Canvas unveiled as new Arkansas Arts Center restaurant

aac-canvas-dinner-01Canvas, at the Arkansas Arts Center, officially launched Thursday, September 29 with a special dinner seating during Art After Hours. Formerly Best Impressions, Canvas features an updated space, along with several new menu items, including shrimp and grits, a grilled salmon salad and pimento cheese. New dishes incorporate a selection of locally-sourced ingredients; a Boursin cheeseburger with Grass Roots CoOp ground beef, a blackened chicken salad with Crystal Lake Farms chicken, shrimp and grits with Kent Walker cheddar.

Canvas owner Brian Kearns has been in the restaurant business for 15 years. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Kearns moved to Little Rock in 2008 to open Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro in Chenal. Throughout his career, he has made a mark on several local restaurants, including Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse, Oceans at Arthur’s, Kemuri and the Country Club of Little Rock. Along with Canvas, he is also the owner of Simply the Best Catering.

“We want Canvas to be a fun, relaxed environment where you can enjoy food prepared with the best ingredients we can procure,” Kearns said.

Canvas Restaurant Hours
Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For reservations or more information, please call 501-907-5946.

Flying Solo is focus of final LR 2015 Tales from the South, tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center

talesfromthesouthThe saying goes “It takes a village,” but at times one can find herself “Flying Solo.” Tonight, Tales originates at Best Impressions at the Arkansas Arts Center. The storytellers exploring the theme for this edition are Lennie Dusek, Sherry Rankins-Robinson, and Deborah Carroll.

Music is by The Salty Dogs.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio.

Good Intentions make for Best Impressions in tonight’s Tales from the South at the Arkansas Arts Center

talesfromthesouthThe road to Hell may be paved by good intentions.  But they also make fodder for great stories.

Tonight, Tales originates at Best Impressions at the Arkansas Arts Center. The storytellers for this edition are the 3Ms – Mary Lester, M.B. McQueen, and Marjorie Lacy.

Music is by Brad Williams and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on July 30.

Brian Whelan headlines a special singer-songwriter edition of Tales from the South tonight at Best Impressions

talesfromthesouthA very special Tales from the South will take place tonight.

Dwight Yoakam’s MVP sideman, Brian Whelan plays the pedal steel, electric guitar, the occasional mandolin (primarily when Dwight wanted to change an arrangement into a bluegrass tune), keys/piano and spot-on harmonies. Brian was both in Dwight’s touring and recording band, and played on the critically acclaimed, 3 Pears (#1 on the Americana charts), and is also currently featured on Dwight’s current release, Second Hand Heart (debuting #2 on the Billboard charts).

Brian recently left Dwight’s band to focus on his own music. With instrumental abilities that made him a key member of Dwight Yoakam’s band, a voice reminiscent of Jackson Brown, and a lyrical streak that makes him seem like he’s been writing hook-laden hits for years, Brian Whelan is poised for a much wider attention with the release of his second album. Produced by fellow Yoakamite drummer Mitch Marien, the new record throws Whelan’s hat into the a ring crowded with the likes of John Fullbright, Sturgill Simpson, Mike Stinson, and Jason Isbell. When Brian Whelan is not touring, he can be found in a Los Angeles studio playing on someone’s album or even producing.

Tonight’s program will take place at Best Impressions restaurant at the Arkansas Arts Center.  Music will be provided by The Salty Dogs and bluesman Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.  Any tickets still available at the door can be purchased for $20.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on June 25.

A Tin Roof Project Tales from the South: Ruth Coker Burks-the Cemetery Angel

ruthcokerburksGenerally the first Tuesday of the month is a special Tales from the South called “Tin Roof Project” which involves an autobiography.  While all are special, this one is even more special.

Ruth Coker Burks was a young mother in her 20s when the AIDS epidemic hit Arkansas in the early 1980s. She took it upon herself to care for AIDS patients who were abandoned by their families, and even by medical professionals, who feared the disease. Coker Burks, now 55, has no medical training, but she estimates that she has cared for nearly 1,000 people over the past three decades. She became involved after visiting a friend at a Little Rock hospital where one of the state’s early AIDS patients was dying. “The nurses were drawing straws to see who would go in and check on him,” says Coker Burks. “And so I snuck into his room. And he wanted his mama. And so I marched myself out to the nurses’ station and I said, ‘Can we call his mother?’ And they go, ‘Honey, his mama’s not coming. He’s been here six weeks. Nobody’s coming.’

“And so I went back in and he looked up at me and he said, ‘Oh, Mama, I knew you’d come.’ I stayed with him for 13 hours while he took his last breath. I called his mother and I told her that he had died and she said, ‘I’m not burying him.’ So I had him cremated and I brought him home… I’ve buried over 40 people in my family’s cemetery, because their families didn’t want them.”

Ruth Coker Burks has been featured in regional and national publications and shows, including The Arkansas Times, StoryCorp, the BBC, and NPR’s Morning Edition. Originally from Hot Springs, Ruth now lives in Northwest Arkansas with her family.

Tonight’s program will take place at Best Impressions restaurant at the Arkansas Arts Center.  Music will be provided by The Salty Dogs and bluesman Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.  Any tickets still available at the door can be purchased for $20.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on April 16.

Annual Love Show tonight for Tales from the South at Best Impressions

truetalesoflovevol129Since Valentine’s Day is later in the month, tonight’s episode of Tales from the South is the annual Love Episode.

Tonight, Tales originates at Best Impressions at the Arkansas Arts Center. The storytellers for this edition include Kay Fisher and Jessica Horton.

Music is by Amy Garland and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on February 12.

“Between a Rock and a Hardplace” as the 2015 Tales from the South kicks off tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Best Impressions

talesfromsouthWhen Tales from the South’s permanent home closed in mid-2014, it was put between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.”  Founder/Host Paula Martin Morell persevered and has re-established the program rotating through several sites.  So it is fitting that the program celebrates the kick off of the 2015 season with the theme “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.”

Tonight, Tales originates at Best Impressions at the Arkansas Arts Center. The storytellers for this edition are Connie Mack Meskimen, Holly Patton and Karen Hayes.

Music is by The Salty Dogs’ Brad Williams and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 6:30pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $15.  Dinner can be purchased separately.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on January 15.