A Night of Trap Jazz and Slam Poetry at the Clinton Presidential Center

Join the Clinton Presidential Center for a performance by Philli Moo, Qnote, and the Trap Jazz Giants. The program will begin at 6pm tonight (February 16).

Trap Jazz is a new genre of music birthed out of the original art forms of contemporary and Jazz standards with a baseline and core of traditional Hip-Hop, created by Phillip “Philli Moo” Mouton and Quincy “Qnote” Watson.

The program will also feature an appearance by Crystal C. Mercer, and will open with the Writeous Poets, a group of Little Rock teens who perform slam poetry. The Writeous Poets were established in 2002 under the sponsorship and guidance of Leron and Stacey McAdoo. Mrs. McAdoo was named the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year and is a teacher at Little Rock Central High School.

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Rock the Oscars 2019: Opening of the Clinton Presidential Center

Probably the largest gathering of Oscar winners and Oscar nominees in Little Rock’s history took place in November 2004.

Though some Oscar winners and nominees had been present for the Clinton election night parties in 1992 and 1996, the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center brought luminaries from Hollywood en masse.

Among those present were Oscar winning actors Barbara Streisand, Robin Williams, and (of course) Arkansan Mary Steenburgen.  Future Oscar winner Morgan Freeman was also in attendance. Among the Oscar nominees who were present were Bono and The Edge (who performed at the ceremony) and Alfre Woodard.

Senator John Glenn, who had been featured as a character in the Oscar winning film The Right Stuff was also present for the festivities.  Former Vice President Al Gore did not actually win an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth (the documentary awards go to the director), but was closely identified with this Oscar winning documentary.

There were plenty of rumors about other Oscar winners and nominees in town, though they were not true.

This weekend at the Clinton Center – Fusion 2019: Arts+Humanities Arkansas looks at “The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America’s Growth”

Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas The third edition of FUSION: Arts + Humanities Arkansas takes place on February 10 and 11 at the Clinton Presidential Center.

There is a Fusion public symposium, The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America’s Growth, on Sunday, February 10, at 5:30 p.m. The program will include a keynote address featuring nationally-recognized photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist Tom Rankin; a Delta Blues musical performance by Grammy Award-winning musician David Evans; and special performances by the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra Jazz Ensemble and North Little Rock High School theater students.

While flowing more than 2,300 miles through ten states and defining eight state borders, the Mighty Mississippi River is an imperative physical aspect that continues to play an integral role in the shaping of our nation’s economics, politics, geography, and culture.

An accompanying exhibit will take you on a journey down the Mississippi River as you view dozens of artifacts and ephemera, including first editions of Mark Twain’s novels, The Prince and the Pauper and The Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; original Norman Rockwell lithographs from Twain’s works; the Epiphone guitar and playing knife of Helena native and famed blues guitar player Cedell Davis; and more.

RSVP for the Fusion Public Symposium

Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas
The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America’s Growth
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Doors Open: 5 p.m. | Program Begins: 5:30 p.m.

Reception and exhibit tours to follow the program
Clinton Presidential Center, Great Hall
Fusion 2019 is made possible because of the generous support of the Quapaw Tribe, Centennial Bank, and the Little Rock Port Authority.

The ASO River Rhapsodies tonight features Artist of Distinction: Andrew von Oeyen

Andrew von Oeyen, pianoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the third concert of the 2018-2019 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music season with Artist of Distinction: Andrew von Oeyen, Tuesday, Jan. 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center. The program opens with Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 4, featuring ASO’s Quapaw String Quartet. Von Oeyen then performs a solo rendition of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and the concert closes with the pianist joining ASO’s Rockefeller String Quartet and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor.

The Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction is a musician with an exemplary international career as a soloist and chamber musician, widely sought after by leading performing arts organizations.

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 www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Clinton Presidential Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

Artists

Andrew von Oeyen, piano, 2018-2019 Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction

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

Program
HAYDN – String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No. 4
RAVEL – Le Tombeau de Couperin
SHOSTAKOVICH – Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

Skip Day! Happy Birthday to Skip Rutherford!

Though a native of Batesville (and a proud booster to this day), James L. “Skip” Rutherford has lived in Little Rock for many years. While he was a student at the University of Arkansas, he probably never envisioned the impact he would have on the cultural scene of Little Rock.

After moving to Little Rock, Skip (and his wife Billie) became civic boosters which often involved attending or promoting cultural events.  However, by the mid-1990s, this moved into a whole new realm.

Skip was one of the visionaries behind the creation of a Central High Visitors Center.  His interest in this project combined his interests in public service, public policy, and public schools. This was an extension of his work as an aide to Senator David Pryor from 1979 to 1983 and a Little Rock School Board member from 1987 to 1991.  As the 40th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High approached, Skip worked with Mayor Jim Dailey and others to plan the 1997 commemoration activities as well as the 1998 recognition of the Women’s Emergency Committee.

A few weeks after the Central High 40th anniversary events in September 1997, President Clinton announced that Little Rock would be the site of his Presidential Library.  As President of the Clinton Foundation, he was involved in the planning for not only the construction of the building but also the grand opening festivities.  Through his efforts, the City’s major cultural institutions all had events in conjunction with the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center.

In 2006, he followed Sen. David Pryor in the role of Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service.  Among his accomplishments in this role has been the expansion of the Clinton School Speaker Series. This free series of lectures and public discussions has added immensely to Little Rock’s cultural life. Topics range from foreign relations to domestic policy, from social services to community philanthropy, The lecture series has also focused on productions at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, guest artists with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, books by historians, and many other cultural topics over the years.

That he would oversee the expansion of this lecture program should not be a surprise.  He is also the founder (in 1983) of the Political Animals Club. While the original, non-partisan group still meets regularly in Little Rock, several other affiliates have been created in other portions of the state. He has always been one for civil, civic dialogue.

In April and May 2018, Skip was one of the civic leaders who stepped up to promote efforts to save the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He was also involved in the planning and promotion of the Elizabeth Eckford Bench which was installed near Little Rock Central High School in September 2018.  Later that month, he presided over an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Women’s Emergency Committee.

Earlier this month, the Clinton School partnered with UA Little Rock Downtown for the a Clinton School program which discussed the 1930s mural which has been restored and now hangs in the new UA Little Rock space.  2019 will offer more opportunities for his civic and cultural boosterism, as well.

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.

18 Cultural Events of 2018 – White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit at the Clinton Center

PIERCED GEODE by Robyn Horn

The White House Collection of American Crafts was commissioned by First Lady Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton in 1993 as part of the “Year of American Craft: A Celebration of the Creative Work of the Hand.” The collection includes 73 works of glass, metal, ceramic, fiber, and wood, created by seventy-seven of America’s foremost artists. This 25th anniversary exhibit opened at the Clinton Presidential Center on September 17, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2019. (NOTE: During the government shutdown, the exhibits in the Clinton Center are closed, though the restaurant and museum store remain open.)

The Clintons thought of the White House as the American people’s house and a 200-year-old living museum of American art and history. As First Lady, Hillary Clinton promoted the arts and culture through many initiatives. One of those, The White House Collection of American Crafts, presented a wonderful opportunity to display contemporary American crafts in the formal public rooms of the White House.

The pieces within the collection illustrate the skill, imagination, and vitality
characteristic of craft in the 1990s. Using glass, wood, clay, fiber and metal, these
artisans reveal their ability to manipulate materials in inventive ways, expressing their
creative vision in objects of striking beauty. Despite the increasing emergence of
computer technology and industrial design at the time, the collection displays the
intimate and physical qualities of handmade objects.

The collection features work by 78 artists, ranging from established to emerging in
their mediums in the 1990s, including Dale Chihuly, Cliff Lee, Sam Maloof, and Joan
Mondale, among others. Six Arkansas artisans are part of the collection, including
Michael Haley and Susy Siegele; Robyn Horn; Leon Niehues and Sharon Niehues;
and Ed Pennebaker.

“Mrs. Clinton took her role as First Lady and temporary custodian of America’s house
very seriously,” said Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the Clinton
Foundation. “She worked tirelessly to make the White House a showplace for the very
best of American artistry. With this exhibition, she hoped to elevate the role and
visibility of American Craft and its artisans. Mrs. Clinton has always believed in the
power of art to uplift and inspire, and I’m thrilled that visitors of all ages will have the
opportunity to see this beautiful collection in its entirety.”