Arkansas Arts

Arts Scene: If All Arkansas Read The Same Book

Mar 24, 2016

If All Arkansas Read the Same Book is a project begun in 2001 when the Arkansas State Library chose a book that it then introduced statewide, also then bringing in the author to encourage a wider reading public. The first author was Terry Kay, and his book, To Dance with the White Dog.

To read is one of the greatest gifts. To be immersed in a book, in a story to the exclusion of all else. What could be better? It gets better with me, because I can talk about the book with the author. And the 2015 State Library choice is Jenny Wingfield, and her novel, her first: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Greg Henderson

A play about former President Bill Clinton takes to the stage in Little Rock this week. 

The one-man show, "Bill Clinton Hercules," was written by attorney Rachel Mariner who represented Clinton in a harassment case brought by Paula Jones. 

Actor Bob Paisely is performing the piece at the Arkansas Reparatory Theater starting Thursday. The show runs through Saturday.

Arts Scene: UALR Opera Gala, UALR Shakespeare Scenes

Mar 9, 2016

Part 1: The Second annual UALR Opera Gala is a chance for those of us who are looking at the voice department with interest, following last year's gala under its director, Rosella Ewing. She is my first guest, and brings us up to date on the developments and activities during the past year and the program to be heard at the gala this coming Thursday.

The UALR Opera Gala is Thu., March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

Arts Scene: Lynn Kompass, Lily Afshar, Joe Graves

Mar 9, 2016

Part 1: The third Artspree concert of 2015-2016 brings the Stallard-Eller-Kompass trio from the University of South Carolina. Just before pianist Lynn Kompass and I were to tape the following interview, the trio became a duo. The group’s soprano had an unexpected conflict. However, all three members have considerable careers as soloists, over and above their many faculty commitments, and so they had back up plans.

Part 1: Hendrix College in Conway has a wonderful tradition in the theater department, where, each Spring, a guest director is in residence for several weeks, working with students on the play of choice suggested by the director and approved by the department. This year, Melora Kordos is here. The play chosen is Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Chicago-born Melora grew up in a theatrical family. An exceptionally fine high school laid the groundwork for what has become her career.

Mourner's Bench

Feb 26, 2016

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Arkansas Delta novelist and Ph.D student Sanderia Faye, whose novel Mourner's Bench published by The University of Arkansas Press in 2015, recounts the experiences of Sarah Jones from the summer of 1964 to the fall of 1965. Sarah is an eight year old who has to “navigate the growing tensions of the fictional small town of Maeby, Arkansas.”

Arts Scene: Bobby Roberts

Feb 14, 2016
arktimes.com

It was something of a shock to hear that Bobby Roberts, Director of the Central Arkansas Library System, was retiring. Under his leadership, so much has developed: in the buildings that now serve the downtown campus in the River Market District, a children's library, neighborhood libraries built where the need was apparent. Bobby came to talk about this decision, so, of course, we went back a bit. Born in Helena, well known for its blues festival, a graduate of Helena's Central High School - as he tells it - gave little indication of what he has since achieved and how he did it.

Arts Scene: Composer And Recordist Michael Fine

Feb 12, 2016
finesoundproductions.com

The last two weeks in January, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra had an extra-full engagement calendar. Neighborhood concerts, Masterworks pair, new works, visiting composers, and on the 31st, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra's spring concert. Among the notables on-hand, was musician Michael Fine, a name to conjure with in the recording of classical music. And the recordings he has produced have won just about every major award in the classical recording industry.

Committee Lobbies Little Rock Voters On Hotel Tax For Art Center Improvements

Feb 2, 2016

To kick off early voting, supporters are encouraging Little Rock residents to vote yes on a bond issue benefiting the Arkansas Arts Center, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, and MacArthur Park.

Arts Scene: Linda Holzer And Caroline Doctorow

Feb 1, 2016
Kelly Hicks

Part 1: My first guest today, pianist Linda Holzer, has always brought new ideas to the recitals she presents at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, often with guests, friends or colleagues from the UALR music faculty, where she is professor of music and coordinator of piano studies. This by no means covers the whole range, which includes piano lessons and an interdisciplinary course with a professor from the UALR George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology.

There are new works in her recital, but nothing of technology to challenge her audience. She opens the program, joined by baritone and faculty member Farris Allen in three songs, including Prayers and Blessings, a new work by well-known composer Gwyneth Walker. And Linda continues her concept of ear-opener in her program title Ear-Opener! A Celebration of the Known and the New.

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