Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Central to Creativity – Eliza Borne

Eliza Borné was named Editor of Oxford American magazine in October 2015.  She had been the Managing Editor of the magazine, prior to that appointment.  Under her leadership, the magazine has won the 2016 Ellie – National Magazine Award in General Excellence.

A Little Rock native and graduate of Central High School, she wrote Children’s Theatre reviews for the Arkansas Times while in high school.  While a student at Wellesley College, she interned for OA.  After graduation, she was an associate editor at BookPage.  In February 2013, she joined the OA as an editor.  When he was in Little Rock earlier this year, author Harrison Scott Key praised Borné’s skills as an editor.  At that appearance, he also lauded her skills as an interviewer. She has also used these skills serving as a moderator for the Arkansas Literary Festival.

While her talents as a writer and editor have been honed through hard work, she is also carrying on a family tradition in promoting Little Rock’s cultural life. A great-grandmother, Adolphine Fletcher Terry, was a member of the Little Rock Public Library Board (a forerunner of CALS) for decades.  Much could be written about what various ancestors have done to help Little Rock, but Borné is not one to rely on the family name as she forges her own career.  Instead, she uses her skills and love of Little Rock to promote good writing, good music, and good living.

Since 2016, Eliza has served on Little Rock’s Arts+Culture Commission.

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Black History Month – Dave Chappelle at Robinson Center

davechappelleOn June 13, 2012, comedian Dave Chappelle appeared at Robinson Center as he was just starting to emerge from a several year self-imposed hiatus.  The night before the Little Rock stint, he had appeared in Memphis.

Lindsey Millar wrote a review of Chappelle’s show which is available here (and has been referenced elsewhere as others scratched their heads from his appearances at other places).  A YouTube video shows Chappelle reacting to the crowd at Robinson calling the Hogs.  He was amused/confused.

Born in Washington DC to two academics, he was raised in Maryland.  He graduated from Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he studied theatre.  He then moved to New York City to pursue a career as a comedian.  He also started acting in movies and toured as an opening act for Aretha Franklin.  As his profile rose, he started making appearances in TV shows and movies in addition to performing stand up.

In 2003, he launched the “Chappelle’s Show” on Comedy Central.  After two successful seasons, he walked off the set during planning for a third season, which cost him a $50 million contract.

From 2006 to 2013, he made a few appearances in stand-up shows and gave a few interviews.  But most of the time he kept a low profile.  Since 2013, he has slowly started making more appearances. In 2014, he appeared on TV programs to promote a Radio City Music Hall appearance.  He also acted in the 2015 film Chi-Raq.  In November 2016, he hosted “Saturday Night Live.”

 


2016 Arkansas Literary Festival dates and lineup announced

ALF 2016_textPrestigious award-winners, screenwriters, comedians, an expert witness, artists, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the thirteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 14-17, 2016. The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.
     The Arkansas Literary Festival, the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, will include more than 80 presenters including featured authors from approximately 24 different states and guests hailing from Canada, England, Russia, and Singapore. Each year, several of the attending authors have not visited Little Rock, Arkansas, or even the South.
     Presenters come from a wide range of backgrounds including: journalist, documentary filmmaker, economist, editor, microbiologist, national bank examiner, essayist, photographer, sports reporter, psychological examiner, musician, actress, reporter, and professor. One is co-producing Keanu Reeves’ new television show and writing an adaptation of his own book for Warner Bros. and Bradley Cooper.
     Special events for adults during the Festival include a cocktail reception with the authors, a tour of the Governor’s Mansion gardens with a wine and cheese reception, an escape room, and Readers’ Map of Arkansas launch party. Panels and sessions include genres and topics such as literary fiction, barbecue, Monopoly, female rocket scientists, travel, graphic novels, science fiction, classic literature, and a story told in playing cards.
     Children’s special events include a session by Nikki Grimes, activity hour, concert by the Kinders, and the play How the Camel Got His Hump. based on Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Festival sessions for children will take place at both the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, 4800 10th Street, and the Youth Services Department at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street. Special events for teens include North Little Rock High School Readers Theater, a teen poetry competition, and a panel with three authors of books for young adults.
     Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for central Arkansas elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.
     Author! Author!, a cocktail reception with the authors, will be Friday, April 15, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door, and go on sale at ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org beginning Monday, March 15.
     This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards and fellowships including: Pulitzer Prize, James Beard Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Hugo Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Will Eisner Comic Industry Award, National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Honoree, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Dashiell Hammett Prize, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Houghton Mifflen Literary Fellowship, Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship.
     The work of this year’s Festival authors has been featured in notable publications including: New York Times, Details, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Forbes, the Paris Review, theHuffington Post, Women’s Health, Gourmet Magazine, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, the Daily Telegraph UK, VICE, the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Atlantic, Slate, Time, Popular Science, Salon, the Best American Travel Writing, Outside Magazine, Esquire, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, Penthouse, the Nation, Best American Poetry, the Washington Post, Town & Country, the Economist, the Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Rolling Stone, GQ, Sports Illustrated, and Vogue
     The Literary Festival is presented by the Central Arkansas Library System. Sponsors include Arkansas Humanities Council, Friends of Central Arkansas Library System (FOCAL), Clinton Presidential Center, Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation, KUAR FM 89.1, ProSmartPrinting.com, Rebsamen Fund, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Times, Gibbs Elementary School, Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Museum of Discovery, Otter Creek Elementary School, UALR Department of English, Windstream, Arkansas Library Association, Christ Episcopal Church, East Harding Construction, Hampton Inn, Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Henderson State University, Hendrix College Project Pericles Program, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Greater Little Rock Council of Garden Clubs, Capital Hotel, City of Little Rock, Et Alia Press, Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas, Mayor Mark Stodola, Mollie Savage Memorial/CALS, North Little Rock High School, Plum Street Publishers, Inc., Pyramid Art Books & Custom Framing/Hearne Fine Art, Sibling Rivalry Press, Stickyz Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicken Shack, UALR Department of Rhetoric and Writing, and Whole Hog. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
     The Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace. A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Committee chairs include Kevin Brockmeier, Talent Committee; Susan Santa Cruz, Festival Guides; and Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators.
     Visit the Festival Facebook and Twitter pages to get the latest news about the Festival. For more information about the 2016 Arkansas Literary Festival, visit ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org, or contact Brad Mooy at bmooy@cals.org or 918-3098. For information on volunteering at the Festival, contact Angela Delaney at adelaney@cals.org or 918-3095.


Sessions at South on Main features The Salty Dogs tonight

IMG_6086Next for the South on Main February Sessions, curated by Amy Garland, The Salty Dogs take to the South on Main stage!

The Salty Dogs are a four piece band that enjoys playing and recording original country music. The Little Rock based band has released 3 full-length studio albums including their current EP – Too old to fight. The band was formed in 2003 and was named the “Best Original Band in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times. Since then, the band has played countless shows sharing the stage with such likes of Junior Brown, Hank Williams, Jr., Old Crow Medicine Show, The Gourds, Pete Anderson, David Rawlings, Robert Earl Keen, Kinky Friedman, Kelly Willis and many more.

The band’s music has been featured on TLC‘s hit TV show, Trading Spaces, on the award winning Sundance Channel hit show, Rectify, and most recently the motion picture release, Valley Inn. 

Sessions with The Salty Dogs starts at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, February 10.


Arkansas Sounds and Arkansas Times present premiere of URANIA DESCENDING film tonight

urania_descendingThe U.S. premiere of a film by Arkansas’s Tav Falco, a musician, artist, author, and filmmaker, who will hold an audience discussion after the screening. The film’s length is 1 hour, 8 minutes. This event is presented by Arkansas Sounds in partnership with the Arkansas Times.

The screening is free and open to the public.  It begins at 7pm in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

Urania Descending is described as “a black and white film poem infused with metaphor and mood, where the past overtakes the present…the story of an American girl on a one-way ticket to merry/sinister old Vienna who becomes embroiled in an intrigue to uncover buried Nazi plunder.”

Tav Falco has created films for over fifteen years, working with performers, artists, and directors such as Winona Ryder, Bruce MacDonald, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Iggy Pop.


Creative Class of 2015: Eliza Borné

Eliza BorneEliza Borné was named Interim Editor of Oxford American magazine earlier this year.  She had been the Managing Editor of the magazine.  Currently, she is at work on the annual OA music issue, which this year will feature Georgia.

A Little Rock native and graduate of Central High School, she wrote Children’s Theatre reviews for the Arkansas Times while in high school.  While a student at Wellesley College, she interned for OA.  After graduation, she was an associate editor at BookPage.  In February 2013, she joined the OA as an editor.  When he was in Little Rock earlier this year, author Harrison Scott Key praised Borné’s skills as an editor.  At that appearance, he also lauded her skills as an interviewer. She has also used these skills serving as a moderator for the Arkansas Literary Festival.

 

While her talents as a writer and editor have been honed through hard work, she is also carrying on a family tradition in promoting Little Rock’s cultural life. A great-grandmother, Adolphine Fletcher Terry, was a member of the Little Rock Public Library Board (a forerunner of CALS) for decades.  Much could be written about what various ancestors have done to help Little Rock, but Borné is not one to rely on the family name as she forges her own career.  Instead, she uses her skills and love of Little Rock to promote good writing, good music and good living.


First Kaleidoscope Film Festival starts tonight with HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY

FSLR Kaleidoscope 2015The Film Society of Little Rock is happy to announce the inaugural year of Kaleidoscope,​ Arkansas’s first LGBT film festival to be held July 30 through August 2, 2015 in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

Kaleidoscope celebrates the diversity of the LGBT community and filmmakers by presenting poignant and thought­-provoking films documenting LGBT lives truthfully and with respect. Kaleidoscope focuses on the power of film to transform lives and opinions of those both inside and outside the LGBT community through the universal medium of the cinema.

The festival starts tonight at 7pm with Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.

HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY spans the 24 hours containing the birthday pool party of 17-year-old preacher’s kid Henry Gamble.

The night before the party, Henry and his friend Gabe, have a sleepover. Typical teenage boy chat quickly turns sexual, and it’s silently implied that Henry, on a search for identity, has a crush on Gabe.

As dawn arrives on the day of the party, Henry’s mom Kat wakes in a state of limbo, middle-aged, with a secret. A little while later, Pastor Bob is making breakfast, and they are joined by Henry’s 19-year-old sister Autumn, home from college for the party. Later that afternoon, guests begin to arrive – the assistant pastor, youth minister, husbands and wives; sons and daughters trapped between youth and adulthood, as well as Henry’s own teenaged church and “secular” friends, including the closeted young Logan, who has eyes for Henry.

As day turns to night and clothes come off, Henry & Co. carefully navigate the religious strictures and sexual secrets held within the community, all struggling to tread the public and private, and their longing, despite themselves and their faith, for earthly love.

Following the film (and a discussion moderated by Lindsey Millar of the Arkansas Times) at the Studio Theatre, there will be an opening night party next door at the Lobby Bar.

The Studio Theatre will serve as the home of Kaleidoscope screening 10 features and more than 30 short films dealing with subject matter reflecting the many issues surrounding the LGBT community. Kaleidoscope will also feature panels with filmmakers and several social events where the community can interact with filmmakers and other film fans.

Official sponsors of Kaleidoscope include The Arkansas Times, Out In Arkansas, Lost 40 Brewery, Local Lime, Big Orange and Heights Taco & Tamale.

The Film Society of Little Rock is a grassroots, non-­profit organization focused on the expansion of the creative community in Arkansas by providing year round opportunities to educate, entertain, and exhibit local, national, and international filmmakers and their works.