Ownership change in the works for South on Main; Oxford American 2020 concerts remain there at present

Today it was announced that South on Main owners/operators Chef Matthew and Amy Bell will be relocating outside of Arkansas and will be transitioning restaurant/venue operations to new proprietors after the first week of February 2020.

The Oxford American put out a statement that it is grateful for their generosity of culinary talent, commitment, and investment in the creation of South on Main. They’ve made South on Main a special place for so many people in our community. For seven years they have been enthusiastic partners of the Oxford American in the shared pursuit of enhancing our region’s cultural landscape. We thank them and wish them the very best.

The OA staff are working with the new operators to ensure no interruption of Oxford American concerts. At this time, all Oxford American shows will proceed as scheduled.

This includes the following concerts:

      • January 30 | Fred Hersch Trio (Jazz Series)
      • February 18 | Todd Snider (Special Addition)
      • February 19 | Todd Snider (Special Addition)
      • February 20 | Jon Cleary (Americana Series)
      • February 26 | Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators (Special Addition)
      • March 12 | John Fullbright (Archetypes & Troubadours Series)
      • March 15 | John Moreland (Special Addition)
      • March 26 | Mary Gauthier (Americana Series)
      • April 16 | Ranky Tanky (Archetypes & Troubadours Series)
      • April 23 | Miguel Zenón Quartet (Jazz Series)

Patrons having questions about tickets, should contact the Oxford American directly by phone at 501-374-0000 and speak with Kendel Haycook at extension 201.

Master Mix-Off celebrates historic cocktails to promote historic structures

Master-Mix1-300x278Preserve Arkansas, the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, is hosting the First Annual Master Mix-Off tonight.  This will features some of Central Arkansas’s best bartenders engaging in a bartending competition.  It promises to be a rip-roaring good time celebrating prohibition-era mixology!!!

Eight of Central Arkansas’s best bartenders will mix for the masses with a prohibition-era drink, hoping to win the “People’s Choice” Award. Then our “best in the business” judges will judge a second round of mixing, where bartenders will serve an updated, modern version of their favorite prohibition-era drink.

Joann “Jojo” Sims of Cache Restaurant, the reigning Arkansas Times Best Server in Little Rock, will be the emcee.

Participating Bartenders are:

The “Best in the Business” Judges are:

DATE: Thursday, June 25, 2015
TIME: 5:30-7:30 pm
LOCATION: Albert Pike Memorial Temple, 712 Scott Street, Little Rock

Shorts and Features everywhere in Day 3 of 2015 Little Rock Film Festival

LRFF2015 longThe 2015 Little Rock Film Festival kicks into high gear today.  At 10am at the Ron Robinson Theatre there is an LRFFYOUTH! Screening of the film “Three Wishes Once Choice” and “Flowers in Concrete.”

Tired Moonlight will be shown at 11:15 at the Ron Robinson Theater. At 1pm, at the Butler Center, the documentary Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey looks at Hal Holbrook’s sixty year career of portraying Mark Twain. Also at 1, the film I Am the People will be shown at the Ron Robinson Theater.

At 3pm the Made in Arkansas Shorts (Block 2) will be shown at The Joint .  The films being shown are “MatchMaker” by Robin Sparks, “Hush” by Kenn Woodard, “Dim the Lights” by Dwight Chalmers, “The Pop N’ Lock” by Jadon Barnes, “Rapture Us” by Levi Agee, “The Ask” by Edmund Lowry and “Contact” by Alexander Jeffery.

“One, Two” World Shorts Block will also screen at 3pm.  It features “Biscayne World,” “one hitta quitta,” “Boxeadora,” “Day One,” “Hunter’s Fall,” and “Bookin’.”  It will be shown in the Bill and Margaret Clark Room on the 3rd floor of the River Market.

The Chinese Mayor will be screened at 3:30 in the Ron Robinson Theater. Also at 3:30, How to Dance in Ohio will be shown at the Butler Center.

At 4:45, the panel “Made in Arkansas: Can I Make a Living Doing This?” will take place in the Filmmakers Lounge.  Local working Filmmakers Bryan Stafford, Daniel Campbell, Brent Bailey, and UCA Professor Bruce Hutchinson discuss the current professional environment for filmmaking in the state of Arkansas. The panelists will share their secrets for making a living in the Industry without moving to the coasts. From producing your own work, to freelancing for the advertising community, to getting work on Hollywood productions in the surrounding states, this panel will help get you on your way to a career in film production right here at home.

At 5:30, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead will be shown at the Clinton School.  This film looks at three Harvard graduates who started the first national humor magazine for adults, launching the careers of some of Hollywood’s most legendary talent. Also at 5:30, Krisha will be shown in the Butler Center.  And at 5:30 as well, “Made in Arkansas” Shorts Block 1 will be shown.  It includes “Loser” by Andrew Lisle, “Forsaken” by Krisha Mason, “Monotony Broken” by J. C. Cocker, “Stranger Than Paradise” by Johnnie Brannon, “Rites” by Cody Harris, and “The Dealer’s Tale” by Justin Nickels.  These will be shown at the Albert Pike Memorial Temple.

Another round of “Made in Arkansas” Shorts will also be shown at 5:30.  Block 3 consists of “Undefeated” by Nathan Willis, “Little Brother” by Eric White, “Spoonin’ the Devil” by Michael Carpenter, “Meredith” by Scott Eggleston, and “The Town Where Nobody Lives” by Al Topich.  It will be shown at the Ron Robinson Theater.  Another “Made in Arkansas” film, this time the feature length The Grace of Jack will be shown at The Joint at 5:30.

Finally, the last 5:30 slot goes to “Quirks” World Shorts.  It features “The Department of Signs and Magical Intervention,” “Woman of the World,” “reConception,” “Happy Hour,” “Miss Famous,” “Love in the Time of March Madness,” and “Jake Plays First Base.”  This will be shown at the Bill and Margaret Clark Room on the third floor of the River Market.

At 8:00pm:

  • Uncertain – Ron Robinson Theater
  • King Jack – Butler Center
  • Made in Arkansas The Phone in the Attic – The Joint
  • “Made in Arkansas” Shorts Block 4 – Albert Pike Memorial Temple
    • “The Tricycle”-David Bogard, “What Was Lost”-Romello Williams, “Overgrown”-Bruce Hutchinson, “Pyro”-Cole Borgstadt, and “The Space Station”-Michael Sutterfield
  • “Explore” World Shorts Block – Bill and Margaret Clark Room
    • “Swimming in Your Skin Again,” “Beach Week,” “The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano,” “Displacements,” “Pequeño bloque de cemento con pelo alborotado conteniendo el mar” and “When I Write.”

At 10pm, the “Made in Arkansas” Blow Out at South on Main.  The party will feature food from the kitchen of executive chef Matthew Bell and feature cocktails from Mixologist David Burnette. Music performed by Isaac Alexander and band. This party is open to following pass holders: Sponsor, Filmmaker, Press, Gold, Silver, and Student.

Art of the Bar, a handmade holiday market at South on Main today

South on Main presents
Art of the Bar : A Handmade Holiday Market
Sunday, December 14
2 – 8 PM

Festive Cocktails crafted by Barman David Burnette
Christmas Carols from John Willis & Friends
Holiday Treats from Chef Matthew Bell & Chef Matthew Lowman

Featuring Work From:
Altered Polishes
Art by Lois/Painted by Fire
Bang-Up Betty
Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium
Dimestore Diamonds
Erin Lorenzen
Hunter-May Pottery
Artist Jason Jones
Little-Biscuits Illustrated Portraits
Little Rock Bottle Co
Morgan Hill Creative
Postmodern Press
Roll&Tumble Press
Sew Arkansan

Among the musicians performing with John Willis (from 6pm to 8pm) will be Amy Garland, Amy McBryde, Late Romantics, Sarah Stricklin, Phillip Rex Huddleston, Bryan Frazier, Mitchell Crisp, Stephanie Smittle, Heather Smith, Will & Maddie, Paula Gribble, Genine Perez of Lagniappe, Isaac Alexander and Jason Weinheimer


Farm to Church Gala Celebrates History and Looks to Future

FarmtoChurchThere is no doubt that Little Rock’s cultural scene is brightened by the explosion in culinary artists over the past decade or so.  Many of these talented chefs, farmers and foodies are often partnering with museums, theatres, galleries and concert venues to promote healthy eating and an enhanced culinary experience.
Saturday, September 13, there is another example of this.  This time they are partnered with not only a historic structure, but with an outreach program to promote healthier habits.  As part of its year-long celebration of 175 years in downtown Little Rock, Christ Church is hosting a fundraising gala benefiting one of its newest ministries. Green Groceries is a Christ Church fresh food ministry serving low-income neighbors in need.
The event will feature extraordinary fare prepared by renowned chefs Lee Richardson, formerly of Ashley’s; Matt Bell, South on Main; Brandon Brown, Hillcrest Artisan Meats; and Justin Patterson, Southern Gourmasian.  In addition there will be offerings from Loblolly Ice Cream, Green Cuisine, Geek Eats, and Rock Town Distillery.
Saturday, September 13, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Bowen Hall at Christ Church.  Reservations are $100, available now at the church and online at christchurchlr.org

13 Cultural Highlights of 2013

In no particular order, here are 13 cultural highlights of 2013 in Little Rock.

10.+citylittlerock-21. The 73 year old Joseph Taylor Robinson Municipal Auditorium received a new lease on life when Little Rock voters approved an extensive, two-year plan for renovation, remodeling and expanding the new facility.

2. Speaking of Robinson, the new Ron Robinson Theatre was constructed in the Arcade Building.  It will be the flagship home of the Little Rock Film Festival as well as a site for events hosted by the Clinton School of Public Service and the Central Arkansas Library System.

3. The Little Rock Film Festival came downtown with all of its films being shown in downtown Little Rock and Argenta.  Among the highlights of the festival were Short Term 12, Bridegroom and Don John which have received plaudits at other festivals and are appearing on Best of 2013 lists as well as receiving award nominations.

4. As Main Street continues to redevelop, plans were announced in 2013 for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Arkansas to each move their offices and rehearsal spaces downtown.  Joining them will be an expansion of educational space for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

5. A few blocks south on Main Street, the new South on Main restaurant and performance space opened.  Weekly performances of live music accent the food and drink under the leadership of Chef Matt Bell.

6. Further down Main Street, Little Rock’s newest museum opened.  The Esse Purse Museum honors women and their struggles, accomplishments, hopes and dreams through highlighting the purse.

7. Fashion also took center stage at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center as well with an exhibit on Oscar de La Renta.  In addition to showcasing his contributions to design, the exhibit attracted many boldfaced names from the worlds of fashion and politics to an event in Little Rock.

Washington Bible8. George Washington was the focus of two separate exhibits in Little Rock during 2013.  Historic Arkansas Museum showcased his inaugural Bible as well as his family Bible.  At the Clinton Presidential Center “A Tribute to George Washington” was on display.  It featured George Washington’s personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights from Mount Vernon, and a portrait of George Washington painted in 1797 by artist Gilbert Stuart on loan from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

9. The amphitheatre in Riverfront Park received a new name (First Security Amphitheatre) and a new roof just in time to kick off its 26th year and to play host to musical acts during Riverfest.

10. Rembrandt and Rothko were just two of the artists featured in exhibits at the Arkansas Arts Center through 2013.  The Arts Center featured the exhibit Treasures of Kenwood House which highlighted the works of Rembrandt, Van Dyck and many other world class artists.  Earlier in the year, exhibits highlighted Bauhaus architecture and relics of the Japanese internment camp at Rohwer.  The Arts Center was also the site of the world’s second largest yarn bomb installation.

Babe Sophie11. The Little Rock Zoo welcomed two new elephants: Sophie and Babe.  The Zoo also was the site of the birth of Bugsy the penguin and four new tiger cubs.  The tigers were born as the result of the Zoo’s new tiger exhibit which facilitated not only easier mating but also allows for the separation of the mother and cubs from the father.

12. The Central Arkansas Library System opened its new Children’s Library.  A few months after the building opened, a name was bestowed and it is now known as the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.

13. As 2013 drew to a close, the holiday decorations at the Capital Hotel received international recognition as Forbes named them one of the ten best hotel Christmas trees in the world.  The nearly 30 foot tree was decorated by Tipton Hurst.