Today is Flag Day. Here are several photos of the Stars and Stripes taken in Little Rock over the past few years.
On June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Through her diary, she has inspired generations with her courage as her family was in hiding from the Nazis. During the two years she and her family were in seclusion, she looked out and saw a white horse chestnut tree from her window.
In 2009, the Anne Frank Center USA announced an initiative to place saplings from the tree at various locations throughout the United States. Little Rock became the only city to receive two saplings. One to be placed at Central High School, the other to be placed at the Clinton Presidential Center.
The Clinton Foundation and the Sisterhood of Congregation B’nai Israel, in conjunction with the Anne Frank Center USA, joined together to create a powerful exhibit, The Anne Frank Tree, located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Park. The permanent installation, which surrounds the Anne Frank Tree sapling, was dedicated on October 2, 2015.
Anne’s tree would outlive her by more than 50 years before being weakened by disease and succumbing to a windstorm in 2010. But today, thanks to dozens of saplings propagated in the months before its death, Anne’s tree lives on in cities and towns around the world.
The Anne Frank Tree installation at the Clinton Center consists of five framed, etched glass panels – arranged to evoke the feeling of being inside a room – surrounded by complementary natural landscaping. The two front panels feature quotes from Anne Frank and President Clinton. The three additional panels convey the complex history of human rights in Arkansas through descriptions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis of 1957. These panels feature quotes from Chief Heckaton, hereditary chief of the Quapaw during Arkansas’s Indian Removal; George Takei, Japanese-American actor who was interned at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County, Arkansas, in 1942; and Melba Pattillo Beals, of the Little Rock Nine.
In collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, Little Rock landscape architect Cinde Bauer and Ralph Appelbaum Associates, exhibit designer for both the Center and The National Holocaust Museum, assisted in the design of the exhibit. The installation has been made possible thanks to the support of the Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation, TRG Foundation, and other generous partners.
Today, the sermon for the Royal Wedding was delivered by the Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church.
In December 2016, he delivered remarks twice in Little Rock.
On Sunday, December 11, 2016, he delivered the homily at Christ Episcopal Church. The next day, he spoke in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center as part of the Clinton School Speaker Series. His remarks can be viewed here.
Presiding Bishop Curry has a national preaching and teaching ministry, having been featured on The Protestant Hour and as a frequent speaker at conferences around the country. He has authored numerous publications including columns for the Huffington Post and the Baltimore Times. His most recent book, Songs My Grandma Sang, was published in June 2015; Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus was his first book, in August 2013.
Though she left this earth physically in 2014, Maya Angelou’s work and legacy continue on in the lives she touched and her writings. Ninety years ago today, she was born in St. Louis.
On February 23, 1998, Maya Angelou appeared with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in a concert at Robinson Center. The evening featured Dr. Angelou narrating Joseph Schwantner’s tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “New Morning for the World.”
Dr. Angelou, a former resident of Stamps, Arkansas, was not a stranger to Little Rock. She had appeared before at Wildwood Park and would later appear at the Clinton Presidential Center.
A former Poet Laureate of the United States and Tony nominated actor, she won a Grammy Award for her reading of “On the Pulse of the Morning” which had been written for the first inauguration of Bill Clinton as President of the United States.
A poet, author, educator, dancer, singer, actor, and activist, she wrote seven autobiographies. The most notable was arguably I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Born in St. Louis, she spent part of her childhood in Arkansas before moving to California. She led a peripatetic life both geographically and career-wise ending as a professor at Wake Forest and residing in North Carolina. It was there that she died in May 2014.
One of the ways her work continues is through the Celebrate Maya project which is led by Janis Kearney.
Stephanie S. Streett is the executive director of the Clinton Foundation. In this role she oversees the day-to-day operations of the Clinton Presidential Center, including the development and implementation of its educational programs, special events, exhibits, and services as well as staff management. She establishes and cultivates strategic partnerships and cooperative arrangements with state and local governments, the non-profit and private sector, community groups and other organizations. Stephanie also serves as the corporate secretary for the Clinton Foundation Board of Directors.
Stephanie has used her position to broaden culture in Little Rock through the wide variety of exhibits which the Clinton Center has hosted. A wide variety of styles of visual arts, design, contemporary craft, sports, science and history have been showcased in exhibits at the Clinton Center. She also was instrumental in planning the special events in conjunction with the Clinton Center 10th Anniversary in 2014 and the 2017 celebration of the 25th anniversary of President Clinton’s election.
In addition, she has been active in promoting partnerships with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Together with Kaki Hockersmith, she has facilitated several seminars which have brought key Kennedy Center leaders to Little Rock. Together they lead the effort known as Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas. Now in its second year, Fusion promotes heritage and culture and celebrates human achievement by weaving the arts and humanities together.
She has been the president of the University of Arkansas Alumni Association National Board of Directors and is co-chair of the Board of Directors for City Year Little Rock. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Partnership of Little Rock and is a member of the International Women’s Forum Arkansas. In April, she will be honored with the 2018 City Year Little Rock Lifetime of Service Award at the Red Jacket Ball.
In April 2002, Oscar winning actress Julie Andrews appeared at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The purpose was a fundraiser for a program the Rep had at the time.
The evening consisted of reminiscences from her as well as a conversation with Anne Jansen. It included discussions of her Oscar winning role in Mary Poppins as well as her Oscar nominated turns in The Sound of Music and Victor/Victoria.
Following the performance, there was a dinner on the Rep’s Second Stage. Though she no longer sings due to vocal chord damage following a late 1990s surgery, she did sing a childhood Cockney song about Henry VIII after Rollie Remmel sang to her a childhood song about Charles Lindbergh.
While in Little Rock, she toured the Clinton Materials Project which was processing the papers and items from the Clinton White House in advance of the 2004 opening of the Clinton Presidential Center. She also toured Heifer International.
Today marks the Chinese New Year (sometimes called Lunar New Year). As part of the twelve year cycle, this is the Year of the Dog.
To mark this occasion, here are four sculptures found in Little Rock which feature dogs. Two are in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, one is in the Bill Clark Wetlands, and the other is at the Little Rock Animal Village.
Ken Newman’s FOREVER READY was donated in 2009 by the Sculpture at the River Market. It is sited in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden. Mr. Newman is a member of the National Sculptors’ Guild. One of Mr. Newman’s specialties is animals. Cast in bronze, Forever Ready depicts a Labrador. Here is Mr. Newman’s artist statement on the piece.
Forever Ready is based off my 30 years experiences with and my love of the Lab. The sculpture was created during the absence of a lab in my life, this was important, because I wanted to reflect on all the past labs, not a present companion. So, ‘Forever Ready’ is that reflection of the breed (hunter, companion and teacher)…Capturing its intense nature with discipline and loyalty, I have set the lab on edge so intense, that if not given the command to go, it will just fall off. But, it is able to maintain balance – wet and ready to go again. The lab’s shadow is cast in the water below, for a I cannot think of a lab without water.
A few yards from Forever Ready, another dog stands inquisitively. Commissioned in 2010 and unveiled in 2011, Dan Glanz’s BORIS is a likeness of Boris Kumpuris, the dog and companion of Mary and Dr. Dean Kumpuris.
Glanz captures the friendly and inquisitive nature of Boris in this work, which can be found in the Vogel Schwarz sculpture garden. Most weekends Boris can be seen with Dean as the two walk through Riverfront Park and the River Market. Boris explores and inspects the park along with Dean. Each year during the Sculpture at the River Market show, Boris visits with Dean and meets all the sculptors.
The sculpture was donated by longtime Kumpuris family friend Margaret Clark. She and her late husband Bill were two of the earliest supporters of sculpture along the Arkansas River. They donated another piece in honor of their grandchildren. A sculpture in memory of Bill was unveiled last year and stands in the wetlands park which bears his name.
The Bill Clark Wetlands is actually the location of the third dog. It is Chloe, Bill Clark’s faithful hunting dog. She and Bill are part of Clay Enoch’s sculpture STEADY. Dedicated in 2011, it was a tribute to the man who helped build the Clinton Presidential Library.
This tribute to Clark shows Bill and Chloe in an early morning duck hunt scanning the horizon. It is also positioned so that Bill is also gazing at the Clinton Presidential Center. His firm was the contractor on that building, and he spent thousands of hours walking in the area looking at the building during the construction.
A portion of the ground he trod during construction has been set aside as the Bill Clark Wetlands, and STEADY is placed in the wetlands as a memorial to Bill.
In 2015, the Little Rock Animal Village unveiled Lorri Acott’s WHO RESCUED WHO. Located at the entrance to the Little Rock Animal Village, it depicts a person and dog looking at each other. They are sharing a bond of respect, admiration and love.
The human figure has Acott’s trademark extended length legs. These represent the ability to overcome obstacles and rise above adversity. This is even more apt when considering the role that pets can play in our lives, as well as the role humans play in “adopting” rescued pets.
The sculpture is dedicated to the memory of Jack Adcock. It is given by his family, which includes longtime City Director Joan Adcock, their two children, eleven grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.