Zoo

March 18 – March 22 • 9:30am to 4:00pm
See daily feedings of the penguins, interact with education exhibits, attend a meet and greet with animals, go to the Party in the Plaza, have a special meet and greet at the Arkansas Heritage Farm, and chat with animal keepers.

Clinton Presidential Center
March 18 – March 22 • 10:00am to 2:00pm
The Clinton Presidential Center invites children of all ages to enjoy FREE Spring Break activities on March 18 – 22, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Join us for FREE craft activities for the entire family! We’ll offer an instructional glass fusion project, led by Little Rock School District art specialist Sharon Boyd-Struthers, in conjunction with our White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit. Spring Break activities are FREE; however, admission fees to tour the Museum apply.


Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

March 19 – March 22 • 2:00pm
Special Spring Break matinee performances of Charlotte’s Web on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig.  Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

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And the Little Rock Zoo’s Sloth Bear Cub is named…..

Photo courtesy of Little Rock ZooZAARA!

ZAARA!

Last week, the Little Rock Zoo proudly announced that a healthy female sloth bear cub was born January 9, 2019.  The proud parents are mother, Kali, and father, Sahaasa.

In celebration of their newest addition, the Zoo hosted a naming contest.  Zoo staff selected three names from which to choose. The public had the chance to vote last week. More than 3,000 votes were cast.

Zaara was the name selected.  In Arabic, it means “bright as the dawn.”  It is still a few more weeks until the public will get to meet Zaara.

The other two choices were Rani (Hindi), which means princess and Geeta (Hindi), which means pearl or song.

The cub is one of only 34 sloth bears currently held in AZA zoos in North America and is an important individual in the survival of this population. The cub is bottle-fed every three to four hours to help her continue to grow and thrive; she is healthy and progressing well, according to Zoo staff.

Help the Little Rock Zoo name new baby Sloth Bear

Photo courtesy of Little Rock Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce that a healthy female sloth bear cub was born January 9, 2019.  The proud parents are mother, Kali, and father, Sahaasa.

In celebration of our newest addition, the Zoo is hosting a naming contest.  Zoo staff have selected three names from which to choose. The public is invited to vote by online poll.  The voting will end Friday, March 8, 2019, at noon.

Choices are:

  • 1) Zaara (Arabic), which means bright as the dawn;
  • 2) Rani (Hindi), which means princess;
  • 3) Geeta (Hindi), which means pearl or song.  The name Geeta is in honor of Geeta Seshamani, co-founder and Director of Wildlife SOS, an Indian conservation group whose goal is to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth.

The cub is one of only 34 sloth bears currently held in AZA zoos in North America and is an important individual in the survival of this population. The cub is bottle-fed every three to four hours to help her continue to grow and thrive; she is healthy and progressing well, according to Zoo staff.

The bear’s birth comes as a recommendation of the American Species Survival Plan® known as SSP.  The SSP Program, developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), helps to ensure the survival of select species in zoos and aquariums, which are either threatened or endangered in the wild. Native to the Indian subcontinent, sloth bears are listed as a vulnerable species, meaning one that is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.  Their vulnerability is mainly caused by habitat loss or degradation of their home. Experts estimate fewer than 20,000 sloth bears survive in the wilds of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka.

Mardi Craw 2019 at the Little Rock Zoo on Sunday, March 3

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Mardi Gras may be Tuesday, but the Little Rock Zoo celebrates Mardi Craw on Sunday, March 3.

Mardi Craw at the Zoo features sustainable crawfish and catfish, too! The good folks from Crawfish Country Catering are back and you won’t want to miss these bugs! Crawfish Country Catering is straight from Ville Platte, LA and serves up some of the biggest and best bugs in the south and we bring them to you fresh at Mardi Craw’n for the Zoo! You can’t beat these bugs!

Craft beer can also be enjoyed by those at least 21 years of age. And you’ll need to quench your thirst after a generous portion of king cake. It is a fun-packed afternoon of food and festivities.

The event begins at noon with catered crawfish, catfish, corn on the cob and potatoes. Enjoy live entertainment from Crescent City Combo, Mardi Gras themed fun and some special animal encounters in the Zoo atmosphere.

To guarantee a ticket, advance purchase is encouraged.  Tickets may be available at the gate, but Zoo events tend to sell out in advance.  Ticket covers admission to the Zoo as well as food and drink for the event.

February’s Science after Dark is a special Valentine’s Edition

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Since the month of February is devoted to love, the Museum of Discovery is devoting a Science After Dark to it – but one can’t talk about love without exploring the science of sex. They will look at attraction and reproduction in humans and the animal kingdom.

Perhaps the best part? Exploring aphrodisiacs! And what is the world’s favorite aphrodisiac? CHOCOLATE! We’ll learn about making chocolate and pairing chocolate all while sampling chocolate with some of the best chocolatiers around!

Science After Dark is for adults 21 and up. Tickets are $10 or free for members. You will be able to purchase food, cocktails and beer from the sponsors.  Those presenting sponsors are Fassler Hall Little Rock and Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge Little Rock and sponsors Rock Town Distillery and Stone’s Throw Brewing

Little Rock Look Back: Museum of Discovery opens in River Market

Museum of Discovery Logo when it opened in 1998

Founded in 1927 as the Arkansas Museum of Natural History and Antiquities in a downtown storefront, by 1997, the museum had been located in at least two other spots and had several different names.

On February 21, 1998, it reopened as the Museum of Discovery in its new location in the recently launched River Market district.  It occupied space on the first floor and basement of the Museum Center building (formerly the Terminal building the erstwhile train station which later was used for printing the Arkansas Democrat.)

The new name and new space reflected a greater emphasis on the science aspect of the museum’s mission.  It featured many hands on and interactive exhibits.

The museum spent one-third of its $10.6 million cost on exhibits.  Of the $10.2 million pledged for the museum, 47 percent — or about $4 million — came from a half-cent city sales tax approved by voters about five years ago. Another 14 percent came from foundations and 2 percent from private organizations and individuals. The remaining 37 percent came from corporations, sometimes in connection with specific exhibits.

Following a February 20, 1998, preview party, the official grand opening was held on February 21, 1998.

The previous museum space (inside the Arsenal building in MacArthur Park) occupied 14,000 square feet, 8,000 of which was display space. After the move, the museum had 35,000 square feet of display space.

UA Little Rock Downtown’s Inaugural Lecture features Chancellor Andrew Rogerson

The UA Little Rock Downtown Campus will have evening lectures. The inaugural one will be tonight and features Chancellor Andrew Rogerson discussing “Tales of a Wandering Microbiologist.”

Before becoming chancellor of UA Little Rock, Andrew Rogerson spent 30 years as a researcher and professor in eight universities and two government laboratories.

Fascinated by the hidden, and continually engaged in the possibilities of the invisible, Dr. Rogerson has worked on a diverse range of research projects all united by the fact they have involved microbes. Rogerson’s research was funded by various federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This fun lecture requires no prior knowledge of science.

Enjoy a rare opportunity to discover the enthralling life of microbes through the life’s work of UA Little Rock’s chancellor.

The program will begin at 6pm at the UA Little Rock Downtown Campus.