Cultural Spring Break in Little Rock

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It is Spring Break week! Several Little Rock museums have special activities planned.

Museum of Discovery
March 18 – March 22 • 10 am to 4 pm
Monday, March 18 – Meet and have your photo taken with Jet Propulsion from “Ready Jet Go!”  Enjoy hands-on activities that teach about space and more.
Tuesday, March 19 – Meet and have your photo taken with Nature Cat, the star o PBS Kids’ “Nature Cat”!  Enjoy hands-on activities about the wonderful outdoors and meet some of nature’s coolest animals!
All Days
Tesla Shows: 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Awesome Science Demos: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Meet Museum Animals: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Historic Arkansas Museum
Spring Break 2019: Settling in Arkansas
March 18 – March 22 • 10 am to 4 pm
In celebration of Arkansas’s Territorial Bicentennial, our Spring Break activities will focus on settling this state. The museum’s historic block has countless stories of making a life in early Arkansas, from just after becoming a territory to a decade after Statehood. Visitors can spend each day learning about a different person’s path to Arkansas. We will cook Pioneer food, make hands-on crafts, and share a few pioneer skills.

Little Rock Zoo

March 18 – March 22 • 9:30am to 4:00pm
See daily feedings of the penguins, interact with education exhibits, attend a meet and greet with animals, go to the Party in the Plaza, have a special meet and greet at the Arkansas Heritage Farm, and chat with animal keepers.

Clinton Presidential Center
March 18 – March 22 • 10:00am to 2:00pm
The Clinton Presidential Center invites children of all ages to enjoy FREE Spring Break activities on March 18 – 22, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Join us for FREE craft activities for the entire family! We’ll offer an instructional glass fusion project, led by Little Rock School District art specialist Sharon Boyd-Struthers, in conjunction with our White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit. Spring Break activities are FREE; however, admission fees to tour the Museum apply.

Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

March 19 – March 22 • 2:00pm
Special Spring Break matinee performances of Charlotte’s Web on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig.  Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.


Art of the String Quartet featuring ASO musicians tonight at the Clinton Center

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fourth concert of the 2018-2019 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music season with The Art of the String Quartet, Tuesday, Feb. 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

ASO’s resident string quartets, Rockefeller String Quartet and Quapaw String Quartet, will perform Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata,” Mozart’s String Quartet No. 12, along with Puccini and Verdi’s string quartets.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Quapaw String Quartet was founded in 1980 as the ASO resident string quartet. Responding to what was clearly a statewide need, the ASO and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation began a partnership in 2000 to form the Rockefeller String Quartet. The quartets have developed a reputation for providing quality school programming, as well as performing statewide as a chamber ensemble and with the Arkansas Symphony. The quartets’ primary responsibilities include string education and outreach throughout the state reaching more than 26,000 Arkansas school children each year.

River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Concerts are held in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall. A cash bar is open before the concert and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the concert. The Media Sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is UA Little Rock Public Radio.

General Admission tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at; at the Clinton Presidential Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.



Quapaw String Quartet

  •   Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin
  •   Charlotte Crosmer, violin
  •   Ryan Mooney, viola
  •   David Gerstein, cello

Rockefeller String Quartet

  •   Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
  •   Katherine Williamson, violin
  •   Katherine Reynolds, viola
  •   Ethan Young, cello

MOZART – String Quartet No. 12 in B-flat Major, K. 172 (Rockefeller)
JANÁČEK  – String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata” (Quapaw)
PUCCINI – String Quartet in D Major (Quapaw)
VERDI – String Quartet (Rockefeller)

Explore “River of Change” with Parkview High School students today at 3pm at Clinton Presidential Center

Each year, the Clinton Center celebrates Black History Month with a historically-rooted performance by the drama, choir, and orchestra students from Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School.

This afternoon (February 24), Parkview students present “River of Change,” inspired by The Mighty Mississippi, and written by Parkview student, Cooper Sikes.

The program will begin at 3pm in the Clinton Center Great Hall.

The theme of River of Change follows the focus of FUSION 2019: Arts+Humanities Arkansas by focusing on the Mississippi River.

New Clinton Center exhibit celebrates “Cultural Heroes”

The Clinton Presidential Center’s new temporary exhibit, Cultural Heroes, a collection of seven larger-than-life clay sculptures created by Nashville artist Alan LeQuire, debuts on February 23, 2019, as part of the Clinton Center’s Black History Month celebration.

Each sculpture represents a musician who shaped the soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, Marian Anderson, and Josh White.

The artist’s inspiration for Cultural Heroes is two-fold. One of LeQuire’s favorite museums is the Cluny Museum in Paris. The museum displays the heads of the Kings of France, which were broken off the facade of Notre Dame during the French Revolution and rediscovered during the 1970s. These larger-than-life stone heads made a lasting impact on the artist. Second, he wanted to memorialize to the musicians who put their careers on the line and became the “grandparents of the Civil Rights movement.”

LeQuire is one of the country’s foremost figurative sculptors and is best known for his colossal masterworks, Athena Parthenos, the largest indoor statue in the western hemisphere and Musica, one of the largest bronze figure groups in the world.

The exhibit runs through May 5, 2019.

The Clinton Center’s Black History Month programming is sponsored by First Arkansas Bank & Trust; Mays, Byrd & Associates; and Wilbur Peer, Sr., Farmer and President KKAC Foundation.

Happy Birthday George Washington

George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796

George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Acquired as a gift to the nation through the generosity of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

Though Monday the 18th was the Federal George Washington Birthday holiday, today is his actual birthday.

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland, Virginia. He is one of only two American Presidents to not have any authority over the land now known as Little Rock. Washington never ventured west of the Mississippi River, so never visited Arkansas.

As the first President and Father of his Country, he has many things named after him. In Little Rock, Washington Street is named in his honor.

The Washington Inaugural Bible

In 2013, two Little Rock museums highlighted George Washington artifacts. Historic Arkansas Museum displayed the Washington family Bible for several months. At the start of that time, they also showcased the Bible on which Washington swore his first oath as President (the inaugural inaugural?).

A few months later, the Clinton Presidential Center featured Washington’s personal annotated copy of the 1789 “Acts Passed at a Congress of the United States of America.” This artifact had been purchased by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association in 2012.

In 2004, the Arkansas Arts Center exhibited the 1796 Gilbert Stuart Landsdowne Portrait of Washington. This was on display a few months before the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center.  In 1976, they had an exhibit dedicated to 18th and 19th century portraits of the Washington, Custis and Lee families. Five years earlier, the museum had displayed prints of Washington in April 1971.

Contemporary Craft: A Conversation tonight (2/21) at the Clinton Presidential Center

Image may contain: textJoin the Clinton Center on Thursday, February 21 at 6 p.m., for a discussion with three nationally-acclaimed, Arkansas-based artists for Contemporary Craft: A Conversation, moderated by Brian Lang. The panel will discuss contemporary craft art in Arkansas, the evolution of their work, how craft art is different than traditional fine art, and the role they think craft art plays in reflecting culture.

Brian J. Lang (moderator)
Brian Lang is the chief curator and Windgate Foundation curator of contemporary craft at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Linda Nguyen Lopez (Panelist)
Linda Nguyen Lopez is first-generation American ceramic artist of Vietnamese and Mexican descent. Her abstract works explore the poetic potential of the everyday by imagining and articulating a vast emotional range embedded in the mundane objects that surround us. She is currently an Instructor and Interim Head of Ceramics at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

James Matthews (Panelist)
James Matthews is a documentary artist with a bias toward the human-made landscape, manual processes, and the physical object. His Eviction Quilts series features works made from clothes and bedding left curbside after an eviction. Matthews lives in Little Rock.

Leon Niehues (Panelist)
From Huntsville, Leon Niehues has been making baskets, sculptural baskets, and bentwood sculpture for 36 years. While using traditional materials and techniques, he adds innovative ideas, methods of construction, and new and unique materials to his pieces. Niehues, and his wife Sharon, were included in The White House Collection of American Crafts.

This program is FREE and open to the public, but reservations are required.

This program is held in conjunction with the Clinton Center’s current temporary exhibition, The White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit. The collection was originally assembled in 1993, at the request of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. The White House Collection of American Crafts was created to coincide with the year designated “The Year of American Craft: A Celebration of the Creative Works of the Hand” by a Joint Resolution of Congress and a Presidential Proclamation by President George H. W. Bush. The collection includes 73 works created by 78 of America’s foremost craft artisans.

42 bar and table, Clinton Museum Store remain open during government shutdown

While the government shutdown continues, two spaces inside the Clinton Presidential Center remain open.  Both 42 bar and table as well as the Clinton Museum Store are open.  They have “Shutdown Specials” for the duration of the shutdown.

42 bar and table is open for lunch from 11am to 2pm Mondays through Saturdays. It is open for dinner Thursdays through Saturdays from 5pm through 10pm.  Bar hours are Thursdays through Saturdays from 4:30pm to midnight.

The Clinton Museum Store is open 9am to 5pm Mondays through Saturdays and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.

This is also a good time to highlight recent staffing additions at 42 bar and table.

In November 42 bar and table, the full-service restaurant located inside the Clinton Presidential Center, announced new additions to its culinary team. André Poirot has assumed the role of executive chef over restaurant, banquet, and catering operations; Jeremy Pittman joins the team as a pastry chef; and Jason Morell will serve as the new chef de cuisine at 42 bar and table.

“We are thrilled to welcome these talented team members to the Clinton Presidential Center and look forward to working together to continue to provide our guests with excellent cuisine and spectacular service,” said Chef Michael Selig, director of Food, Beverage, and Events. “Our staff is already top shelf; these additions will further enhance the presidential experience that our guests have come to expect from us.”

Chef André Poirot was born and raised in France and received his culinary diploma in 1977. He then began his traditional European apprenticeships, serving as a commis at the Ets Blache restaurant in Remiremont, France, and in the kitchens of The Savoy on the Strand in London. In 1989, Poirot began a 14-year career at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans as gourmet chef at the celebrated Begue’s restaurant. In 2004, The Peabody Hotel Little Rock recruited him to serve as executive chef to supervise food and beverage operations at the hotel and at the Statehouse Convention Center. In 2013, when The Peabody Hotel rebranded to a Marriott property, Poirot was asked to join the food and beverage team at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Little Rock and then the Capital Hotel.

Poirot won the title of Arkansas Iron Chef at the 2006 and 2009 Arkansas Hospitality Association celebrity Iron Chef competitions; gold (2009), silver (2010), bronze (2011), and people’s choice award (2011) medals at the Culinary Classic competition; and was awarded first place at the Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Taste of the Rock four years in a row (2008-2010). He was the recipient of the Arkansas Hospitality Association’s Salut au Restaurateur award in 2011 and mentor of the year in 2012. The American Culinary Federation also recognized him as a leading advisor to young people starting in the culinary profession.

Jeremy Pittman joins the staff as a pastry chef. He was the co-owner and chef of Pizzeria in the Heights and previously owned Palette Catering and Gourmet To Go. Pittman is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Jason Morell is the new restaurant chef at 42 bar and table. He was the chef and owner of Starving Artists Café from 2006 to 2014 and was previously chef at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, Simply the Best Catering, and Philander Smith College. Morell graduated from the Florida Culinary Institute.