Women Making History – Adolphine Fletcher Terry

Photos from the collection of the Butler Center

Adolphine Fletcher Terry was born on November 3, 1882 to former Little Rock Mayor John Gould Fletcher and his wife Adolphine Krause Fletcher.

Raised in Little Rock, in 1889 she moved into the Albert Pike House on East 7th Street, when her aunt transferred the title to her father. That house would be her primary residence the rest of her life.  Her sister Mary Fletcher Drennan never lived in Arkansas as an adult after marriage. Her brother John Gould Fletcher spent much of his adulthood in Europe before returning to Little Rock and establishing his own house, Johnswood.

At age 15, Adolphine attended Vassar. She later credited that experience as broadening her views on many issues.  After graduating at age 19, she returned to Little Rock.  Her parents both died prior to her 1910 wedding to David D. Terry, which took place at what was then known as the Pike-Fletcher House (and today is known as the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House).

She is perhaps best known today for establishing the Women’s Emergency Committee in 1958 and for her subsequent deeding of the family house to the City for use by the Arkansas Arts Center.  But her entire life was based on civic engagement.

She was instrumental in establishing the first juvenile court system in Arkansas and helped form the first school improvement association in the state. She was long an advocate for libraries, serving 40 years on the Little Rock public library board.  Through her leadership, the library opened its doors to African Americans in the early 1950s. Today a branch of the Central Arkansas Library System (the successor the Little Rock public library) is named after her.  Another branch is named after her Pulitzer Prize winning brother.

Adolphine formed the Little Rock chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Pulaski County tuberculosis association and the Community Chest.

In 1958, when the Little Rock public high schools were closed instead of allowing them to be desegregated again, she called Harry Ashmore the editor of the Gazette and exclaimed, “the men have failed us…it’s time to call out the women.”  With this, she formed the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools. This group played a major role in getting the four high schools open the following year.

From 1933 to 1942, David Terry served in the U.S. Congress. During that time, Adolphine alternated her time between Washington DC and Little Rock. But she spent much time in Little Rock raising her five children.

After her husband’s death in 1963, she continued to remain active in civic affairs. In the 1960’s, she and her sister deeded the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House to the City of Little Rock for use by the Arkansas Arts Center upon both their deaths.  Following Adolphine Fletcher Terry’s death in 1976, Mary turned over the title to the City.

Adolphine Fletcher Terry is buried in Mount Holly Cemetery alongside her husband. Three of her children are also buried in that plot.  Her parents and brother are buried in a nearby plot.

Her granddaughters and their families carry on Adolphine Fletcher Terry’s commitment to making Little Rock better.

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Little Rock Look Back: John Houseman visits Arkansas Arts Center

Image result for john houseman paper chaseOn March 13, 1968, future Oscar winner John Houseman visited the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.

Mr. Houseman was here to audition actors for his new acting conservatory at Lincoln Center. Though media accounts did not identify it at the time, this became the new Drama Division of Julliard, which he led until 1976.

He had been aware of Dugald MacArthur’s acting program as part of the Arkansas Arts Center School of Art and Drama.  When he learned that it would be closing in May 1968, Mr. Houseman decided to come to Little Rock to audition actors to be part of his initial 20 member class.  Five actors from the Arkansas Arts Center were chosen to be part of that original class.

Mr. Houseman would again be connected with Arkansas. His Oscar came for THE PAPER CHASE which was directed by University of Central Arkansas alum and Arkansas native, James Bridges. The two had known each other when Bridges worked at Houseman’s UCLA theatre. Bridges recruited Houseman to make the film, his first screen work in decades.

#5WomenArtists – Betty Dortch Russell McMath

Through their social media campaign #5WomenArtists, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) asks, “Can you name five women artists?

In response to that, this month five artists with Little Rock connections will be highlighted throughout March.  Up next is Betty Dortch Russell McMathThe Arkansas Governor’s Arts Awards were presented today.  In 2004, she was a recipient of one of the awards.

Born in 1920, she grew up just outside of Little Rock near Scott. After graduating from Little Rock Central High School, she attended Hendrix College. Beginning in the late 1930s, she studied art with such well-known artsits as Adrian Brewer, Louis Freund and Elsie Freud.

Her first commission was a portrait. While she also has painted numerous landscapes and scenes from Arkansas life, it is probably for her portraits she is best known. Among those she has painted are five Arkansas governors: Daniel Webster Jones, Sid McMath, Orval Faubus, Winthrop Rockefeller, and acting governor Bob Riley. Her painting of Rockefeller is the only official portrait of an Arkansas governor (to date) to have an outdoor setting. She has also painted many notable Arkansas women (including a 1986 exhibit for the Arkansas sesquicentennial).

In the 1960s, she and Marge Holman were commissioned to paint a mural on the flood wall in North Little Rock. Around the same time, she repeatedly took top honors at the Arkansas Festival of the Arts (which had been founded by Adolphine Fletcher Terry).

A longtime teacher at the Arkansas Arts Center, she was also active in numerous artistic and civic organizations.

For over 40 years, she was married to Henry Wellington “Rusty” Russell, who she met when he was stationed in Little Rock during World War II.  Several years after his death, she and Sid McMath married and were married until his death.

“Taking the Time,”a lecture by Rick Joy, FAIA tonight

Amangiri Resort and Spa.

Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2018/2019 June Freeman lecture series by welcoming Rick Joy, FAIA, Principal of Studio Rick Joy, a 32 person architecture and planning firm established in 1993 in Tucson, Arizona.

The lecture starts at 6pm at the Arkansas Arts Center. A reception starts at 5:30pm.

From the beginning, each of Studio Rick Joy’s works has been exhibited and published extensively and have won numerous awards.  Joy received the 2002 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture and in 2004 won the prestigious National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institute/Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  He periodically serves as a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Studio Rick Joy has realized architectural works throughout North America with extensive experience with lifestyle based projects from numerous single family residences to an ultra-lux resort and large scale master-plans.  The office has several active residential commissions in New York City, Long Island, Turks and Caicos.  Studio Rick Joy is currently completing the prestigious commission of the new Train Station and Campus Gateway Buildings to Princeton University, a luxury resort hotel with private compounds in Mexico, an apartment building in Mexico City and a new luxury boutique hotel in Austin Texas.

Architecture and Design Network lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are required.  Supporters of ADN include the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, the Central Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and friends in the community.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB up next at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

Charlotte's WebThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues this spring with Charlotte’s Web. The show runs March 8–31, 2019 with a special Pay-What-You-Can preview performance on Thursday, March 7. Performances of Charlotte’s Web are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., with spring break matinees March 19–22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each for Arkansas Arts Center members or $12.50 for non-members.

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. Pink and plump and so polite. Yep. 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. But Charlotte’s greatest gift to Wilbur goes beyond just flattering words spun in a web. Through this gentle creature, he experiences the true meaning of responsibility, friendship, and loyalty. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

Charlotte’s Web is based on the book by E. B. White. It was adapted by Joseph Robinette. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of Charlotte’s Web is directed by Katie Campbell. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. Original music was composed by Lori Isner, set design by Vandy Scoates, costume design by Erin Larkin, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager. Charlotte’s Web is produced with special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois

The cast includes:

  • Harper Keith of Alexander as Fern Arable
  • Jared Thomas Kneip Gibson of St. Louis as John Arable and Gander
  • Beck Hudelson of Little Rock as Avery Arable
  • Paige Carpenter of Little Rock as Mrs. Arable and President of the Fair
  • Braxton Johnson of Texarkana as Homer Zuckerman
  • Stephen Jones of Little Rock as Lurvy and Judge at the Fair
  • Walt Wenger of North Little Rock as Young Wilbur
  • Anthony McBride of Benton as Adult Wilbur
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Templeton
  • Verda Davenport of Little Rock as Charlotte
  • Mackenzie Holtzclaw of North Little Rock as Goose and Judge at the Fair
  • Georgeann Burbank of Benton as Sheep and Judge at the Fair
  • Bethany Post of Austintown, Ohio as Uncle Pig, Reporter and Mrs. Carter
  • John Isner of Little Rock as Narrator

Darby Haddock, Kennedy Laster, and Reese von Storch are Baby Spiders. Via Benjamine Gahi, Isabelle Marchese, and Dylan Sykes are the ensemble.

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will offer several events in conjunction with Charlotte’s Web, including a Pay-What-You-Can preview, opening night celebration and a pajama party. Full programming details can be found below.

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Pay What You Can Preview: Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
“Pay What You Can” tickets are available for the 7 p.m. preview performance of Charlotte’s Web. Tickets are available for purchase in person, at the Arkansas Arts Center, 501 East 9th Street from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. The maximum ticket purchase is six tickets per person and ticket sales are based on availability. PWYC SHOWS CAN AND DO SELL OUT. We recommend arriving early for the best chance at “Pay What You Can” tickets. Additional tickets can always be purchased in person, online or by phone at regular ticket pricing: $10 for AAC members; $12.50 for non-members.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Friday, March 8, 2019
Opening Night Dinner at Watercolor in the Park – 5 p.m.
Join us for dinner at Watercolor in the Park before the 7 p.m. opening night performance of Charlotte’s Web! Creative coloring placemats featuring activities and artwork from the show will be available for children to enjoy. Seatings at 5 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Reservations recommended. Call 501-396-0390 for reservations

Friday, March 8, 2019
Opening Night Celebration: Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
After the show, enjoy a meet and greet with the cast, snacks and punch to celebrate the opening night of Charlotte’s Web.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Friday, March 15, 2019
Pajama Night at Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
Toss on those cute pajamas and join us at the Children’s Theatre for the 7 p.m. performance of Charlotte’s Web. Stickers are available at the Box Office before the show for children (and parents!) wearing pajamas.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Saturday, March 16, 2019
ASL Interpreted Performance – 2 p.m.
There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the 2 p.m. performance of Charlotte’s Web. Visit the Box Office before the performance for seating assistance.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

The 2018–2019 Children’s Theatre Season is presented by Arkansas BlueCross and BlueShield. Spring Season Sponsors are Dr. Loren Bartole, Family Foot Care and Centennial Bank. Show Sponsors are Cindy and Greg Feltus and the Junior League of Little Rock. Media Sponsor is Little Rock Family Magazine. Pay What You Can previews are presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Additional support is provided by Morris Foundation, Inc. For more information about the Children’s Theatre, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/childrenstheatre.

#5WomenArtists – Elsie Bates Freund

 

Through their social media campaign #5WomenArtists, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) asks, “Can you name five women artists?

In response to that, this month five artists with Little Rock connections will be highlighted throughout March.  Up first is Elsie Bates Freund.

Born in Missouri in 1912, she was active as an artist in both Eureka Springs and later Little Rock. She died there in 2001.

Freund drew inspiration from her home in the Ozarks and applied it to painting and ceramics. As a painter and ceramicist and she signed all of her jewelry as “Elsa” and her paintings as “Elsie.”  Her work can be found at many museums including the Smithsonian, Arkansas Arts Center and Historic Arkansas Museum.

Freund is one of the 5 Women Artists being highlighted by Historic Arkansas Museum this month as part of its #5WomenArtists effort.

Artists announced for 61st Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center.

The Arkansas Arts Center’s 61st Annual Delta Exhibition will feature work by 49 exceptional artists from the Mississippi Delta region. The exhibition will be on view May 3 through June 30, 2019.

Guest juror Kevin Cole selected 50 artworks by 49 artists, representing 10 states. The works were chosen from more than a thousand entries by 408 artists.

Showcasing artists living and working in Arkansas and its border states, the Annual Delta Exhibition presents a vision of contemporary art in the American South. Founded in 1958, the exhibition features work in an array of media to provide a snapshot of the Delta region now – while reflecting on the region’s strong traditions of craftsmanship and observation.

The 61st Annual Delta Exhibition will be the last major exhibition on view before the Arkansas Arts Center’s upcoming renovation and expansion project. Groundbreaking on the transformational renovation project is scheduled for this fall. Continuing its long and illustrious history, the Delta Exhibition will pop up at locations across Central Arkansas and beyond while the Arts Center’s MacArthur Park building is under construction.

Cole, the show’s juror, is an Atlanta-based artist best known for sculptural works, paintings, and intentional use of color. An Arkansas native, Cole’s work was featured in the 42nd Annual Delta Exhibition (1999) at the Arkansas Arts Center. Cole was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2018.

Artists featured in the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition include:

  • John Alhen of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Joshua Asante of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Carrie Ballinger Porter of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Loren Bartnicke of Auburn, N.Y.
  • Kenneth Baskin of Lake Charles, La.
  • Zachary Blair of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Kim Brecklein of Harrison, Ark.
  • Cynthia Buob of Columbus, Miss.
  • Debra Callahan of Jonesboro, Ark.
  • Olevia “Libby” Caston of Russellville, Ark.
  • Julie Darling of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Karen DeJarnette of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Virmarie DePoyster of North Little Rock, Ark.
  • Dylan Eakin of Seattle, Wash.
  • Ivy-Jade Edwards of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Scinthya Edwards of Helena, Ark.
  • DebiLynn Fendley of Arkadelphia, Ark.
  • Bryan Frazier of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Janet Goodyear of Eureka Springs, Ark.
  • John Green of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Alice Guffey Miller of Monticello, Ark.
  • Heather Christine Guenard of Cabot, Ark.
  • Pam-ela Harrison of Dallas, Texas
  • Carol Hart of Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Amber Imrie of Sunnyvale, Calif.
  • Sherry Leedy of Kansas City, Mo.
  • Mark Lewis of Tulsa, Okla.
  • Jason McCann of Maumelle, Ark.
  • Keith Melton of North Little Rock, Ark.
  • Daniella Napolitano of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Dale Newkirk of Hammond, La.
  • Kevin O’Brien of Ocean Springs, Miss.
  • Mark Payne of Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Rashawn Penister of Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Yelena Petroukhina of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Jason Rankin of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Zachary Roach of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Jay Sage of Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Ray Scott of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Sandra Sell of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Hunter Stamps of Lexington, Ky.
  • Laura Terry of West Fork, Ark.
  • Holly Tilley of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Mabry Turner of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Katelyn Vaughan of Monroe, La.
  • Michael Warrick of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Lauren Welshans of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Nancy Wilson of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Emily Wood of Little Rock, Ark.

The 61st Annual Delta Exhibition is sponsored (at this time) by Isabel and John Ed Anthony; Bank OZK; Philip R. Jonsson Foundation; Mrs. Lisenne Rockefeller; Dianne and Bobby Tucker; Terri and Chuck Erwin; Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; the AAC Contemporaries; Phyllis and Michael Barrier; Robert Chandler; Sandra and Bob Connor; East Harding Construction; Barbara Rogers Hoover; and Don A. Tilton, The Capitol Group. Reception support is provided by Catfish Farmers of America. The Grand Award is supported by The John William Linn Endowment Fund. The exhibition is supported by the Andre Simon Memorial Trust in memory of everyone who has died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).