Arkansas Arts

A fountain outside the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Backers of a bond issue to revamp the Arkansas Arts Center and also the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and MacArthur Park launched their campaign Tuesday. Revenue from a two-cent hotel tax was passed by city officials last November for renovations and will be pledged to $37.5 million in bonds if passed in a special election February 9.

Gary Smith chairs the Committee For Arts and History behind the campaign effort. He told onlookers at the Arts Center that upgrades are in need.

Tales From The South

North Little Rock-based Bourbon & Boots, the online retailer featuring Southern artisan merchandise, has entered into an agreement to purchase Tales From The South, a radio show and media company featuring Southern storytelling. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

blog.arkansas.com

Part 1:

The Arkansas Chamber Singers has given its Christmas Concerts recently in the Old State House Museum, a setting not only artistically, but more importantly, acoustically satisfying, so satisfying that it bids fair to becoming a tradition. John Erwin, director of Choral Studies at UCA in Conway, is the artistic director and conductor of the Chamber Singers, and gives details of the program as well as the theme for the 2015-16 season.

Part 2:

A two-percent increase in Little Rock's hotel tax will fund improvements to McArthur Park and two of the city's cultural centers housed in the park, provided voters approve designating the revenue from the tax increase accordingly.

The Little Rock Board of Directors Tuesday night (Dec. 1) approved two separate one-penny hotel tax increases and a Feb. 9, 2016 special election related to the increase.

Sundays With TJ

Nov 20, 2015

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with Janice F. Kearney about her memoir Sundays With TJ: 100 Years of Memories on Varner Road--a journey with her 107 year old father, born in 1906, just 40 years after slavery in the town of Lake Village, Arkansas.  

“I chose this role some 50 years ago on Varner Road. Thomas "TJ" Kearney was the storyteller and I, the rememberer of his words, even his unspoken meanings,” writes Kearney.

Commission OKs Two-Cent Hotel Tax For Arts Center, Moves To Little Rock Board

Nov 18, 2015
Arkansas Arts Center
www.littlerock.com

The Little Rock Advertising and Promotions Commission voted Tuesday to increase the hotel tax in Little Rock by two cents to raise $37.5 million dollars to fund a renovation and expansion of the Arkansas Arts Center and MacArthur Park facilities.

The measure must now go before the city board. If the board approves the tax increase, it will take a vote by Little Rock residents to issue bonds.

Arkansas Arts Center / Arkansas Arts Center

Little Rock city leaders will hear details Tuesday night of a proposed $60 million improvement plan for the Arkansas Arts Center. The facility, which recently committed to remaining in Little Rock after speculation about a move to North Little Rock, is exploring options for making expansions and improvements.

Mayor Mark Stodola supports the plan being presented to the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission because he says the Arts Center could lose accreditation without renovations to its theater and the rest of the facilities.

Robinson Center Music Hall
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

While the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra prepares to hold its annual Opus Ball this weekend at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, plans were announced Thursday for next year’s fundraiser. It will be the inaugural event for a new ballroom that’s part of a nearly $70 million renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

Chip and Cindy Murphy were named as chairs of the 2016 Opus Ball. Standing where the ballroom is being constructed on top of the original building, Cindy Murphy said it will be a monumental event.

Arkansas Arts Council / Arkansas Arts Council

Nominations for the 2016 Arkansas Arts Council’s “Living Treasure” award close this Friday. Each year the Arts Council bestows the Living Treasure award on an Arkansas artist “who excels in the creation of a traditional craft and who actively preserves and advances his or her craft”.

“It began in 2002 with Bea Stebbing who was a stained glass artist,” said Robin McClea of the Arts Council. “And it’s included quilters, and fiddlemakers, basketmakers, and a maker of traditional wooden planes, bladesmiths, woodworkers, potters, and last year Lorrie Popow was the recipient.”

David Xiang at KUAR talking about his poem "Duet."
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

An Arkansas high school student recently earned a poetry accolade from the White House. David Xiang of Little Rock Central High School is one of five teens nationwide selected earlier this month to the 2015 class of National Student Poets. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talks poetry with Xiang.

Duet

They sit, arranged honeycomb style,

six to a side, every day at five sharp, on humid firefly-flecked Fridays.

The silence is palatable, the voices mute enough to discern

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