CALS ONE OF 78 ORGANIZATIONS NATIONWIDE TO RECEIVE AN NEA BIG READ GRANT

Image result for nea big readThe Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is a recipient of a $14,900 grant to host the NEA Big Read: CALS. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

CALS is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading. The NEA Big Read: CALS events will take place between March 16 and April 26, 2020.

“We are very excited to host Tim O’Brien and to explore his classic The Things They Carried throughout the library system and beyond,” said Mark Christ, CALS adult programming coordinator. “As an institution, we strive to improve literacy and encourage the exchange of ideas, social engagement, and cultural expression. We hope that additional partners will join with us before the NEA Big Read begins next March.”

The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.

“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations, like Central Arkansas Library System, explore these stories and encourage community participation in a wide variety of events.”

Planned events for the NEA Big Read: CALS include a lecture by Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried; book clubs, readings and exhibits at CALS branch libraries; an Operation Song event at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock; a film and documentary series, panel discussions and dramatic readings at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater; readings and discussions of The Things They Carried by private book clubs in the area; Vietnam veteran oral history recordings by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies staff in the CALS Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art; performances by the Writeous Poets from Little Rock Central High School; special displays and discussions during the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, and other events.

Partners include the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, Arkansas State Library, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Little Rock Central High School, public radio station KUAR, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, Central Arkansas Literacy Council, professors from Hendrix College, Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and others.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $20 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past twelve years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

For more information about NEA Big Read: CALS, contact Mark Christ at (501) 918-3069 or mchrist@cals.org.

Korean War focus of 3 Exhibits this week

koreanwarThis week there are exhibits on the Korean War on display at three different locations in Central Arkansas — the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas State Capitol and Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs.  This year marks the 60th anniversary of the ending of the three year conflict.
The Korean War has often been overshadowed by other conflicts, such as World War II and the Vietnam War. Much of the history of the war exists only in the memories and mementos of its veterans. Approximately 6,300 Arkansans served in the war, including six who received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In addition to the displays this week, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is gathering Arkansas-related Korean War materials to preserve this important history.

On Wednesday, July 24 at 10am, there will be a ceremony at the Arkansas State Capitol in the second floor of the rotunda.

The Butler Center is located at 401 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock.
The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is located at 2200 Fort Roots Dr # 65  in North Little Rock.

Reception on Feb 15 for New Exhibit at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

macmuseLast April, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History launched a new temporary exhibit program entitled “American Heroes” to recognize individuals from our city and state for their military service.

On Friday, February 15, there will be a public reception for the next unveiling of “Arkansas Heroes.”

The exhibit, entitled “Veteran’s Photo Voice,” places cameras in the hands of veterans and gives them an opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts through photography. Displayed photos are accompanied by a brief narrative.

During the process, veterans document in pictures and words their own perceptions of their experiences and values. It is amazing to watch participants grow in confidence as they become adept at shooting photos expressive of their own lived experience.

The exhibit was developed by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Museum is hosting the reception for its opening.

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History was created to interpret our state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present.

Located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal–the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur–the museum preserves the contributions of Arkansas men and women who served in the armed forces.

Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas’s military history at home and abroad.