Tinkering and Drinkering at Science After Dark tonight at the Museum of Discovery!

Image may contain: textGet a preview of Tinkerfest 2019 at tomorrow night’s Science After Dark: Tinkering and Drinkering from 6 – 9 p.m. Admission is only $5 or free for members. Here are all the tinkering and making activities you can enjoy with a drink in your hand:
Wind Tunnel Flying Machines
Fairy Houses
Plastic Panel Polygons
Historic Quilling – Old State House Museum
Cardboard Guitars – Old State House Museum
Sewing 101
Wood Cinging (Pyrography)
Native American Tools – The State Parks of Arkansas
Hydrobot Arms
Aluminum Can WWI Trench Art – MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
Free Tesla Shows at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Gondola Design and Zip Lines
Shrinky Dinks
Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
Large Linker Logs
Needle Felting
Perler Beads
Game Goblins
LEGO Windup Critters and Linkages
Zoetropes & Kaleidoscopes
Chain Reaction

Be sure to bring an appetite to purchase food from our presenting sponsor Fassler Hall Little Rock as well as Damgoode Pies. Sponsors Stone’s Throw Brewing and Rock Town Distillery will also sell beer and cocktails! Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at https://sales.museumofdiscovery.org/generaladmission.aspx. You must be at least 21 to enter.

2015 In Memoriam – Parker Westbrook

1515 WestbrookParker Westbrook WAS Mr. Preservation for Arkansas. But even though he is gone, it does not mean that preservation efforts in Arkansas are dormant.  Quite the contrary.  Like any good teacher, Parker used his knowledge to inspire others to share his interest in preservation.

It is no surprise that the organization he helped found, the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas (now called Preserve Arkansas), names its lifetime achievement award after him.  He was not only the founding President of Preserve Arkansas, he was active in it until his final days.  It was not his only founding: he was a founder of Pioneer Washington Foundation (the oldest historic preservation organization in the state), the Main Street Arkansas Advisory Board, Historic Arkansas Museum Commission, the Arkansas State Capitol Association, and the Arkansas State Review Board for Historic Preservation. He served on the latter board from 1975 until his death this year, with the exception of five years from 2002 to 2007.  In recognition of his work in the field of heritage tourism, he was a 2007 inductee into the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism’s Hall of Fame.

His work was not limited by the boundaries of his home state.  He was an Advisor Emeritus to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a 2001 recipient of a Preservation Honor Award from the Trust. Rep. Mike Ross declared him a “National Treasure” in the Congressional Record. He also served for two terms on the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and was named Chairman of the Committee on National Historic Landmarks on the National Park System Advisory Board.

A public servant, he worked for several federal officials from Arkansas, most notably Senator J. William Fulbright. He returned to Arkansas to work for Governor David Pryor.  But whether he worked in Washington DC; Little Rock; or his beloved hometown of Nashville, he was always interested in ensuring the past came alive. It might be through historic preservation, or it might be recounting a colorful moment of Arkansas history. Either way, Parker was a proponent of living history. He did not want it to be relegated to a musty, dusty book or building.
In 2007, he donated papers collected by his late sister Lucille and himself. The Lucille and Parker Westbrook Arkansas and Genealogy Collection is housed in the $20 million Arkansas Studies Institute, a joint project of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  This collection has three parts: the first part focuses on Southwest Arkansas and contains genealogical sources and 3,000 historic photographs; the second highlights his public service and political career including much about the state’s architectural history; the third part consists of family papers, letters and photographs which document the Westbrooks’ deep roots in Arkansas.
He was the epitome of the Southern gentleman.  Not only did he look the part, he acted it. He was gracious in sharing credit with others; generous with his time, labor and talent; and did his best to keep up the lost art of writing letters and notes.

Happy 50th Birthday to the National Endowment for the Arts & National Endowment for the Humanities

NEANEH50On September 29, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 at a White House Rose Garden ceremony, attended by scholars, artists, educators, political leaders, and other luminaries.

The law created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency, the first grand public investment in American culture. It identified the need for a national cultural agency that would preserve America’s rich history and cultural heritage, and encourage and support scholarship and innovation in history, archeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines.

On this occasion, President Johnson said: “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal ourselves, and to others, the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”

This new law was the fruit of two presidents, several senators and representatives, and four previous pieces of legislation. Separate bills had been introduced, in previous years, into the House by Representative Frank Thompson (D-NJ), and into the Senate by Senators Hubert Humphrey (D-MN) and Jacob Javits (R-NY). Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) had overseen hearings on some of this preliminary legislation, beginning in October 1963, before the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Over the years, the NEA and NEH have awarded millions of dollars to Little Rock based institutions, organizations and individuals through direct appropriations.  They have also impacted Little Rock cultural life through funding of the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, and U.S. Conference of Mayors among others. These groups have either re-granted the dollars to Little Rock entities or undertaken projects which have directly impacted and improved life in Little Rock.

 

Book on Washington AR is focus of Old State House Museum Brown Bag today

OSH Brown Bag

Today at noon at the Old State House Museum, Josh Williams will be speaking on his recent book through Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series entitled “Washington.” The book is a pictorial history of Washington, Arkansas located in southwest Arkansas.  His talk is part of the museum’s Brown Bag Lecture series.

Washington was home to James Black, maker of the first Bowie knife and saw visitors such as Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie & Sam Houston pass through.  After September 1863, it was the Confederate capital of Arkansas.

Josh Williams is the curator at Historic Washington State Park and has worked there since 2006. He graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs and attended graduate school at Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana State University. He also published another book through Arcadia Publishing on Hope, Arkansas. He is currently the president of the Arkansas Living History Association and has served on the boards of the Arkansas Museum Association and the Arkansas Historical Association.