Arkansas Heritage Month – Robert Hupp

HuppRobert Hupp is in his final months of his seventeenth and final season as producing artistic director of Arkansas Rep.  In recognition of all of his service and artistic excellence, in 2013 he was the Individual Artists recipient of the Governor’s Arts Awards.

During his tenure in Little Rock, Hupp has overseen continued growth and development at The Rep. Since he assumed the producing artistic director’s position in 1999, the theatre has tripled its budget (currently at $4 million annually), increased contributed income by 100%, completed a successful capital campaign, and broadened the company’s artistic and economic base through co-productions with other nonprofit theatres and partnerships with institutions of higher education and community organizations. Under Hupp’s leadership, the theatre and actor housing apartments underwent a complete renovation in 2011. The Rep also renovated a new downtown scenic construction facility and recently opened The Annex, a black box theatre and education space, in Main Street’s Creative Corridor.

Hupp’s artistic stewardship at The Rep has been marked by seasons that reflect the great diversity of the theatrical canon. Shakespeare and American classics join new and contemporary works, and seasons always include musicals or plays with music. The current season contains the regional theatre premiere of The Bridges of Madison County, a new adaptation of The Little Mermaid, as well as a new comedy, Windfall, directed by Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander. The theatre also recently produced a new musical, Because of Winn Dixie, by Duncan Sheik and Nell Benjamin. Hupp has directed 28 productions while at The Rep, including The Grapes of Wrath, God’s Man in Texas, Les Miserables, August: Osage County, and all of The Rep’s recent Shakespearean productions.

In addition to his duties at The Rep, Hupp has shown a strong commitment to serving the central Arkansas community. He has served on numerous civic committees in Little Rock, including Little Rock’s Arts and Culture Commission, the Advisory Board of the ACANSA Arts Festival, and Vision Little Rock. He has collaborated with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Wildwood Park for the Arts, and the Arkansas Arts Center.  In 2012, he was named “Nonprofit Executive of the Year” at the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards, and also received the Arkansas Public Relations Society of Arkansas (PRSA) Diamond Award. Hupp has also been a panelist and on-site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and has served in various capacities for the Theatre Communications Group, including a term as vice president of the Board of Directors. Hupp has taught and directed at several Arkansas colleges and universities, including Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he also served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre in 2005.

Tin Roof Project: Robert Hupp

bob108_resizedThe first Tuesday of each month, Tales from the South features one person sharing their life story. They call it Tin Roof Project.  August features Robert Hupp the Producing Artistic Director of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  The program will be Tuesday, August 6.

Music is by the Salty Dogs and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

Hupp is in his fourteenth season as producing artistic director of Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Robert’s directing credits for The Rep include Death of a Salesman, Henry V, To Kill a Mockingbird, The 39 Steps, Hamlet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Les Miserables, The Full Monty, Of Mice and Men, God’s Man in Texas, Fully Committed, Proof, You Can’t Take It With You and The Grapes of Wrath.
Both Hupp and Tales from the South founder Paula Martin Morell have been announced as recipients of 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards.
Prior to assuming his position at The Rep, Hupp spent nine seasons as artistic director of Jean Cocteau Repertory theatre in New York City. He has served on funding panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Theatre Communications Group, the New Jersey State Council of the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition to his duties at The Rep, Hupp serves on the Board of Directors of the Theatre Communications Group and was named “Non Profit Executive of the Year” in 2012 at the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

The program takes place at Starving Artist Café.  Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $7.50, not including dinner.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.

25th Arkansas Business of the Year finalists include cultural institutions

Arkansas Business earlier this week announced the finalists for the 25th Arkansas Business of the Year.  The winners will be announced at a ceremony presented by Centennial Bank and Arkansas Business on Tuesday, February 26 at the Statehouse Convention Center.

As is often the case several of the finalists in the business and business leader categories are supporters of cultural life in their communities.  In addition, two of the finalists in the Non-Profit categories are connected to Little Rock’s cultural scene.

christinalittlejohnChristina Littlejohn is a finalist for Non-Profit Executive of the Year.  Since 2009 she has been Executive Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Since coming to the ASO, she has not only led it through the current recession, she also worked with the selection of Philip Mann as the Music Director.  Whereas many symphony orchestras are cutting musicians, concerts and series, the ASO has been embarking on new outreach concerts including the new Intimate Neighborhood Concert series..

Prior to joining ASO, she served as Executive Director of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Director of Residencies for the Cleveland Orchestra, and Executive Director of the Mobile Symphony.  She is also a cellist.

The Museum of Discovery is a finalist for Non-Profit of the Year. Established in 1927 as the Museum of Natural History and Antiquities, the Museum of Discovery is the oldest museum in Little Rock.  It has been housed in a storefront, the third floor of Little Rock City Hall, the Arsenal Tower in MacArthur Park, and since 1998 has called the Museum Center in the River Market its home.

The new facility provided more hands-on, interactive exhibits and programs, and the museum began to focus more intensely on science, technology, engineering and math. In 2003, the museum merged with the Children’s Museum of Arkansas and assumed responsibility for addressing the needs of preschool children. Also in 2003, the museum became a Smithsonian Affiliate.

In 2011, the museum closed for nine months in order to add a new entrance and undergo a total renovation. This project, funded by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, also provided funding for new, interactive science exhibits, completing the museum’s transformation from a collecting museum to a science center.  Nan Selz led the Museum as Executive Director from 2004 through 2012.  Kelley Bass, a former member of the museum’s board, became the Museum’s CEO earlier this month.

Rep Receiving Recognition

Arkansas Business Publishing Group has announced the nominees for the 2012 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards.  Most years, cultural organizations and leaders appear in the non-profit categories.  2012 is no exception.

This year the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is nominated as Non-Profit Organization of the Year.  Also nominated this year is Robert Hupp, the Rep’s Producing Artistic Director in the category of Non-Profit Executive of the Year.

Many of the businesses nominated in the categories are also supporters of cultural organizations in the metropolitan Little Rock area.  At the risk of an omission, this entry won’t try to enumerate the nominees and the cultural institutions they support.  But without the support of the business community and business leaders, non-profit cultural institutions could not survive.

The awards will take place on Tuesday, February 21.  To purchase tickets, visit here.


Hupp to be honored by PR professionals

Earlier this month, the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announced that Hupp will received the Diamond Award on March 16 at the Little Rock Club.

The Diamond Award is Arkansas PRSA’s highest honor for contributions made during a career to enhance the image of Arkansas through work consistent with the principles of public relations.

The awards ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m., Friday, March 16, at the Little Rock Club. The event will be free to PRSA members, $40 for nonmembers and $20 for students. Reservations should be submitted by March 14.   Visit the PRSA website here.