Anne Frank lecture this evening at Pulaski Tech

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In conjunction with the touring exhibitions, “Anne Frank: A Private Photo Album” and “Anne Frank: A History for Today,” UA-Pulaskii Tech invites the public to join them for a panel discussion in honor of what would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday, on June 12 at 6:00pm in The Center for Humanities and Arts Theater.

In partnership with the Jewish Federation of Arkansas and moderated by its Executive Director, Marianne Tettlebaum, panelists will include: Aniko Diamant, Holocaust Survivor, originally from Budapest, Hungary; Dr. Dorian Stuber, Isabelle Peregrin Odyssey Professor at Hendrix College; and Rabbi Yosef Kramer, Program Director, Lubavitch of Arkansas.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Debra Wood at or 501.812.2715

Jewish Federation honors Capi Peck, including for her work with Operation Song

On December 8, Capi Peck was the Grand Honoree at the Jewish Federation of Arkansas’ Bridging Worlds: The 15th Annual Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Awards.  Among the reasons she was cited was her work with Operation Song.

The awards are named in memory of Jane B. Mendel who was active in many education and social issues throughout her lifetime as well as Arkansas’ Jewish community.  Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for Repairing the World.

Operation Song is a program to create an opportunity to transform service related issues, injuries and illnesses into a structured, musical outlet as an enhancement of traditional therapies and/or treatments.  Founded in 2012 and based in Nashville TN, it has produced over 600 songs with veterans of World Ward II up to service members in active duty.

Goodman and Dean with Operation Song

It pairs award winning composers and lyricists with the veterans. Earlier this year, Capi brought the program to Little Rock for a workshop which lead to a concert being performed of the songs which had been written during the workshop.

Two songs written by Operation Song based on Little Rock veterans’ experiences were performed at the awards program last night by Steve Dean and Don Goodman with Operation Song. “The Journey” told the tale of Derek Mumford’s childhood in Britain and subsequent evacuation to the US during World War II, while “Classified Top Secret” captured Gene Weinstein’s experiences working on classified missions during the war.

Congratulations to Capi, and thank you for introducing Operation Song to Little Rock!

Grants for Rep, ASO announced by National Endowment for the Arts

nea-logo-960Two Little Rock cultural institutions were among the nine Arkansas recipients of National Endowment for Arts grants recently announced.

These were Art Works and Challenge America grants. Art Works grants supports the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre received $10,000 to support the production of Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man. This play is set during Passover 1865.  As the annual celebration of freedom from bondage is being observed in Jewish homes, a wounded Confederate officer returns from the Civil War to find his family missing and only two former slaves remaining.

The Rep  will partner with the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Jewish Federation of Arkansas to explore the play’s themes and the role of both the African-American and Jewish communities in Arkansas history.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra received $10,000 Little to support performances, workshops, and related outreach activities featuring violinist Randall Goosby. Goosby, the first-place winner of the 2010 Sphinx Competition, will be in residence in Central Arkansas conducting free workshops and music demonstrations for community members and student musicians drawn from economically disadvantaged schools.

In addition, TheatreSquared in Fayetteville received $10,000 for its Arkansas New Play Festival. This is presented in Fayetteville and Little Rock. The Little Rock performances are in conjunction with the Arkansas Rep.

Other Arkansas recipients were the Walton Arts Center, Fort Smith Symphony, Sonny Boy Blues Society (for the King Biscuit Blues Festival), Low Key Arts of Hot Springs, Ozarks Foothills Film Festival and John Brown University.

Arkansas Literary Festival This Weekend!

litfestlogoThe Arkansas Literary Festival, the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, has expanded to include over 90 authors in many locations on both sides of the river from April 18-21, 2013.

The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus, other venues in the River Markets and Argenta Arts districts are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet the authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.

Festival authors include:

Salma Abdelnour, David Abrams, Mary Stewart Atwell, Beth Ayer, Jenni B. Baker, Jan Barry, Carolyn Briggs, Kevin Brockmeier, Sam Calvin Brown, Oliver Burkeman, Mary Bucci Bush, Drew Cameron, Raquel Cepeda, Da Chen, Joseph Crespino, James Daily, Lela Davidson, Edmond Davis, Sylvia Day, James W. Erwin, Richard Ford, Ben Fountain, Tim Gallagher, Tim Gallagher, Paula J. Giddings, Kay Collett Goss, Jessica B. Harris, Ruth Hawkins, Roger D. Hodge, Ty Jaeger, Jay Jennings, Ben Katchor, Janis F. Kearney, Jeannette Keith, Brian and Terri Kinder, Steve Kistulentz, Christi Shannon Kline, Jon Krampner, Travis Langley, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Dorothy R. Leavell, Domingo Martinez, Ayana Mathis, Carla Killough McClafferty, Rosetta Miller-Perry, Lydia Millet, Pat Mora, Linda Murphy, Sara Nesson, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, Harry Ostrer, Darcy Pattison, Lori Perkins, Leonard Pitts Jr., Garry Craig Powell, Padgett Powell, Joe Queenan, Karen Russell, Eric Rutkow, Courtney Miller Santo, Rosie Schaap, Martha Silano, Heather Sutherlin, Steve Teske, Chuck Thompson, Charles Todd, Caroline Todd, Duncan Tonatiuh, GB Tran, Dennis Vannatta, Frank X Walker, John Corey Whaley, Steve Wiegenstein, David Wesley Williams, Johnathon Williams, Rita Williams-Garcia, Christian Wiman, Jan Wolfe, Ron Wolfe, C.D. Wright, Steve Yates

This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, James Beard Foundation Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Newbery Honor, National Book Critics Circle Award, a Coretta Scott King Honor, PEN/O.Henry Prize; Pushcart Prize; Barnes and Noble Discover Prize for Fiction, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival Thumbs Up Award, Pure Belpré Award, International Griffin Prize for Poetry, International Documentary Association Best Documentary Short, Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and several National Book Award Finalists. Many of the presenters’ works have been translated into multiple languages and made into films.

Special events for adults during the Festival include a cocktail reception with the authors, food, wine, and spirits workshops, films, a play, and Spoken Word LIVE!, a city-wide poetry competition. Panels and workshops will feature topics such as fiction, memoir, screenwriting, super hero psychology & law, Warrior Writers Project, erotica, and more.

Children’s special events include a storytime on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, a book fiesta, the artmobile, plays, outdoor activities, and Super Hero Activity Afternoon. Festival sessions for children will take place at both the new Children’s Library, 4800 10th Street, and the Youth Services Department at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street.

At Level 4, the Main Library’s teen center, teens can meet authors and illustrators, participate in ComiCALS, activities and panels such as a cosplay contest, video game tournament, a writing workshop, and zombie survival activities.

Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.

Support for the Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including Central Arkansas Library System; Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL); Department of Arkansas Heritage; Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation; Arkansas Democrat Gazette; Mosaic Templars Cultural Center; Regions; ProSmartPrinting; MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History; Historic Arkansas Museum; Clinton Presidential Center; Hendrix-Murphy Foundation; Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Arkansas Times; Christ Church, Little Rock’s Downtown Episcopal Church; Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center; Arkansas Library Association; Henderson State University; University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service; Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; Arkansas Governor’s Mansion; Hendrix College Creative Writing and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature & Language; Hendrix College Project Pericles Program; Hendrix College; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, English Department; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Department of Rhetoric and Writing; Pulaski Technical College; Jewish Federation of Arkansas; Arkansas Arts Center; Power 92 Jams; Central High School National Historic Site; National Park Service; Literacy Action of Central Arkansas; Capital Hotel; Little Rock Film Festival; and LuLav. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Author! Author!, a cocktail reception with the authors, will be Friday, April 19 at 8pm on the fifth floor of the CALS main library building.  Tickets are available at the door.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. The Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace. A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Jay Jennings is the 2013 Festival Chair. Other committee chairs include Katherine Whitworth, Talent Committee; Lisa Donovan, Youth Programs; and Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators.