200 Years since Arkansas Gazette was founded is focus of 2nd Friday Art Night at Historic Arkansas Museum

2nd Friday Art Night at Historic Arkansas Museum will celebrate 200 years since the Arkansas Gazette, the oldest paper west of the Mississippi, printed its first paper at Arkansas Post.
They will have a special mini-exhibit for the evening that will showcase items related to the newspaper and its founder, William Woodruff.
At 6 pm, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson will give a talk in the Ottenheimer Theater about the newspaper’s long-running history and its impact on the state, referencing his columns on the subject.
In addition, the Woodruff Print Shop on the museum’s grounds will be open with activities happening on both floors. Upstairs, there will be a demonstration of the kind of press Woodruff used in 1819—a Ramage Press—and some background on Woodruff, printing, and the press in Arkansas. Downstairs, guests will be able to try out mini-presses with the Gazette masthead.
Plus, #ArkansasMade beer by Lost Forty Brewing, music by Charlotte Taylor and artist K. Ellyse Fraizer in the Museum Store.

36th Pops on the River, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Pops on the River, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, will take place Thursday., July 4, in downtown Little Rock.

In its 36th year, this free community event is the largest Fourth of July event in the state as more than 30,000 are drawn downtown to the events surrounding Pops on the River.

Pops has continued to grow these last three decades in no small part because it has held true to its roots and continues to focus on a family-friendly environment complete with fantastic food, fireworks, and music by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It is a heralded community event that many remember for years to come.

Pops on the River will begin at 3pm in the River Market area of downtown Little Rock with free activities for kids in the Kid’s Pavilion, a marketplace for shopping, food trucks and entertainment for all ages.

Entertainment inside the First Security Amphitheater will include live music by Nicky Parrish, Rodney Block and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. and are shot off the Main Street Bridge.

The event is free to the public and a portion of proceeds benefit a local charity. This year’s benefiting charity is Rock City Rescue. Pops on the River is also sponsored in part by the Orion Federal Credit Union, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 106.7 The Ride and Waste Management.

A Broadway Cabaret tonight on CALS Ron Robinson Theater stage performed by The Muses

The Muses’ Broadway Cabaret in concert is presented tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

The performance starts at 7pm.

This “best of” Broadway concert is an impressive display of professional musical artistry, spectacular dancing, and extraordinary showmanship! The Muses Professional Performance Troupe of highly skilled, nationally touring professional vocalists, instrumentalists, and resident artists, will present beloved tunes from popular Broadway shows, including: “Cabaret”, “Kiss Me Kate”, “Hello, Dolly!” “My Fair Lady’, “South Pacific”, “Company”, “Wicked”, and “Rent”.

Driven by a live big band sound, these musical theater classics, are performed in colorful and engaging combinations of solos, duets, and ensembles, along with lovely and energetic dance performances sprinkled throughout the show.

Professionally executed, high quality artistic programming, are the distinguishing features of all Muses’ productions. Professional and undeniably first rate, the Muses Broadway Cabaret, Seasons of Love concert, embodies the charm, passion, wit, and powerful storytelling found on the Broadway stage, right here in central Arkansas! Don’t miss this highly entertaining summer highlight!

Sponsored by Arkansas Arts Center, First Security Bank, UA Little Rock Downtown, Central Arkansas Library System, Merritt Dyke & Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

You cannot spell Pulitzer without LIT

The 2019 Pulitzer Prizes are announced later today.  Over the years, there have been several Pulitzer winners with connections to Little Rock.

In 1939,  Little Rock native John Gould Fletcher, a scion of a politically prominent family, won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his work Selected Poems.  He appears to be the first Pulitzer Prize winner with Little Rock connections.

The 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama went to South Pacific. With a leading lady who is from Little Rock, this Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan musical explores race against the backdrop of World War II.  It is based on James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, which won the 1948 Pulitzer for Fiction. (Because it was a collection of interrelated short stories, the category was changed from Novel to Fiction from that year onward.)  But in the Michener book, Forbush is not from Little Rock.

The Arkansas Gazette made Pulitzer history in 1958 by winning both the Public Service and Editorial prizes in the same year. This was the first time that one organization had received both awards in the same year.  These were for the coverage of and response to the 1957 integration of Central High School by the Little Rock Nine.  J. N. Heiskell was the paper’s owner and editor, while Harry Ashmore led the editorial page.  Relman Morin of the Associated Press received the Pulitzer for National Reporting for his coverage of the events at Central.  Apparently Will Counts of the Arkansas Democrat was the jurors’ choice to receive the Pulitzer for Photography. But the Board opted to give the prize to another photographer.  Some speculate that the Pulitzer Board did not want to give four prizes in the same year for the same story.

Current Little Rock resident Paul Greenberg won the 1969 Pulitzer for Editorial Writing.  at the time, he worked for the Pine Bluff Commercial.   In 1986, he was a finalist in the same category.  Greenberg moved to Little Rock to join the staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 1992.  While no longer the Editorial Page Editor, Greenberg continues to write columns for the newspaper.

Former Little Rock resident Richard Ford received the 1996 Pulitzer for Fiction for his novel Independence Day.  As a young boy of eight, and for several years after, Ford spent much time at Little Rock’s Marion Hotel with his grandparents.  In making the presentation, the Pulitzer Board noted it was, “A visionary account of American life, Independence Day reveals a man and country with unflinching comedy and the specter of hope and even permanence…”

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001 went to David Auburn.  A 1987 graduate of Hall High School, Auburn was recognized for his play Proof.  The Pulitzer Board described Proof thus: “This poignant drama about love and reconciliation unfolds on the back porch of a house settled in a suburban university town, that is, like David Auburn’s writing, both simple and elegant.”  Auburn also served as a 2014 juror for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  While a student in Little Rock, Auburn participated in theatre at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Concert in support of ARKANSAS LIFE set for January 15 at 7pm at White Water

Join musicians, artists, and friends of Arkansas Life magazine this Tuesday night in an effort to save this stellar publication! Great music courtesy of Joshua Asante, Phillip Huddleston, and Hot Springs’ own Ghost Bones will kick off at 7pm.

Your $10 donation at the door will go towards future subscriptions. Many fans greatly admire and appreciate the hard working and thoughtful folks who make this magazine so special. This is a chance for to come together to show them support!

Arkansas Life was founded in 2008 and is published 12 times yearly by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The increasing budgetary difficulties of print media have put the magazine under very serious threat of shutting down unless a significant amount of readers become paid subscribers by January 15th.

A $20 annual subscription can be purchased here: https://subscribe.wehco.com/adg/arklife/

Arkansas Life digs deep into The Natural State, unearthing surprising stories and exposing readers—both natives and novices alike—to new facets of a familiar place.