Arkansas Arts

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Work is nearing the halfway point on a nearly $70 million project to renovate Little Rock’s historic Robinson Auditorium.

Nearly everything has now been ripped out, including the stage, balcony, interior walls and floors, leaving little more than the outside shell of the building and its support beams.

The Little Rock Film Festival continues through the weekend. Nearly 40 of the films competing for honors this year were made in the state. KUAR's Chris Hickey recently caught up with one festival programmer to talk about how the festival is shaped by these Arkansas-made movies.


Disclaimer: KUAR is a sponsor of the 2015 Little Rock Film Festival

UALR Announces $20.3 Million Grant For Arts Building

May 11, 2015

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will build a 71,636-square-foot visual arts and applied design building thanks to a $20.6 million donation Monday from the Siloam Springs-based Windgate Charitable Foundation, the university announced today.

The grant for construction and equipment is the second largest in the university’s history. The university’s chancellor, Dr. Joel Anderson, said the gift is “transformational” for both the UALR Department of Art and the institution.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture / Jo McDougall

Born in 1935, poet Jo McDougall grew up on a rice farm in the Arkansas Delta. She began writing at an early age, first publishing in her early twenties. Since then, she has published five poetry books and one memoir and has taught at universities in Arkansas and Kansas. In the Home of the Famous Dead, her book of collected poems, is out now from the University of Arkansas Press.

The 14th annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest begins this weekend in Batesville. KUAR's Chris Hickey spoke with some of those involved about how it has fostered community in a remote, rural area of the State.


Judy Pest founded the Ozark Foothills FilmFest with her husband Bob more than a decade ago with the hopes of creating a cultural and artistic dialogue among the sparsely populated communities of North Central Arkansas.

“The basic concept is cultural equity,” she said.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

It took workers using two excavators a little less than an hour to bring down the old Cinema 150 movie theater in Little Rock. The dome-shaped building at the corner of University and Asher Avenues ran many of the top films of its day.

Built in the late 1960s with a screen that curved at a 150 degree angle, it gave movies a big impact.  The theater was closed in 2003, considered functionally obsolete for having just one screen in an era of multiplexes. But it still had a very special place in the hearts of many who saw films there.

Esse Purse Museum
David Monteith / KUAR News

It’s the only one of its kind in the United States and one of only three in the world. Located on Main Street in Little Rock is the ESSE Purse Museum. Laura Hardy, public relations director, says when people learn about it, “The reaction is usually like, ‘What the heck is a purse museum’ or, ‘Oh my gosh that is so cool.” 

Three coins commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service will go on sale next month.

The Marshals Service says the coins, including a gold $5 coin, a silver dollar coin and a copper-nickel clad half dollar coin, will be available for purchase in limited quantities beginning Jan. 29. The designs for the coins were unveiled in July.

Frank Lloyd Wright House Being Reassembled In NW Arkansas After Move

Dec 23, 2014
Frank Lloyd Wright House
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF News

Almost a year ago, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville announced it had acquired a house designed by noted American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The building, which was carefully deconstructed at its original site in New Jersey and shipped to Arkansas, is being reassembled on the museum’s grounds.

The president of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville is resigning, although he will remain as a member of the museum's board of directors.

The museum announced Monday that Don Bacigalupi will step down as president on Jan. 14 to accept an appointment as the Founding President for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art that is to be built in Chicago.

Bacigalupi was named executive director of Crystal Bridges in 2009 and helped in the planning, collection development and opening of the museum. He became president in 2013.