On the last day of 2019, continuing the look at 19 Little Rock cultural milestones in 2019 with numbers 11 to 13.
11 – Downtown Little Rock Partnership Murals. The Downtown Little Rock Partnership focused on increasing murals throughout the downtown area. In the summer, Jason Jones’s Playtime was painted and dedicated.
Playtime, Jones’s mural, depicts many features of downtown Little Rock in the playful setting of a child’s red wagon. This 5,000 square foot mural, on the side of the Union Plaza building, attracted proposals from over 70 artists for the $30,000 commission.
In the fall, Guy Bell painted a mural on the parking deck behind the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. It depicts Buffalo going up the deck. The mural is approximately 900 square feet, and the area runs along a ramp that goes up to the second floor of the deck.
Also in the fall, Joel Boyd was selected to paint a mural on the Simmons Tower Garage. The space contains three sections measuring approximately 28×26 feet, 28×9 feet, and 28×26 feet, and the mural will measure roughly 1,700 square feet. The project is sponsored by Flake & Kelley Commercial and the Simmons Tower ownership. The design, which depicts thoughts inside a male’s and female’s heads is meant to illustrate a moment of reflection or a quiet moment of peace for the subject.
The DLRP has also sponsored a party to paint the surface of Baker’s Alley as well as commissioned artists to paint doors in that alley.
12 – Women’s Suffrage Sculpture in Riverfront Park. While 2020 marks the centennial of the formal adoption of the 19th Amendment, 2019 marked 100 years since Arkansas ratified it. In tribute to that, a new Women’s Suffrage Plaza with a sculpture was dedicated in October. Jane DeDecker’s Every Word We Utter is the centerpiece of a new plaza inside the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.
DeDecker’s sculpture features Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Stanton Blatch, Alice Paul, and Ida B. Wells, all national leaders in the Women’s Suffrage movement. It also features two Arkansas women who played important roles: Josephine Miller Brown and Bernie Babcock.
The sculpture is based on the concept of a drop of water not only causing ripples but also rising up again after its impact with the surface. The women are presented in a series of levels, each building on the work done by previous generations.
On the base of the sculpture are engrave the names of other courageous Arkansas women who were part of the decades-long women’s suffrage effort. These include: Frances Reeve Edmonson Almand, Freda Hogan Amerigner, Dr. Ida Joe Brooks, Mary Ascena Burt Brooks, Anne Wade Roark Brough, Haryot Holt Cahoon, Florence Lee Brown Cotnam, Cate Campbell Cuningham, Eliza Bradshaw Dodge, Mary Fletcher Drennan, Pauline Floyd, Elizabeth Wallin Foster, Minnie Ursula Oliver Rutherford Fuller, Lizzie Dorman Fyler, Mary Knapp, Mary W. Loughborough, Clara Alma Cox McDiarmid, Josephine Irvin Harris Pankey, Charlotte Andrews Stephens, Adolphine Fletcher Terry, and Gertrude Watkins.
Other notable sculpture installations in 2019 included Darrell Davis’ Lions Pride in the War Memorial Park roundabout, Ken Newman’s Taking Attendance in the Heights, and Clay Enoch’s Community in Hillcrest. Davis, DeDecker and Enoch are members of the National Sculptors’ Guild.
12 – Launch of River Market Entertainment District. After passage of a new state law earlier in 2019, some River Market merchants started working with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the City of Little Rock to create an entertainment district.
On Friday, August 23, the new River Market Entertainment District had its inaugural evening. The River Market Entertainment District (RMED) is a space in which guests aged 21 and older can carry alcoholic beverages in approved cups throughout all public spaces and participating commercial properties. The Entertainment District spans the 300-600 blocks of President Clinton Avenue, the 100 block of Ottenheimer and St. Vincent Plaza and the entirety of Ottenheimer Market Hall and the River Market pavilions. RMED boundaries are defined by branded light pole banners, signage and sidewalk decals.
Alcohol may be carried throughout the district during the following times and holidays:
- Friday – 5 p.m. to midnight
- Saturday – 8 a.m. to midnight
- Sunday – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Exceptions to the rules are:
- New Year’s Eve (December 31) – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- New Year’s Day (January 1) — 12 a.m. to 2 a.m., 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Valentine’s Day (February 14) – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Patrick’s Day (March 17) – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Independence Day (July 4) – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- Christmas Eve (December 24) – 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Patrons looking to take alcohol outside of the point of purchase and into public spaces within the District will be required to wear an RMED wristband given to them when they receive their RMED cup. Both cups and wristbands will be available at all participating bars and restaurants within the District. Due to state regulations, alcoholic beverages may not be taken from one bar or restaurant into another. Additionally, visitors to the RMED cannot bring any outside alcohol into the District, nor can any alcohol purchased within the District be taken outside its borders.
Participating Restaurants: Buenos Aires Grill & Café, Club 27, Cache Restaurant, Courtyard by Marriott (Bar), Damgoode Pies, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Flying Saucer, Stickyz Rock’N’Roll Chicken, Rev Room , Sonny William’s Steak Room, Willy D’s, Nexus Coffee
Beverages in Official Cups are permitted inside: The Galleries at Library Square, Bobby L. Roberts Library Arkansas History and Art, The Barn Mercantile, UA Little Rock Downtown, Kilwin’s, Freckled Frog, Four Square Cafe and Gifts, Ottenheimer Market Hall, Little Rock River Market Pavilions