Bromance and Besties on a double bill at CALS Ron Robinson Theater tonight

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a double feature of two classic friendship movies, picked by our followers on Facebook and Instagram: Wayne’s World (1992, PG-13) and Clueless (1995, PG-13). Doors open at 6:00 p.m., Wayne’s World begins at 7:00 p.m., and Clueless begins at 9:00 p.m.

Beer, wine, and concessions will be available.

Originally a skit on Saturday Night Live during the late ’80s and early ’90s, Wayne’s World is about two teenage dudes who host a public access TV show, which is mainly about rock, babes and people who live in the area.

Clueless, director Amy Heckerling’s fresh adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma follows the misadventures of meddlesome Beverly Hills high schooler Cher, who gets more than she bargained for when she gives a fashion-challenged student a makeover.

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Tonight at 6:30, CALS presents Sounds in the Stacks with the ASO Quapaw Quartet at the CALS Williams Library Branch

Sounds in the Stacks: Quapaw QuartetExperience the beauty of string music of the highest caliber with the Quapaw String Quartet of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra!

This free concert at the CALS Williams Library will be a lovely way to take a break from the work week or introduce kids to the magic of violin, viola, and cello.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Quapaw Quartet includes Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin; Charlotte Crosmer, violin; Ryan Mooney, viola; and David Gerstein, cello.

It is today (February 12) from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the CALS Sue Cowan Williams Library, which is located at 1800 South Chester Street.

Temporary Home for Arkansas Arts Center announced

The Arkansas Arts Center will temporarily relocate to 2510 Cantrell Road in the Riverdale Shopping Center for two and a half years during the center’s upcoming renovation and expansion project.

The temporary location, about three miles from the AAC’s MacArthur Park site, will include studio space for Museum School classes, design and rehearsal space for the Children’s Theatre and additional flexible spaces for offices, retail, facilities storage and educational programs.

“The AAC’s impact in our community, both in Central Arkansas and across the state, is immense and enduring,” said Merritt Dyke, President of the AAC board. “In addition to the nearly 200,000 visitors to MacArthur Park, the AAC’s statewide outreach numbers approach half a million people. We’ve been working with numerous community partners to ensure that we can continue to fulfill our mission and to serve these people while the AAC is under construction.”

“The support we’ve received throughout this endeavor has been overwhelming, and we are grateful to Harriet and Warren Stephens who are chairing our lead gifts capital campaign,” said Dyke. “Without their leadership, this project would not be where it is today. I am greatly appreciative to the AAC and Foundation boards, staff and all our community partners for their role in realizing this important vision.”

The AAC’s staff of approximately 100 full-and part-time employees will office out of this location during the renovation. Groundbreaking on the AAC’s transformational building project is scheduled for fall 2019, with the project anticipated to be completed in early 2022. The MacArthur Park facility will be available for all regular summer programming, with the new temporary Riverdale location opening sometime in September.

“The AAC’s programs are a vital part of our community,” said Bobby Tucker, Chairman of the AAC’s Foundation board. “We feel it’s of maximum importance that they continue to be offered while the center is under construction. Our commitment to the success of this transformational project in MacArthur Park is unwavering, as is our commitment to the organization as a whole.”

The Cantrell Road location will offer convenient, secure parking and new amenities for AAC program participants. With 15,200 square feet of studio space, the Museum School will offer nearly all its current program of classes and workshops, including drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, glass, small metals, woodworking and printmaking for its nearly 3,000 students per year. Fall Quarter classes will begin in the Riverdale location in September.

“We’ve been working diligently for more than a year to ensure that our students have a creative space, with the equipment needed to continue to engage in our classes in a temporary location,” said Rana Edgar, Director of Education and Programs. “Over the next three years, we plan to welcome our students into well-appointed studios, with all our core classes currently being offered, in addition to offering expanded opportunities to build their talents.”

In the Children’s Theatre’s 14,200 square-foot workshop, theatre staff will create sets, sew costumes, and build props for the AAC’s productions, including touring programs. Children’s Theatre on Tour, part of the AAC’s Statewide ArtsReach program, serves more than 35,000 students and families in communities across Arkansas every year with traveling professional theatre productions.

“The work of the Children’s Theatre team doesn’t stop when the stage lights go down in MacArthur Park,” said Bradley Anderson, Artistic Director in the Children’s Theatre. “We create theatre productions each season that travel the state, in addition to our local summer theatre academies, theatre classes and performances at the AAC. This move will allow those programs to continue – and possibly even expand.”

The AAC Museum Shop will also move its retail storefront into 1,500 square feet of space, joining many other local restaurants and businesses in the area. Administrative, facilities, equipment storage and flexible educational spaces will round out a total of 65,000 square feet of space at the temporary facility.

The move is one piece of the AAC’s commitment to remaining accessible to the community while its MacArthur Park facility is under construction, and to working with arts partners across the region to expand programming reach.

“The AAC is more than any one space or one building. Our programs will continue to span across communities and extend across the state over the next two and a half years,” said Laine Harber, Interim Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. “This would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of our board leadership in continuing to fulfill our mission and vision while we undergo these much-needed renovations.”

AAC exhibition programs will also pop up in locations across Central Arkansas and beyond, including the continuation of the popular Delta and Young Arkansas Artists exhibitions. Works from the collection will also travel to other institutions across the country and across Arkansas, in addition to select objects from the contemporary craft collection remaining on view at 15 Central Arkansas Library System locations.

More details about additional programs and partnerships locally and across the state will continue to be announced throughout 2019.

Little Rock Look Back: LR Voters Overwhelmingly Support Arts+History

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Little Rock overwhelmingly approved the Arts+History initiative which funded expansion and enhancements to the Arkansas Arts Center, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, and MacArthur Park.

There were 7,989 votes cast in the special election.  This was 6.61% of the electorate.  Of those, 6,733 or 84.28% voted for the proposal.

In 2018, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History was closed for several months for a renovation, which was financed by these bonds.  It reopened in September.  The Arkansas Arts Center unveiled plans in February 2018 for its expansion.  It is preparing to start construction later in 2019. As part of that, Arts Center programming will continue in a variety of locations including Central Arkansas Library System branches.

2nd Friday Art Night at CALS Library Square

On Friday, February 8, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) will open three exhibitions, Back to the Garden, Made in America: Vintage Film Posters from the Ron Robinson Collection, and Au Pair Don’t Care, and host one of the authors ofAbandoned Arkansas: An Echo From the Past.

Events will be held at the CALS downtown Little Rock campus, Library Square, 100 Rock Street, and are free and open to the public.

The Galleries at Library Square (formerly Butler Center Galleries) will host the opening reception for Paintings by Charles Henry James: Back to the Garden with featured musician Bluesboy Jag (solo acoustic and cigar box blues guitar & vocals). Artist and musician Charles Henry James, who has split his time between Little Rock and his native New York for nearly thirty years, takes a humorous, free-wheeling approach to socio/political engagement, filtered through the lens of pop culture tropes, op art, surrealism, and psychedelia. The exhibition is on view in the Concordia Hall Gallery through April 27, 2019.

Also opening is Made in America: Vintage Film Posters from the Ron Robinson Collection, in the Loft Gallery. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), holds an extensive collection of Arkansas-related and other movie posters. The late Ron Robinson of Little Rock, an avid collector who was the president of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods (CJRW) and also served as a U.S. Air Force officer in Vietnam, generously donated these film posters, which are mostly related to Arkansas history, U.S. politics, and American popular culture. The exhibition is on view through May 25, 2019.

The Bookstore at Library Square (formerly River Market Books & Gifts) is proud to present the new show, Au Pair Don’t Care, by artist Amily Miori. Also in the bookstore, visitors will be able to talk with Ginger Beck, co-author of Abandoned Arkansas: An Echo from the Past. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. Events at the Galleries and the Bookstore are part of 2nd Friday Art Night (2FAN), 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Call the Butler Center at 320-5700, the Galleries at Library Square at 320-5790, or the Bookstore at Library Square at 918-3093 to learn more about the concert and exhibitions. View the full calendar at www.cals.org.

Denzel W as MALCOLM X tonight at CALS Ron Robinson Theater

Malcolmxdvdset.jpgTonight (February 7) at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, there is the chance to view Denzel Washington as the enigmatic and charismatic MALCOLM X. The screening starts at 6:30.  Admission is $5.00

This movie is a part of the CALS Movies of a Movement: the Civil Rights & Social Change Collection.

The 1992 film is a biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader.  It covers his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

It was directed by Spike Lee who also co-produced (with Marvin Worth) and co-wrote (with Arnold Perl) the film. Joining Washington in the cast are Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr, Spike Lee. and Delroy Lindo.

Today CALS Butler Center Legacies & Lunch explores “The Son of Little Rock Who Broke Ground for Black Journalists” at noon

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses and closeupJoin the Central Arkansas Library System’s Legacies & Lunch, for Benji de la Piedra’s talk on “The Two Herbert Dentons: A Principal and a Journalist, from Black Little Rock to Black DC and Beyond.”

It will take place at 12 noon at the Darragh Center Auditorium inside the main CALS building on Library Sqaure.

Herbert Denton Jr., a native son of Little Rock, was a pioneering African American journalist at the Washington Post from 1966 until his death in 1989. As the first person of color with a position of authority in the Post newsroom, he hired and mentored a generation of influential black journalists and revolutionized coverage of local life in the nation’s capital at a time when the city was more than seventy percent African American.

His father, Herbert Denton Sr., was a lifelong public educator in Little Rock and a pillar of the city’s black community, who so far has gone unacknowledged in the written record of Little Rock history. As Denton Jr.’s biographer, Benji de la Piedra will trace the career arcs of both father and son, with an emphasis on their powerful, if sometimes controversial, approaches to racial uplift, education, and civic responsibility.

Benji de la Piedra is a writer and oral historian from Washington DC, currently living in Little Rock. In addition to his work on Herbert Denton Jr.’s biography, he co-directs the Columbia Life Histories Project and serves on the coordinating committee of the Arkansas People’s History Project. A graduate of Columbia University’s Oral History MA program, and a former fellow of the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability, he teaches and consults on community-based oral history projects around the United States. He speaks and writes regularly about American history and culture, with an emphasis on black intellectual expression.