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TO SEE ‘SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER’ AT CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART In the 1960s, America was consumed by the civil rights and black power movements, turbulent times that inspired African-America artists to speak out through their art forms. Now, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art brings from London’s Tate Modern this exhibition of paintings, murals, photographs, fabric art and sculpture by such artists as Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, Sam Gilliam, Alma Thomas, Barkley L. Hendricks, Benny Andrews. In all, “Soul of a Nation” features work by 60 of American’s greatest African-American artists.

Art expertise: Garbo Hearne of Hearne Fine Art, who’s exhibited works by many of these artists in her Little Rock gallery, will lead the tour.



per person

As always, the Arkansas Times Art Bus will provide food and drink. We will depart at 9am.

Round-trip bus transportation provided by Cline Tours.

Admission into Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is free. Like our Bus Trips page for details, updates and other perks! 2

FEBRUARY 8, 2018




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ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $150 for one year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current singlecopy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.

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Teach sex ed

Arkansas is one of 26 states in the United States that don’t require schools teach to sex education to some extent. Arkansas also had the second highest teen pregnancy rate and the highest teen birth rate in 2013, according to the Guttmacher Institute. While it is true that trends in teen pregnancies have been decreasing over the years, Arkansas has consistently stayed one of the highest. This can be attributed to the fact that, according to Arkansas law, if a school offers sex education and information on STDs, it must stress premarital abstinence. This policy needs to change. Arkansas needs comprehensive, medically accurate and religiously unbiased sexual 4

FEBRUARY 8, 2018




From the web

In response to “The legacy of William Harold Flowers” (Feb. 1): I had the privilege of meeting and knowing Harold Flowers in the mid 1970s. He was interested and supportive of an effort by the United Methodist Church to establish a multicultural church in Little Rock. The Hunter Memorial UMC was relocating from its MacArthur Park building to a new building on Romine


KA N SAS pre sen ts


A he






The majority of the prison population in Arkansas consists of returning parole violators, and, moreover, almost half of released prisoners return within three years. According to the Council of State Governments Justice Center, from 2012 to 2015 the number of prisoners increased from 6,168 to 10,462, and from 2009 to 2015, the amount of parole revocations increased from 2,398 to 5,690. Arkansas has made a visible effort to decrease recidivism by, for example, increasing the amount of parole officers. That’s a temporary solution. The “ban the box” campaign, a policy that requests employers consider qualifications before criminal records, requires the provision of conviction history later in the employment process to inhibit discrimination that may have occurred despite qualifications. It is prevalent in states such as California and Colorado, both of which have lower incarceration rates than Arkansas. Criminal activity indicates the possibility of re-offense, which is important for an employer to acknowledge, but it should not be considered until elimination based on discrimination is no longer a possibility. However, for this to work Arkansas must address the lack of education given to prisoners who cannot pay. Education in prisons has been neglected for years. In 2015, 40 percent of the prison population lacked a high school diploma. After all, in order to be considered an equal to competitors, one must have the qualifications to do so. Mary Jia Hot Springs

education for high school students. This can easily fit into the high school health class that all Arkansas students are required to take before they are allowed to graduate from high school. Implementing this across the state will help lower Arkansas’s teen pregnancy and birth rate. As Arkansans, we need to put aside our discomfort with sex education and think of what is best for our youth — giving them the tools to become sexually healthy and responsible adults. Briawna Stigall Mayflower


Real reform

FREE FESTIVAL Open to the Public!

Road in West Little Rock. A progressive young minister was assigned to lead this effort, and shortly after opening the new building, Harold Flowers and his wife (and often his family) began to drive from Pine Bluff to the new Hunter UMC on Sunday mornings. In addition to attending, he was often called on to preach, as a relief to the minister. At the time he was somewhat handicapped, and walked hesitantly with a cane. In the pulpit, he would thump his cane on the floor for emphasis in his sermons. It would have been difficult, if one were so inclined, to let your mind wander during his sermons. We have never forgotten Mr. Flowers, and have many warm memories of a dynamic yet very wise elder statesman. [UA Little Rock] Prof. [John] Kirk’s biography was a pleasure to read, and bring back these memories Pug Dog This is a very informative article. I first heard of Mr. Flowers in the early 1950s when a white, segregationist acquaintance at the University of Arkansas, who was from Pine Bluff, started raving and ranting about this “troublemaker from Pine Bluff.” I did not know that he was as instrumental in the civil rights movement as he was. I am glad to see that his daughter carries on the cause. plainjim

The Crossroad Festival is a three-day event exploring Jefferson County and Southeast Arkansas’s French, Quapaw Indian, and African American cultural heritage from its historic roots to contemporary iterations through the interpretive lens of film, music, dance, and living history. Visit WWW.ASC701.ORG for details.

870.536.3375 701 South Main Street Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71601 This advertising was paid with a combination of State Funds & Arkansas’ Land of Legends Travel Association Funds

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The festival supported in part by a Major Grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council & National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thank you for sharing this story and the photographs. There is a lot I don’t know about that time period in Arkansas. State Rep. Vivian Flowers gave a short speech at the Women’s March On the Polls in January. I had not heard her speak before and was impressed with her speaking skills. She was concise, articulate and to the point. She said what needed to be said. I am glad she and Stephanie Flowers are in the state legislature. ShineOnLibby In response to “Inspired by LBJ” (Feb. 1), Ernest Dumas’ column about Gov. Orval Faubus, President Lyndon Johnson and President John F. Kennedy: I have posted this before, but in present context, it bears repeating. In the summer of 1965, at Arkansas Boys State, Orval Faubus came and gave a talk one evening. Much of what he said I do not remember, but one thing he said was that someone had asked him how to win cases at the Arkansas Supreme Court. Faubus replied, “Just

talk and talk and talk until you turn black in the face.” I am ashamed to admit that the boys there gave him a standing ovation. I am proud to claim that I was not one of those who stood. deadseasquirrel In response to the Feb. 3 Arkansas Blog post “Tom Cotton: It’s the immigrants, not the economy, stupid”: Yes, it is OK to be a bigot i n t o d ay ’s p o l i t i c a l wo r l d ! And, it is almost mandatory that if you plan to remain on the national political scene for very long you become a LYING LIAR! Plus, you need to either literally bow down or at least figuratively bow down to show how much you respect President Trump, and NEVER QUESTION ANYTHING he may say or do! You must show you have utter disdain for your constituents by consistently voting against their interests and welfare. Sen. Tom (Rotten) Cotton has definitely proven he has all of those detestable qualities, and even more! I say we can find someone better than that to be our U.S. senator! RYD Looking at that mug shot of Rotten Cotton I don’t see even 1 percent Native American heritage. That makes him an illegal immigrant (yep, me too!) who never got permission from Native Americans, the real Americans, to live here. So the “Americans” Rotten sees all around him are, like him, illegals from Europe and elsewhere. I looked up the definition of “closeminded” in Webster’s. Tom “Rotten” Cotton as the answer. Sound Policy Braying senator “war hero” is on the wrong side of the issue (except for his base of those “fine folks”); 75 percent support DACA and a majority want a comprehensive immigration bill containing a path-to - citizenship provision. Folks are starting to get the idea that racists like Tommy-boy use immigration as a handy tool to divide and conquer those of all colors who tend to oppose the Koch “rising tide” that’s lifting only 1 percent of the boats. tsallernarng

Let’s hope the pied piper Trump leads these lemmings off the cliff. Cotton assumes he is safe in his position and latching onto the psychoin-chief. Follow him right down the

toilet, like so many others in political history. McCarthy comes to mind; so does Mussolini. Trumpolini? I hold out hope that the ship will right, the country is changing and those that dislike the inevitable “browning” of our country will be embarrassing footnotes. yapperjohn

Sometimes wonder if Tom doesn’t get a severe case of claustrophobia while trapped inside the confines of his narrow mind, with its maze-like passages and so many dead ends. Jake da Snake In response to Autumn Tolbert’s Jan. 25 editorial on the implications of the Women’s March and the resistance to President Trump: I saw what you saw Saturday at the March, Autumn, except in Little Rock, and the unity felt good, even though I am sorry the government has screwed up so badly the past year that I can no longer relax because I can’t trust my state or federal government not to take away more civil and human rights. I never used to do this, but each day I wake up and the first thing I do is check the computer to see if Trump blew some country up while I was asleep. Sad. Then I go work two lowpaying jobs that keep people’s hours below 30 so they don’t have to offer insurance. Yes, I am tired, but nothing will change until we elect smart, caring human beings into office that we can trust to do the right thing. I am so amazed at the number of women who are running for office in 2018 in Arkansas. I barely have time to read about politics anymore. That is why I appreciate the Arkansas Times. People have different talents and skills. Some can contribute money to campaigns, some time, some write letters or make phone calls or bake cookies. Everyone can’t do everything all the time. But no matter how small your contribution, you are helping to get someone elected to office that will help improve job growth and that will fight for health care for families. We need a new state government so everyone in Arkansas has a chance to be self-sufficient and prosper, not just a select few. I think you are right about The Indivisibles and the Young Democrats being more active. Good. Thanks for your report from Fayetteville. ShineOnLibby


Vicki Genfan Thursday February 15 7:30 p.m. The Joint 301 Main Street North Little Rock

Tickets $25

Drawing from folk, jazz, pop, soul, and world music, Vicki is redefining “singer/songwriter culture” with a mastery that borders on pure alchemy.

Available at the door or online at FEBRUARY 8, 2018




Tweet of the week

“Why higher ed does NOT need increase funding. They lease a sign to encourage computer science degrees or math teachers? No they push for dance majors. Lots of hardworking Arkansans subsidizing this! Not ok @UALR”— Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs and @BartHester) on Feb. 5.

Tucker enters congressional race

State Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock) announced that he had entered the race for 2nd District Congress, a seat held by second-term Republican Rep. French Hill of Little Rock. Paul Spencer of Scott and Gwen Combs of Little Rock announced earlier as Democratic candidates. Tucker, 37, is a lawyer — a graduate of Harvard and the University of Arkansas School of Law. He’s been an energetic legislator, with some success joining forces with Republicans on legislation (maternal leave and health care, to name two), though Republicans, seeing him as a rising Democratic figure, have often opposed his legislation simply to prevent him from adding to his resume. In his announcement release, Tucker explained his motivation for running, “[M]y life changed last year. As I lived through and beat cancer, I watched as Congress voted to make our health care more expensive, undo good programs like Arkansas Works, and strip away health care for Arkansans with preexisting conditions. I have watched as politicians used children’s health insurance as a bargaining chip, placing greater loyalty to their political party than to our state and country, and I decided I could no longer stand by and watch.” Tucker, who raised $228,000 to win his first state legislative race against Republican Stacy Hurst four years ago, has demonstrated the connections to make a strong financial showing. Spencer has done well so far as a grassroots candidate refusing to take 6

FEBRUARY 8, 2018


PAC money, raising some $150,000 said this: from 2,000 small donors. Combs, “I want to put you on notice that if who was lead organizer of last year’s you continue to harass and intimidate Women’s March, has developed a and send threatening messages to me strong social media campaign. via email, social media or contact my Whoever wins the Democratic office then I will file a police report nomination will face a wealthy banker with law enforcement and they can loaded with cash from corporate investigate this matter further, sir.” sources and PACs. Hill had more than The police earlier recorded Ferry $1 million on hand at the end of 2017, in a complaint to them about Rapert with about $250,000 of his money threats. At one point, according to the from the securities industry and report, Ferry quoted Rapert as saying, bankers, particularly The Stephens “I’m sending people after you.” He said Group. Rapert had asked for information about his phone and address and when he resisted, Rapert said: “That’s OK. I have people to come after you and I’m Stephan Ferry, a Conway resident in touch with law enforcement and as who has been raising money for a soon as we hang up I’ll be contacting potential lawsuit against state Sen. them and giving them a recording of Jason Rapert (R-Conway) to challenge this phone call.” his blocking people from social media The police report, prepared Jan. 25, accounts, has been accused of filing a said it was clear from the full content false police report alleging he’d been of Rapert’s recording that this isn’t threatened by Rapert. what Rapert said. But he repeatedly The police report indicates the warned Ferry not to call him or he’d police had concluded that Rapert had call police. According to the report, told the truth and Ferry, 45, had not Rapert said: about a telephone call between the two “Be on notice: Do not call, do not men. Ferry complained Jan. 24 to the attempt to reach me in any manner, Conway police that Rapert threatened do not come near my home, my to send someone after him. According business, do not come anywhere near to the Conway police transcription of me anywhere in this community, sir. a tape Rapert made of the call, Rapert

Rapert critic arrested

And I’m gonna turn you in right now and I’ll let them investigate the matter.” Ferry was charged with filing a false report of criminal wrongdoing, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. He was released after posting a $1,195 bond and ordered to have no contact with Rapert. This is not the first time Rapert has gone to a police agency over interactions with critical constituents. He’s also complained to State Police and Capitol police. In one famous incident — disputed by Rapert — a constituent said Rapert told him he was armed when the constituent tried to ask Rapert a question about samesex marriage on the parking lot of a Conway home improvement store. Rapert has also fought with Wikipedia and threatened libel over material he didn’t like in descriptions of him.

Buckner up for S.C. job

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner is one of five finalists for the job of police chief in Charleston, S.C., and was scheduled to visit Charleston this week as part of the process. Buckner’s administration has been under fire lately from some elements of the community as well as the Black Police Officers Association.


Police problems


vigils to highlight the loss of life. They’ve questioned police shootings of black people in questionable circumstances. They’ve complained about police tactics in inner-city neighborhoods, such as a recent decision to step up random traffic stops in the name of “community policing.” One police sergeant was caught making fun of Johnson personally and his vigils on social media. She wrote he should “shut the f*** up.” She’s still on the force, given only a meaningless reprimand. The FOP doesn’t appreciate Johnson calling out their shortcomings. Mayor Mark Stodola doesn’t much, either. With backup from City Attorney Tom

city board controlled by three at-large members is a failure. We need mayorcouncil government, even though I appreciate Moore’s efforts to exercise leadership when it is otherwise lacking. Moore stepped in after white police officers arrested civil rights lawyer John Walker for filming them during a dubious traffic stop and arrest of another black driver. This happens routinely to poor people in black neighborhoods at all hours of the day and night without consequences for overbearing officers. Some white officers detest Walker because he will not be silenced. I’m sure it still rankles the FOP that the police, in the person of Buckner but not the offending officers, were made by Moore to apologize for Walker’s arrest. The FOP likes their black folks quiet and obedient, even advocates for those being murdered. Too many of them seem to view inner-city residents as dangerous, more to be guarded than served. They’ve found a friend in Buckner. Only in Little Rock would traffic-stop harassment be viewed as “community policing.” Only here would frightened, crime-ravaged citizens be depicted as part of the problem in police inability to solve crimes. If Bucker isn’t hired he has some fence-mending to do with city leaders caught unawares by his attempt to move to Charleston. If he does, maybe he could take the head of the FOP with him.

make with her family, her faith and her doctor. Politicians have no business shaming, punishing or burdening women for these decisions, or forcing them to continue pregnancies against their will. That is why seven out of 10 Americans oppose overturning Roe and why the ACLU of Arkansas is challenging these degrading restrictions in court — and stopping many of them in their tracks. In July, a federal judge in Arkansas blocked four of these provisions from taking effect, noting that they “do not advance interests in women’s health.” The threats to reproductive freedom have continued at the federal level as well, where President Trump has stacked his administration with antiabortion extremists and where farright groups are actively working to “outlaw” Roe v. Wade. One of Tr ump’s appointees, Scott Lloyd, who heads the refugee resettlement program, has adopted a policy of effectively banning abortion

for young immigrant women in federal custody — a policy that the ACLU is challenging in court. No matter what creative excuses politicians cook up to justify their efforts to push abortion care out of reach, we will continue to challenge them — in the courts, in state capitols and in communities. And we’re not alone. The danger Trump poses to our fundamental rights has ignited a groundswell of activism, especially among women, who are taking to the streets, calling their elected officials and running for office themselves. Politicians who insist on interfering with women’s personal medical decisions may find themselves not only on the losing end of a lawsuit, but on the losing end of the next election as well.

ittle Rock Police Chief Kenton have the ability Buckner’s surprise emergence ‘ t o p ol it ic a l l y as a candidate for a higher- inter fere w it h paying job in a smaller city (Charleston, t h e day-toS.C.) is a commentary on the fraught day operations relationship of police with the Little of t he Pol ice MAX Rock community and a city government Department.’ BRANTLEY structure in need of change. “ The u n ion’s The Frater na l Order of members a lso Police, a politically conservative, think [City Manager Bruce] Moore white-dom inated g roup on a n microma nages t he depa r t ment, overwhelmingly majority white force Gilchrist said, although Moore has in a majority-minority community, assured Gilchrist that the chief has loves the chief, who happens to be authority to run the department black. His authoritarian manner works for them, because he’s sided with them, particularly against complaints of The uneasy combination of a racially unfair practices brought by the Black Police Officers Association. semi-strong mayor with a city This, remember, is a force in which most white officers don’t live in the manager and a City Board city (too dangerous, the majority-black schools considered poor) and dozens controlled by three at-large of them get a valuable perk in the form of free transportation in police cars to members is a failure. and from suburban homes in whiteflight communities. But nothing is more telling about without constant interference.” Carpenter, the mayor enforces a policy the FOP than the quote its leader, John He refers to Arkansas Stop the that certain types of comments about Gilchrist, gave the Arkansas Democrat- Violence, led by Rev. Benny Johnson. police are impermissible at  city board Gazette for an article about Buckner’s What have they done? They’ve been meetings. efforts to get out of town. a persistent voice against the violent That brings us to city government. “Gilchrist said a small group of anti- crime that disproportionately harms The uneasy combination of a semiviolence advocates in the community the black community. They’ve held strong mayor with a city manager and a

Rights at risk


orty-five years ago this year, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a fundamental truth: A woman’s right to personal autonomy must include the ability to make the most deeply personal decision of all — the decision of when and whether to have a child. A half-century later, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, but politicians are still trying to drag us backward with unconstitutional abortion restrictions that endanger women and their health. In 2017 alone, 19 states adopted 63 new restrictions on abortion rights and access — the largest number of abortion restrictions enacted in a year since 2013. Included in this alarming number is a tsunami of draconian abortion restrictions passed by politicians right here in Arkansas: trying to shutter

clinics, ban safe abortion methods and force women to undergo invasive interrogations about their motives. T h e s e demeaning restrictions serve no le g it i m at e medical purpose. Their goal is to RITA make it impossible SKLAR for some women to obtain an abortion, and shame and demoralize those who do. Arkansas politicians have done more than interfere with women’s personal medical decisions — they’ve barged right into the exam room to make outlandish demands of women and their health care providers. Regardless of your personal beliefs about abortion, once a woman has decided to end her pregnancy, we need to respect that the decision is hers to

Rita Sklar is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas.

Follow Arkansas Blog on Twitter: @ArkansasBlog FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Page and Putin


This free and family-friendly event will take place on Main Street, along the Creative Corridor in downtown Little Rock. The fun kicks off at noon and will feature live music, a beer garden by Rebel Kettle Brewing Co. and hurricane station, gumbo, crawfish boil, plenty of beads, and of course the Mardi Gras dog parade! The parade will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of 6th and Main Streets and travel up Main to its intersection with 4th Street. After the parade, join us for a Mardi Gras Block Party, which will already be in progress in the 300 block of Main Street with other hosts Soul Fish Cafe - Little Rock, Brewski’s Pub & Grub, and CJRW. Registration for one dog is $30. The first 200 dogs to arrive will receive a complimentary Bark Bar Wag Bag, and all dogs will be eligible for prizes. Prizes will be awarded for Best Pet/Owner Look a-like Costumes, Best Dressed Pet, Best Small Dog Costume, Best Large Dog Costume, Most Original Costume, Best Float and Judge’s Choice. To register and for more details about Barkus on Main, sponsorship or volunteering, go to or call Downtown Little Rock Partnership at 501-375-0121.

Entertainment by Rodney Block!

Get tickets at 8

FEBRUARY 8, 2018


et’s put it this way: If poor, abused Among other liabilities, Carter Page Carter Page wasn’t a Russian is a terrible liar. The man giggles. agent back when Donald Trump Later that month, Page nipped off plucked him from obscurity to advise to Moscow to speak at the prestigious his 2016 campaign, he’d definitely done New Economic School, where he basiall he could to look like one. Among the cally stuck to the Putin party line about many bizarre aspects of U.S. Rep. Devin poor, misunderstood Vladimir’s excuses Nunes’ incompetent and dishonest “Top for military adventurism. Asked by Secret” memo purporting to discredit Chris Hayes how many Kremlin bigthe Mueller investigation, pushing this shots and spies odd bird back into the spotlight ranks he’d encountered near the top. there, Page giggled. Why did Trump pick Page in the first He couldn’t be sure. place? Publicly praising Vladimir Putin They don’t wear ID as a stronger leader than President badges, you know. GENE Obama surely had something to do with It was the MosLYONS it. Trump loves him some Putin. Impris- cow junket that oning political rivals gives him a thrill. seems to have led That Putin opponents keep turning up to Page’s being asked to step down from dead in ambiguous circumstances only the Trump campaign, following directly proves him a manly, decisive leader. upon embarrassing news that Campaign Then there was Page’s longstand- Manager Paul Manafort had received ing opposition to economic sanc- more than $12 million cash from a tions against Russia in reaction to its Kremlin-linked Ukranian political party. armed incursions in Crimea and eastHence, the sheer absurdity of Nunes’ ern Ukraine. Getting those sanctions pronouncement on “Fox & Friends” that lifted was the biggest tangible result the the FBI used tainted evidence “to get a Kremlin hoped to achieve from its cyber warrant on an American citizen to spy attacks on the U.S. presidential election. on another campaign.” So reliably did Page parrot the Putin Earth to Nunes: Page resigned from line during three years living in Mos- the campaign two months before the FBI cow that FBI agents first interviewed reopened its probe of his links to Russian him in 2013, warning that he appeared intelligence. Hence the agency’s Octoto be under recruitment as a Russian spy. ber 2016 FISA court application to place Indeed, Time magazine recently found him under surveillance. To win approval, a letter Page wrote to a publisher back investigators needed to provide probable then bragging that “Over the past half cause that he was “knowingly engaging in year, I have had the privilege to serve clandestine intelligence gathering activias an informal advisor to the staff of the ties for or on behalf of” Russia. Kremlin in preparation for their PresiTo maintain surveillance, FBI invesdency of the G-20 Summit next month.” tigators then had to convince a federal The privilege, mind you. judge that valuable new evidence had Indeed, FBI surveillance captured resulted every 90 days. The surveilRussian spies talking about their lance continued for a full year, notes attempts to recruit Page, despite char- Asha Rangappa, a former FBI counteracterizing him as an “idiot.” espionage agent. “I also promised him a lot,” con“And then there are all the multiple victed Russian agent Victor Podobnyy approaches made by individuals consaid on an FBI intercept. “This is intelli- nected to Russian intelligence to Dongence method to cheat, how else to work ald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Jeff with foreigners? You promise a favor Sessions,” Rangappa writes. She adds for a favor. You get the documents from bluntly but accurately that “every one him and tell him to go [bleep] himself.” of them has lied when asked about their Page admitted providing the docu- Russian contacts.” ments. Somebody who lied to the FBI was An idiot? Anybody who watches his George Papadopoulos, whose drunken March 2, 2017, interview with MSNBC’s boasts to an Australian diplomat about Chris Hayes, during which Page first Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s denies, next admits and then lamely emails jump-started the agency’s countries to spin a meeting with Russian ter-intelligence investigation in July 2016. ambassador (and spymaster) Sergei KisThe Nunes memo’s unwitting conlyak during the 2016 GOP convention, firmation of this fact makes nonsense will find it hard to disagree. of all the rest.

The other


hose are devil worshippers out there,” a boy at church told us one night as we watched the fires in the rice fields near the old Bono Church of Christ. The windows of the church were gold stained glass and provided an especially menacing view of the flames. Because I often rode with my dad as he lit the rice straw to clear off the fields post-harvest, I knew the truth, but, after that, I’d sometimes imagine devil worshippers all circled up and chanting and get scared the way kids like to do. In high school, if we were up to no good, my friends and I would go out to the gravel pits or to old barns where crudely spray-painted pentagrams often covered the rocks and walls. Inevitably, someone would blame the graffiti on devil worshippers, but we all knew it was a joke because “Metallica” or “Mötley Crüe” or maybe a marijuana leaf or various anatomical parts were often painted alongside the pentagrams. But it was not a joke to some. If you believed the hype in the late 1980s and early ’90s, not only were men dressing as clowns to peddle drugs on elementary school playgrounds and gang members were shooting at the first person to flash their lights, there were those who lived among us who made sacrifices to Satan and boldly started ceremonial fires down in the rice fields. This “Satanic Panic” was a fearful line of thinking that caused real harm across the country, with prosecutors going after satanic cults in daycares and, here in Arkansas, it was instrumental in sending three teenagers — Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. — to prison for a triple murder in West Memphis. At that time, goth culture had yet to come to rural Northeast Arkansas. Echols wore all black. He was different, therefore he was scary. He was something “other.” This idea of people who are different from us being scary or “other” is one thing wrong with politics today. No group is better at employing it as a tool than the GOP. It has created among voters the past few years a kind of “panic” that relies on fear. President Trump claims that the Democrats in Congress who, like many Republicans during President Obama’s terms, refused to support him by standing and clapping may be committing treason. Trump, with his lackey Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton backing him all the way, ignores the facts and portrays

immigrants as criminals and gangsters. When black football players take a knee to protest police brutality, Trump, nursing old wounds from a beef with the NFL, claims the players are unpatriotic. When Democrats speak up and point out that what Trump and the GOP are saying is either unfair or flat-out unconstitutional, the GOP accuses the left of not caring about veterans and trots out the dreaded phrase “identity politics.” Like the term “politically AUTUMN correct,” this is TOLBERT an effort by the GOP to portray good old-fashioned decency as something wrong. As something “other.” As I write this, I think of the men and women I know who face deportation. Every week there is a new heartwrenching tale in the news of a father separated from his family or a young adult being sent to a country he or she does not know. Last Sunday, members of my church wept and prayed for one of our own who is detained in Louisiana facing deportation proceedings. A man who calls Northwest Arkansas home. A man who the GOP and Trump would have you to believe is different. Other. Scary. We are being told that someone who worships a different god or speaks a different language or didn’t come here on a boat through New York Harbor is someone we should fear. This is a new version of the Southern Strategy and is designed to distract from the fact that the GOP is the party of big business, big lobbyists and big money. It is working. Democrats are in a battle for their party. Those who want to hang around in the center — hoping that prioritizing talk of the economy and health care over talk of civil rights and immigration can win over independents — are being challenged by an increasingly progressive movement that seems destined to get out the votes of younger folks and people of color by putting human rights first. The former may prevail in the short term, but in the long term the Democratic candidates will have to move out of the safety of the center or risk the loss of support from an increasingly younger and diverse base. The effort by Trump and the GOP to keep the electorate in a state of fear and suspicion will eventually backfire. The question is how many will be harmed by this GOP-fueled “panic.”


HAVE YOU BEEN THE VICTIM OF A HATE CRIME? The Arkansas Times has joined the nonprofit news organization ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” project, a collaboration with newsrooms across the country to track hate incidents that might otherwise go unreported. The project aims to create a comprehensive database of where hate crimes are happening and what groups are being targeted. If you have an incident to report, submit it at arktimes. com/dochate. Information provided will not be shared with law enforcement or to anyone outside the group working on the project.

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t pains me to scrawl this batch remains without a Sweet Sixteen berth of Pearls, because like virtually in 22 years, barring a turnaround this everyone else who watched Mike spring, and when you consider the Hogs Anderson “come home” in March 2011 reached the second weekend of the amid fanfare and with a sense that a NCAA Tournament painful epoch of Razorback basketball 10 times in the 22 was set to close for good, I wanted the years preceding that beloved understudy to get his overdue, … well, it’s pretty storybook reintroduction and then take jarring. flight. That’s all there is Arkansas basketball is in a very weird to show for it, and BEAU place today, though, and if I can summon the 2017-18 team, WILCOX a football analogy that work reasonably expected to build well here, it’s probably comparable to upon the resurgent effort a year ago, is the state of affairs of Nebraska football. simply floundering in ways that cannot Both really hit their stride as national possibly be ignored or excused by Hunter powerhouses in the early to mid-1990s, Yurachek, Arkansas’s newly minted behind venerable coaches who were athletic director. Since bewilderingly stubborn and steadfast in their respective giving and publicly announcing the twophilosophies. Nolan Richardson was year extension for Anderson a couple of more charismatic and fiery than Tom weeks ago, the program has put forth Osborne outwardly, and the former three stinkers: the narrowest of home employed a sexier brand of offensive wins against Oklahoma State in the Big execution than did the latter, but both 12/SEC Challenge, followed by two ugly of them had an old-school, defense-first road defeats to Texas A&M and LSU. ideology, and they’d take an occasional The atrocity that is Arkansas’s defense chance on a player with character continues to disappoint. A&M hit a lot concerns if they thought he could help of relatively contested looks but LSU, the team and be helped in the process. typically a poor shooting team, exposed Osborne didn’t burn bridges when he the Hogs’ guards as being slow, inattentive went out on top; Richardson memorably or both in draining unchallenged shot backslid after back-to-back national title after shot. These Razorbacks are really games and employed a scorched-earth woeful at switching, and trapping bad tactic when his dismissal was announced. ball handlers seems to be a lost art. This In spite of all that, the struggles both team seems incapable of forcing bad programs have faced to restore a measure or rushed shots or errant passes like of relevance are noteworthy. Since Anderson has generally coaxed from his Osborne retired from coaching, having best squads, and that is utterly bizarre won or shared three national titles, his when you consider that five of the team’s successors over a 21-season period have top eight scorers are considered guards. sniffed only modest success here and Last year, Arkansas’s success was there but never approached the same mitigated by the SEC being thoroughly pinnacles that Osborne did. And while unworthy of the pollsters’ respect, so Nebraska football hasn’t cratered by the Hogs spent most of the year on the any means, its zealous fanbase suffered bubble despite piling up wins. This through a malaise that they’re now year, they are basically operating on hoping Scott Frost — the last Husker an inverse principle: getting caught up quarterback to win a national title — will in the maddening free-for-all that is eradicate. a stronger league, top to bottom, and That’s how most everyone around finding themselves playing their way here felt about Anderson seven years out of safety and into peril as the record ago, but now he is starting to look as twists its way back toward the median. unremarkable as the other coaches who The upshot is that now, with so much were hired (and, peering critically at at stake, Arkansas cannot afford to keep you, Coach Altman, those who ended up slipping by teams at home and struggling staying longer than 24 hours) to succeed so mightily to defend them on their turf. a regional and national icon. This is A 15-8, 4-6 mark is not what most saw Year Seven, and Arkansas has all of two, happening at this juncture, and it’s narrow NCAA tourney wins spaced 24 frightening as hell to think that all four months apart, and two agonizing losses of those conference wins and a couple of to North Carolina that followed those the nonconference victories could have victories. In other words, the program tilted the opposite way pretty easily.




he Arkansas Times got a visit this week from some folks teaching a class for LifeQuest of Arkansas, an outfit that puts on continuing education courses for older folks. The Observer was a teacher for long years out at the college. I may yet go back to it. But the visit from the LifeQuest folks got me thinking about the first class I ever taught: a weeklong Elderhostel seminar on memoir at the University of Iowa during the summer of ’97. Elderhostel is something similar to LifeQuest. That summer, the folks in The Observer’s class — who must have had an average age of 70 — got stuck with Yours Truly: 24 years old, greener than gooseshit and babbling like an idiot. I can tell you without hesitation that I learned more from my students than they learned from me. I’m sure most of them are dead now, but they live on in my heart, in a special, sunlit room. I think of them often. One of them was a professor from Sweden, who taught newbie doctors physiology. He told the story of how, as a young man, he’d been trekking on a glacier with his brother when his brother had fallen into a hidden crevasse. He told of how he was too weak to pull his brother up by the rope that connected them, and how, rather than allow his weight to pull them both into the abyss, his brother had taken out a knife, cut the cord that connected them and fell to his death. Another was an older surgeon with a prodigious mustache. He wrote of how he had once removed a sailor’s appendix on a table inside a Navy destroyer during a typhoon in the South China Sea, the ship rolling so hard the patient had to be strapped to the table, one nurse holding the light, another bear-hugging the good doctor’s knees and butting the top of her head firmly into his bony ass to keep him from falling over. And then there was the saddest story I ever heard. It came from a little old lady whose name I remember as Ruth, though that may be wrong after all these years. She’d grown up in a large Jewish family in a Midwestern city. Her mother

had been employed as a nurse to an old man who had once been wealthy, but lost everything along the way. By the time Ruth’s mother went to work caring for him, all he had left was a crumbling mansion. In my mind, it’s a vast, sodden wedding cake of a house, layered in peeling paint, rot, turrets and balconies from which Ruth’s family can appear and shout. When the old man died, he had no family, so he left the house to Ruth’s mother as a way of saying thank you for seeing him through. Ruth’s parents were from the Old Country. In the 1930s, they saw that things were going bad in Europe, so they wrote to their relatives and told them: We have room! Come! Live here until you get on your feet! Flee! And so they did. Soon, The House of a Thousand Rooms was full from basement to attic, babies in dresser drawers and kids sleeping out in the backyard, men snoring in the eaves and mothers and fathers bunking in hallways, new kin rotating in as others moved out, the dinner table surrounded by family. Love! Light! Music, and the drip of rain in pans. And, of course, an escape from looming horrors. But then, Ruth said, she and a cousin were under the porch smoking a cigarette. They were little girls. I see their sun-dappled faces, striped with light through the floorboards and lattice. I see them frowning at the taste of the tobacco, then dropping the cigarette butt before scurrying out. Then: the hateful orange whiff of flame. She and her family stood in the street in tears, clutching each other and whatever they could carry, and watched The House of a Thousand Rooms go up like a pyre. And all those years later, in the classroom of a green, dumb kid from Arkansas, she wrote of the crushing guilt she had felt every day since. Of the nights she had lain awake and stared at the ceiling while her husband slept beside her, wondering how many of her kin back in Europe had died because they had no home in America to escape to. How many had perished in despair because of a mistake she made when she was a girl? And that is the saddest story I ever heard.

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More guns than sense



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et’s be honest: It’s a tough time to be a gun safety advocate in Arkansas. If you keep tabs on the body count that guns rack up in our country, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Every child who finds a loaded gun and pulls the trigger, every police officer down, every estranged husband or boyfriend seeking revenge by bullet is a kick in the gut for anyone who can bear to pay attention. Here in Arkansas, gun violence is up close and personal. Last week, my Twitter feed stacked up with reports out of Van Buren, where an elementary school student faces criminal charges for bringing a stolen gun to school. Can any of us remember the last time we didn’t find reports of at least one shooting in our morning newsfeed? Chicago gets a bad rap for its gun violence, but here’s a dirty little secret for you: Illinois recorded 11.6 gun deaths per 100,000 residents in 2016. Here in Arkansas, we saw 17.7 gun deaths per 100,000. Almost every year, Arkansas ranks in the top 10 states for gun violence. And recent changes in our gun laws and gun culture will give ulcers to anyone who dwells on them too long, because our legislators are leading us in the wrong direction. Despite passionate protests from students, teachers, parents and campus security experts, Arkansas lawmakers have saddled us with one of the most extreme campus-carry laws in the country. In the next month or so this law will allow guns in the hands of students, faculty or anybody else on a public college campus who’s 21 or older and sits through a class of up to eight hours. Only a few other states force colleges to allow guns on campus, and many of them set aside some areas, such as residence halls, as off limits to guns. Not so in Arkansas, where guns will be allowed just about anywhere on campus, including classrooms, dorm rooms and frat houses. Oh, and bars. Yes — bars. Somehow the guns-on-campus legislation picked up a provision along the way that allows gun owners to bring their weapons with them to places that serve alcohol. Add to all this the governor’s legally dubious pronouncement that Arkansas law OKs anybody to openly tote a gun in public, no permit required, and it’s not far-fetched to think that guns in Arkansas are a lot like rats in New York City: There’s probably always one within 30 feet of you.

These extreme policies are dangerous, and we have to fight them. We ARE fighting them. I’m a leader with the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a nationwide group that formed after the 2012 Sandy AUSTIN Hook Elementary BAILEY School shooting. Guest Columnist In January 2017, a crew of hopeful members of Moms Demand Action crammed into my kitchen to bake dozens of cookies for our state legislators. We delivered those cookies with the message that there are plenty of ways for them to respect the Second Amendment while protecting lives at the same time. Of course, the results weren’t what we hoped for. But we did get a sobering lesson in both the power of the gun lobby and the obstinance of lawmakers whose minds were made up before they hit the Little Rock city limits on their way to the session’s opening day. Another lesson we learned is this: Real change at the Capitol absolutely does not come from within. If you want different results, you’re going to have to vote in some new faces. We Moms call all of the adversity of the past year “losing forward,” because while a few battles are lost, we know the moral universe will keep arcing our way if we keep hustling for it. Proof is in the amazing boost in our membership numbers. Outraged moms, along with dads, students, grandparents, aunts and uncles from across Arkansas are joining up for the fight against the dangerous guns-everywhere-for-everyone dystopia the gun lobby keeps pushing. There are now active local Moms Demand chapters in Little Rock, Conway, Arkadelphia, Northwest Arkansas and Jonesboro. We also have plenty of lonewolf operators around the state, making phone calls, sending emails, handing out gun locks and generally raising whatever kinds of hell need to be raised to get some life-saving legislation up in here. You do not have to be a mom to be a Moms Demand Action supporter, and I’m delighted to add your name to our roster. Just text READY to 644-33 or look us up on Facebook. Austin Bailey is the Little Rock group leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.


FDA limits CBD advertising


company recently sent the “The only things I guarantee my Arkansas Times a press release customers are the product that we advertising its cannabidiol describe it is exactly as we describe it,” (CBD) products, claiming they help he said. “What you choose to use it for with “relief of chronic pain,” “anti- and how you choose to use it — that’s inflammatory benefits,” “anxiety relief,” up to you.” “sleep,” and “Cancer, Parkinson’s, and Diabetes fighting properties.” Tree of Life Seeds, the Arkansas Making such claims is against FDA Cannabis Industry Association and guidelines. The FDA is researching Ounce Magazine will host a free cannabidiol “as a new drug for which educational seminar Feb. 22 for Arkansas substantial clinical investigations farmers interested in growing industrial have been instituted and for which hemp. The seminar will held from 6:20 the existence of such investigations p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Comfort Inn and has been made public.” Therefore, you Suites Presidential, 707 Interstate 30 cannot sell CBD as a dietary supplement in Little Rock. Tickets are free, but — it’s a drug. The FDA recently wrote seating is limited. Seats may be reserved warnings to a group of CBD sellers at this. industrial-hempBut that in-arkansas. do e sn’t mea n The FDA considers CBD CBD products S e v e r a l ca n’t be sold. as a drug, but that doesn’t groups affiliated They just can’t with medical be sold as dietary mean it can’t be sold. It cannabis and supplements industrial hemp or v ita mins. just can’t be sold as a in the state It ’s about the plan to host the advertising. dietary supplement or event “Arkansas The Times Cannabis Patient asked the vitamin. Day at the Arkansas attorney Arkansas State general’s office Capitol” later this whether it would take action against month, giving patients who hope to someone advertising CBD products benefit from medical cannabis a chance for health purposes. It issued this to speak to their lawmakers and have statement: their voices heard. “The Attorney General’s Office The event, sponsored by the Drug takes every false advertising complaint Policy Education Group, the Arkansas seriously. Our Consumer Protection Cannabis Industry Association, Illegally Division investigates all allegations Healed and the Arkansas Hemp regardless of the nature of the product, Association, will be held from 10 a.m. and we continuously work with relevant to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the agencies to protect Arkansas consumers Capitol, starting with a rally in the by ensuring that businesses are operating rotunda. Those who have pre-registered within the bounds of the law.” through will be able to The FDA’s website says that “agency pick up a free commemorative T-shirt. resources and the threat to the public After the rally, patients are health” determine when they’ll take encouraged to speak to their elected enforcement action. Of special interest representatives. After that, participants to the FDA has been stopping those who will march to the Little Rock office of claim CBD helps cure cancer. U.S. Sen. John Boozman at 1401 W. Tree of Life Seeds, an Arkansas Capitol Ave. to ask for his support on business, sells hemp products (hemp federal medical cannabis issues. Lunch is not the same as marijuana; it contains and fellowship at Vino’s Brewpub at 923 less than .03 percent THC). Tree of Life W. 7th St. will wrap things up. CEO Jason Martin says the company Organizers ask that persons interested does not advertise its products as “a in attending pre-register for the event at cure for anything.” the link on

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Arkansas Reporter


DYS to keep youth lockups

Services, but in 2016 the state instead serious problems at some facilities that gave the contract to an Indiana-based may put youths’ health and safety at risk. for-profit company, Youth Opportunity Faulkner County Circuit Judge Troy Investments. Legislators sympathetic to Braswell, who chairs the state’s Youth the ousted nonprofits blocked the new Justice Reform Board, said the state contract in late 2016, which meant the takeover was nonetheless something of state would have entered the new year “a blessing in disguise, in that it’s forcing with no one to run the facilities at all. DYS to do a better internal examination Will do further study before seeking private provider. BY BENJAMIN HARDY Hutchinson then stepped in. He of their policies and procedures. It’s ARKANSAS NONPROFIT NEWS NETWORK directed the DYS to assume provisional forcing them to fully understand the management of the facilities, comprised needs that they have in all of their plan to re-privatize seven secure “If we have 450 commitments a of sites in Dermott, Mansfield, facilities, and understand how they’re facilities housing delinquent year, what do these kids look like?” she Lewisville, Colt and Harrisburg. (The going to have to operate each one of youths has been pushed back said. “What do they need? Do all 450 state’s eighth and largest facility, those facilities.” by at least a year, the head of the need secure placements? Or maybe it the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment “Sometimes, if somebody else has the Arkansas Division of Youth Services would be better … if we had four secure and Treatment Center in Alexander, contract … you kind of go on and do of the Department of Human Services facilities and three less secure — group continued to be operated by a private other things and expect them to take acknowledged in an care of it,” he said. “So interview Monday. I think that’s a healthy The juvenile thing for DYS to have treatment centers, which that internal review … to house 163 youths across force the light to shine the state, were taken over in and find those areas by the DYS on Jan. 1, 2017. of need.” In August, Governor Despite the challenges Hutchinson and DYS of running the facilities Director Betty Guhman directly, Guhman said it announced the lockups would be a mistake for would be returned to the agency to rush out an private cont ractors RFP prematurely. as soon as summer “ We ne e d mor e 2018, with a request for information,” she said. proposals to be issued “We were afraid that if we by the end of 2017. But went out for a contract December came and right now, we would be went without the agency tied in for seven years. … issuing an RFP. We’re backing off to say Guhman, who was ‘What is it we really need appointed by Hutchinson for kids?’ ” to run the DYS in 2016, “The people that had said Monday that the the contracts before had RFP likely won’t be them for 20 years. We ready until early next don’t want to get into that year. Because the bidding again,” she added. STAYING WITH THE STATE: Director Betty Guhman says DYS will continue to assess the juvenile system before relinquishing control to an outside provider. process takes months to Braswell said he complete, the facilities wasn’t surprised that the are now expected to DYS was not yet ready to remain in state hands until at least July homes or transition homes or something for-profit provider; 120 youths are issue its RFP. “How do you contract 2019. like that. If you look at our stats, 90 housed at AJATC.) In a matter of days, with somebody to come in and provide In the months ahead, the DYS will percent of our kids have committed some 300 staff members at the facilities services if you’re not even 100 percent commission a study of how it can better nonviolent offenses … and yet we’re were converted into state employees. sure of everything you need in each serve the youths committed to its treating them all pretty much the same.” Since the takeover, the DYS has different facility? So [the takeover] supervision. For years, advocates have The state takeover of the seven struggled at times to effectively manage is forcing them to better understand pushed Arkansas to close or downsize lockups was prompted by a political the facilities. Initially, behavioral what they even need from an outside its residential lockups. Guhman stopped stalemate over who would get paid to health treatment and education were provider.” short of explicitly advocating a reduction run the facilities. For over 20 years, nonexistent at some lockups. Shortages Guhman said the agency is now in bed space, but she did suggest that the lockups were operated by two of staff and basic supplies hindered looking for a consultant that can review DYS seriously needs to reassess whether nonprofits, South Arkansas Youth day-to-day operations. A year after the the facilities, compare Arkansas with its model is meeting youths’ needs. Services and Consolidated Youth DYS assumed control, reports persist of models from other states, and come




FEBRUARY 8, 2018


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up with recommendations for making a more effective system. She hopes to have the review complete by early fall. “We can then develop a procurement that’s solid and hopefully flexible. We would put that out early ’19, and then it would be effective July of ’19,” she said. Whenever the RFP is ready, it will likely look substantially different from the old arrangement with South Arkansas Youth Services and Consolidated Youth Services. Education, medical care and behavioral health will probably be contracted separately from management of the facilities, Guhman said. “Those were three areas that we saw immediately that the kids were not getting the services that they needed by putting it all under one provider,” she said. Running the facilities has also convinced Guhman that the DYS needs stronger monitoring and clearer policy and standards when it finds a new provider. “We’ll be able to put that in a stronger procurement, the expectations we have. But before we put it out for them, we have to do it ourselves.” Thomas Nichols, a managing attorney at the advocacy group Disability Rights Arkansas, said it was too soon to tell whether it was a positive sign that the agency had delayed its RFP. “I think that it’s up to the state to do a better job caring for these youth in these very vulnerable positions,” Nichols said. DRA, which visited the facilities both before and after the takeover, has been critical of the state’s management thus far — but it was also critical of the nonprofit providers. “We ought to be able to take care of our own without having to contract out to private entities to do it for us,” Nichols said, “but it’s really just going to depend on what they do with that time. … Turning it over to somebody else might fix the broken windows at first, but those windows will end up getting broken again. If they’re going to take a reasoned and cautious look at the model they’re using overall, then I think that could be a good thing. But time will tell.” This reporting is courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans. Find out more at


Inconsequential News Quiz:

BIG Flupocalypse PICTURE


Play at home while wearing a surgical mask, so as not to infect others! 1) Stephan Ferry, a critic of state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) who is seeking to file a lawsuit against Rapert for blocking his constituents on social media, was recently arrested. What was the charge? A) Third Degree Liberal Sassmouth. B) Letting his hair become unkempt as forbidden in Leviticus 10:6, thus potentially making God angry enough to both kill him and destroy Conway in a hellish firestorm. No, seriously. That’s apparently the penalty. Look it up. C) Allowing minorities to run roughshod over what Rapert’s supporters believe in. D) Filing a false police report, after Ferry told police that during a phone call Rapert had threatened to send people after him — a contention police say conflicted with a recording of the call provided to investigators by Rapert. 2) Ben Hyneman, chair of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, recently proposed a rules change that has some alarmed. What is the change? A) Allows the Razorback football head coach to have Arkansas sportswriters who displease him beheaded. B) Lets Walmart press any UA student into indentured servitude during the Black Friday and Christmas rush. C) Would forbid any member of the 10-member board, other than the chair, to speak to the press about controversial issues. D) Would install a vending machine on Dickson Street that dispenses a Razorback sweatshirt and fully valid UA Bachelor of Arts diploma in exchange for $45,000 in nonsequential, unmarked bills. 3) The Arkansas Department of Health recently made an announcement. What was it? A) There has been a serious outbreak of Uncleanliness in Faulkner County after residents there engaged in the wanton touching of eagles, vultures, black vultures, red kites, black kites, ravens, horned owls, screech owls, gulls, hawks, little owls, cormorants, great owls, white owls, desert owls, ospreys, storks, herons, hoopoes and bats, as forbidden in Leviticus 11:13-19. B) That a toilet seat in the men’s restroom of a Taco Bell in Southwest Little Rock recently tested positive for multidrug-resistant Superherpestuberculosisgonorrheahepatitisaids. C) That Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) will soon be sealed in a bulletproof, man-sized hamsterball because he is clearly too fragile for this cruel, confusing and infinitely threatening world. D) That this flu season is on track to be the state’s worst in almost 20 years. 4) A uniformed Little Rock Police Department officer got quite a surprise recently. What, according to investigators, was the surprise? A) That emergency room personnel refused to believe that he and his girlfriend had been testing his handcuffs when he accidentally sat on his baton. B) Krispy Kreme gave him a free trip to its international headquarters because he ate so many donuts. C) He came out of the restroom of the Subway restaurant on Cedar Street near the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to find a 17-year-old holding the clerks at gunpoint, and arrested the teenager after a short foot chase. D) He was arrested on a charge of treason for failing to applaud President Trump. 5) The National Weather Service is looking for volunteers in Arkansas. What do they need them for? A) To distribute leaflets listing 84 post-tornado metaphors to use other than “it sounded just like a big ol’ freight train.” B) To complain about the weather while not doing a damn thing about it. C) To keep an eye out for the next shitstorm. D) To provide daily reports from the towns of Dumas, Glenwood, Parthenon, Clarendon, Deer, Fallsville, Grubbs, Hampton, Leola, McCrory, Warren, Washita, Clarksville, Amity, Hector, Brinkley, Wooster and Greenbrier.

Answers: D, C, D, C, D



This issue is for Lovers The frontier of X-rated Peddling porn in Johnson County. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE


irty” is in the eye of give his name — said. “Paperwork. Set the beholder. When I rules that you follow. The only thing entered the X-Mart Adult different is the material that we sell.” Supercenter in Clarksville — just off He’s amiable and earnest, a difficult Interstate 40 where it meets state dude to imagine as the reviled subject Highway 103 — on a weekday, the beige of a sermon from the Baptist church floor tile gleamed. The windowless down the street. sales floor had been shined and bright “The community that we’re in is a lighting revealed neatly organized strong Christian community. With inventory. A subdued house music that said, there are a lot of people track from Sofi Tukker emanated from who are pretty vocal. Videos that we the speakers. In fact, if it weren’t for have of intercourse, they consider the warnings on the door — “If adult- that cheating or against religion in oriented material offends you, please some way.” Because of the material, do not enter” — and the immediate X-Mart has had to navigate its business request for my I.D. upon entry, X-Mart partnerships in town carefully; when could just as well have been peddling you’re peddling porn in the Bible Belt, it swimming pool equipment. doesn’t take long for word to get around “This is just like any other corporate about which bank is hanging on to your job,” the manager — who would not money, or which hardware store might


FEBRUARY 8, 2018



alentine’s Day is here again, that holiday of love, questionable chocolate and dudes wandering through the lingerie section, trying not to look like a pervert while fondling the unmentionables. We don’t know about you, but for us, Valentine’s Day has always been a source of mucho confusion. Kinda like love itself, come to think of it. The gift-giving part alone is usually frustrating enough that, at some point, long-term celibacy begins to seem like a fair trade in exchange for never, ever again having to figure out what item constitutes the height of romance. After all: Flowers wilt, boxes of chocolate run about 40 percent of the kind anybody likes (I’m scowling at you, orange truffle) and sexy drawers are really only exciting the first time you pop out of the bathroom while wearing them. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. What’s left beyond all the marketing gimmicks and consumerism, however, is love. And it is love that keeps us coming back for more, despite all the frustrations. When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, love turns out to be the stuff that dreams are made of, and as anybody who has been immersed in the warm, gooey embrace of true passion can tell you, there’s no drug in the world that can compare. So, this week, we put our usual cynicism and grousing on hold as we genuflect in the direction of Aphrodite, with highly questionable sex and relationship advice from our staff, much sounder advice from an honestto-God sex therapist and entertainment editor Stephanie Smittle’s survey of two of the state’s finer rubber schlong and porno emporiums. It ain’t perfect by any means. But then again, the same could be said of love as well. XOXO.

replace one of your light bulbs when of the antipathy directed at the shop one goes out. by Clarksville’s more conservative Nevertheless, “the material” is what contingency — and all the makings makes this place run. It’s the reason of a raucous bachelor or bachelorette there are three cars in the parking lot party: “Dickdar: The Talking Penis at 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning, Size Detector,” a breast-shaped frisbee and it ranges from the decidedly called the Boobie Flyer disc, tiny penis pornographic to the barely risque. keychains in a variety of colors, “Pecker Along one wall are “play kits” for Party” cake pans and board games with couples with massagers, lubricants titles like “The Love or Lust Game.” and something called a “tongue flicker.” The manager politely declined my There’s a select assortment of lingerie questions about which category of and costumes: a Roman Goddess, one “novelty” they sold the most of, or what called “The Count,” a tank top that says, demographic visited the store most “Your wish is about to come true.” There often, gently responding with a “That’d are mile-high stilettos, glass pipes, body be one of the questions I’m probably jewelry, heart-shaped bath bombs, a not gonna be able to answer.” A knock poster of Wiz Khalifa, a couple dozen came on the door, and he stepped out varieties of kegel trainers (Google it) to handle a question from a customer, and tin signs that read “Happiness is just as gently. A return, maybe? having a large, loving and caring family “No returns,” he said. — in another city!” There are the latest I asked him if this job is boring. For and greatest innovations in vibrator the first time since we’ve been talking, technology: A brand called “Ovo” is the his eyes lit up. “It is!” he exclaimed. Cadillac of the vibe world these days, but there’s also a “ravishing rabbit,” The Clarksville location of the a “rotating rabbit” and all manner of X-Mart Adult Supercenter chain is open other articulated fancy ticklers. There 8 a.m. until midnight daily, and its sister are, of course, shelves and shelves of location in Fort Smith at 3800 Century DVDs — no doubt the source of most Drive is open 11 a.m. until 5 a.m. daily.


IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: When the sex is good, says therapist Jon Mourot.

Touch-a, touch-a, touch me Make your marriage pretty, with sex. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


r. and Mrs. Bickerton have Ohio University, a JD from the U of A, been going to couples but it was sex therapy that turned him therapy trying to save their on.) So what does he do? marriage. But it hasn’t worked, and their “I don’t touch my clients, and they inability to see eye to eye makes divorce don’t disrobe in my office,” Mourot court look like the next stop. Yet, they said, smiling. Apparently, that is what do still love each other. Is there no help some people think a sex therapist does. for the Bickertons? Nor does he set people up with sex Yes there is. It involves literally surrogates for training purposes, which seeing eye to eye. Standing or lying is against the law. What he does do is down. Clothed or not. help people re-establish intimacy. When all else fails, there is sex. “I use sex as a way to address There is but one certified sex problems in the dynamics [of how the therapist in Arkansas (which doesn’t couple is relating]. How they relate require certification), and he says he’s sexually transfers to other aspects of only seen two couples who could not the marriage,” Mourot said. reconcile by following his program. The Mourot gives his clients a series of husbands in both couples, as it turned exercises over six sessions. First, he out, confessed during therapy that asks them to get physical tests to rule they had second families. They were out (or understand how to handle) in Florida, where such things happen. medical problems. He’ll meet with each But Jon Mourot can help other folks, partner separately. He’ll tell them what whether in the throes of splitting up or the therapy involves, and asks if they’ll just having problems in the sack. He’s agree to follow through. a Hall High School graduate who went Then, paradoxically, “I tell them, on to get a doctorate from the University ‘You cannot have sex until I give you of Miami in counseling and did a three- permission,’ ” which usually gets a year sex therapy certification program. surprised response. (Between Hall and Miami he got a BA Then, it’s time to touch. from Hendrix College, an MSJ from The first step: Make simple physical

contact. “Just reach guys, Mourot said, he appeals “to their out and touch” when pride”: See what affect you can have on passing one another in your woman, he tells them, with your the house, when in each skillful foreplay — and he guarantees other’s presence, Mourot they’ll have better sex when they do. tells his clients. That’s a Mourot’s technique especially for way to connect without women: “The happy hoohoo.” He tells comment. his female clients to take time out for Then, there’s the themselves. Run a warm bath, turn off gazing exercise referred the phone “and learn about your body.” to earlier. Mourot asks “Orgasm is not the intent” of couples to gaze into one the exercise, but a surrendering of another’s eyes while inhibition. Mourot said he’s discovered touching one another’s that many women in Arkansas “have hearts “and think back to be given permission to masturbate,” to when they first fell to be convinced that it is not wrong or in love.” It sounds corny. naughty. He doesn’t always succeed. Some will laugh. But And he tells men, stop watching porn some will cry. if you think it’s a guide to how sex should Eventually, couples be. The penis-vagina orgasm “isn’t real move to the bed, where life.” On the other hand, he says, there’s they are encouraged to another pleasure center that may not be explore, fully clothed, known: prostate stimulation. one another’s bodies, Sometimes, antidepressants hinder “and be conscious of what orgasm, which is OK if premature emotions arise — sadness, ejaculation is your issue, but otherwise guilty, anger.” Find pleasure centers, unsatisfactory. He tells his clients who which Mourot said will change over a take antidepressants to ask for “anything lifetime. Take it slow. but Zoloft.” Does the wife fall asleep during Mourot had some advice for men this exercise? Take note, frustrated on Valentine’s Day. Skip the cheap husbands! Are you expecting her to chocolates. “Do something unexpected,” become aroused after rising to prepare he suggested. Give your wife coupons breakfast, driving the kids to school, she can cash in: You’ll change the cat working a job, cleaning and cooking litter. You’ll change the sheets. Whatever. and feeding the family at night and then Or, “go to Seductions or Cupid’s,” walking the dog? No wonder her libido is Little Rock sex shops, “together. Do low, mister! “She’s exhausted!” Mourot not go by yourself and buy some trashy said. In fact, low libido in women is lingerie. Go with your partner.” Consider the most common sexual complaint strap-ons! The one he took to a Dirty he hears, a fact that will surprise no Santa party — dirty as in people can woman reading this. steal one another’s gifts — was far more The last exercise is to lie naked popular than the potpourri and dishand explore and not have sex. Mourot towels under the tree. laughed. Nobody makes it to the end of If you’re single on Valentine’s Day that exercise without having sex. They — especially women — his advice is to come in to his office sheepish, confess, “pamper yourself. Have a spa day, a “and I say you’re done!” massage. Be your own best friend.” People who have experienced sexual Two super important things: One — trauma may need more than six weeks. sleep in the nude. It’s healthier, shown Learning to touch again “is really to decrease the stress hormone cortisol, powerful,” Mourot said, especially for improve blood circulation and, of course, those who have experienced abuse or can lead to sex. And two, Mourot said, infidelity. He slows the process toward “use a good lubricant.” He’s even done intimacy for them. grand rounds with gynecologists on the Mourot also works with single men issue. One of the best: a brand called Gun who have performance anxiety, disabled Oil. In Arkansas, Mourot has learned, it veterans who want to satisfy their wives, is best to make sure the client doesn’t get transgender or gay couples. He’s had the wrong idea. He’s had a client who clients who, because of their religion, misunderstood. The man he reported would not disrobe in front of one another back after using gun oil with his wife — a tough situation, he acknowledged. that he didn’t like it much. “It didn’t He’s counseled threesomes. smell very good,” he told Mourot. He sees women who complain that Bottom line: Know thyself. Sex, their partners’ technique is of the wham, Mourot said, “is a beautiful component bam, thank-you-ma’am variety. For these of life.” Don’t forget it. FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Free advice From the WebMD of Romance and Dr. Love.


ove is a mystery, just like the reversal (or switching, you might together, you just have to be creative weird to talk about, and they pick up whatever’s wrong with your toe. say) of roles in a power-exchange with your mind games. That said, it’s on the fact that boy bodies are different Luckily, the Arkansas Times has relationship — dominant becomes kinda inevitable that the junk may thangirl bodies much, much earlier two specialists to break it all down: Dr. submissive or vice versa. If, in that eventually overrule the mind, so get- than you would ever imagine. If you, as Love, our prescient, happily married, switch, you need your partner to togethers for face-to-face fun time will a parent, meet those early, completely in-house expert. Is he a real doctor? No. become more dominant, I think there likely be required at some point if you innocent questions with straight, ageBut we created a fake Ph.D. from “Cupid is a simple solution: communication. want to make fantasy reality. If that appropriate answers, not only does University” on Microsoft Word, printed Specifically, you should not happens: Be careful what you wish for, it tell your kid his or her body isn’t it out and had someone sign it. So, viola, communicate that desire — especially because you just might get it. something to be ashamed of, it builds he’s an official authority on affection. not in a calm way — and instead let it WebMD of Romance: No, but a foundation of trust about sexuality. Yet just giving out “good” advice felt … fester inside you. Bottle up that anger; you should continue trying for a long If you can keep it up as they grow, incomplete. Most of us don’t go to the let it pool; let it corrode you. Once time until it becomes that weird, shaky that foundation of trust about The doctor with our weird toe problem — that small problem with someone part of a relationship where you’re Sex Stuff will let them know: It’s cool we Google our condition and freak out. you dearly love has blossomed into a dependent on each other but not in to ask mom or dad the much harder So, in that spirit, we also have advice full-blown hatred for all their actions, love anymore. Then, have a big fight questions. The answers you give to from the WebMD of Romance, full allow something banal they do (like and break up but keep getting back those questions might just save your of overreactions, misunderstandings buttering toast or watching TV a together every few weeks. When one child’s life, future prosperity or longand overreactions based on those little too loud) send you into of you visits the other’s city, term health someday. Or, Plan B, you misunderstandings. an unnecessary rage. after seemingly finally can follow my parents’ sex ed example Enjoy! Yell about this actually breaking up, and just leave a lot of Betamax tapes of random, normal make sure to hook 1970s porn in a gym bag in the closet. What advice would you give to act. Get, really, up in a way you I didn’t know much about sex by the switches who need their switch really, really both regret. time I became an adult, but I can partners to be more dominant at mad. When Oh, and you assure you I was very disappointed times? your loving should get when I hit puberty and my body hair Dr. Love: I assume you’re not partner asks j e a l o u s , didn’t come in like Ron Jeremy’s. talking about the switches found in what the real too! Go all WebMD of Romance: Sex the electrical department at The Home problem is — Othello and education should start around 21 Depot here, but “switches” in the sense so prescient stalk online years of age, when your child takes of people who participate in power- are they, so anyone who’s their first sip of alcohol — having exchange relationships who are kind are they, in a photo with never experimented with sex, drugs sometimes dominant and sometimes to know you your lover. Wait: or cursing before that moment. During submissive, right? OK, cleared that wouldn’t just yell former lover? Wait: that talk, emphasize that your child up, with the most gracefully inserted about something so current lover? Wait: should always be ashamed of his or bit of stealth exposition ever. In silly — you should lie. Say WHO IS THAT GIRL WITH her body. Use adjectives like “gross,” relationships, as in synchronized it’s only about that one action. Don’t HIM!? You get the idea. “fleshy” and “sinful.” Make abundantly pipe-bomb disarming, patience and bring up this thing about switching at clear that sex is for reproduction — careful, deliberate movements are all. After doing that, storm out. Go to a When do you think sex education that any desire to have sex aside from key if you want to avoid being spread motel. Sit on the gray bed. Watch the should start? reproduction is part of a demented, all over a wall like a Rorschach blot. TV with the sound off. Dr. Love: Giving people advice on truly sick, lust. If possible, pass along That requires good communication. how to raise their kids is tricky, because a copy of St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” There is no substitute for talking to What’s the weirdest thing you’ve most of it only applies to your kid, Convince your child that this level of your partner about what you want, ever seen inserted into someone? and the part that doesn’t is probably guilt is healthy. Before 21, it’s really so your line is: “I think it would be Dr. Love: I ate a Double Down at bullshit learned from Jenny McCarthy. up to you; it’s your kid after all. But really hot if you X, Y and Z’ed more KFC once. Does that count? But in general, I’d say: While parents the WebMD of Romance recommends in the bedroom.” That said, remember have been dodging Sex Talks with a policy of pretending sex does not that a partner is not a fetish gumball Can long distance dominant/ their kids since mastodons roamed exist. “How are babies born?” your machine, and you can’t just stick a submissive relationships work? Rose City, disregard that impulse and child asks. Do not answer. Stare them dime in and get exactly what you Dr. Love: Yes, but you need a start early. Appropriate for the age down. “What?” you ask back. “Nothing, want. Your partner is a person, and really, really long leash. (Rimshot!) level, of course, but early. Kids are nothing,” your child says. That blow sex, from low-fat vanilla to rocky road But seriously, folks, in this age of naturally curious. By the time a kid is to their self-esteem should help with with rainbow sprinkles, is something instant communication — when even 3 years old, a parent will have heard the whole shame thing we discussed to do WITH a person, not TO a person. the Tom Cottons of the world can more questions than Alex Trebek earlier. Double parent win! So ask, and explain. But if they’re not find romance — of course they can has in his entire career, and some into it — either now or longterm — work. Good, healthy d/s relationships of those questions will inevitably be Is sex vital for romantic don’t reward their honesty with are always more about the mind than about their bodies (your kid’s body, not relationships? browbeating, pouting or hurt feelings. the body, and the mind doesn’t care “Jeopardy!” contestants, weirdo). They Dr. Love: It’s complicated. WebMD of Romance: Switching if your partner is in the room or two want to know how they work, even the WebMD of Romance: Ew, no, you (in case you did not read above) is continents away. When you can’t be parts you might find embarrassing or perv.


FEBRUARY 8, 2018



miners.” in the meter to run inside for a quarter Elsewhere on the door are relics hour all but obsolete. RAO’s had to of bygone days at RAO: a sign that straddle a fine line, and it’s meant it reads “ARCADE OPEN,” something had to be nimble, shifting the focus that owner and shop manager Victor of the business whenever appropriate. Oliver (Robert’s son) says doesn’t The vape business, he says, used to entice as many people as it once did — be around 20 percent of the business; perhaps, he says, because they are a bit now it’s closer to 50 percent, perhaps stricter about what they allow to go on a testament to vaping’s meteoric rise behind those closed doors than arcades in popularity, or perhaps Victor’s in bigger cities might be. There’s also attention to detail when it comes to a sign for the discontinued Downtown helping a customer understand how to Haircare, an adjacent business space operate (and how not to operate) the now occupied by Oak Forest Vintage. device they’ve just purchased. (Oak Forest, a late January addition to “The adult movies, I used to get the Main Street landscape, specializes about 80 to 100 a week. Now I get in 1980s and ’90s garb; there’s an about 50 a month.” It’s hard for his Oakland Raiders windjacket, a rack older customers to understand why, of hand-painted denim, old-school he says, when they special order Razorback and ASU tees; handbags, something, it takes two weeks or so luggage and a handful of oversized to arrive. When free pornography on STEPHANIE SMITTLE

GRIT AND FLASH ON THE 600 BLOCK: RAO Video holds down the fort on an eversleeker Main Street, neighbor to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co.

RAO adapts

In the age of Reddit, it takes more than porn to keep the doors open. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE


n case it wasn’t clear from the sign out front, RAO Video has been in operation since 1977. It’s the gritty, shapeshifting brainchild of Bob Oliver (as in, Robert Abraham Oliver), who made it his mission in the late 1970s to hip the residents of Main Street Little Rock to the wonders of VHS and built a career — and some would argue, a small community — out of renting videos in the pre-internet era. The store’s since transitioned to DVD and BluRay for most of its video selections

and diversified its portfolio to include vapes, vape accessories and “juice,” and an array of glass pipes and water pipes. And, of course, adult videos and novelties: The white door at the sales floor’s eastern wall bears a sign advertising “Magazines: $6.99 or 2 for $10.” Below that, there’s a yellowing sliver from the funny papers — a single panel of John Deering’s “Strange Brew,” wherein a salesperson issues an apology to his hard-hatted prospective customer with a “Sorry, I can’t sell to

SINCE 1977: The Oliver family has grown the video shop over the last four decades, diversifying its portfolio to include lingerie, adult toys and a vape shop.

couture pullover sweaters in mixed the internet proliferated, evidently stitching, one with an elaborate sea mail-order porn aged into dinosaur creature motif.) The Olivers have territory. been able to diversify the building’s A look in RAO’s “toy room” — businesses because they own it, “and actually two separate smaller rooms because we listen to our employees.” — reveals a wall with red mesh leotards, The door also bears continuing a two-piece in black lace with a peekwitness to RAO’s old standby: Behind a-boo top, a strap-on that attaches to a it are adult novelties and videos. knee like a low-hanging garter, fishnets Unsurprisingly, the era of Wood and more fishnets, waterproof silicon Rocket and thousands of sub-Reddits toys from a Chinese supplier, a “Rabbit” devoted to obscure fetishes means that teaser and a “Butterfly” teaser, most RAO’s skinflicks aren’t the cash cow of which are going for considerably they once were. “The clientele has less than their counterparts at highergotten older,” Victor told us, “people end lingerie and novelty chains. “I’m who don’t want to figure out how to amazed at how people go and spend get online and find it.” And, he adds, twice this amount for the same primarily residents of the immediate product,” he said. area, as the ongoing construction on Main Street’s 500 and 600 blocks has RAO Video & RAO Vapes is open 8 rendered the idea of popping a quarter a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Arts Entertainment AND


Building up the arts

he light of the arts at UA Little Much of the work in “Building a Rock is no longer hidden Collection” was bought at auction at under a bushel — or scattered the Penland School of Crafts in North between three buildings on Carolina. Penland and UA Little Rock Exhibition of acquisitions made possible by Windgate a campus with zero parking. The new have a sort of shuttle going: Penland artists Windgate Center for Art and Design, have shown at UALR (“The Penland foundation opens Windgate Center at UALR. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK the sleek, steel-clad building accented Experience” in 2015); the university just with narrow slices of windows lost its furniture and former art at the corner of 28th Street department chair Mia Hall to and the UALR Campus Drive, the craft school, where she is contains the whole of the now executive director; Hall’s Department of Art and Design husband, metalworker David in one 64,000-square-foot Clemons, an artist in residence facility. The union allows for at UALR through the semester, “cross-pollination” of creativity has taught at Penland; and among the department’s visual, the Windgate Foundation is 3D and applied arts students a supporter of both Penland in classrooms making state-ofand the UA’s applied design the-art technology, professors division, created in 2006. That and administrators say. And it symbiosis has been a good thing has free public parking. Don’t for the university, both in the tell the students. building, the collection and arts The center opened to education. students in January, and its “Bringing the applied design inaugural exhibition, “Building a into our program,” Cushman Collection: Recent Acquisitions said, “has raised the level of Made Possible by the Windgate craftsmanship across the board. Charitable Foundation,” is … You see these students doing a fitting choice for a facility these amazing metal pieces and built with a $22.3 million gift wood pieces and start to talk from that foundation. A grand about craft, and I can see that opening for the public, titled permeate into other areas,” into “CRE8,” is set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the 2D disciplines. Friday, Feb. 16. Studios will be Among the several open, food and drink will be lovely, often clever, works of served and scholarships will contemporary craft in “Building be funded from ticket sales to a Collection” are Andrew Hays’ IN UA LITTLE ROCK’S CUSHMAN GALLERY: Marianela de la Hoz’s “Your Reflection Into Mine,” on exhibit in the event. “Cary,” a twisted book encased the “Building a Collection” show, was acquired with a grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation. UALR is celebrating its in steel; Susan Dewsnap’s collection in print as well with beautifully painted ceramic a doozy of a catalog, “Highlights from surreal, but I appreciate it,” Cushman from another basswood cylinder, Dustin piece “Inset Lid Jar”; Christopher the Permanent Collection.” A release said.) Most of the works on exhibit in Farnsworth’s “HeavytheWeight,” a head Berti’s “Archetype Series,” a teapot party will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, “Building a Collection” were acquired burdened by a towering headpiece. atop a pedestal carved from a single March 2, in the Main Lobby (just off the over the past seven years with funding A couple of knockout two-dimensional vintage brick paver; Elizabeth Brim’s entrance from the parking lot). Many of from Windgate, which has awarded works in “Building a Collection” are “Gothic Pillow” made of inflated steel, the artists whose work is in the catalog UALR grants totaling $65,000 for the former Arkansas artist Delita Martin’s a technique she has demonstrated at will be in attendance. purpose. 69 inch-by-15 ¼ inch “Standing in the UALR; and Jennifer Anderson’s “Mud Gallery Director Brad Cushman — the The show features contemporary craft Night,” a mixed-media portrait of an Series: Eames Study No. 1, LCW Chair,” voice of the “Picture This” short art talks in ceramics, wood and metal as well as African-American woman, and San which is exactly as described in its title: on KUAR-FM, 89.1 — gave this writer a sculpture, paintings, screenprints and Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz’s “Your an Eames chair made of adobe mud and tour of “Building a Collection” in the main, photographs. A standout in the exhibition, Reflection Into Mine,” an adept egg steel. second-floor gallery, which happens to literally and figuratively, is Connecticut tempera painting that explores gender A 38 ¾”-by-29”cyanotype, “Rest,” of be named the Brad Cushman Gallery. artist Sylvie Rosenthal’s “Beacon,” an fluidity. Crystal Bridges Museum of a dead thrush lying in grass by Jaime (Cushman’s name is on the gallery at 8-foot-tall lighthouse fashioned of long American Art in Bentonville was so taken Erin Johnson of Slidell, La., is a work that the request of art collectors Curtis and narrow basswood slats and supporting a with Martin’s work that it borrowed UALR’s photography students can study Jackye Finch, whose gift to WCAD gave poplar giraffe’s head where the beacon “Standing in the Night” from UALR for for its superb definition and composition. them naming rights. They decided to should be. Rosenthal carries off this its 2015 “State of the Art” exhibition of Cushman says the process of acquiring honor Cushman for his 18 years of work whimsical work with panache, and the rising contemporary artists from around art for UALR has been exciting because to promote the arts at UALR. “It’s a little piece is smartly placed across the gallery the country. “we get to buy things that mirror what CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


FEBRUARY 8, 2018


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A&E NEWS UA PULASKI TECHNICAL COLLEGE added two shows to its spring roster this week: a free concert from Little Rock-born saxophonist and jazz legend Pharoah Sanders Saturday, Feb. 24 (register at, and a March 31 concert from folk-rock duo The Indigo Girls (purchase tickets, $10-$109, at uaptc. edu/indigogirls). ELSEWHERE IN CONCERT NEWS, El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District hosts Steve Earle and the Dukes at the Griffin Music Hall on Friday, March 16. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 9, at IF THE GROUNDHOG’S VERDICT sent you running for more winter reading material, check out The By and By, a weekly series the Oxford American launched last year. This year’s contributors include Leesa Cross-Smith, William Boyle, Meghan Plummer, Julien Baker, Frederick McKindra, and Bárbara Renaud González as well as pieces curated by Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Speaking of the Oxford American, the quarterly magazine has once again been named a finalist for the National Magazine Award in General Excellence in the Literature, Science and Politics category. The winners will be announced March 13 in New York City. THE ARKANSAS CINEMA SOCIETY will screen the 1925 silent film classic “Phantom of the Opera” at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral with acclaimed organist Scott Foppiano providing live accompaniment, 6 p.m. Saturday, March 3, $15. Get tickets at MARK YOUR CALENDARS, too, for March 23-24, when Preserve Arkansas, the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Black History Commission of Arkansas and the Historic Arkansas Museum partner to peel back the curtain on “heritage tourism” with a look at the experiences of enslaved people who worked in and around historic homes in Arkansas. Programming includes a sampling of foods prepared by Jerome Bias of the North Carolina Stagville State Historic Site that represent slave diets, presentations from Joseph McGill, founder of the South Carolina-based Slave Dwelling Project; Dr. Jodi Barnes of the University of Arkansas at Monticello; and others. See the full schedule at

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ON CIVIL RIGHTS IN ARKANSAS: Clinton presidental diarist Janis F. Kearney hosts a conversation with Annie Abrams, Elizabeth Eckford and Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton at UA Pulaski Tech on Thursday evening.



6 p.m. UA Pulaski Technical College, Center for the Humanities and Arts. Free.

The voicemail of Annie Abrams is art. “Service is the rent we pay to stay on God’s earth,” she informs those who call. “I’m paying my rent. Do you have rent to pay

today?” Abrams, a longtime Little Rock activist, gives that one-sentence explanation for her decades of work — labor that spans time from the desegregation of Central High to establishing the MLK Day parade to, a few weeks ago, when I saw her at a meeting on policing. She challenges you to join her. So, since she can do that with a voicemail, I’d recommend hearing her speak at length. Abrams will be joined by Elizabeth

Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, and Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton, who was the first black student to attend all four years at Central High School and went on to head the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, in a panel discussion moderated by Clinton presidential diarist Janis F. Kearney. The women will discuss their part in the continuing struggle for civil rights. You may learn how to “pay your rent.” JR



7 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Free.

​In May 2016 — a little less than a year before Arkansas’s death row at the Varner Supermax facility near Gould would become the subject of international headlines — Kathy McGregor was there teaching a writing workshop. There was no table for the students to sit around, chatting about sentence structure and sipping coffee. Death row is an actual row — a hallway lined on either side by cells where the men live,


FEBRUARY 8, 2018


“like an airplane,” McGregor says, “except that there were cages and not seats.” McGregor said she and other teachers would walk up and down the row talking about each person’s writing. Twelve of the then 34 men on death row chose to participate, 10 in person and two simply slipping their pieces to McGregor without contact. McGregor’s “Prison Story Project” ran from May to September 2016. In October, she and a group of actors returned to the row to perform a reading out of the words written by the men — an hour-long performance

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piece made up of exact quotes. The actors “performed in a row [too] … moving up and down so [the death row inmates] could hear it,” McGregor says. After the performance, the men on death row, the cast and teachers in the writing project held a small party, where inmates were served food from the outside, some for the first time in years. McGregor brought chocolate Yoo-hoo drinks, bagels and donuts. In 2016, Arkansas had not killed an inmate in over a decade. In 2017, Arkansas began again​— planning to kill eight men in 11 days.

The state followed through on four of those executions; the others were prevented by legal stays or clemency. Coverage of the planned executions could not include interviews with the prisoners, but at this event the words of at least two of the four men killed in April — Kenneth Williams and Jack Jones — will be read. In the performance for the inmates, all the actors wore white and no one was identified. For this performance, the words of Williams and Jones will be read by men wearing black shirts; you will know they wrote it.​JR


THURSDAY 2/8 Reed Turchi returns to South on Main, 8 p.m., $10. Pocket Vinyl, Princeaus and Won Run share a bill at Vino’s, 8:30 p.m. A.J. Marlin’s Comedy Bowl kicks off at 8 p.m. at The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse, $10. Alex Summerlin plays for the happy hour crowd at Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free, and later, G-Force spins tunes, 9 p.m., $5. Comedian John Evans goes for laughs at The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. Tru Poet performs at Guillermo’s Coffee, Tea & Roastery for poetry night, 6:30 p.m. The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas opens an exhibition of Margo Duvall’s cyanotypes on fabric with a reception and artist talk, 5 p.m.



8 p.m. Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack. $5.

The 26th Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, which kicked off last Thursday night, heard first from a Jonesboro quintet with early 2000s angst and tricks up its sleeve — like when the guitarist removed his axe and slipped on back to the drum throne mid-song, relieving the drummer to sneak around to center vocals. That was Laith. Then there was Black River Pearl, a straightforward rock ’n’ roll trio with songs about video games and “making America drink again,” and there was Princeaus, an electronic and performance artist who layers ethereal vocals on top of mixed-meter loops, blending sudden silences, dance, explosive entrances and elements of Korean culture. The Rios, though, took it home with solid soul, extended bass trickery and dirty, dirty solos that’d mix well with Curtis Mayfield and Laura Nyro on a playlist somewhere. They’ll compete in the final round of competition against four other bands yet to be determined. To that end, the second round continues Thursday night, with sets from — in this order — Ten Penny Gypsy, Redefined Reflection, Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo, Yuni Wa and Couch Jackets. SS



8 p.m. The Undercroft. $10, beer available for donations.

Recent memory of Mandy McBryde’s voice includes a Donna Summer-y cameo on a disco earworm for the soundtrack of the film “White Nights”; the crushing coal miner ballad she penned, “West Franklin,” from The Wildflower Revue’s self-titled debut; her pitch-perfect take on “The Last Time I Saw Richard” at pianist John Willis’ Joni Mitchell tribute; and some lovely, wispy riverside tunes at last fall’s Legends of Arkansas festival. If it’s been a while or if you’re yet to hear the songwriter, catch her here at this cave-like underground venue right downtown; it’s a true listening room, the right kind of space for delicate, unfolding melodies like McBryde’s. SS



9 p.m. Stickyz. $10.

This one’s for fans of Snarky Puppy or Trey Anastasio, a Chicago jam quartet with amazing chops and Zappa-level complication to its arrangements. Mungion (pronounced “mung-yin”) is bound to be a jaw dropper for jazz nerds; grab anyone you know who has the lyrics to “Bobby Brown (Goes Down)” memorized. The show opens with Deep Sequence, a Little Rock-based funk-ish group that will play in the third semifinal round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase on Thursday, Feb. 15. SS


‘AMERIKA’: Larry Crane (whose work is above), Michael Darr and Mike Gaines will open their studios in the Pyramid building for 2nd Friday Art Night.



5-8 p.m., galleries and other venues downtown. Free.

The artwalk downtown adds a new stop this month: the second floor working studios above Gallery 221 in the Pyramid Building, where Mike Gaines, Michael Darr and Larry Crane (yes, the Pulaski County clerk) will welcome art lovers to their lairs. The gallery below will be open, as well. Once you’re ready to leave Second and Louisiana streets for more art, you can go due north and hear the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Quapaw Quartet playing at the Old State House Museum (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) or east to the Historic Arkansas Museum to see biomorphic ceramics of Barbara Satterfield and botanical drawings of Kate Nessler, drink Lost Forty beer and listen to Fire and Brimstone. Farther east, the Butler Center galleries in the Arkansas Studies Institute open a show of historic photographs of White River communities taken by Dewitt photographer Dayton Bowers between 1880 and 1924 and shows a nine-minute film on Helen Spence, the “river rat” outlaw who was murdered in prison. Next to the Butler Center, the Cox Center continues its exhibits of photographs by Joshua Asante and Matt White. Folks opting to head south of Gallery 221 will find chocolates, ice cream, flowers and jewelry at Bella Vita in the Lafayette Building (523 Louisiana) and work by Arkansas artists at Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery (108 W. Sixth St.), opposite McLeod’s giant koi mural. LNP

The venerable John Dee Graham, who has played with True Believers, John Doe and Exene Cervenka, performs at the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $10. Hell Camino, Marilyn Burns, Archaic Dawn and Celestials share a metal bill at Vino’s, 8 p.m., $8. Katrice “Butterfly” Newbill takes the stage at Gigi’s Soul Cafe & Lounge, 9:30 p.m. Sean Fresh and the NastyFresh Crew pull out all the stops at South on Main with Rodney Block, Dee Dee Jones, Brae Leni, Dazz & Brie and more, 10 p.m. Melodic folk duo Ten Penny Gypsy share a bill with Buddy Case at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 8 p.m. Howard & Skye play a show at Markham Street Grill & Pub, 8:30 p.m., $5. Catch The Crumbs and their string-centric sounds at Four Quarter Bar with Dance Monkey Dance (Doug Dicharry), 10 p.m., $7. Andy Tanas plays a free set for happy hour at Cajun’s, and later, The Shame takes the stage, 9 p.m., $5. Clusterpluck plucks at Kings Live Music in Conway, with an opening set from Ashtyn Barbaree, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Pink Piano Show goes up at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming’s Pops Lounge in Hot Springs, 5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., and later, the Wesley Pruitt Band entertains, 10 p.m., Silks Bar & Grill.

SATURDAY 2/10 The SoMa Mardi Gras Parade & Festival kicks off at noon at Main and 24th streets, free. The Arkansas Times and The Root Cafe host the sixth annual Beard & Mustache Contest after the completition of the parade, just after noon, The Bernice Garden. Haywood King, Keith Savage and Mr. Pete perform for a tribute to Frankie Beverly & MAZE, James Brown, & The Isley Brothers at Gigi’s Soul Cafe & Lounge, 9 p.m., $15$20. T.K. Soul, DJ Deja Blue, Dee Dee Jones and Star perform at Envy CONTINUED ON PAGE 25

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Noon. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.

The man some call the “Dean of African-American composers” grew up right here in Little Rock, and Central Arkansas residents have a few chances to hear some of his music this spring. First up: This free lunchtime program at Mosaic Templars gives a primer on William Grant Still’s life and work. Still earned two Guggenheim Fellowships and honorary doctorates from Oberlin College and Pepperdine University, and he was astonishingly prolific, with five symphonies and eight operas, ballets and countless engagements as an arranger, conductor, instrumentalist and recording manager. Maybe more importantly, he was blowing some minds with his original material; until the 1950s, Still’s first symphony was the most widely performed symphony by an American composer, and his “A Bayou Legend” was the first opera by an African-American composer to be

performed on national U.S. television. He also wrote a piano concerto called “Kaintuck’ ” after taking a train trip through Kentucky in 1935, and that piece will be excerpted by Dr. Linda Holzer, professor of music at UA Little Rock. Organizers encourage you to bring a lunch along; beverages will be provided. Conway Symphony Orchestra Conductor and Music Director Israel Getzov gives a short talk about the CSO’s upcoming homage to Little Rock composers — “Our Musical Heritage,” to be performed at Second Presbyterian Church (600 Pleasant Valley Drive) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at which “Kaintuck’ ” will be performed in full, transcribed for wind ensemble and piano by Dana Paul Perna. Mark your calendars, too, for May 4 and May 6, when Opera in the Rock puts up a staged version at UA Pulaski Technical College’s Center for Humanities and Arts of Still’s opera “Troubled Island,” a work which, when the New York City Opera put it on in 1949, became the first opera by an African-American to be performed by a major opera company. SS

‘BLACK IRISH’: Shannon McNally takes tunes from her latest album, produced by Rodney Crowell, to South on Main Saturday night.




6 p.m. Clinton Presidential Center. Free; reservations required.

The Clinton Center’s “The Great Expedition” exhibition features such things as original documents from the Louisiana Purchase that added Arkansas to the union for about 3 cents an acre, as well as artifacts from William Dunbar and George Hunter’s expedition from northern Louisiana into Arkansas to explore the “Washita River” and Hot Springs’ hot springs. Visitors will see Dunbar’s journal, his eyeglasses and a replica of the boat the explorers


FEBRUARY 8, 2018


used: the “Aux Arc” keelboat. But here’s what this To Do is really about: The center’s second “Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas” symposium that accompanies the exhibition. There will be conversations with scholars, Cajun-Creole tunes by David Greely (founding fiddler of the Mamou Playboys) and costumed members of the Early Arkansas Reenactors Association (which provided the keelboat) will do their thing. (Since the event is indoors, maybe those guys will skip the musket firing, so you can stay inside your skin.) The Fusion series is meant to make history engaging by bringing art forms into the picture. The first Fusion centered on the Quapaw Tribe in Arkansas. LNP

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9 p.m. South on Main. $10.

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour in Oxford, Miss., was my first introduction to the spellbinding Shannon McNally, but most people probably found her music by way of the notable names in the performer’s liner notes and stage bills: Dr. John, Bobby Charles, John Mellencamp, Son Volt and Arkansas’s own Jim Dickinson. Last year, she put out a bluesy record called “Black Irish” with another notable name as producer: Rodney Crowell. Crowell wrote or co-wrote three of the songs,

enlisted some Nashville cats to sit in on covers like The Band’s “It Makes No Difference” and picked guitar on Emmylou Harris’ “Prayer in Open D” (Harris herself sings elsewhere on the album) and Susanna and Guy Clark’s “Black Haired Boy.” For a primer, though, cue up “Banshee Moan,” McNally’s own smoky ode to the feminine experience, about which she says on the label’s website: “I wrote that a ways back, previous to the rebirth of the women’s movement we’ve seen of late. I’m thrilled to see women truly engaged and pissed off again.” SS

IN BRIEF, CONT. Nightclub, 8 p.m., 7200 Colonel Glenn Road, $25-$35. Good Foot brings its keys and sax-forward jams to Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. Couch Jackets and CosmOcean share a danceworthy bill at Kings Live Music, 8 p.m., $5. Earl Cate returns to Cajun’s Wharf with his outfit Earl & Them, 9 p.m., $5. Vagittarius, Fiscal Spliff and Jamie Lou and the Hullabaloo make for a killer bill at the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. Jesse Dayton brings rowdy punchlines and ace guitar licks to Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $8. Brandy Clark, who penned hits for Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgrave, continues her solo tour with a stop at Rev Room, 8:30 p.m., $15-$18. Liberty Bridge performs at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 7:30 p.m. Maxine’s hosts a don’t-miss bill with Ginsu Wives, Landrest and I Was Afraid, 9 p.m., $7. Nashville songwriters Chris DeStefano, Marcus Hummon and Rivers Rutherford join the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for Music City Hit-Makers, 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., Robinson Center Performance Hall, $15-$65. Intruders take the stage at Thirst N’ Howl, 8:30 p.m., $5. Conway rockers LEVELS join Abimael, Auspicious and K Toomer for a show at Vino’s, 8 p.m., $8.

SUNDAY 2/11 Barkus on Main kicks off at noon downtown, with live music, a parade beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Seventh and Main streets, and a Mardi Gras party on the 300 block, free. Hibernia Irish Tavern kicks off its Traditional Irish Music Session at 2:30 p.m., free.

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‘LOVE IS LOVE’: Rosalind Russell stars as ace reporter Hildy Johnson alongside Cary Grant in “His Girl Friday,” to screen at the Ron Robinson Theater as part of a February love-themed series.



Johnson — played here by Rosalind Russell, to great effect — is the quickwitted ex-wife of newspaper editor The American imagination loves Walter Burns, delivered by Cary Grant a brassy “girl reporter”: Brenda Starr, with that strange, stilted city accent Lois Lane and Amy Archer, that that seems to show up only in 1940s fast-talking, hard-boiled newspaper Hollywood. The movie’s been praised woman Jennifer Jason Leigh played for its lightning-fast, overlapping in The Coen Brothers’ undersung dialogue, its litany of jokes, its superb 1994 gem, “The Hudsucker Proxy.” cinematography and for placing a Here, Howard Hawks flipped the badass female lead at the forefront script on bromance “The Front of the action. The Central Arkansas Page” and recast the second lead as Library System screens it here as a woman — one who’s acknowledged part of a Tuesday night movie series, as an equal in the male-dominated themed “Love is Love” for the month newsroom. The renamed Hildy of February. SS 6 p.m. CALS Ron Robinson Theater. $3.

Black Horse and OleboyDavie share a bill with a live video shoot at the White Water Tavern for The Deck series, 9:30 p.m., $5. Nexus Coffee & Creative hosts “Friends” Trivia Night, 6 p.m. Grumpy’s Too hosts a Fat Tuesday Party, 6 p.m., 1801 Green Mountain Drive.

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WEDNESDAY 2/14 Trey Johnson performs for “Heart & Soul,” a Valentine’s Day dinner at South on Main with early and late seatings, $55, call 244-9660 to reserve a spot. Mike Speenberg entertains for a lover’s night of comedy at The Loony Bin, $12 (show only), $14 (show, champagne and dessert), 6:30 p.m., reserve tickets at lr.loonybincomedy. com. Rock City Thumps and Stone’s Throw channel John Cusack in “Say Anything” with the 2nd Annual Lloyd Dobler Boombox Standoff, 6 p.m., Stone’s Throw Brewing, free, registration required. Susan and Cliff Prowse’s Pink Piano Show features guest spots by Bree Ogden, Katie Marrs and Joey Barrett, 7:30 p.m., Rev Room, $8 single/$15 couple.

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IN TIME FOR Valentine’s Day, Saltgrass Steak House, a Texas chain owned by Landry’s Inc., opened its first Arkansas outlet Feb. 1 at 10 Anglers Way off Interstate 30, near the Bass Pro Shop and Outlets of Little Rock. The steak restaurant, which serves certified Angus steaks along with poultry, seafood, barbecue, pork chops and homemade beer bread, takes its name from the Saltgrass Trail along the Texas Gulf Coast. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The No Bull Lounge bar’s Monday Happy Hour, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., features drink and food specials. NOT OPEN IN TIME for Valentine’s Day is Casey’s Bar-B-Cue, owner David Henry informs us. A tardy delivery of furniture has pushed opening day to March 1. TACOS 4 LIFE, an Arkansas chain that donates to the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, will open a restaurant in the Dillard’s parking lot at McCain Mall in North Little Rock this summer. The outlet will be the ninth in Arkansas. Tacos 4 Life offers chicken, beef, steak, pork, seafood and vegetable tacos along with salads, quesadillas, rice bowls, nachos and more. For every entree sold, Tacos 4 Life donates 22 cents to Feed My Starving Children, which provides volunteer-packed meals in 70 countries. WOULD-BE RESTAURATEURS should consider signing up for “The Dish” on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Joint in North Little Rock, where Amy Moorehead of Nexus Coffee & Creative, Jack Sundell of The Root Cafe and Collin McReynolds of the Crave Fuel food delivery service will talk about how to survive in the food and beverage industry. Sponsored by the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, The event runs 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is free. Preregistration is required, online at or by phone, 501-683-7700. THE 2018 SOMARDIGRAS, which includes a Main Street parade at noon Feb. 10 and The Root Cafe Beard and Mustache Contest in the Bernice Garden afterward, has the following food and drink lineup (in addition to food trucks): Beer from Stone’s Throw, Lost Forty, the Water Buffalo and Ozark Brewery in the Bernice Garden; nonalcoholic Hurricanes at Sweet Home and Clement; King Cake sundaes at Loblolly Creamery; special brunch, King Cakes, cucumber mimosas and Bloody Marys at Raduno; free slices of three varieties of King Cake at Community Bakery; and cupcakes for the first 100 visitors to The Escape Room. 26

FEBRUARY 8, 2018


BEAUTIFUL AND DELICIOUS: The Confited Duck Leg, with braised lentils, candied beets and an orange-blossom demi-glace.

Elevated comfort food H Modern look, classic dishes at The Avenue

ot Springs is a mixed bag. There are some restaurants, joints, dives and old hotels that have that classic Garden and Gun-type of feel. Quaint, old-school Southern style at its rickety, out-of-date best. There are also the nightmarish tourist-trap souvenir shops where you can get a tie-dyed bikini and a pack of Marlboro 100s all in one go. It’s because of this dichotomy that we tend to greet upstart restaurants in the Spa City with a healthy dose of skepticism. We wondered which category The Avenue, a new eatery on the bottom floor of the Waters Hotel, would fall into: a unique contribution to a developing food scene or a trap set for tourists? Stepping through the door, you see it’s the former. The Avenue is sleek, clean and well lit. A wall of windows lined with barstools looks out onto Central Avenue, a perfect perch for people-watching. The marble bar is underlit with blue LEDs. Modern light fixtures let you know you’re somewhere brand new and framed blackand-white photos positioned along the

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walls let you know you’re also sipping cocktails in a place with some history.    The Butternut Latkes ($6) seemed like a good start, and we were not disappointed. Instead of potatoes, shredded butternut squash takes center stage. The three thin pancakes are fried to a crisp golden brown. They’re topped with a patch of melted gouda and surrounded with a spiced pear puree. The squash’s natural sweetness shines through, offset by the rich, smoky cheese on top. There’s a nice grilled crunch to it, too. The puree, with a touch of nutmeg, deepens the flavor of the dish. The Brussels Salad ($8) was next. Sauteed Brussels sprout leaves were tossed in a tangy white balsamic vinaigrette and served warm. Dried cranberries, toasted pecans and freshly grated Parmesan cheese are presented in an artful stroke across the plate (but do mix them up). It’s a dish that shows a chef ’s understanding of flavor and texture with ingredients that aren’t too fussy: crunchy pecans, tart and chewy cranberries, wilted but firm greens. If you took just one ingredient away, the dish

would not have been the same. Be aware that this portion is quite small. Stingy eaters will want one all to themselves. Our server had more than earned our trust with her appetizer recommendations so we went with her two favorite entrees as well. The Confited Duck Leg ($26) was a vision, beautifully presented and just as well executed. A hearty duck leg, cooked in its own fat, sat atop a mound of braised lentils surrounded by candied beets, and was topped with an orange blossom demi-glace and micro greens. The duck nearly bested a plate we had in Paris just weeks before. Seriously. The dish is a perfect example of elevated comfort food. Rich and satisfying. The duck’s crisp, salty skin covered beautiful chunks of tender meat. The lentils were cooked to a perfect al dente. The beets provided a nice earthy note. And the orange demiglace married everything together. The Pan-Fried Halibut ($28) proved just as tasty. Normally, the menu offers flounder, but we weren’t disappointed by the substitution. The halibut was coated ever-so-lightly in Parmesan


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serving better than bar food all night long February 9 - The Crumbs w/ Dance Monkey Dance 10pm 10 - Good Foot 10pm PEAR AND CRANBERRY COBBLER: The perfect cold-weather dessert.

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breadcrumbs, which gave the tender (yet firm) fish a heavenly light crunch. It was served with grilled broccolini and blistered cherry tomatoes, and topped with a nice beurre blanc. Broccolini is one of our favorite sides and at The Avenue it was perfectly cooked. The tart little tomatoes helped cut through some of the richness. Overall, it was a very balanced plate of food and one we’ll order again. We’re usually a sucker for anything chocolate, but we passed up the black forest cake to go with the recommended pear and cranberry cobbler ($10). This is a perfect cold-weather dessert. Warm pears and plump cranberries sit in a sauce that’s got to contain a healthy dose of maple syrup and orange. We picked up a hint of cloves and cinnamon, too. It’s served with a not-very-sweet biscuit (which is just fine by us) and a dollop of homemade whipped cream. We hope this special becomes a regular offering. Being Little Rockers, we don’t often consider Hot Springs when thinking about what to do on a Friday night, but The Avenue is definitely worth the drive and the extra time investment, especially for a date night or a special occasion.

The Avenue 340 Central Ave. (The Waters Hotel) Hot Springs 501-625-3850

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Open until 2am every night! 415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 •

Quick Bite

The Avenue features a long list of custom cocktails. The Waters Martini ($8) is made with Effen cucumber vodka, lime and cucumber simple syrup, and a lavender liqueur. Beyond being extremely tasty and refreshing, it’s beautiful: a subdued electric blue, served in a martini glass, with a bright orange flower for a garnish. The Buffala Negra ($8) is a rather tart concoction, featuring Basil Hayden bourbon, fresh basil, a brown sugar cube, balsamic syrup, and a splash of ginger beer. The overall effect is of a simple bourbon and coke, but better. The fragrance of fresh basil is nice on the nose.


4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Other Info

Full bar, credit cards accepted. FEBRUARY 8, 2018



ON THE BIAS: Vicky Krieps stars as Alma, either muse or irritant to Daniel Day-Lewis’ Reynolds Woodcock, in “Phantom Thread.”

Mixed feelings Within (and about) ‘Phantom Thread,’ Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscarbound period piece. BY SAM EIFLING


f indeed his starring role as a ruthlessly exacting matter how fanatically he commits to his characters dressmaker in “Phantom Thread” turns out to — wears Reynolds’ high status wearily at first. Then, be his last, as announced, then Daniel Day- on a jaunt to the countryside, he meets a young Lewis could hardly have chosen a more appropriate waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps, a disarming character to inhabit. What a persnickety so-and-so Luxembourger) who captures his eye. His interest this Reynolds Woodcock is, and how dedicated to his seems grounded foremost in pure aesthetics: She art. One of the first adjectives applied to Reynolds looks good moving in clothes. The pure admiration in Paul Thomas Anderson’s postwar British drama blossoms into something of a romance, and she joins is “demanding,” with Day-Lewis going through the his house as a model and assistant and muse. Yet, in seemingly mundane motions of getting dressed, those carefully controlled mornings at the breakfast brushing back his hair back, pulling up his magenta table, or in his late nights in the studio, she presents socks and rolling the tops down just a smidge. Routine as a gadfly, a nuisance — just by showing affection. becomes him, we learn; his mornings in particular Hollywood loves to reward period pieces about require a finicky devotion to predictability. What imperious male genius, and “Phantom Thread,” with comes of this bitter peace are some of the world’s most its six Oscar nods, plays straight into form. Anderson, sought-after dresses. He does not appear happy, nor who also wrote the (nominated) screenplay, keeps satisfied, but perhaps artistically fulfilled. the cast blessedly tight: Lesley Manville as Cyril, Day-Lewis, so often referred to as the greatest actor Reynolds’ sister and business partner, is the other of his generation — debatable, I’d say; only a dozen pillar here, in a performance that could be said to film roles since 1989 simply isn’t much output, no have been overshadowed were not she, like Day-


FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Lewis, also nominated for an Oscar. Yet as intimate as it is, the film feels uptight in the first hour, almost plodding with its prestige, despite a nimble, almost chipper score by Jonny Greenwood (nominated as well). Gradually — and largely through the strength and vulnerability and humor of Krieps, who has gone overlooked here — the story loosens up a bit and eventually becomes darker and, by the end, enrapturing. The phrase that keeps coming up in conversations around the movie, though, is “mixed feelings.” Technically, you won’t see a finer movie this year; anyone with a love of a craft well-executed will fall hard for the dresses alone, which give off that “Project Runway”-esque sense of vicarious satisfaction as you watch them drawn, cut, sewn and finally modeled. Day-Lewis, as is his wont, crawls into Reynolds and inhabits him fully, if not as a manipulative genius then certainly as an egotist, petrified that the demands of living in the real world will force him off his game. You might fault the film for its own-sweet-time pacing as well as for its sheer timing. This has been the year of #MeToo in the entertainment industry, and watching a prestige pic about an occasionally domineering older white man in the arts is bound to hit a flat note. Yet offer it this: Few films make more clear just how much emotional and capitalistic labor women put into supporting famous, celebrated men.







presented by




Pet Parade, Live Music, Beer Garden, Hurricane Station, Gumbo, and a Crawfish Boil! A free family friendly event!

The Studio Theatre FTW - Family Theatre Workshop

300 Block of Main Street • Parade begins at 2:30 PM at 7th & Main

Parade entry at


Jean-Paul Francoeur

Fitness and Recovery

Barkus on Main DLRP A Mardi Gras Parade of Pet Proportion


Sunday, February 11, Noon – 5 pm

to accelerate your body’s internal processes. JP FITNESS AND RECOVERY exists to help willing individuals activate the potential that is present inside of them. Our neurologically-based system is designed to help you achieve greater levels of neurological activation and control in order to heal faster, get fitter, and perform better.

The Studio Theatre Breakfast at Tiffany’s

8-11 16-18


APPOINTMENT ONLY! • Call or text 501-952-5735 or email

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Four Quarter Bar Marbin @ Four Quarter Bar Weekend Theater Inherit the Wind Statehouse Convention Center Easterseals Arkansas Fashion Event iHeartMedia Metroplex Bollywood Night 2018


Robinson Center Wolfe Street Red Carpet 2018

54th Annual Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes Preview Party Junior League of Little Rock Ballroom Opera On The Rocks

Go to to purchase these tickets and more!

Arkansas Times new local ticketing site! If you’re a non-profit, freestanding venue or business selling tickets thru eventbrite or another national seller – call us 501.492.3994 – we’re local, independent and offer a marketing package!



GIVING BACK Giving Back is the Arkansas Times’ chance to take a moment to focus on nonprofits and to highlight the services they provide to our community, providing readers with a better understanding of each organization in the hope that they will consider paying it forward through donations, volunteerism and more.


ood is a building block for our community. Food allows children to learn and grow up strong. Food is medicine for a healthier life. Food opens doors to a brighter future. Every day through the power of nutritious food, the Arkansas Foodbank creates opportunities across Central and Southern Arkansas. With a nutritious meal after school. With a bag of fresh produce. With hope for tomorrow. 1 in 5 of our neighbors needs help putting food on their table. They’re our friends. They live on our street. Many have jobs. Their children go to school with ours. They are people we see every day and too often their struggle is hidden in plain sight. No one should ever go hungry. That’s why Arkansas Foodbank works every day in every neighborhood to turn hunger into hope. From soup kitchens to pantries, to responses for children, older adults, and veterans, they provide the equivalent of 22 million meals every year through a network of 450 partner agencies across their service area. They strive to end hunger through grassroots advocacy and innovative partnerships for a healthier community while continuing to strengthen programs like

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FEBRUARY 8, 2018 FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Food For Kids, Food For Families, and Food For Seniors that provide aid directly to hungry Arkansans. Help them end hunger. Help them fill pantries with food and hearts with gratitude. Invest in their work, lend your time, and raise your voice for our community. Together we can ensure all of our neighbors have the food they need. Together, we are UNITED TO FIGHT HUNGER. ■ 501-565-8121 4301 W 65th Street, Little Rock


rkansas Festival Ballet, founded in 2000, is a pre-professional ballet company that provides its dancers with the highest caliber training and performance opportunities. AFB partners with other arts organizations throughout the state, and they have had many successful alumni go on to receive dance scholarships to college and dance professionally with Ballet Arkansas, Ballet West, and Nashville Ballet. Arkansas Festival Ballet continues to enhance and promote excellence in the performing Arts in Arkansas and the Southwest Region through training and performances, including annual collaborative projects and original productions. ■

Arkansas Festival Ballet’s upcoming event, Beauty and the Beast, will be performed May 18 - 20 at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theater. Tickets are available at


rkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations working together toward the elimination of sexual violence and advocating for sexual assault victims’ rights and services. ACASA provides cohesion, vision and resources to members, while working to change public attitudes and beliefs surrounding sexual violence issues. They envision a world free of sexual violence in which men and women together assure that all human beings are treated with dignity and respect for their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual integrity.

Through collaborative action, the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault advocates for the rights and needs of persons affected by all forms of sexual violence.Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault stands with the victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. They start by believing. They listen. They support. Their goal at the coalition is to End Sexual Violence. Help them by donating today. ■ Sexual Assault Crisis Response Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE VICTIM QMost sexual violence is a crime of power and control, and as such, is a matter of social justice. QAll survivors of sexual violence deserve full, compassionate responses and access to quality services. QMen and women must be partners in ending sexual violence. QSurvivors have a right to determine their own course of action. QSexual Violence is a public health and safety issue and deserves the complete attention of our HOHFWHGRτFLDOV


istorically, when schools need to trim budgets, the arts are often on the chopping block. Visual art, drama, dance, music, and other art forms are often viewed as secondary electives and not as the real intellect-stimulating, confidence-building, life-changing subjects they truly are. Don’t just take our word for it. Research that spans decades proves that the arts, when woven throughout all subjects and when taught individually, make a huge difference in students’ academic success. A 2013 study by the University of Mississippi found that arts integration across subjects increased test scores and “significantly reduced” the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students. Teaching the arts for arts’ sake is arguably equally important. The National Endowment for the Arts found that young people who are very active in the arts are four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair. According to the Organization for

Economic Co-Operation and Development, arts programs are mandatory in countries that rank among the highest for math and science test scores. The bottom line is, every student should have access to the arts and be encouraged to participate in an art form, and at Thea Foundation, our mission is to make that a reality. Your gift to Thea Foundation helps restore and expand the arts in schools. With your support, last school year we gave more than $63,000 in creative materials to underfunded schools across Arkansas, awarded 30 scholarships to teens across the state, and implemented arts programming within local schools. ■


Donate today, and bring the life-changing power of the arts to students near you. Visit www. or call (501) 379-9512.

Developing the Next Generation of Accomplished Dancers, through High Caliber Training and Performing Opportunities - in partnership with Arkansas Academy of Dance

(501) 227-5320

10301 N. Rodney Parham Rd. Breckenridge Village Shopping Center Little Rock, AR 72227 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT FEBRUARY 8, 2018 FEBRUARY 8, 2018

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No child should go to bed hungry Join the Alliance and help us make sure they don’t. Your voice, your donation, your activism will make a difference.

Get involved at

CENTRAL ARKANSAS TICKETS SUPPORTS NONPROFITS Here are some nonprofits who have used our ticketing service: Argenta Arts Foundation Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault ACANSA Arkansas Festival Ballet Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas Buffalo River Watershed Alliance CARE for Animals Centers for Youth and Families Downtown Little Rock Partnership Easter Seals Habitat for Humanity

Humane Society of Pulaski County Literacy Action of Central Arkansas Lucie’s Place Opera In The Rock Out of the Woods Animal Rescue of Arkansas Ozark Arts Council Preserve Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County St. Joseph Center of Arkansas United Cerebral Palsy of Arkansas Wolfe Street Foundation

eople are often surprised that Arkansas children, seniors, and families are consistently among the most food insecure in the entire nation. “How can that be?” they ask. The answer is: lack of access that accompanies poverty. Rural children with no way of getting to a free summer meals site. Seniors with disabilities who live in food deserts. Working families who make just a few dollars too much to qualify for federal food assistance. Students for whom school lunch and breakfast are the only meals they can depend on. Young mothers who don’t understand nutrition labels or bulk pricing that would make their dollars go further. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and their Feeding America food bank members work to increase access to food and nutrition education at virtually every level and entry point of the hunger issue: • Public policy advocacy, • food sourcing for the emergency food network, • rescuing excess produce that would otherwise rot in the fields, • outreach to those who qualify for food assistance, financial and technical assistance to schools and others who are well placed

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FEBRUARY 8, 2018 FEBRUARY 8, 2018


The solution to food insecurity will not be an easy one, but by approaching the issue from all sides, the Alliance is making progress in reducing the number of children, seniors and families who are not always sure where they will get their next meal. Rates of childhood, household and senior hunger in Arkansas have fallen for two consecutive years and the number of schools providing universal meals has risen. Progress for sure, but there’s still much to do. The people who ask, “How can that be?” often come to ask, “How can I help?” They become Alliance donors with a keen desire to help meet the challenge of hunger in Arkansas. ■ To become an Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance donor or find out more about programs and volunteer opportunities visit or call 501-399-9999.


pera In The Rock is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to produce main stage professional opera and educational outreach presentations in schools and other public venues. The corporation fosters and promotes opera as both entertainment and education and gives local and regional performers the opportunity to express their talents and advance their artistic careers. Opera In The Rock enriches and strengthens the artistic community by

collaborating with a diverse range of talent both onstage and in production. ■ Upcoming events include their annual fundraising gala OPERA ON THE ROCKS IX on Friday, March 9th and their spring opera production Troubled Island by William Grant Still May 4th & 6th! For details and tickets visit

Opera, Naturally. P.O. Box 10944 Conway, AR 870-219-4635 Arlene Biebesheimer, Artistic Director

to feed more children in need, and • providing skills training to groups and organizations who wish to bring anti-hunger programs to their communities.

Kate Sain, Executive Director

CENTERS FOR YOUTH & FAMILIES T of the Champions of Hope program. Champions of Hope is a volunteer program for young men entering their junior or senior year of high school aimed at raising awareness among youth in our community regarding issues we face and the issues faced by many of The Centers clients. Eleven young men participated this year through education and volunteer service projects at The Centers. The inaugural 2018 class was presented at the EVOLVE gala on January 27th, 2018, held at the Statehouse Convention Center. Currently the recruitment process for the Class of 2019 is underway. If you are a male entering your Junior or Senior year this fall in central Arkansas and wish to learn more about this program, contact Audria Strain at AStrain@ ■

he Centers for Youth & Families (The Centers) offers outpatient counseling, psychiatric residential treatment, prevention services, therapeutic foster care and day treatment schooling to children and families in Arkansas. They have psychiatric residential treatment centers for ages 5-17 in both Little Rock and Monticello. In 2018, The Centers is looking to meet the needs of vulnerable children and youth in additional ways. For example, a major focus is on foster children in Arkansas. They currently have 84 therapeutic foster homes open in Central Arkansas and plan to open an additional 15 this year. These homes are desperately needed for placement of children with emotional issues, mostly due to the trauma they suffered in an unstable home. The Centers Foundation has just finished their first year

Payne Hill

Robert Johnson III

Thh om Thomas omas as W Wheelis h e el he e lis

Centers for Youth and Families would like to congratulate the 2018 Class of Champions of Hope: • Payne Hill • Robert Johnson III • Thomas Wheelis • Jeb Sullivan • Matthew Brett Lynch • Layne Hatcher • Trajen Johnson • Thomas McGinnis Franks • Justin Patty • Jake Paddie • RJ Anderson

Jeb Sullivan


Matttth Mat Ma Matthew tt he h ew Br hew BBrett r et ettt t Lynch Ly nc Ly nchh

to the 2018 class of

Layne Hatcher

Thomas McGinnis Franks


Justin Patty

J ake Ja Jake ke Paddie Padddi diee

Trr ajj en Trajen e n JJohnson ohns oh h ns nson onn

Rj Anderson to learn more about how Centers helps children and families throughout Arkansas. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT FEBRUARY 8, 2018 FEBRUARY 8, 2018

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n March 4, Home Box Office (HBO) will serve as Presenting Sponsor for Red Carpet 2018, Wolfe Street Foundation’s premier black-tie gala now in its 19th year. Red Carpet, Little Rock’s most noteworthy Oscar watch party and the only Arkansas Oscar watch party ever to be sanctioned by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is an evening full of Hollywood style elements and will be held at the William Grant Still Ballroom at Robinson Center. Founded in 1982, Wolfe Street Foundation is Arkansas’s oldest and largest non-profit organization serving alcoholism and addiction recovery. At the fundraiser, 400 guests will enjoy a Red Carpet walk, a silent auction, live music and an open bar. Alongside a live broadcast of the 90th Academy Awards from jumbotrons inside the ballroom, there will be live entertainment from local celebrities, contests, and a ‘Red Box’ jewelry raffle sponsored by Jones & Son Fine Jewelry, giving guests the opportunity to bid on an exquisite diamond jewelry piece, destination trips, art and more. This year, HBO

operating costs for Wolfe Street Center, the foundation’s community center for recovering alcoholics, addicts and their families open 365 days a year. The center hosts 250 recovery meetings a month as well as a growing spectrum of educational and prevention programs. In the heart of downtown Little Rock, the center offers weekly meals and runs an information helpline for the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, for callers in need of local resources. Wolfe Street Foundation does not receive any public or private funding from grants or other foundations and is fiscally dependent on Red Carpet, corporate support, private donations and smaller sources of revenue such as a thrift and bookshop. ■

will also gift silent and live auction items never before offered at the gala, including set and celebrity memorabilia and an overnight trip to the live set of True Detective in Northwest Arkansas. True Detective, starring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, is the largest and most expensive production ever filmed in the state of Arkansas. The gala will fund more than one-half of a year’s

If you or someone you know is affected by alcoholism or addiction, visit Wolfe Street Center at 1015 S. Louisiana Street in downtown Little Rock or call the office at 501-372-5662. You can also visit to learn more about local or national recovery resources.



ROBINSON HALL BALLROOM March 4, 2018 • Red Carpet Photo Paparazzi: 5:00 pm • Silent Auction: 5:00 pm • Oscars Dinner: 7:00 pm • $250 INDIVIDUAL TICKET

Get your tickets today! Founded in 1982 and the largest of its kind in Arkansas, Wolfe Street Foundation provides facilities, li i education d i and d outreach for the community for people and families seeking recovery from alcoholism and addiction. 34 34

FEBRUARY 8, 2018 FEBRUARY 8, 2018




MAY – JUNE: Summer Cereal Drive with THV11

MARCH 9: Opera on the Rocks IX Gala Fundraiser featuring OITR singers in an operatic program, a silent auction, hors d’oeurves and wine, at the Junior League of Little Rock Ballroom. Tickets available at

MAY 11: 2018 Empty Bowls Robinson Center Still Ballroom 7 – 10 p.m. Cocktail Attire We’re excited to let you know that we will be honoring a valued community partner and leader of hunger relief in our state, the Honorable and Mrs. Mike Beebe. Local chefs will provide an array of delicious food from some of Little Rock’s best restaurants. There will also be live entertainment, a live & silent auction, and libations. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Gretchen Wood at 501.569.4329 SEPTEMBER 8: Harvest Night Arkansas Foodbank 5 – 8 p.m. Family event with serving local fare inside the Arkansas Foodbank.

ARKANSAS FESTIVAL BALLET EVENTS MAY 18-20: Beauty and the Beast Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre Tickets available at

CENTERS FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES EVENTS OCTOBER: 28th Annual Centers Classic Golf Tournament Contact Audria Strain at AStrain@cfyf. org for more information.

MAY 4, 6: Troubled Island by William Grant Still Details and tickets available at

THEA FOUNDATION EVENTS FEBRUARY 2: Yang-Luo Branch: The Art of Place in Arkansas 6:30-9 p.m. at Thea Foundation APRIL 28: Into the Blue 6-9 p.m. at Center for the Humanities and Arts at the University of Arkansas at Pulaski Tech North Little Rock MAY 4: Katherine Rutter: Meet Me in the Water 6:30-9 p.m. at Thea Foundation

1 D N r! U O R nne Wi E RIOS n, o i t c efle i W a TH R d fine Y un ede balo o, R , y ypshe Hul laJack ets G y enn ou & TCouch P n Te amie L and J

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AUGUST 3: Carmen Alexandria Thompson (Exhibition To Be Named) 6:30-9 p.m. at Thea Foundation SEPTEMBER: Thea Paves the Way Saturday in September TBA OCTOBER 15: Blue Plate Special 6-9 p.m. at the Capital Hotel

JANUARY 2019: Evolve Gala Stay tuned for 2019 date

OCTOBER 19: Art Walk Reception for Arkansas Children’s Hospital Exhibition 5-8 p.m. at Thea Foundation


NOVEMBER 2: Joshua Asante (Exhibition To Be Named) 6:30-9 p.m. at Thea Foundation

JUNE 14: Serving Up Solutions Annual fundraiser in cooperation with the Arkansas Legislative Hunger Caucus, which is celebrating its 10th year.


SEPTEMBER 20: Hunger Action Breakfast As a part of Hunger Action Month, recognizing those people and organizations that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to alleviating hunger in Arkansas.

THIS TH 8PM @ URSDAY Stickyz !

MARCH 4: Red Carpet 2018 5:00 p.m. at Robinson Center

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A&E FEAT, CONT. we teach. We don’t have to have a single focus. We can get a little bit of everything.” The exhibit also features work from artists who’ve been in residence at UALR, including Heidi Hogden, whose “Resurgence” is a stunning image of burning leaves drawn in liquid and powdered graphite; and metalwork artistin-residence Clemons’ fabricated elegant wood and metal utensils with pig heads, “Chitlin Service.” One of Cushman’s goals in acquiring works for UALR’s collection has been to “add diverse voices”; hence, the purchase of the Serie Project Portfolio, silkscreens created over 17 years by artists in residence at the multiracial, multicultural Serie Project in Austin, Texas. The portfolio includes numerous works by Hispanic artists; on view is Ester Hernandez’ “Sun Raid,” a stinging comment on the treatment of farmworkers in which the figure of a grinning skeleton replaces the smiling girl on the Sun-Maid raisin box. Only a tiny percentage of the 1,600 works in UALR’s permanent collection are on view in “Building.” The “Highlights from the Permanent Collection” catalog, in which canny pairings of like works by different artists provide little lessons in art, reminds us of UALR’s other fine holdings, many by Arkansas artists, such as a 1927 Adrien Brewer painting, paintings and drawings by Elsie and Louis Freund and the late UALR professor Al Allen, and the Commonwealth College murals of Joe Jones. Works by some of the world’s greatest artists are at UALR, too: a 1919 Kathe Kollwitz woodcut, etchings by 18th century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, a 1906 photograph by Edward Steichen. The Steichen photograph is put to use in “Discovering Kate Freeman Clark,” in the first floor gallery. 36

FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Clark was an American impressionist from Steichen’s era, the turn of the 20th century. Originally from Mississippi, she traveled to New York with her mother and grandmother to study art; one of her teachers was William Merritt Chase, who taught in summers on his Shinnecock, Long Island. The exhibition, on loan from the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery in Holly Springs, Miss., is titled “Discovering” because of Clark’s decision at age 48 to abandon painting, put her work in storage in New York and return home to Holly Springs, where her career as an artist became forgotten. Clark died in 1957, and bequeathed her work to the town. City leaders, not expecting a great deal from the bequest of a woman whose career was unknown, is said to have been shocked when a moving van carrying 1,200 works of art arrived from New York. Clark worked on canvases large — some life-sized full-length portraits a la Whistler as well as big landscapes — and small, on cigar box lids. Her 47”-by29 ½” “Work out in Mississippi Grove” is a painting of a small figure in red bent over a field edged by gorgeously rendered trees — trees that Cushman called “animated.” Another scene of a muddy field road is exquisitely painted, the puddles reflecting the light of an afternoon sky. A portrait of the artist by Chase that he traded for one of her paintings is here, as well as the sunny scene she gave him. C u s h m a n added the Steichen photograph as a way of showing what New York looked like when Clark was working and what the aesthetic of the time was. He wonders if Clark quit painting when impressionism was no longer a la mode, supplanted by modernism after the 2013 Armory show in New York. There is an intriguing little work by Clark of the New York skyline that visitors to the John Marin show at the Arkansas Arts Center and fans of Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Radiator Building” at Crystal Bridges will want to see: It’s a nighttime cityscape, skyscrapers illuminated with dots of bright yellow. Perhaps she tried her hand at modernist work and was dissatisfied, but this is a tiny masterpiece. Both exhibitions close March 11.

ART OF THE TALL: Sylvie Rosenthal’s “Beacon” (top left) and Dustin Farnsworth’s “HeavyTheWeight” (bottom left) are on exhibit in “Building a Collection”; Kate Freeman Clark’s impressionist works (above), on loan from Mississippi, are in the first floor gallery.



Retracing Charles Portis’s

In Arkansas BUS TOUR

Saturday, april 14 Departs Little Rock at 9 a.m.

en route Readings From The Novel by Actress JoeY Lauren Adams and COMMENTARY by PORTIS EXPERT Jay Jennings. Historic Tours Courtesy of the Fort Smith National HISTORIC SITE Rangers. Music by SmokeY & The Mirror. Part of the Oxford American ’s ongoing celebration “50 Years of True Grit ”


includes entertainment, round-trip transportation, lunch, and adult beverages.

Tickets on sale now! FEBRUARY 8, 2018



FACES OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS ON DECEMBER 15, 2016, we introduced our first edition of Faces of Central Arkansas, which highlighted local entrepreneurs and business owners who started their businesses here and have played a big role in the success and continued growth of our city’s entrepreneurs. A DIVERSE GROUP OF LOCAL BUSINESSES, BOTH LARGE AND SMALL PARTICIPATED LAST YEAR. TO TO RENEW A FACES CATEGORY OR INQUIRE ABOUT PARTICIPATING CALL 501.492.3994. LIMITED PARTICIPANTS, RESERVE YOUR EXCLUSIVE CATEGORY NOW! ISSUE DATE: MARCH 29,2018

THEATER “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The Studio Theatre puts Richard Greenberg’s adaptation of the Truman Capote novel on the stage. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun., through Feb. 18. $15-$20. 320 W. 7th St. 501-374-2615. “Grandpa Hasn’t Moved for Days.” The late-winter/spring comedy show from The Main Thing. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through March 24. $24. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-372-0205. “Greater Tuna.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse puts up a comedy from Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard about “the third smallest town in Texas.” 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat., dinner at 6 p.m.; 12:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Sun., dinner at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. through Feb. 10. $15-$37. 6323 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3131.

FEBRUARY 8, 2018


CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL MUSEUM VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957.

CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: Symposium “Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas” in conjunction with the exhibition “The Great Expedition: The “The Call.” The Rep tackles Tanya Louisiana Purchase and its Impact Barfield’s study on parenthood, adop- on Arkansas,” 6 p.m. Feb. 11, with tion, privilege and race. 7 p.m. Sun., 7 Cajun-Creole music by fiddler David p.m. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Greely and participation by members Sun. $30-$65. 601 Main St. 501-378- of the Early Arkansas Reenactors Association; the exhibition (through 0405. March 8) features three original treaty “The Humans.” TheatreSquared documents, artifacts that the story of performs Stephen Karam’s drama, William Dunbar-George expedition in deemed the “Best Play of 2016” at the Louisiana and Arkansas and the “Aux Tony Awards. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 Arc” keelboat replica; “Mandela: The p.m. Sat.-Sun., through Feb. 18. $10- Journey to Ubuntu,” photographs by $44. Walton Arts Center’s Studio The- Matthew Willman and recreation of ater, 495 W. Dickson St. 479-443-5600. Mandela’s cell, through Feb. 19;  “Art of Africa: One Continent, Limitless Vision,” pieces from the Clinton Presidential Center’s archives as well as MAJOR VENUES from President Clinton’s own personal collection, through Feb. 11; permaARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArnent exhibits on the Clinton adminthur Park: “Luminous Lines: Forty istration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 Years of Metalpoint Drawings,” 35 p.m. Sun., $10 adults, $8 seniors, reworks surveying the career of Susan tired military and college students, $6 Schwalb, through April 29; “Becomyouth 6-17, free to active military and ing John Marin: Modernist at Work,” children under 6, President Clinton’s drawings and watercolors from the birthday. 374-4242. permanent collection, through April 22. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372- CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way, 4000. Bentonville: “Soul of a Nation: Art ARTS & SCIENCE CENTER FOR in the Age of Black Power,” work by SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 S. more than 60 artists created between Main St.: “The Women are Stron- the 1960s and ’80s, including Romare ger: An Installation by Margo Du- Bearden, Melvin Edwards, Betye vall,” cyanotype on fabric, opens with Saar, Faith Ringgold, Charles White, reception 5-7 p.m. Feb. 8, artist re- Alvin Loving, Alma Thomas, Sam marks at 5:30 p.m., show through April Gillian and others, through April 23; 21; “UAPB & ASC: Five Decades of “All or Nothing,” works from the perCollaboration,” work by Tarrence manent collection in black and white, Corbin, Earnest Davidson, Fred through May 28; “Not to Scale: HighSchmidt, Dr. William Detmers and lights from the Fly’s Eye Dome Arothers from UA Pine Bluff in the ASC chive,” drawings and models of Fullpermanent collection, through Nov. er’s geodesic dome, through March; 3; “#GildTheDelta,” metallic pastels American masterworks spanning four by Norwood Creech, through April 21. centuries in the permanent collection. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.Sat. 870-536-3375. Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700.



BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Delta: Rediscovered,” photographs of early life (1880-1924) in Arkansas’s White River Delta by Dayton Bowers, reception 5-8 p.m. Feb. 9, 2nd Friday Art Walk, with screening of documentary on Helen Spence, through April 28; “Reflections in Pastel,” the Arkansas Pastel Society’s national exhibition, through Feb. 24; “Education in Exile: Student Experience at Rohwer.” 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790.

For Immediate Release NOTICE Williams & Anderson PLC, and Richard Mays Law Firm PLLC announce the merger of the two firms effective January 1, 2018, under the style of Williams & Anderson PLC. Williams & Anderson was established in 1988 and has offices in the Stephens Building, 111 Center Street, Little Rock, AR. Richard Mays Law Firm was established in 1998 and has offices at 115 South Third Street in Heber Springs. Richard Mays Law Firm will join Williams & Anderson at the Stephens Building, and the combined firms will have fifteen lawyers and a full support staff.



Both firms share a long history of serving clients in Arkansas with a philosophy of providing high quality legal services in a variety of practice areas, including corporate, litigation, real estate, labor and employment, tax, trusts and estates, and commercial law. Williams & Anderson is particularly pleased to add the experience and expertise of the Richard Mays Law Firm in environmental energy and regulatory law and litigation to its practice.

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FEBRUARY 8, 2018


Arkansas Times - February 08, 2018  

Love to the Moon and Back - How to blast off with your sweetie.

Arkansas Times - February 08, 2018  

Love to the Moon and Back - How to blast off with your sweetie.