Now’s the time to nominate museums and libraries for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

National MedalLittle Rock is blessed to have a dynamic library system and over a dozen exciting museums.  Let’s face it, the words “dynamic” and “exciting” are not always synonymous with libraries and museums.

Each year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services presents select museums and libraries with the nation’s highest honor, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  IMLS is now accepting nominations for the 2016 award which recognizes libraries and museums that make significant and exceptional contributions in service to their communities. Nomination forms are due October 1, 2015.

All types of nonprofit libraries and library organizations, including academic, school, and special libraries, archives, library associations, and library consortia, are eligible to receive this honor. Public or private nonprofit museums of any discipline (including general, art, history, science and technology, children’s, and natural history and anthropology), as well as historic houses and sites, arboretums, nature centers, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and planetariums are eligible.

Winners are honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC, host a two-day visit from StoryCorps to record community member stories, and receive positive media attention. Approximately thirty finalists are selected as part of the process and are featured by IMLS during a six-week social media and press campaign.

Winning the medal elevates an institution’s profile and can positively impact fundraising, programming, and outreach activities.

Anyone may nominate a museum or library for this honor, and institutions may self-nominate. For more information, reach out to one of the following contacts.

Program Contact for Museums:
Mark Feitl, Museum Program Specialist

Program Contact for Libraries:
Katie Murray, Staff Assistant

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. To learn more, visit and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Chinese New Year – Celebrate the Year of the Goat with Heifer International

heifer goatToday marks the Chinese New Year. As part of the twelve year cycle of animals, this year marks the Year of the Goat.

A few years back, a goat was featured on the TV show The West Wing in conjunction with Little Rock-based Heifer International.  For $120, an entire goat can be donated which will go to a family to help it achieve nutritional independence.  This link tells how to make a donation for part or all of a goat.  Even contributing $10 from one person can be combined with other donations to add up to $120 for a goat.  Information on other animal sponsor opportunities is available on the Heifer website.

Visitors to the Heifer Village can learn more about Heifer International.  The center features unique, hands on exhibits about the work of Heifer as well as facts about hunger, poverty, and empowerment of individuals.  It is located on Heifer International’s World Headquarters campus in downtown Little Rock next to Clinton Presidential Park.

Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Dan West was a farmer from the American Midwest and member of the Church of the Brethren who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough.

And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow?

That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International. And now, over 70 years later, that philosophy still inspires our work to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world once and for all.

Riverfest 2013 Lineup Announced

rvrfstlogoSugar Ray, Daughtry, Cody Belew, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Peter Frampton among headliners

Verizon will again serve as the presenting sponsor for Riverfest 2013 – Arkansas’s largest and most popular music, arts and food festival.

The following musical headliners will perform at the main stages:
Bud Light Stage: Friday – Daughtry; Saturday – Sugar Ray, Blackstone Cherry, Bush; Sunday – Cody Belew, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley.
Miller Lite/Arkansas Federal Credit Union Stage: Friday – Rodney Atkins, Jana Kramer, Darius Rucker; Saturday – Lupe Fiasco, Kelly Rowland; Sunday – Drive By Truckers, Peter Frampton

The festival is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, and will feature music and activities in Julius Breckling Riverfront Park, Clinton Center Park, Heifer International Campus and the vibrant River Market District in downtown Little Rock. Children 6 and younger are free. Local and regional entertainers will be announced over the next weeks.

Advance tickets go on sale Monday, April 1, at Walgreens stores throughout Arkansas. These tickets are $17.50 for three days’ admission – half the cost of the $35 gate admission.

The advance ticket will be exchanged at any festival gateway for an IBERIABANK wristband that can be used for admission into all three days of food, fun and entertainment along the Arkansas River.

Quantities are limited for half-price tickets, so the public is encouraged to act fast. Visit for a list of store locations selling tickets.

Three-day passes sold at the gate will be $35. Tickets are now on sale online at for $30

Another elite architectural award for a Little Rock firm and building

Polk Stanley Wilcox of Little Rock was awarded the American Architecture Award for its design of the Heifer International Murphy Keller Education Center in Little Rock.

In the last five years, PSW has won this award for both the Acxiom Data Center and the Heifer International Headquarters.

The Murphy Keller Eduction Center 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.

It features an interactive learning center that includes exhibit space, a conference hall, a fair trade gift market and food service area.

“This recognition is proof that good design matters, and can contribute to getting an organization like Heifer’s message out into the public eye, which is critical for their humanitarian efforts,” Reese Rowland, the project’s principal architect, said. “We are also excited to bring more national exposure to downtown Little Rock as well.”

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design & Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd., selected the Polk Stanley Wilcox design for the award, one of 46 given this year.

The American Architecture Award aims to celebrate the “most outstanding new architecture” designed and built in the United States by American and international architects.

About 1,000 projects from around the world were considered for the award.

Arts & Humanities Month: Big Boo!-seum Bash

For the 16th year, a number of Little Rock museums have joined together to present the Big Boo!-seum Bash.  The 2011 edition takes place tonight. This annual, free event is hosted by members of the Greater Little Rock Museum Consortium and sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. The hours are from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Big Boo!-seum Bash is one giant story-telling, trick-or-treating, fun and games evening that is safe and accessible for children and their families.

This year’s locations are the Historic Arkansas Museum, Heifer Village, Central High School National Historic Site, Old State House Museum, EMOBA, Clinton Presidential Center, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Visitors can drive to each location, where free parking is available. Game cards will also be issued at each site. Visit five of the eight participating locations to qualify for a prize drawing collected from the participating museums or visit seven of the eight participating locations to qualify for the grand prize drawing.

Visitors are encouraged to support the Arkansas Foodbank by brining non-perishable food items to enter for a chance to win prizes.