Little Rock is putting the LIT in Literary today at the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival

Image may contain: textAll the world’s a page, or at least it may seem so as the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival moves into full force in a variety of venues throughout Little Rock.

LIBRARY SQUARE
At the Ron Robinson Theater:
10am – Levi Agee, Mark Freeman, Mike Mueller, Sister Deborah Troillet
11:30am – Jericho Brown, Geffrey Davis
1pm – Dorie Greenspan, Elizabeth Minchilli
2:30pm – Elizabeth Eckford, Eurydice Stanley, & Grace Stanley, The Worst First Day
4pm – Chigozie Obioma, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Pitchaya Sudbanthad
7pm – Rick Bragg, The Best Cook in the World

At the CALS Main Library Darragh Center:
10am – Mitchell S. Jackson, Julie Rieger
11:30am – Rick Campbell, Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
1pm – Patrick McGilligan, Andre Millard
2:30pm – Liana Finck, Charles Forsman
4pm – Adam Smith, Mark Freeman, Esme Weijun Wang

At the Roberts Library, Room 124
10am – Book Club Panel with Christine Bonsib, Toshona Carter, Stewart Fuell, Carmen Langston, Gregory Wagnon
11:30am – Roman Muradov, Mary Laura Philpott
1pm – Nita Gould, Joe David Rice
4pm – Cherisse Jones-Branch, Erin Wood

At The Bookstore at Library Square
10am – Charles J. Shields, Brantley Hargrove
11:30am – H.K. Hummel, Short Form Creative Writing (workshop)
2:30pm – Songwriting with Bonnie Montgomery (workshop)
4pm – Andrés Cerpa, Ruben Quesada

At CALS Main Library Level 4
1pm – Emily X. R. Pan

At Nexus Nook
2:30pm – Teen Poetry Contest

At UA Little Rock Downtown
11:30am – Kevin Brockmeier, Kathyrn Davis,
1pm – Crystal C. Mercer, Randi M. Romo
2:30pm – Marina Lostetter, Arkady Martine,
4pm – Ian S. Port

Ron Robinson Theater Alley
Makers Alley 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. with Bang-Up Betty, Matthew Castellano, Control, Crying Weasel Vintage, Dower, Electric Ghost, Green Corner Store, Luna Tick Designs, Milk Dadd, Origami Heroes, Sean Sapp
5:30pm Music by DOT
6pm Music by Dazz & Brie

OTHER VENUES
Christ Episcopal Church – 1pm – Erin McGraw
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – 2:30pm – Barkley Thompson
Allsopp & Chapple Restaurant – 2:30pm – Rhett Brinkley, Lillian Li, Vaughn Scribner
Eggshells Kitchen Co. – 4pm – Elizabeth Minchilli (fee to attend)
Sticky’s Rock & Roll Chicken Shack – 7pm – Pub or Perish

FAMILY EVENTS AT THE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON CHILDREN’S LIBRARY

  • Pose Like a Prince/Princess – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Classroom
  • Take Home Free Tales: Book Fair; Books provide by the Junior League of Little Rock and CALS – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Store
  • Create a Crown: Crafts You Can Wear; Build one in preparation for The Emperor’s New Clothes, or simply to feel royal all day. – 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
  • The Kinders, a rollicking, good-time concert for kids – 9 a.m., Theater
  • Meet the Billy Goats Gruff (Provided by Heifer Village Urban Farm) – 10 a.m. to Noon, Front lawn
  • StoryTime with Nancy Pruitt, Winston the Pony Goes to a Party. – 10 a.m., Art Gallery
  • Making Merry Music: Drum Circle, Searcy Ewell, Jr. helps kids explore the power of percussion – 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Amphitheatre
  • Hot Dogs for Hansel and Gretel, Free lunches are provided for hungry tots – 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Back patio
  • Grow Your Own Bean Stalk, Plant some magic beans with Drew Bradbury and carry home your new stalk-to-be – 10:30-11 a.m., 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., Greenhouse
  • StoryTime with Craig O’Neill, the lively KTHV anchor shares a bit of Jack & the Beanstalk, and encourages kids to create their own stories – 11 a.m., Theater
  • StoryTime with Higgins Bond, Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away, 11:30 a.m., Theater
  • StoryTime with Jeff Henderson, Stone Soup – Noon, Kitchen
  • Breathe & Believe: Children’s Yoga, Tanesha Forrest is back with her terrific animal yoga workshop – 12:30 p.m., Back patio
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes, enjoy a live stage play about a vain emperor and his “special clothes” that are visible only to the smartest people. What could go wrong? Sponsored by Rebsamen Fund – 1 p.m., Theater
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Book Signing, Art Exhibit celebrating “Winston the Pony” book tonight at CALS Hillary Clinton Children’s Library

Image result for winston the pony goes to a partyThe CALS Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center is hosting an exhibit opening and book signing this evening from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

It features Nancy Pruitt and Morgan Herndon, Pruitt is the author of Winston the Pony Goes to a Party. Herndon illustrated the book.

As Pruitt writes, “Winston is a little rescue pony who came to live with us on a snowy January day. It did not take long for him to turn our farm upside down and find his way into our hearts. His big personality and barnyard antics have led to his first book, Winston the Pony Goes to a Party.”

Refreshments will be crafted by Leave It To Liz.

It is time for the 15th Annual Arkansas Literary Festival

The Arkansas Literary Festival puts the LIT in Little Rock.  (Or does Little Rock put the LIT in the Literary Festival?)

Notable authors, including Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners, filmmakers, singers, and artists are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) fifteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, continuing through April 29, 2018.

Events will be held at CALS Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues. Most events are free and open to the public. More information »

The premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, the Festival offers a mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, book signings, and opportunities to meet authors. More than 70 authors, essayists, and illustrators—who have achieved national and international acclaim—represent an array of genres and will discuss topics such as science fiction, fantasy, crime, southern life, social commentary, science, women’s history, young adult and children’s books. Presenters come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from professors at New York University and Yale University to former NBA All Stars. The full list of authors is available at www.ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org.

Special events include:

 

Author! Author!, Friday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m.

A cocktail reception with the authors. Tickets are $40 at the door. Special rates are available for students and groups.

An Evening with Sebastian Junger, Saturday, April 28, at 7:00 p.m.

Renowned author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker Sebastian Junger (TribeWarThe Perfect StormRestrepo) will discuss his coverage of multiple wars along with his literary and film work, as he gives the CALS J. N. Heiskell Distinguished Lecture for journalism. An Evening with Sebastion Junger is free, but reservations are required. Tickets are available at www.ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org

Festival sessions for children will take place in Youth Services and Level 4 at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street, and at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, 4800 W. 10th Street. Events at Children’s Library are hosted in partnership with Junior League of Little Rock/Little Readers Rock.

In addition to programming at CALS locations, the Festival provides presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle and senior high schools, and area colleges through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) initiative.

This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards and fellowships such as the Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Coretta Scott King Honor, NAACP Image Award, National Magazine Award, SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism, National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, Wizard World Hall of Legends,  Eisner Award for editing,  National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, CantoMundo Poetry Prize, Dzanc Books ILP International Literature Award, Bard Fiction Prize, Autumn House Fiction Prize, Guggenheim, Cullman Center, FONCA, DAAD, Michener Copernicus Society, Callaloo Creative Writing, The Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale, artist in residence at the University of Pennsylvania, Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, the MacDowell Colony, Capote, Mississippi Arts Commission, Bronx Council on the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and Iowa Writers Workshop.

The work of this year’s Festival authors has been featured in notable publications including:

  • New York Times
  • The Los Angeles Times
  • Psychology Today
  • USA Today
  • The Atlantic
  • Parade
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Esquire
  • Grantland
  • TIME
  • The New York Daily News
  • New York magazine
  • ELLE
  • Rolling Stone
  • Vanity Fair
  • The New Yorker
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Harper’s
  • National Geographic Adventure
  • Outside
  • Men’s Journal
  • Slate
  • Travel + Leisure
  • Newsday
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Smithsonian
  • Best New American Voices
  • Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • VICE
  • The New York Times Book Review
  • New York Review of Books
  • Wimmin’s Comix
  • Yale Review
  • Best American Nonrequired Reading
  • The Guardian
  • Backstage
  • McSweeney’s
  • Huffington Post
  • Granta
  • Best New Poets
  • com
  • Texas Monthly
  • Tin House
  • Oxford American
  • Southwest Brewing News

Support for the Arkansas Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including the Arkansas Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rebsamen Fund, Department of Arkansas Heritage,  ProSmartPrinting.com, KUAR FM 89.1, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Clinton Presidential Center, UA Little Rock Department of English, Windstream, Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Whole Foods, Museum of Discovery, Capital Hotel, O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor, Oxford American, McMath Woods P.A., Hall High School, Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School, Mabelvale Elementary School, Terry Elementary School, ESSE Purse Museum, Historic Arkansas Museum, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Mick Wiggins, Christ Episcopal Church, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas, Celebrate! Maya Project, Hampton Inn Downtown Little Rock, Residence Inn Downtown Little Rock, Argenta Reading Series, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, Pyramid Books/Hearne Fine Art, Arkansas Times, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, The Root Café, Humane Society of Pulaski County, Bob Razer, Mollie Savage Memorial, Four Quarter Bar, and partner Junior League of Little Rock/Little Readers Rock.

CALS Branch Up for Best Public Library

Hillary Clinton Children’ s Library and Learning Center (photo courtesy of Polk Stanley Wilcox)

And then there were 32!

The Central Arkansas Library System’s Hillary Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center is advancing in a national competition for the Best Public Library.  The search is sponsored by Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL).

The competition started with 116 libraries spread throughout all 50 states.  CALS was the only library system with three nominees. They were the Main Branch, the Roosevelt Thompson Branch, and the Hillary Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.  After over 11,000 votes were cast, the top 32 were announced on Saturday.

The next round features 32 libraries from 25 states.  You can vote for Little Rock, here!  Voting runs through February 2!  You can only vote once, so encourage others to do so, too!

The award is named for fictional city government employee extraordinaire Leslie Knope.

Arkansas Heritage Month – American Institute of Steel Construction honors Polk Stanley Wilcox and CALS

AIA ALA PSW HRCCLCThe American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in Chicago has announced that Polk Stanley Wilcox Architect’s design of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Library and Learning Center in Little Rock, Arkansas has been honored in its prestigious annual awards.

In all, just ten building projects from around the country earned awards in the 2016 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2), recently announced during AISC’s 2016 Conference in Orlando, Florida. An award presentation will be scheduled for this summer at the library in Little Rock. A panel of design and construction professionals identified National and Merit Awards in three categories, based on constructed value. Other winners included the National 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York by Snohetta, Rutgers University School of Business by TEN Arquitectos, and Emmerson College in Los Angeles by Morphosis.

East Harding Construction of Little Rock was the General Contractor, while Engineering Consultants Inc. of Little Rock served as structural engineer for the innovative project.

Jury Comments:

“With a community driven mission, the library showcases steel in its purest form and use in a whimsical, but purposeful manner.” – Wanda Lau, Senior Editor ARCHITECT Magazine

“Playful and inspiring inside and out, this project succeeds in its goal of capturing the child’s imagination.” – Jason Stone, Senior Associate Leslie E. Robertson Associates

“The playfulness of the steel structure exterior, combined with the opportunity to utilize the structure as a teaching tool to inspire children to pursue math and science, makes this a natural choice for AISC and the IDEAS2 Awards” – Paula Pritchard, Plant Construction Co., L.P.

According to design architect Reese Rowland FAIA, “This library’s meaning can be seen in the faces of the children – their excitement and wonder, and hopeful smiles that say their future can be limitless with the right opportunities. Some of those opportunities involve teaching simple life skills that build confidence, while others focus on technology not available in the home.

The key to the library’s success comes from a vision set forth by CALS to not only build a functional public library and education facility, but also a symbol that represents hope. Being listed alongside these other nationally recognized projects is a strong indication that this vision was successfully achieved, helping create a new sense of pride for the children of Little Rock. We are grateful to the Central Arkansas Library System, as well as the people of Little Rock that funded this incredible project for our children.”

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Library and Learning Center was also honored in 2015 with Library Architecture’s highest honor, a National AIA/ALA Library Honor Award, one of just six given recognizing the best examples of new libraries from around the world. Learn more about this award at:

http://www.aia.org/practicing/awards/2015/library-awards/

This is the fourth AISC National Award for Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, with the others being the CALS Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock, The El Dorado Conference Center, and Heifer International’s World Headquarters in Little Rock, which also won architecture’s highest honor: the American Institute of Architect’s National Institute Honor Award.

Arkansas Heritage Month – The architecture of AIA/ALA award winning CALS libraries by Polk Stanley Wilcox

To encourage excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries, the AIA and the American Library Association/Library Administration and Management Association created this award to distinguish accomplishments in library architecture.  In 2011 and again in 2015, Polk Stanley Wilcox won the award for projects designed for the Central Arkansas Library System.

AIA ALA PSW ASIThe 2011 award went to for work on the Arkansas Studies Institute.  This actually combines three buildings of three different centuries and construction types into one architectural timeline, evoking imagery of pages of an opening book.

The Arkansas Studies Institute is a repository for 10 million historic documents and the papers of seven Arkansas Governors, including President Bill Clinton. Located in a thriving entertainment district comprised of rejuvenated warehouses near the Arkansas River, the design combines significant, but neglected buildings from the 1880’s and 1910’s with a new technologically expressive archive addition. This creates a pedestrian focused, iconic gateway to the public library campus – and the public face of Arkansas history.

The design philosophy is based literally on the book – a physical container of information, with pages flowing into a site-sensitive narrative of the building’s function. Taking cues from the medium for which the Institute was created, the entrance acts as an abstract book cover, pulled away from the building as a double wall, defusing western sunlight and heat in the atrium beyond.

Public Spaces – galleries, a café, museum, and meeting rooms – enliven streetscape storefronts, while the great library research hall encompasses the entire second floor of the 1914 warehouse building. A thin atrium pulls the new structure away to protect the old, stretching the building’s length and flooding all levels with light – a key sustainable strategy. 100 historic images in glass handrails signify that architecture can and should actively engage in storytelling. Suspended bridges span the gap between new and old, open and secure, today and yesterday.

The Arkansas Studies Institute weaves history, research, pedestrians, and a restored streetscape together, healing a gaping wound in the urban fabric, while expanding environmental stewardship into the public realm and serving as a beacon of knowledge.

AIA ALA PSW HRCCLCIn 2015, the award went to PSW for their work on the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.

Based on experiential learning where hands-on education teaches life skills needed to become responsible adults, a new Children’s Library and Learning Center boosts hopes for a neglected neighborhood, serves as an exemplary tale of urban renewal, and acts as a beacon of hope for an entire city.

This “community embedded, supportive learning center” offers not only books, but also a performance space, teaching kitchen, greenhouse, vegetable garden, and an arboretum. It is the state’s first library holistically imagined as a children’s education destination. The Library Director’s challenge was to create a “playground without equipment” where nature and imagination create grand adventures on an abandoned six acre site in the heart of the capital city. A charrette with youth uncovered a surprising and heartbreaking result: their top desire wasn’t for the latest video game technologies… it was food security. They wanted to learn how to feed themselves. Children also desired a place that was uplifting, inspirational and full of natural light, while in contrast feeling safe, secure, and sheltered. They wanted a place that “lifted expectations”.

An interstate highway—the railroad tracks of our generation—split Little Rock 40 years ago and destroyed a unified city grid, contributing to racial and socioeconomic divisions that separated citizens physically and emotionally. The site’s border condition became a national symbol for gang violence when featured in a 1990’s HBO documentary. Its opposite side, however, continued to be the city’s version of New York City’s Central Park—the place to live, work, and play. The design team’s overarching idea was centered on three moves: bridge the gap by stretching the park across the highway, create a library that is “the place to be” for all children, and develop civic pride in an underserved neighborhood, helping to mend partitions that have plagued the city for so long.

Landscape ecology and urban connectivity themes provide experiential education. Children see natural vegetation representing the state’s varied ecological regions from the Ozark Highlands to the Mississippi Delta. Two bus lines within a quarter mile assure access from distances, while the hundreds of children living within a half mile can walk or bike. An instructional greenhouse, gardens, and teaching kitchen allow children to cultivate, harvest, prepare meals, and sell produce in a planned farmer’s market. A full time ‘Environmental Educator’ oversees programs, teaching proper use of water, energy, and resources, and how we keep healthy through decisions made within the built environment. The lobby’s smart monitors can display real time water and energy consumption. Mechanical and structural systems are purposefully exposed so operations and construction methods can be discussed.

While this Library exceeded expectations by achieving LEED Gold, the true measure of success beyond points is the neighborhood’s feel, which shifted from dangerous to full of life and pride. The library is a safe zone and home to a sustainable-minded community.

15 Highlights of 2015 – Polk Stanley Wilcox wins AIA/ALA Library Building Award for CALS Children’s Library

Childrens Library 2For the final fifteen days of 2015, a look back at some of the cultural highlights of 2015.

Up first –

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects and the Central Arkansas Library System were honored with Library Architecture’s highest and most prestigious achievement: A 2015 AIA/ALA Library Building Award. 

Of all libraries submitted, the 2015 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards honor only six separate projects. The Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center joins prestigious projects from as far away as Vancouver, Washington, Dartmouth, Mass., Norfolk, Virginia, San Antonio, Texas, and Des Moines, Iowa. The projects was honored at the National ALA Conference in San Francisco on June 25-30th.

To encourage excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries, the National American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington DC and the American Library Association (ALA) created this award to distinguish accomplishments in library architecture. Biennially, representatives of each organization celebrate the finest examples of library design from around the world designed by American Architects.

READThe new Children’s Library and Learning Center is based on experiential learning, where children are educated through hands on activities that teach life skills needed to become responsible adults. Referred to as a “community-embedded, supportive learning center,” this library offers not only books, but also a performance space, a teaching kitchen, a greenhouse and vegetable garden, and an arboretum.

The award is given every two years.  It is the second time that Polk Stanley Wilcox has received the award for a CALS project.  In 2011 the firm won it for the Arkansas Studies Institute building.  Not only is it rare for a firm to receive this award, it is even more rare for the same firm to receive it twice for working with the same client.  These honors are a testament to the leadership at both Polk Stanley Wilcox and the Central Arkansas Library System.