Three Little Rock arts organizations announced as NEA grant recipients

Three Little Rock organizations were announced today as recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  They are: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, and the Oxford American magazine.

Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the United States benefit from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2019, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc.
$10,000
Challenge America
To support concert performances and related outreach activities.

Chamber Music Society of Little Rock
$10,000
Challenge America
To support a series of chamber music performances and related educational programming.

Oxford American Literary Project
$20,000
Art Works — Literature
To support publication and promotion of the magazine.

Little Rock Town Council holds first meeting on January 16, 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, South on Main welcomes Lera Lynn back to its stage!

Related imageSouth on Main welcomes Lera Lynn back to the stage on Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Show beings at 8 PM. Purchase advance tickets for $10 or pay $15 at the door. Tickets do not guarantee you a seat. To reserve a table, please call South on Main at (501) 244-9660.

Throughout her career — a nearly decade-long run filled with three album releases, a career-shifting appearance and soundtrack for HBO’s True Detective, hundreds of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sound encompassing everything from Americana to stark indie rock — Lera Lynn has balanced her fierce independence with a string of collaborations.

She’s written songs with T Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash. She’s recorded albums with full bands (2014’s The Avenues, hailed by outlets like Rolling Stone and American Songwriter) and smaller lineups (the experimental, NPR and New York Times-approved Resistor, which Lynn co-produced at her Nashville home). On her fourth album, Plays Well With Others, she teams up with eight different duet partners and seven co-writers, resulting in her most diverse, collaborative work to date.

Plays Well With Others is a unique duets album — one in which nearly every song is completely co-written and co-sung. Peter Bradley Adams, John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, Andrew Combs, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, JD McPherson, and Nicole Atkins all make appearances, working alongside Lynn not only to perform these songs, but to create them, too.

Lynn recorded Plays Well With Others at John Paul White’s studio, Sun Drop Sound, in Florence, Alabama. There — with Lynn, White, and the Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner all serving as co-producers — she tracked nine songs in a series of live takes. Looking to add some sonic framework to an album whose tracklist was vast and varied, she only used acoustic instruments, layering upright piano, strings, percussion, acoustic guitars, and creative sounds into arrangements that nodded to artists like Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Neil Young, John Lennon and Tom Petty. The result is an album that’s at times more stripped-down than The Avenues and far less amplified than Resistor, while still shining a light on Lynn’s striking voice and unique blend of American music.

With Plays Well With Others, Lera Lynn cements her own identity as both creator and collaborator. On an album filled with Grammy winners, country icons, folksingers, and Americana heroes, it’s still her star that shimmers the brightest, shining light on the newest phase of an eclectic, ever-expanding career.

Enjoy an Informance by the ASO Quapaw Quartet today at lunchtime

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is inviting you to an Informance today (January 15) at 12 noon.

What is an Informance?  It is a performance + information. (Performation sounded too much like Perforation so they went with the other option.)

Listen to the Quapaw Strings Quartet perform and discuss their music today.  The program contains works by Darius Milhaud, William Grant Still, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Osvaldo Golijov.

Bring your lunch and enjoy it or come lunchless–the choice is up to you.

The program takes place at Byrne Hall, 2417 N. Tyler St. This event is FREE!

Play BingoFlix tonight as the CALS Ron Robinson Theater shows 1956’s THE MOLE PEOPLE

The Mole People PosterJoin the Central Arkansas Library System for BingoFlix!

Play bingo to some of the most hilarious movie cliches during a screening of the so-bad-it’s-good film, The Mole People. Win prizes including free movie and event tickets to upcoming shows at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater!

On an archaeological dig in Asia, Dr. Roger Bentley finds a cuneiform tablet referring to an ancient society, the Shadow Dynasty, that was destroyed. An earthquake soon after reveals an ancient artifact and the scientists discover the ruins of an ancient temple world on a remote mountain site. It leads them to an underground world, lost in time, where people have adapted to low light. The High Priest Elinu doesn’t welcome the presence of the new arrivals and wants them eliminated.

“Gee Dad,” among the cast of this 1956 movie is Hugh Beaumont who would start filming “Leave It to Beaver” the following year.  Playing Elinu is Alan Napier, perhaps best known for his stint as Alfred the butler in TV’s “Batman.”

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. This movie, which was shot in 17 days, starts at 7:00 p.m. Beer, wine, and concessions will be available!