4th Annual Tinkerfest today at Museum of Discovery

tinkerfestThe Museum of Discovery presents its fourth annual Tinkerfest from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, offering the public a chance to discover how everyday objects such as cars and computers work, and opportunities to explore the engineering and science behind building objects.

More than 40 stations will be set up both inside and outside the museum. Among the activities Tinkerfest visitors can engage in:  

  • Toy take-apart
  • Car take-apart
  • Water exploration activities
  • Marshmallow shooters
  • Tiny drawings
  • Light painting
  • “How to make” workshops
  • Squishy circuits
  • Cardboard maze
  • Construction for kids

There also will be food trucks at Tinkerfest selling a variety of food.

“Tinkerfest is one of the great days of the year at the Museum of Discovery,” said Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “It’s invigorating to see hundreds of families engaged in hands-on activities that are as instructional as they are enjoyable. Tinkerfest is directly aligned with the museum’s mission, and we’re happy the public has embraced it so enthusiastically.”

Cross Gunter Witherspoon and Galchus is Tinkerfest’s presenting sponsor. The event is also made possible through financial support from Welspun Tubular; Arkansas Discovery Network; East-Harding Construction; AT&T; Entergy Arkansas; Central Arkansas Water; Nabholz Construction; Arkansas School for Math, Science and Arts; Acxiom; Ace Glass; Caterpillar; VCC; and Spectra Entergy.

Tinkerfest activities are included in the museum’s regular daily admission: $10 for adults, $8 for children 1-12 and free for infants younger than 1. Seniors, teachers, Little Rock city employees and active and retired military are admitted for $8.

To learn more about Tinkerfest, visit https://www.museumofdiscovery.org/events/tinkerfest 

Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.


Tonight – Science After Dark explores Arkansas Weather

science weatherEach month the Museum of Discovery hosts “Science after Dark” for adults aged 21 and up.  This month’s theme is “Science of Weather.”

Check out our partners and programs:

  • Meteorologist Natalie Walters
  • National Weather Service
  • American Red Cross
  • Central Arkansas Storm Chasers
  • Entergy Arkansas
  • All-Clean USA
  • Museum educators will also discuss lightening with the Van de Graaff Generator, clouds, fire tornadoes
  • Kevin Delaney will make a giant liquid nitrogen cloud!

Cash bar by Juanita’s, beer sold by Stone’s Throw Brewery and pizza sold by the slice by Damgoode Pies

The program runs from 6pm to 9pm. Cost is $5, FREE for museum members. (Go ahead and get a membership, it will more than pay for itself within a year!)

Governor’s Arts Awards presented today

Today at noon at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, Governor Asa Hutchinson will join with the Arkansas Arts Council to present the annual Governor’s Arts Awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award-Jana L. Beard, Little Rock

Arts Community Development Award-Remica Gray, Texarkana

Arts in Education Award-DeltaARTS, West Memphis

Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award-Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

Folklife Award-Margaret Jones Bolsterli, Fayetteville

Individual Artist Award-Kevin Kresse, Little Rock

Patron Award-Curt & Chucki Bradbury, Little Rock

Judges Recognition Award-Kaki Hockersmith, Little Rock


The annual Governor’s Arts Awards were established in 1991 to recognize Arkansas artists, arts patrons and corporations for their outstanding contributions to the arts community. The recipients are nominated by the public and selected by distinguished panel of arts professionals from around the state.

The Arkansas Arts Council is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Brass Blaze at this Weekend’s Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concerts

Photo by Kelly Hicks

Photo by Kelly Hicks

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO), Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the second concert in the 2014-2015 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series: Blazing Brass. Arkansas Symphony Orchestra‘s Principal Trumpet Richard Jorgensen performs the classic Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major by Haydn, and Bruckner’s colossal Symphony No. 7 in E Major completes the program. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust. The concert is sponsored by Aristotle, Inc.

The concert takes place at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center, 100 Victory Lane, Maumelle, AR, Saturday, October 18 at 7:30, 2014 p.m., & Sunday, October 19 at 3:00, 2014 p.m.

American Airlines Concert Conversations – All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert.  These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at the ASO website.

Richard Jorgensen, trumpet
Philip Mann, conductor

HAYDN: Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major
BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7 in E Major

Anton Weidinger, a trumpeter with the Vienna Court Orchestra, sought a new concerto to show off his new, more versatile type of trumpet. Several composers responded to his request, and Weidinger was delighted to hear of Haydn’s desire to compose the Trumpet Concerto.

The ecstatic reception of the premiere of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 – including 15 minutes of applause – marked the greatest success of Bruckner’s life. The work presents all of Bruckner’s principal characteristics: rich spacious themes, rustic dance rhythms in the scherzo, and the extra degree of exaltation which was his alone.


About the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 49th season in 2014-2015, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than sixty concerts each year for more than 165,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools.

LR Cultural Touchstone: Kay Kelley Arnold

(Photo courtesy of Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport)

(Photo courtesy of Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport)

Little Rock’s rich cultural history has been influenced by many outstanding men and women.  This October, during Arts & Humanities Month 2014, the Culture Vulture is looking at 31 outstanding women who have shaped cultural life in Little Rock…and beyond.

Kay Kelley Arnold.  While attending law school, she worked at the Arkansas Arts Council.  As she relayed to Soiree, she helped artists who taught in schools. Through that job, she met many creative people “and developed a love of all types of artistic expression.”  During Bill Clinton’s first term in office as Governor, she was on his staff. In that capacity, she served as his liaison to what is now known as the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  When he left office in January 1981, so did she.

In 1986, Governor Clinton tapped Arnold to lead the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  In addition to supervising six cultural departments, she stepped into the job as plans were being made for Arkansas’ Sesquicentennial. She also oversaw those efforts which were heavily tilted toward artistic and historic events.

During the 1987 Arkansas General Assembly, Arnold led the successful effort for the legislators to approve a real estate transfer tax.  The legislation proved immensely beneficial to historic properties.  She entered the corporate world in 1988 joining Arkansas Power & Light. While serving in various capacities for AP&L and Entergy, Arnold split her time between Little Rock and Washington DC.  She maintained close ties to Little Rock’s cultural community including service on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Board.  She served as Chair of the ASO Board at a crucial time in the organization’s history.  In addition, she has served as a member of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.

Arnold has recently completed two terms on the Little Rock Airport Commission.  During her time on that body, the airport purchased and installed several pieces of public art.

Now retired from Entergy, she is often seen around Little Rock enjoying cultural events.

As Part of Entergy Arkansas 100th Birthday, Downtown Bridges Officially Illuminated Tonight

Arkansas River LightsEntergy Arkansas, the City of Little Rock, Pulaski County Facilities Board Authority, the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of North Little Rock and the Downtown Little Rock Partnership will be celebrating the official illumination of the Main Street, Junction and Clinton Presidential Park Bridges at First Security Amphitheater.

Event Schedule:

5:00-6:00 PM      Entertainment by the Natural State Brass Band

6:00-6:20 PM      Official Event – Opening remarks followed by the flipping of the switches and the illumination of all three bridges with a festive light show (bridges will remain illuminated)

Following              Entertainment by the Big Dam Horns

8:00 PM                 Event Ends

Ottenheimer Market Hall will be open for this event, so food and beverages will be available. This is a public event and all who want to attend and participate in this historic event will be welcomed – it is sure to be great fun, and an exciting day in our city’s history.

This once-in-a-lifetime event is made possible by a $2 million gift by Entergy Arkansas as part of its 100th anniversary in Arkansas, as well as support from the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Pulaski County Bridge Authority, Philips Lighting, Koontz Electric, the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau. Total project cost is $2.4 million.

According to James Jones of Entergy Arkansas:

Entergy Arkansas has much for which to be thankful, and much to celebrate. A century in business is a rare achievement, and we appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of Arkansas’ history since 1913. The utility industry and Arkansas have come a long way in 100 years, and Entergy Arkansas is proud to have played a part in “Helping Build Arkansas,” a phrase founder Harvey Couch said often.

May 28 Architeaser: AP&L Building


The Arkansas Arts Center just opened an exhibit on Bauhaus architecture. Though Little Rock doesn’t have any strictly Bauhaus style buildings, there are a few buildings designed in the International Style which was related to Bauhaus.

The Arkansas Power & Light Building on Louisiana and 9th Streets was announced in 1953 and completed in 1959. The design was by Fred Arnold of the Wittenberg Delony & Davidson firm. The reason for the delay was due to uncertainty regarding a rate case and labor contracts.

The four story building features a combination of glass, marble and brick. The second and third stories float over an open space as they extend eastward. In 2010, the marble panels on the second and third stories were replaced because of buckling. They were replaced with marble from the same quarry as the original marble.

The orb atop the building once bore the likeness of Reddy Kilowatt, a mascot used by AP&L as well as many other electric utilities in the post-World War II era. When AP&L changed its name to Entergy Arkansas (as part of the system-wide rebranding of various companies into Entergy), the orb was replaced with one which features a three-dimensional version of the Entergy logo.