Artober – Purple

October is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month.  Today’s focus is Purple.

This is a good excuse to feature the downtown Little Rock bridges lit up in purple. The first photo is the Junction Bridge (with a portion of the Main Street bridge in the left) in a photo taken by the LR Culture Vulture.

The second photo of the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge was taken by the LR Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The project was dedicated in December 2013 as part of Entergy’s 100th birthday celebration. The company, founded as Arkansas Power Company in 1913, later was known as Arkansas Power & Light before becoming Entergy.

Little Rock CVB

Shock the Rock tonight with world record Tesla Coil presented by Museum of Discovery

See World’s Largest Tesla Coil Shoot 60-Foot Bolts of Lightning at “Shock the Rock”Fans of famed inventor Nikola Tesla – as well as all science and technology aficionados – are invited to witness the world’s largest Tesla Coil in action at “Shock the Rock!,” a Tesla-themed, free event that begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. “Shock the Rock!” is powered by Entergy and presented by the Museum of Discovery.

Greg Leyh, a California electrical engineer and scientist, completed construction of the 40-foot Tesla coil tower in October 2018 and will display its awesome capabilities in Little Rock after his world-record device is featured at a Nikola Tesla birthday party celebration July 13 at the Tesla Science Center in Wardenclyffe, NY.

Entergy is the presenting sponsor of “Shock the Rock!,” and other sponsors include Landmark PLC; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; Meadors Adams & Lee; VIP2; Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort; and the McKibbon Group. Their support will help offset the costs to divert the coil’s journey back to California and to stage the event.

This is the third time Leyh has built the world’s largest Tesla coil, each exceeding its predecessor in height, power and the ability to produce what Leyh calls “lightning on demand.” At “Shock the Rock!” Leyh’s latest world-record coil will be centered on the large concrete pad at the western edge of the Clinton Center grounds cordoned off from the crowd, ensuring zero danger from being on-site to watch the awesome power of 60-foot bolts of lightning.

Pre-“Shock the Rock!” festivities will begin at 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. Museum of Discovery educators will present electricity-related demonstrations and host hands-on, interactive activities with guests at the event from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The 40-foot Tesla show will begin at 8:45 p.m. and will last 45 minutes. Food trucks will be on site, and beer and other beverages will be available for purchase. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers and outside food or drink will not be permitted. The public is encouraged to bring ear protection. Museum of Discovery will also provide earplugs at no charge.

Due to support of Entergy Arkansas, Museum of Discovery’s Tesla coil shows are now free

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Little Rock’s Museum of Discovery announced today that its guests can now enjoy the science center’s Guinness World Record musical bi-polar Tesla coil shows for free thanks to financial support from Entergy Arkansas.
The museum’s Tesla coil – named after its inventor, Nikola Tesla, the developer of the alternating current system of electricity used today – emits up to 200,000 volts of electricity visible to the eye. By changing the frequency of the release of plasma, or lightning, the coil can also play music. In 2017, Entergy became the presenting sponsor of the Tesla coil theater and is continuing its support by providing museum guests free admission to Tesla shows.
“We at Entergy hope that the Tesla show will inspire Museum of Discovery guests to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math,” said Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. “It’s important to us to help inspire the scientists and inventors of tomorrow to power life here in Arkansas and beyond.”
The Museum of Discovery’s coil is one of two world record musical bi-polar Tesla coils; the other is housed at the Hands On! Regional Museum in Johnson City, TN.
“Our Tesla coil is one of the iconic exhibits at the Museum of Discovery, and we are so happy to now be able to offer our very engaging Tesla show to guests at no cost,” says Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “Entergy long has been a generous supporter and great partner for our museum, and it’s gratifying that Entergy’s commitment now will pay off directly for our museum guests.”
Free Tesla shows will be offered several times a day at Museum of Discovery. For more information, visit or call 501-396-7050.
About Museum of Discovery
Founded in 1927, Museum of Discovery is the state’s oldest museum. Its mission is to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences. To learn more, visit

Still time for Spoken Word submissions for CALS and ASO collaboration

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) have announced a collaboration in a spoken word performance event focused on themes of joy, unity and hope.

Spoken word artists ages 18 and younger should submit their work, either in writing or by video, through a participating CALS branch or via email at

Adults should submit via Submissions will be accepted until December 3, 2018, and should be limited to no more than three minutes long. Performers may perform original work or works for which they have secured performance rights.

CALS and ASO will invite youth and adult finalists to perform for a panel of judges and a live audience January 10, 2019 at the Ron Robinson Theater. At this event, performers will be selected to join the ASO on stage at Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy, February 23 & 24 at the Robinson Center.

“Whether lyrics in a popular song, libretto for an opera, or a symphonic setting of a poem, music and writing go hand-in-hand,” said Christina Littlejohn, CEO of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. “We are excited to join with another fundamental Little Rock institution to enrich our community with the power of orchestral music and language in our first spoken word collaboration.”

“Engaging people with words, music, and creativity lies at the center of our broad library mission,” said Nate Coulter, CALS Executive Director. “This collaborative performance with ASO musicians and library patrons speaking poetry will be an opportunity to express shared hopes and joys through two of our oldest and most emotionally evocative art forms. Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ is a great choice by the orchestra to inspire and embrace our library community’s aspiring poets.”

With a full orchestra and massed Arkansas intercollegiate and professional chorus, Maestro Philip Mann will lead more than 300 musicians on stage to perform one of the most powerful and recognizable works in the entire history of music: Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy. In this first ever collaboration between the ASO and CALS, spoken word artists will perform from the Robinson Center stage during the concert.

A series of special events at CALS branches is being planned as part of the partnership, including spoken word performances, mini-concerts and educational performances by ASO musicians, and panel discussions. CALS will also curate a multimedia collection of materials on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, its libretto, and other topics relevant to the themes of the presentation. For detailed information about events and materials at CALS and ASO, please visit

Tickets to Ode to Joy are available now and cost $16, $36, $57, and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1. 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

This weekend – Ashley Brown bring Broadway to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

POPS5 PhotoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth and final concert in the 2014-2015 Acxiom Pops Live! Series: Ashley Brown’s Broadway. Fresh from her run as Mary Poppins on Broadway, Ashley Brown and the ASO take over the stage with thrilling renditions of Broadway favorites. All ages will enjoy this special performance featuring music from Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music and more familiar hits from Broadway musicals and beloved Disney films.

Concerts are Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. and take place at the Pulaski Academy Connor Performing Arts Center, 12701 Hinson Road, Little Rock, AR.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at; at the Connor 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.

Ashley Brown, soprano, originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour of Mary Poppins where she garnered a 2010 Garland award for “Best Performance in a Musical.” Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and she has starred in the national tour of Disney’s “On The Record.” Ashley recently returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to star in the role of Laurey in Oklahoma! She previously played Magnolia opposite Nathan Gunn in Francesca Zembello’s Show Boat at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ashley has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America.

The Pops Live! Series is sponsored by Acxiom.

The program will include:


  • Overture: Broadway Tonight  (ASO only)
  • Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t be Love
  • So In Love
  • Le Jazz Hot
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (arr. Mancini) (ASO only)
  • Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins
  • Disney Medley



  • The Sound of Music Selection (ASO only)
  • Ring Them Bells
  • Grateful
  • The Man I Love
  • Fiddler on the Roof  (arr. John Williams) (ASO only)
  • Defying Gravity
  • Our Time/Children Will Listen (with chorus)
  • I’ll Be Seeing You

(Selections subject to change)

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.

Beethoven & Blue Jeans this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

isbin_sony_soho_11The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the third concert in the 2014-2015 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series: Beethoven and Blue Jeans. Beethoven’s iconic masterpiece, Symphony No. 5, is joined by returning virtuoso guitarist, Sharon Isbin. Ms. Isbin will perform ASO Composer of the Year John Corigliano’s Troubadors – Variations for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra. The concert takes place Saturday, November 8th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 9th at 3:00 p.m. at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center, 100 Victory Lane, Maumelle. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

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; 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.

CORIGLIANO: Three Hallucinations from Altered States
CORIGLIANO: Troubadors – Variations for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 in C minor

Corigliano’s Troubadours was premiered by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with soloist Sharon Isbin. With perhaps the most familiar opening of any piece of classical orchestra music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5  is intense, obsessive, dramatic, and powerful. The revolutionary opening tempest is followed by a relaxed and traditional-feeling second movement, which leads to a dark and dramatic scherzo. In  an act of symphonic innovation, Beethoven heads attaca into the finale, which introduces piccolo, trombones, and contrabassoon into the symphony orchestra for the first time.


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, Landers FIAT 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.