Each year, Anne Nicholson, host of Arts Scene, looks forward to meeting two members of the current graduating class from the Clinton School of Public Service. This is the 10th class, since the first in 2004. That year, Anne had guests before the course had begun. Four came onto the program: two students escorted by Senator Pryor (Jean Pierre Bekolo and Greg Holyfield) and then two as graduates (Erika Hall and Jennifer Flowers). In the years since, there has been a wonderful mix of backgrounds and countries. This year, both guests, Anne Haley and Jennifer Guzman, are from Little Rock, so Anne changed the format somewhat by describing what relates to each one and then asking them what these past months have meant to them.
First, Jennifer Guzman was born in Florida and then moved to Little Rock when she was twelve. She attended Little Rock schools and graduated from UALR with a degree in French and International Studies. She chose Cambodia for her international service. Her public service interests include education, hunger relief, and international security policy. Jennifer's team based project in Arkansas was developing English as a second language, linking with a partner organization, Literacy Action in Central Arkansas. Jennifer was selected for the McLarty Global Fellowship with Vital Voices Global Partner for the Fall of 2005. She is also the inaugural recipient of the B.A. Rudolph Scholarship at the Clinton School.
Anne Haley grew up in Little Rock and is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a degree in Political Science and Studio Art. After achieving this degree, she took a few years off, away from school and classes, worked for the Human Rights Campaign and for U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, and chose Manila for her international public service project. So, both students spent time in the Orient working with community and family services. Her team based project in Arkansas worked in neighborhood rehabilitation of older homes in downtown Hot Springs. Anne also went to Clinton Global Initiative University in Miami in 2015.
Lovers of opera were enthusiastic after seeing the production of "The Magic Flute," presented by Opera in the Rock and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in the auditorium of the Masonic Temple in Little Rock on January 2015. It was fabulously staged with scenery provided by the Temple and talk of the production of "La Boheme" was already circulating (an ambition beyond possible, it seemed). However, this coming weekend, the impossible is achievable with all credit to Arlene Biebesheimer and her supporters. She has drawn together, within the state, an entirely Arkansas cast. From the beginning, Philip Mann, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Music Director, has been a major supporter of the project. Caught early in his career as a conductor with a love for opera from the podium, Mann served as Music Director of Oxford City Opera while he was a Rhodes Scholar in England. He is also enthusiastic over the new hall, the Pulaski Tech College Center for Humanities and Arts. Philip is Anne's guest on today's episode, along with soprano, Maria Fasciano. She and her husband, tenor Vernon Carlo, will be singing the roles of Mimi and Rodolpho next weekend. They are newcomers to Little Rock. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and describes how they met.