Arkansas Arts

Studio Gang

Having undergone eight additions since its humble beginning as the Museum of Fine Arts in 1937, the Arkansas Arts Center will soon be getting a major redesign to unify the facility with itself, and the outside world.

Two architectural firms, Studio Gang and Little Rock-based Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, have teamed up with New York-based landscape architectural firm SCAPE to create a concept design for the project.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Foundation has received its largest ever individual gift. The $1.8 million donation to the foundation’s endowment comes from the estate of Linda Garner Riggs, who passed away last November at age 70. 

Take a listen to the interview above with ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn about what the gift means for music in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Repertory Theater / The Arkansas Repertory Theater

The Arkansas Repertory Theater, or The Rep as it’s known locally, promises a mix of classic and new productions in its upcoming season.

John Miller-Stephany, The Rep’s artistic director since 2016, said he prioritizes variety when choosing shows.

The first Central Arkansas Music Awards ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday night at the Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock.

Arkansas Sounds Music Coordinator John Miller says many area artists have shown interest in the event and want it to grow into something beyond a one-night ceremony.

“There’s a lot of folks that really kind of want to hopefully spur this into a bigger recognition of Arkansas artists and hopefully maybe that will spur something along the lines of a music hall of fame or something like that,” Miller said.

Public radio icon Garrison Keillor will be in Little Rock Tuesday for a live performance at Robinson Center Music Hall. In advance of the show, the 75-year-old spoke with KUAR’s Michael Hibblen about life after retiring from his long running program A Prairie Home Companion, his connections to Arkansas, and his thoughts on current affairs. The interview was recorded Thursday as Keillor was traveling to a show in Asheville, North Carolina.

At first glance, you see a young girl goofing around with her friends.

But there's one crucial detail: This girl — 16-year-old Nirma — has a traditional stripe of vermilion powder smudged into her forehead. In her region in India, that's a sign that means Nirma is married.

The Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival begins this weekend. The event which organizers say is the longest running documentary film festival in North America, is marking its 26th year.

The festival also has an Academy accreditation in the short film documentary category, which means the film that wins best short at the Hot Springs festival has a chance to be nominated for an Oscar. “We’re one of 38 festivals in the world that have that accreditation,” says Interim Director Jennifer Gerber. “It actually makes us a very special destination for filmmakers.”

UCA / University of Central Arkansas

A preview of a scene from an opera depicting the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School in 1957 is scheduled for Monday evening at the University of Central Arkansas.

The event is one of several commemorating the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of the school. UCA’s College of Fine Arts and Communication commissioned the opera, entitled “The Little Rock Nine,” which is being composed by Tania Leon. In an interview for KUAR’s Arts Scene program, Leon said she didn’t know much about the event when she was first approached to compose the opera.

ACANSA Executive Director Dillon Hupp
acansa.org

ACANSA, a five-day arts and cultural festival entering its fourth year, begins Wednesday in the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock.

The name for the festival is not an acronym, but a Native American word used by the Quapaw Tribe to form the basis of where Arkansas came from meaning “southern people” or “downriver people,” depending on the translation.

World War I Sabin Howard
Sabin Howard

Work is progressing ahead of a ceremonial groundbreaking on Nov. 9 for a National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC commemorating the service of Americans in the military. The memorial likely won’t be completed as initially hoped in time for 100th anniversary of the end of the war, but substantial work should be visible by then.

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