Creative Class 2016: Jason Wiest

cc16-wiestAfter a career in journalism and public relations, Jason Wiest is now focusing more on the entertainment side of Little Rock.  As the owner of Club Sway, he programs a variety of music and theatrical events.

While Club Sway operates as a bar, most nights there are special performances.  Jason provides SWAY as a staging area for locally produced parties created by GlitterRock as well as featuring nationally known entertainers.

For the second year in a row, Club Sway is producing The Rocky Horror Show during Halloween.  The final two performances are tonight and tomorrow at 8:30pm.

Jason has also been an active board member with Ballet Arkansas, giving special assistance as they planned their move downtown. He has also been a supporter of film festivals in downtown Little Rock.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW presented by Sway

RHS swaySway is providing the treats for Halloween!  The legendary ‘Rocky Horror Show‘ comes to Little Rock this Halloween weekend at the first ever Sway Presents: Rocky Horror Show – Live On Stage! featuring Queen Anthony James Gerard and a colorful cast of talented locals.  Performances started Thursday and wrap up tonight!

This simple and outrageously fun show is a fan favorite with a huge following of devoted fans who dress as their favorite characters and actively participate in the show. Audience participation is almost required!

Join in on the Time Warp in this cult classic, pop culture, science fiction glam rock, quirky comedy that is the Rocky Horror Show!

Showtime at 8:30 p.m. sharp. Guests to tonight’s performances will receive complimentary admission to a party following the final bows.

Day 3 of Kaleidoscope Film Festival

sacred heartsFeatures, shorts and parties make up day 3 of Kaleidscope.

At 12:30 the feature film Naz & Maalik plays at The Studio Theatre.  Next door at the Lobby Bar, also at 12:30, there will be a block of short-films.  Altered Realities: Narrative Shorts 1 will include “Zac and Luc,” “Camouflage,” “Warpaint,” “Midnight,” “Brace,” “Good Morning,” and “Waiting Room.”

At 2:15 at The Studio Theatre, another block of shorts will be shown.  Love/Lust: Narrative Shorts 4 includes “Pretty Boy” and “Perpetual.”

At 3:15 at The Lobby Bar, the Adventurous Natures: Narrative Shorts 2 block will be shown.  It includes “hopefulROMANTIC,” “Caged,” “Dos Almas,” “Tomorrow,” ‘A Little Bit Country,” and “Carpe Jugular.”

At 3:30pm in The Studio Theatre, Director Mark Thiedeman discusses making LGBT movies in the South.  UCA Professor Bruce Hutchinson moderates the discussion as the audience watches clips of Thiedeman’s work over the last several years. Including the full 40 min award winning short film SACRED HEARTS, HOLY SOULS.  At the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival the film won the Charles B. Pierce Best Film Made in Arkansas and was nominated for Best Director and Best Actor (Quinn Gassaway).

At 5:30pm Club Sway will be the site for the screening of Club King. DOCUMENTARY – For the past 20 years, Mario Diaz has crafted his own iconic image as the premier LGBT nightlife king, throwing some of the sexiest and wildest parties from New York to LA, including the insanely appealing Hot Dog, BFD and Full Frontal Disco.  Must be at least 18 to attend.

The Studio Theatre will show Reel in the Closet at 5:30.  Prior to the start of the film, the short “The Damn Deal” will be shown.

Reel In The Closet is a feature-length documentary that transports us into LGBT life of the past through rare home movies of the people who lived it. Many of the moving images in this film are shown for the first time. Many more wait to be discovered in people’s closets but are being thrown out- sometimes on purpose.

At 6pm, there will be a free screening of “Not Safe to be Me” in the Lobby Bar. A bird’s eye view of the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from the early 20th century to the present. Director Laura D’Antoni examines bullying, coming out, history, religion and suicide through a series of interviews of LGBT people sharing their own experiences. Paralleling the stories is the biography of Miami-Dade educator Robert Loupo, whose own experiences with suicide and assault led him to create the “Safe Schools South Florida” to train teachers to recognize and intervene in anti-gay bullying.

From 8pm to 9:30 in the Lobby Bar, “Reel Journeys: Documentary Shorts” block will be shown.  Included are “A Mississippi Love Story,” “And Counting,” Purpose in the Pulpit,” “Born Wrong,” “First Clue,” and “Stella Walsh.”

The World premiere of the film Chasing Pavement will be at 8pm in the Studio Theatre.  Chasing Pavement stars Remy Mars as Elijah Young, an ‘urban’ porn star who is preparing to leave the adult entertainment industry and start a new career as a chef. His new roommate, Takeshi, played by Tokio Sasaki, is a Japanese immigrant who is looking for a new start in the information technology field. Takeshi, who feels completely invisible in the United States, becomes obsessed with his extremely visible flatmate. Takeshi’s obsession culminates in a violation of boundaries that brings the two together for a moment of intimacy that neither will soon forget. The movie also stars Antonio Biaggi as Bryson Colon, a man with a troubled past who frequently hires Elijah as an escort, but wants much more.

Starting at 10pm, House of Avalon Hosts the Official Kaleidoscope After Party at Club Sway.

Day Two of Kaleidoscope Film Festival



Kaleidoscope continues today with films at two different venues.

At 5pm, the film Those People will be shown at The Studio Theatre.

On Manhattan’s gilded Upper East Side, a young painter, CHARLIE (Jonathan Gordon), finds the man of his dreams in an older pianist from across the globe, TIM (Haaz Sleiman). If only Charlie weren’t secretly in love with his own manipulative best friend, SEBASTIAN (Jason Ralph), who is embroiled in a financial scandal. In the wake of Sebastian’s notoriety, their tight-knit group of friends must confront the new realities of adulthood.

At 6pm at Club Sway Peter de Rome will be screened.
DOCUMENTARY – Pioneering erotic filmmaker Peter de Rome tells his astonishing life story with humour and charm in this surprising and heart-warming documentary – the feature debut of director Ethan Reid.  Spanning more than eight decades of gay experience in Britain and the US, the film charts its subject’s journey from cinematic outlaw to celebrated film icon with contributions from friends and collaborators.  Must be over 18 to attend this screening.

At 7pm, back at The Studio Theatre, the HRC Arkansas Spotlight Feature Game Face will be shown.
The award winning documentary GAME FACE tells the parallel story of Fallon Fox, MMAs first transgender pro fighter, and Terrence Clemens, a young, ambitious and talented college basketball player in Oklahoma, who happens to be gay. Both realize that coming out will be necessary for their own sense of integrity and peace of mind, but the lack of a clear roadmap and the unpredictable consequences instill understandable anxiety and caution. NBA player Jason Collins, NFL player Wade Davis, NCAA Division 1 basketball player Kye Allums and triathlete Chris Mosier also appear in the film.

From 9pm to 10:30pm, the HRC Arkansas Friday Night Party will take place at The Lobby Bar.

At 10:30pm at The Studio Theatre, The night ends with the camp-horror movie You’re Killing Me, which is presented by Fantastic Cinema.

Indiewire called it “a gay horror camp classic in the making.” An intriguing mix of horror, camp and romantic comedy, YOU’RE KILLING ME demonstrates what happens when narcissistic, wannabe Internet star George meets Joe, a monotone serial killer.

The rich vocals of Cynthia Scott highlight tonight’s “A Work of Art” concert for 2015 Jazz Week

2015 awoa ScottEl Dorado native Cynthia Scott brings her vocal prowess to Little Rock tonight (July 30) for the 2015 “A Work of Art” Jazz Week.  She will be performing her blend of swing, soul, and jazz at 7pm and 9pm at Club Sway.

For three decades, the vocal artistry of the multi-talented Arkansas-born vocalist Cynthia Scott has encompassed the swing of jazz, the soul of blues, R&B, and the sacred stirrings of gospel music. She is loved by audiences from New York to Africa, Europe and Asia; by musicians from Wynton Marsalis to Ray Charles – who discovered her – and by jazz critics like the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich, who called her “a mesmerizing vocalist.”  A talented actress and playwright, she brings these skills to her singing as she uses each song to tell a story.

“A Work of Art” is the primary fundraiser for the Art Porter Music Education scholarship program. All proceeds from the week-long fundraiser benefit the scholarship fund. “A Work of Art” concludes in early August in observance of the birth month of Art Porter, Jr. Attendees enjoy a week of unique educational experiences by an impressive group of local artists, music students and national recording artists.

Ticket information is available at

Art Porter Music Education’s 2013 Jazz Week this week

artporterThe 2013 Art Porter Music Education Jazz Week runs from Monday, July 29 through Saturday August 3 at various locations in Little Rock.

The week kicks off at Little Rock City Hall on Monday.  The City of Little Rock will host the first concert as young musicians will take center stage in the City Hall Rotunda on Monday, July 29 at noon.  This is a free event.

Other events this week include

Jazz on the Plaza at the Metropolitan BankPlaza – Tuesday, July 30 at noon – FREE

Walter Beasley and Eric Struthers at Cajun’s Wharf – Wednesday, July 31 at 7:00 pm – ticketed event

Martha Burks at Club Sway – Thursday, August 1 at 7:30pm – ticketed event

Porter Players at The Afterthought – Friday, August 2 – FREE

Pieces of A Dream at the Metroplex Event Center – August 3 at 8pm – ticketed event

All proceeds benefit the Art Porter Music Education (APME) scholarship program. Ticket information is available at or call (501) 492-9120.

The APME was created by friends and family of Little Rock natives – Art Porter Sr and Art Porter Jr – both amazingly talented musicians. The purpose of the APME is two-fold:

  • To provide scholarships to talented Arkansas music students in need of financial assistance to pursue higher education from an accredited college or university.
  • To provide musical enhancement opportunities through workshops and seminars.