CALS Butler Center’s The Galleries at Library Square and AETN present “State of the Art” film premiere

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Join CALS and AETN for the Arkansas premiere of a one-hour documentary by Brent and Craig Renaud that captures the personal stories of seven diverse artists who are redefining the American aesthetic.

The screening is tonight (April 13) at 8pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

These artists were a part of “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now”, a groundbreaking exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. To create this exhibition, the curatorial team crisscrossed the nation to find extraordinary contemporary art happening in unexpected places. Be one of the first to experience this powerful story of artists working across our country, including here in Arkansas, prior to its debut on PBS nationally on April 26.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00pm with general admission seating on a first come, first served basis.

Presented by The Galleries at Library Square and AETN/PBS.

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2014 Reel Civil Rights Film Festival continues with films, discussions today

lrff_film-projects_civil-rightsLittle Rock Central High School National Historic Site commemorates the 57th anniversary of the desegregation crisis in September with the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival featuring special guests, panel discussions, and a special commemoration to honor local educators and civil rights activists. All events at local venues are FREE and open to the public; reservations are required for the September 20th evening program and may only be secured by logging on to http://www.eventbrite.com and searching “Little Rock Film Festival” or “A Night with Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.”

Saturday, September 20, 12:00 p.m. – Riverdale 10 Movies (2600 Cantrell Road)
Been Rich All My Life

(Director: Heather MacDonald) –Been Rich All My Life follows the most unlikely troupe of tap dancers – the “Silver Belles,” five women aged 84 to 96. In their heyday they worked at some of Harlem’s most prestigious haunts, performing with legendary band leaders like Cab Calloway, Jimmie Lunceford and Duke Ellington. They met in the 1930’s as chorus dancers at the Apollo and the Cotton Club. When the big band era ended, and with it the need for show dancers, they all went into other work. They regrouped in 1985, put their shoes back on and —sassy as they ever were —are still performing regularly. They may not kick as high, but they are hip-swaying and show-biz savvy. These women will disrupt any notions you have of old age.

The film will be followed by a moderated discussion with Chief of Interpretation and Education Enimini Ekong and Lasker Bell.

 

Saturday, September 20, 2:30 p.m. – Riverdale 10 Movies (2600 Cantrell Rd)
Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Project

Motivational Educational Entertainment (MEE) was hired by the civil rights advocacy group, The Advancement Project, to conduct qualitative, focus group research over a two-month period, with African American and Caucasian parents and African American, Latino and Caucasian teachers for the Advancement Project’s Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Project. Fourteen focus groups were conducted in Philadelphia, PA; Jefferson County, CO; Jackson, MS; Houston, TX; and Miami, FL. The overall purpose of the research was to identify messages and strategies that can be used to motivate parents and teachers to advocate for changes in school disciplinary policies. The findings from this research were used to inform The Advancement Project and its community partners as they prepared a strategic communications plan to launch local advocacy campaigns designed to bolster existing efforts related to the Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Project.

The film will be followed by a moderated discussion and workshop with Dr. Joseph Jones, Founding Director of the Social Justice Initiative at Philander Smith College, and Ivan Juzang, Founder and President of MEE.

 

oliver_stoneSaturday, September 20, 6:00 p.m. –Little Rock Central High School (1500 S. Park Street)
A Night with Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick
The ’50s: Eisenhower, The Bomb & The Third World

(Director: Oliver Stone;Series Writers: Oliver Stone, Matt Graham, Peter Kuznick) – There is a classified America we were never meant to see. From Academy Award®-winning writer/director Oliver Stone, The Untold History of the United States looks back at human events that at the time went under reported, but that crucially shaped America’s unique and complex history over the 20th century. This 60 minute episode examines: United States – Soviet relations post-World War II;Communism;nuclear rearmament;the Korean War;governmental policies toward the Third World;and the role played by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, including his orders to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock, to enforce the Brown v. Board decision and prevent interference with court orders of integration.

The film will be followed by a moderated discussion between director Oliver Stone;Professor of History/Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and film/book co-writer Peter Kuznick;and Little Rock Film Festival executive director Craig Renaud. Dr. Eric Singer, Untold History’s principal researcher and coordinator of the Untold History Education Project, will also be in attendance.

Presenting Sponsor –Little Rock Film Festival

Premier Sponsor –Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Supporting Sponsors: arfilm|Arkansas Production Alliance, Central High Museum Inc., City of Little Rock, Conyers Institute of Public Policy, Jefferson National Parks Association, Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Little Rock School District, Marriott Little Rock, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Moses Tucker Real Estate, Riverdale 10 Movies, National Park Service, Sue Smith Vacations/Vacation Valet, North Point Toyota, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Philander Smith College, Whole Hog Cafe –North Little Rock, Arkansas Education Television Network, and Arkansas Motion Picture Institute

A Double Dozen of Cultural Milestones of 2012

Happy New Year!  Here are a double dozen of the Culture Vulture’s Cultural Milestones from 2012 (in no definitive order but a rough chronilogical order).

Home1 – The year kicked off with the reopening of the Museum of Discovery. In 2011, the museum was gutted and redone from top to bottom. The result is three new galleries with 85 interactive exhibits as well as a high profile streetfront entrance.  A $9.2 million grant from Donald W. Reynolds Foundation provided the primary underwriting for the renovations, which also brought a subtitling of the museum as the Donald W. Reynolds Science Center.

Hupp

2 – Arkansas Rep Producing Artistic Director Robert M. Hupp received two honors in the first quarter of the year.  In February, he was named Arkansas Business Non-Profit Executive of the Year.  The next month Hupp received the Diamond Award from the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.  Hupp has been at Arkansas Rep since 1999.  He currently serves on the board of the Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for non-profit theatres.

Landesman

3 – Rocco Landesman, the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, visited Arkansas in March.   While in Little Rock, he participated in a panel discussion with Bob Hupp of the Arkansas Rep, Warwick Sabin of the Oxford American, Joy Pennington of the Arkansas Arts Council and Beth Wiedower of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Landesman, a Tony winning Broadway producer, was named the 10th chair of the NEA in 2009.   He announced his plans to retire later in the year.

4 – Polk Stanley Wilcox architectural firm was awarded the American Architecture Award for its design of the Heifer International Murphy Keller Education Center in March.  It is the third American Architecture Award the firm has won in the last five years. The firm also won for designing the Acxiom Data Center and the Heifer International Headquarters, also in Little Rock. Heifer broke ground in the $7.5 million Keller Education Center in 2007. The building provides a place for visitors, staff, volunteers and the international development community to come together to learn about world hunger and poverty and current solutions to these problems.

Kaiser

5 – Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, presided over the 2012 Arkansas Arts Summit in April at the Clinton Presidential Center.  The programmatic arm of the conference was developed and presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, and provided practical training for board members and arts administrators. The event was sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council.  Little Rock designer and business owner Kaki Hockersmith, who serves on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the the Kennedy Center, was instrumental in organizing the event.

Rockefeller

6 – May 1 marked the 100th birthday of former Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller.  In addition to being a political leader, he was a cultural and philanthropic leader.  Perhaps his most obvious impact was helping to transform the provincial Little Rock Museum of Fine Arts into the first rate Arkansas Arts Center.  He and his family were generous donors of money and art to this effort.  Through the effort of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, many cultural institutions have received funds for programming which has reached into every county and every corner of this state.  For instance, one of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s string quartets is the Rockefeller Quartet.

Sabin

7 – Later in May, Oxford American publisher Warwick Sabin won a primary for the Democratic nomination for District 33 of the Arkansas House of Representatives. He was unopposed in the November election and will take office in January 2013.

8 – As May ended, Riverfest turned 35.  Among the headliners were Boyz II Men, Lynard Skynard, Staind, Third Eye Blind, Joe Walsh, Snoop Dogg, Rodney Block, and Trout Fishing in America.  Since beginning, Riverfest has contributed over $1 million to promote and upgrade parks in Central Arkansas.  Approximately 250,000 festival-goers attended the 2012 event, with an estimated economic impact of $33 million on the community.

oxfordamerican9 – In June, the Oxford American received a $290,000 ArtPlace Grant for its “South on Main” Project.  The space will include a restaurant that will celebrate Southern culinary culture. Accompanying the food will be nightly cultural programming that will feature the best of Southern arts and culture across a variety of formats including literature, music, film, art and drama. The Oxford American will focus on community-oriented programming developed through partnerships with local organizations and institutions.  It is slated to open in the first quarter of 2013.

Selz

10 – Also in June, Nan Selz, who has led the Museum of Discovery since 2004 and revitalized the once-struggling museum announced her intention to retire at the end of 2012.  Since joining the Museum in February 2004, Selz used her leadership to ensure that the Museum has become central Arkansas’s premier math, science and technology center. She has nearly 50 years executive, development and teaching experience having worked in corporate, non-profit and education sectors.  In December, Kelley Bass was named to succeed Selz.

11 – Ann Richards’ Texas a documentary about the colorful former Governor of Texas won the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award at the AFI SilverDocs festival in June.  The brainchild of Keith Patterson and Arkansans Jack Lofton, Susan Altrui, Eric Wilson and Dr. Jordan Cooper, the documentary received a screening at the Paley Center in New York City in October.

12 – The Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost was officially dedicated at the Little Rock Zoo in July. Mayor Mark Stodola and City Manager Bruce Moore were in attendance for the opening remarks and ribbon cutting ceremony. Zoo Director Mike Blakely introduced special guest, Anne Schmidt-Kuentzel, research geneticist and assistant director for animal health and research at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a world-wide non profit dedicated to saving the wild cheetah and its habitat. She thanked the zoo for supporting the cheetahs.  The cheetahs, Zazi and her daughter Maggie, come from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia.

Hodge

13 – Roger D. Hodge, former editor of Harper’s was named as the new editor of the Oxford American magazine.  Mr. Hodge is the author of  The Mendacity of Hope a critique of President Obama published by HarperCollins in 2010, and is currently working on another book focusing on life in the borderlands of West Texas.  A native of Texas, he studied comparative literature at Sewanee in Tennessee, and began his career as a freelance writer in North Carolina.
operainrock14 –  Opera in the Rock launched and hosted its first event – “Opera on the Rocks” out at Wildwood Park for the Arts. Opera in the Rock is focused on returning live opera performances to Little Rock on a regular basis. The company has announced plans for a performance in February at the Clinton Presidential Center.

15 – The Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies launched Arkansas Sounds, a music festival, in September.  The festival featured over twenty events (concerts, lectures and other special programs) over an extended weekend.  Focusing on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present, Arkansas Sounds will also work to get musicians and songwriters involved in local schools, create songwriting workshops for kids and adults, and host related performances and events throughout the state. Arkansas Sounds is the second festival sponsored by the Butler Center. They also produce the Arkansas Literary Festival in the spring.

Mann

16 – Philip Mann, music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, was honored by the Arkansas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators honored Arkansas communicators in October. He received the IABC/Arkansas 2012 Communicator of the Year, honoring Mann for his innovative communication in creating connections between music and audience. Mann is in his third season as director of the symphony, which has seen audience and artistic growth and financial health under his leadership.

17 – Construction began on the new Arcade Building in Little Rock’s River Market district.  This three story building will be home to the Little Rock Film Festival offices as well as additional space for the Central Arkansas Library System and the Clinton School of Public Service.  One major focus of the building will be the 325-seat theatre auditorium for film and lectures.  A restuarant and office space will also be in the building.  The Arcade Building was designed by architect Rick Redden not long before he died earlier in 2012. A statue of Redden will be placed in front of the building.

Brent, Craig Renaud

18 – Also in October, two of the co-founders of the Little Rock Film Festival – Craig and Brent Renaud received an Edward R. Murrow Award for their work in Haiti for the New York Times.  he Renaud Brothers produced a series of reports for the Times beginning days after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, and followed the story of survivors for more than a year.

Cole

19 – Sericia Cole, who had been serving as interim director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, was named the permanent director in November.  Before joining the museum, Cole served as director of minority affairs for Gov. Mike Beebe’s office for two years. Prior to that, she was director of public relations at Philander Smith College.  She has extensive experience in public relations and non-profit work. Since joining the museum in March, she has introduced several new programs and secured a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, D.C.

Worthen

20 – In November, Bill Worthen celebrated 40 years as Director of Historic Arkansas Museum.  When he started at the institution, it was known as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration and took up roughly half a city block.  Under his leadership, the museum has expanded into permanent galleries as well as increased its historic structures and demostrations.  HAM now takes up one whole city block and two partial blocks.  He is the longest serving musem director in Little Rock history.

Matthews

21 – Also in November, Cathie Matthews announced her upcoming retirement from the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  She has led that state agency for fifteen years and is the longest-serving director.  A Little Rock native (and daughter of former LR Mayor Pratt C. Remmel), she has led the department through the opening of two new museums, the renovation of two existing museums and the creation of new programs in the other agencies. Matthews oversees the Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and Old State House Museum.

Belew

22 – Late in November, Arkansan Cody Belew was eliminated from the TV show “The Voice.”  Born and raised on back country roads, Cody Belew grew up singing in rodeo arenas and gospel church houses. Pulling influence from his southern roots, Cody’s voice is a mix of southern rock, R&B, gospel, soul, and a little mountain twang. He’s been on enough stages, and in front of enough county fair crowds to understand what it takes to entertain an audience.  Before moving to Nashville in 2011, he was a fixture on the Little Rock music scene; he still comes back to perform from time to time. His most recent appearance was at Robinson Center Music Hall last weekend.

Stodola

23 – In December, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola together with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership hosted a meeting to discuss plans for “The Creative Corridor – A Main Stree Revitalization.”  The plan was developed by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center working with Marlon Blackwell Architect for Little Rock.  It was a fulfillment of a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant.

photo (7)24 – Plans for upgrading and renovating Robinson Center Music Hall are moving forward.  Following presentations by four firms in November, the Advertising and Promotion Commission narrowed it down to Ennead Architects of New York, partnered with Polk Stanley Wilcox of Little Rock and Witsell Evans Rasco of Little Rock, partnered with LMN of Seattle.  The concept, which was first unveiled in June, could cost around $65 million.  Presentations by the final two firms will be made in January.  Once completed, the renovated Robinson Center will benefit numerous organizations including the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and Celebrity Attractions.  In related performance space news, First Security Bank made a contribution toward the renovation and reconstruction of the amphitheatre in Riverfront Park.

Adventures in Art of Filmmaking on Petit Jean – March 8-11

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute will host its first film forum called “Adventures in the Art of Filmmaking.’

The forum will be held March 8-11 at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain. It’s open to everyone, from film professionals, students, to enthusiasts.

The forum will bring together a long list of actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, and acting coaches including Robert Walden (Happily Divorced, “Lou Grant”), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, “Caroline in the City”), director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful), director and teacher Joan Darling (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; M*A*S*H; Mary Tyler Moore Show); acting coach and teacher Sandra Seacat; screenwriter Bill Svanoe (Six Million Dollar Man); Oscar-winning producer, Fred Roos (The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now), and documentarian Craig Renaud (On the Front Lines of Film Journalism), who founded The Little Rock Film Festival.

Those interested in taking part in “Adventures in Filmmaking” have four different pricing options. A full package with lodging for $750 (single occupancy) or $650 (double occupancy); full package without lodging for $450; a university student package (a current student identification is required) with lodging for $500 or without lodging for $250; and, a la carte tickets for each Show Barn Panel Discussions for $35.

Advanced online registration is required at www.livethelegacy.org. For more information, visit the website or contact Angie York at 501-727-6257.