CALS joins with Gov. Hutchinson to announce new effort

Nate Coulter, executive director of Central Arkansas Library System (CALS); Amy Webb, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement, Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS); and Governor Asa Hutchinson will announce a new effort to keep Arkansans insured.

It will take place today (March 26) at 1:30 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda, 500 Woodlane Street

Governor Hutchinson will join Coulter and Webb to announce a new partnership between CALS and DHS to help Arkansans get the proper information about Arkansas Works. CALS staff members have received training from DHS to assist people in signing up for Arkansas Works reporting. Staff can help patrons create an account, navigate the portal website, and scan and upload supporting documents.

On some occasions, depending on branch staffing needs, and on the level of assistance that is required, staff may ask patrons to schedule a future appointment rather than providing immediate help. Patrons may also call ahead to schedule an appointment.

2019 Governor’s Arts Award presented today

Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Arkansas Council are presenting the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards today in a lunchtime ceremony at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Arts Community Development Award-Steve Clark, Fort Smith
  • Arts in Education Award – The Center for Children and Youth, Fayetteville
  • Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award – Murphy USA, El Dorado
  • Folklife Award – Oxford American, Little Rock
  • Individual Artist Award – Marjorie Williams-Smith, Little Rock
  • Judges Recognition Award – Anthony Tidwell, Hot Springs
  • Patron Award – Jim and Joyce Faulkner, Little Rock
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Billie Jo Starr, Fayetteville

In addition to videos highlighting each of the awardees and acceptance speeches, the program will feature remarks by Governor Hutchinson, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst and Arkansas Arts Council Director Patrick Ralston.

The recipients will each be presented with a custom made earthenware jar made by Springdale artist Gailen Hudson.

 

Celebrate Bicentennial of creation of Arkansas Territory

On March 2, 1819, the Arkansas Territory was created.  It was carved out of the Missouri Territory (which itself had been carved out of the Louisiana Territory).  The land consisted of what is now Arkansas as well as most of what is now Oklahoma.

Today (March 1) from 9am to 1pm, the Department of Arkansas Heritage is leading events to commemorate the bicentennial of the establishment of the Arkansas Territory. These will take place on the second floor of the rotunda at the Arkansas State Capitol.  At 10am, Governor Asa Hutchinson will make remarks.

Throughout the commemoration there will be family-friendly activities and opportunities to learn about the history of Arkansas. Many of the divisions of the Department of Arkansas Heritage will be on hand. And, of course, there will be birthday cake!

 

Little Rock Look Back: Home of Carlotta Walls bombed in 1960

On February 9, 1960, a bomb was detonated at the home of Carlotta Walls. One of the Little Rock Nine as a sophomore, she was now in her senior year at Little Rock Central High.  This followed the September 1959 Labor Day bombings in Little Rock.

The bomb went off at approximately 11:00pm.  The blast could be heard for two miles from the house (located at 1500 S Valentine St.). Carlotta’s mother, Juanita, and sisters were at home with her, though her father, Cartelyou, was at his father’s house at 3910 West 18th Street.  Thankfully all members of the family were not physically harmed.  Two sticks of dynamite were used for the bomb.  The blast removed brick and broke three windows in the Walls house.

According to media accounts, this bombing was the first in the United States directed at a student since the 1954 US Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  As such, it made national headlines.  Carlotta was not deterred.  She had no thought of dropping out of school.

Reaction in the community including the Women’s Emergency Committee deploring the action and the NAACP being outraged.  The Little Rock School District only stated that it was a matter for the police.  The Chamber of Commerce was concerned about the impact it would have on attracting industry.

The FBI came in to investigate in addition to the Little Rock Police Department.  Two African Americans, Herbert Monts and Maceo Binns, Jr., were convicted for causing the bombing. Binns’ conviction was thrown out because it was proven he was coerced into a confession.  Monts served twenty (20) months of a five year sentence.  The supposed motive was to build sympathy for the African American community.  Carlotta Walls LaNier has stated that she did not believe the men bombed her house.

Monts petitioned the Arkansas Parole Board for a pardon. In October 2018, Governor Asa Hutchinson included Monts on a list of persons to be pardoned.

Arkansas Heritage Month – Dr. Dean Kumpuris

Arts Community Development recipient Dean Kumpuris

Arts Community Development recipient Dean Kumpuris

This week as part of Arkansas Heritage Month’s focus on the arts, we will be looking at seven recipients of the Governor’s Arts Awards from Little Rock.

2016 honoree in Arts Community Development, Dr. Dean Kumpuris has spent the last three decades working to improve the cultural and civic life of Little Rock. In particular, he has focused much of his work on the revitalization of downtown, the development of the River Market, and expansion of Riverfront Park.

Through his vision and efforts to place public art downtown, in less than 10 years, nearly 100 sculptures have been installed in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, as well as in parks along the Arkansas River and throughout Little Rock. He created the annual fundraiser, Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale, which attracts thousands of visitors to Little Rock each year and features hundreds of sculptures from internationally recognized artists.

He is a gastroenterologist and has served on the Little Rock City Board of Directors since 1995.