African Americans and Sports in Arkansas focus of Black History Commission of Arkansas program today (2/2)

Image may contain: one or more people and textThe Black History Commission of Arkansas presents “African Americans and Sports in Arkansas.”  The program runs from 9:45 am to 3 pm today at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Speakers: Evin Demirel, Jimmy Cunningham Jr., Dr. Wilbert Gaines, and Kenneth (Muskie) Harris. Lunch will be provided. Teachers can earn up to four professional development hours. Registration is required.

10 a.m.
Evin Demirel, author of “African-American Athletes in Arkansas: Muhammad Ali’s Tour, Black Razorbacks and Other Forgotten Stories”
• The legacy of African American sports in Jim Crow era with an emphasis on the now-defunct, all-black high school’s athletic association and stories from his book.

11 a.m.
Jimmy Cunningham, Jr., author of “African Americans of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County”
• Highlights and stories about three African American athletes from Jefferson County, including Boid “One Arm” Buie, Willie Roaf and Ivie Moore.

12:45 p.m.
Dr. Wilbert Gaines, former Arkansas State University professor
• Personal experiences and surmounting challenges and obstacles as a pioneer and trailblazer in sports, sports-related activities and academia.

1:45 p.m.
Kenneth “Muskie” Harris, community activist and former Razorback
• The history of the Razorbacks and integration of athletes, including facts about all 17 sports at the University of Arkansas and some of the first African Americans to receive sports scholarships.

For those unable to attend, footage from the programs will be on the Arkansas State Archives Facebook page in the coming days.

The Black History commission of Arkansas is an advisory board of the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

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Sandwich in History at Mosaic Templars today (2/1) at noon

Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree and outdoorThe Arkansas Historic Preservation Program each month sponsors a Sandwiching in History tour which familiarize people who live and work in central Arkansas with the historic structures and sites around us.

The tours take place on Fridays at noon, last less than an hour, and participants are encouraged to bring their lunches so that they can eat while listening to a brief lecture about the property and its history before proceeding on a short tour.

Today (February 1) at 12 noon, this month’s tour is at Mosaic Templars State Temple (906 S. Broadway).  Built in 1921, the Mosaic Templars State Temple was designed by African American architect Walter Thomas Bailey. The building was built by the Mosaic Templars of America, an important late 19th- and early 20th-century African American fraternal organization, as part of its headquarters and originally contained offices, a lodge hall and a hospital space.

For February, the schedule for the tour will be a little different than normal. At noon, the MLK Commission will hold a ribbon cutting for their offices in the building, which will be followed by the lecture on the building. The lecture will be held in the Auditorium of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and will likely start about 12:15-12:30. After the lecture, feel free to tour the building.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Holiday Open House on December 2 from 2pm to 5pm

Image may contain: foodMosaic Templars Cultural Center will celebrate the holiday season with its annual Holiday Open House, featuring the sixth annual “Say it Ain’t Say’s” Sweet Potato Pie Contest, from 2-5 p.m. on Dec. 2.

In addition to the baking competition, the Holiday Open House will feature performances by several local musical groups and performers. The museum will also host a holiday craft-making station for children.

The “Say it Ain’t Say’s” Contest derives its name from Little Rock restaurateur Robert “Say” McIntosh who is known for his popular sweet potato pies. A panel of celebrity judges will select first- and second-place winners in both the amateur and professional categories, and a “People’s Choice” award will be determined by open taste-tasting beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Open to the public, MTCC’s Holiday Open House is a free event, though visitors are encouraged to bring a toy to donate to the Stop the Violence organization, which was founded by Robert “Say” McIntosh.

For more information, please call (501) 683-3593 or visit mosaictemplarscenter.com.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Admission is free, and a trolley will be available to take patrons between Old State House MuseumHistoric Arkansas Museum and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, as well as the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, at no charge.

The Old State House Holiday Open House is Sunday, December 2

No automatic alt text available.Help ring in the holiday season at the Old State House Museum on Sunday, December 2, at Holiday Open House!

Visitors will find the Old State House colorfully decorated for the season, and local music groups will perform delightful carols. Fun, hands-on activities will be available to children; they can create unique holiday cards and more.

The hours are 1pm to 5pm, and admission is free.

Schedule of performances at Old State House Museum:

1:30 — Bethel Middle School Bryant
2:00 — Little Rock Central High School Madrigals
2:30 — Sweet Adelines, Top of the Rock
3:00 — Clarksville High School Choir
3:30 — Forest Heights STEAM Middle School Choir
4:00 — JA Fair High School Choir
4:30 — Pine Bluff High School Choir

The Old State House Museum is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  A trolley will be available to take patrons between Old State House MuseumHistoric Arkansas Museum and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, as well as the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, at no charge

51st annual Historic Arkansas Museum Christmas Frolic on December 2 from 1pm to 4pm

Sunday, December 2 is the 51st annual Historic Arkansas Museum Christmas Frolic!

The Frolic celebrates Christmas as it was in the 1800s with living history, carols, reenactments, live music, dancing and more.

Visitors come from across Arkansas each year to sample Historic Arkansas Museum’s famous hot cider and ginger cake, and to shop for unique Arkansas-made holiday gifts in the Museum Store.

Frolickers will enjoy a variety of activities for children and adults, including: living history performances and pioneer games.

This event runs from 1pm to 4pm and is free.

Historic Arkansas Museum is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  A trolley will be available to take patrons between Old State House MuseumHistoric Arkansas Museum and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, as well as the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, at no charge

LR Culture Vulture turns 7

The Little Rock Culture Vulture debuted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to kick off Arts & Humanities Month.

The first feature was on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which was kicking off its 2011-2012 season that evening.  The program consisted of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, Rossini’s, Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  In addition to the orchestra musicians, there was an organ on stage for this concert.

Since then, there have been 10,107 persons/places/things “tagged” in the blog.  This is the 3,773rd entry. (The symmetry to the number is purely coincidental–or is it?)  It has been viewed over 288,600 times, and over 400 readers have made comments.  It is apparently also a reference on Wikipedia.

The most popular pieces have been about Little Rock history and about people in Little Rock.

Little Rock Look Forward: Happy Birthday Annie Abrams

September 25 is the birthday of Annie Mable McDaniel Abrams.

Miss Annie or Mother Abrams or Mrs. Abrams.  Whatever you call her, she greets you with a smile, a hug, and sage advice.

As both a historian and a futurist, she has turned her house into a museum and library. As a writer and preservationist, she has worked to document history and ensure historical properties and neighborhoods will long remain in Little Rock.

Born in Arkadelphia, she moved to Little Rock at age 13 to attend Dunbar Junior High School and High School.  She studied education at Dunbar Junior College and later taught in Marianna. In 1956, she returned to Little Rock to work for the Arkansas Teachers Association.  After her return to the capital city, she married Orville Abrams.  In addition to raising her four children, Miss Annie has helped raise countless others through her advice, support, love, and sometimes strong admonitions.  She also found time to return to school and receive a degree from Philander Smith College.

Among her many accomplishments are leading efforts to rename High Street for Martin Luther King, 14th Street for Daisy L. Gatson Bates and 20th Street for Charles Bussey.  Through her community activities, she had worked closely with both Bates and Bussey.  She was a friend to the Little Rock Nine (who were only a few years younger than she) and to their families. Perhaps, because she has been a personal friend of many Arkansas and national politicians over the past 60 years, it should come as no surprise that she and her husband were also acquainted with Governor Faubus.

Whether a leading political figure or a small child, Miss Annie isn’t afraid to give advice or to share her love.  Once an educator, always an educator, she loves to learn and teach. It is rare for her to miss a speech at the Clinton School or a Political Animals Club meeting.  (She is the Helen Thomas of the Political Animals Club — always given the first question when she is present.)

In recognition of all her efforts she has been recognized with an honorary doctorate from Philander Smith College, the Brooks Hays Award, and an award award from the national Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.  In 2010, she was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.