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Crack of Doom The Rep shocks LR by going dark BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


MAY 03, 2018


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Save The Rep

wake of a kickback scandal at Medicaid Having worked all over the U.S. and, recipient Preferred Family Healthcare: in fact, pretty much all over the world What I find interesting is that when in theater, I can say with some author- Rusty Cranford, the big dog at the top ity that the productions at the Arkansas of all of these schemes, was charged Repertory Theatre, both those I have with murder-for-hire in the Medicaid been in and those I have seen, are of mess, immediately Jeremy Hutchinson the highest quality in every artistic decided not to run again for office. As aspect: acting, directing, set, costume it turns out, Hutchinson is Cranford’s and light design, etc. divorce attorney. Having observed the The audiences at The Rep have [kickback] Ecclesia trial [of former Sen. always been enthused, engaged and Jon Woods] closely, I surmise it is small intelligent in their responses to the potatoes compared to the upcoming work there in which I have been Medicaid trials. I think many of the involved. Having known [Directors] Cliff Baker, Bob Hupp and John MillerStephany, I know that all three of those Rep leaders have been actively engaged in providing rich theatrical experiences for the folks who are already Rep supporters, but, as well, all three men have worked diligently to find ways to expand Rep audience membership and to engage the widest possible group of diverse audiences in Little Rock and throughout the state. The great poet Percy Shelley wrote in the preface to “The Cenci”: “The highest moral purpose aimed at in the highest species of drama is the teaching of the human heart, through its sympathies and antipathies, the knowledge of itself.” I know that The Rep’s leadership and staff, past and present, have based their theatrical goals and dreams on such high, worthy and necessary-to-us-all ideals. When that is coupled with a profound desire, carried out with enormous effort, to engage and entertain audiences, as has always been The Rep’s mission, the value of The Rep and its multilayered and extraordinary work to the community and to the state cannot be overestimated. To lose the Arkansas Repertory Theatre would be a terrible blow to Little Rock, to Arkansas and to the theater world at large. I encourage your readers to find tangible ways, and to do so immediately, to help ensure that The Rep weathers these rough fiscal times and comes through this period both artistically and financially sound. We cannot let The Rep disappear. The loss would be irreparable. Joseph Graves Beijing, China

From the web In response to an April 30 Arkansas Blog post on state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson’s 2013 Senate Resolution praising a couple who have since been fired in the 4

MAY 03, 2017


same players will be found here as were gave his GIF funds to Ecclesia, can only involved with Ecclesia. I hope this time be defeated in that primary. Wrong is they are all charged and paraded in wrong, no matter what flavor it is. court for everyone to see. And, what JulieM69 part did the governor play in all this? At least he is guilty of ignoring the involveIn response to an April 30 Arkansas ment of his family members. At most, Blog post about an $80,000 wire transhe knows more than we have heard. fer in 2014 from nursing home execuI hope that the end result is that we tive David Norsworthy to former state have a massive house cleaning in our Sen. Jake Files a week before Files prolegislature. We can start that process posed a constitutional amendment to by voting in the Republican primary limit damages in civil lawsuits. That May 22, whether we are Republicans proposal failed, but a similar amendor not. People like Bob Ballinger, who ment was approved in 2017 for the general election ballot: Why does Governor Hutchinson want to harm the elderly in nursing homes? I am voting NO on ballot issue 1 (SJR8) because it is harmful to people. Why did Governor Hutchinson appoint Norsworthy to the board of the nursing home lobby (AHCA)? The crazy state legislators want to pass laws that could kill me and then they think they deserve a raise in their salary? NO raise until we vote some human, ethical government officials into office. Thank you, Arkansas Times, for unraveling this convoluted story about General Improvement Funds, Files, Morton, and Arkansas Health Care Association (Morton’s nursing home lobby and ballot Issue 1). I would never be able to organize this info. ShineOnLibby In response to the April 18 Arkansas Blog post “Sen. Trent Garner continues to grandstand, again calls for impeachment of Judge Wendell Griffen”: Judicial activism is purely in the eye of the beholder. If you like what the judge is doing, it’s judicial restraint. If you don’t, it’s judicial activism. My thoughts about [Griffen’s ruling on the] comfort dog is that permitting it is judicial vouching for the witness in violation of Ark. Constitution, Article 7, Section 23. It’s also prosecution vouching, which violates legal ethics and the rules of decorum. TuckerM ax In response to the April 28 Arkansas Blog post of the death of black theologian James H. Cone: James Cone was a brilliant theologian. All of Arkansas should be proud of him as a native son — although I’m sure there are many who are not. I think in terms of having an inordinate positive impact on the world, through our history we Arkansans have “swung above our weight.”

sas? Has she fought for any cause that benefits the interest of Arkansas citiDr. James Cone cut, blazed, paved zens as opposed to other states? The and illuminated a radical and redeem- answer would be no. Her real claim to ing body of knowledge about the reli- fame is being notorious for declining gion of Jesus based on his disciplined titles for proposed amendments with study and devotion to Jesus as a black dubious claims and vague suggestions theologian. Thanks to him, theolo- for improvement. I can only hope we gians now cannot dismiss black libera- will have a qualified candidate to run tion theology. Instead, black liberation against her and win. theology challenges dominationist, Concernedinheber imperialist, capitalist, racist, sexist and white nationalist perspectives on Commenting on the Times’ slideshow the religion of Jesus. We who have of the installation of the Ten Commandstudied and been blessed to know Dr. ments on the grounds of the Capitol: Cone will forever be grateful for his What I cannot understand is why influence, unflinching commitment to these fundamentalists keep referring continued study, and his unapologetic to the Ten Commandments? blackness! A prophet was among us. If they were Orthodox Jews, I’d We have been put on notice. understand. However, the law of Grace Thinking (on which the foundation of Christianity is based) came about when Christ In response to state Attorney Gen- was crucified and resurrected three eral Leslie Rutledge’s boast that she’d days later. The Ten Commandments joined a 20-state coalition of Republi- are not even the basis of Christianity, can attorneys general seeking to kill the but rather rules given the Jews when Affordable Care Act: they wandered in the desert. Ms. Rutledge has spent her entire But I guess theology doesn’t matter career as AG filing out-of-state law- as much as fake religion, in the era of suits. Has she actually ever done any- fake news, by fake politicians. thing to help the citizens of ArkanJAGNARK


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Quote of the week “The sole reason that we donated this monument to the state of Arkansas is because the Ten Commandments are an important component to the foundation of the laws and the legal system of the United States of America and of the state of Arkansas.” — Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) at the dedication ceremony for the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds. Rapert sponsored the legislation that authorized the monument and co-founded the nonprofit that raised the money to pay for it. The first version of the monument was installed last June but was destroyed within 24 hours when a man, apparently mentally ill, rammed it with a car. This second version is protected from vehicular assault by concrete bollards; Rapert’s words were intended to help shield it from the inevitable court challenges over religious freedom and discrimination. The ACLU of Arkansas and the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers have promised to sue. The Satanic Temple, the group that successfully battled a similar monument in Oklahoma in 2015, said it will file as an intervener to any such lawsuit. As in Oklahoma, the Temple seeks to install a 10-foot bronze representation of a goat-headed deity called Baphomet on the Capitol grounds, which it describes as a symbol of religious pluralism.

Former legislator pleads guilty Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV, a former Democratic legislator from Pine Bluff, pleaded guilty Monday to “conspiring to accept over $80,000 in bribes in exchange for influencing Arkansas state legislation and transactions,” the office of U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland announced. The bribes were concealed as dona6

MAY 03, 2017


tions to St. James United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff, where Wilkins served as pastor, the release states. Among the favors Wilkins provided in return, according to the U.S. attorney: “steering approximately $245,000 in Arkansas General Improvement funds to his co-conspirators.” News of Wilkins’ illegal dealings first broke in March at a bond hearing for Rusty Cranford, the former lobbyist whose widespread dealings in the Arkansas legislature have been linked to multiple unfolding federal corruption probes. At that hearing, an assistant U.S. attorney said Wilkins had given a statement to FBI agents that he had taken $100,000 in bribes from Cranford while he served in the legislature. At the time, Wilkins was serving as Jefferson County Judge. He resigned later that month.

Voter ID law blocked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray has granted a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the state’s Voter ID law. Early voting in the state’s May 22 primary begins May 7. Gray’s ruling comes in response to

a public interest lawsuit brought by Barry Haas that asked Gray to enjoin use of the state’s new voter ID law in the primary elections. The Arkansas Supreme Court held in a 2014 case that a previous version of the law was unconstitutional. The 2017 legislature altered the language in the law, but the new lawsuit argues that it remains unconstitutional. “[The] plaintiff has established a likelihood of success on the merits on all claims raised in his Complaint,” Gray wrote in her order granting the preliminary injunction. She found that the plaintiff was forced with the choice of “complying with the unconstitutional requirements imposed by Act 633 [the Voter ID law] or not having his ballot counted during the May 2018 preferential primary.” She ruled “that irreparable harm would result to plaintiff in the absence of a preliminary injunction, as his ballot will not be counted.” Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin has asked the state Supreme Court to stay Gray’s order “no later than noon Friday, May 4.”  Haas is represented by Jeff Priebe.

LRSD cuts coming The Little Rock School District is set to lose about 80 more jobs, largely due to a decline in student enrollment by around 400 in the 2017-18 school year. State data show the district’s enrollment for this year is 22,759, down from 23,164 in 2016-17. School districts are funded by the state on a per-pupil basis, so losing kids means losing revenue — and that means cutting staff. LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore told the district’s Community Advisory Board last week the district needs to trim about $5.5 million from its budget for the upcoming 2018-19 school year, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The job cuts will include positions for 30 teachers, 20 paraprofessionals, 18 building-level administrators and a number of other central office and support staff outside of individual school campuses, including in IT, security, finance, maintenance and other roles. Twelve school improvement specialist positions will also be cut. The superintendent said most individuals losing their jobs can expect to be rehired in other positions within the LRSD.


Home on the range


nother spring, another cata- Angus cows “stagger[ing] around like strophic wildfire season in the broken toys, unable to see or breathe, high plains. This year it was their black fur and dark eyes burned, Oklahoma, where wind-driven flames plastic identification tags melted to their consumed over 350,000 acres of pasture, ears. Young calves lay dying.” killing thousands of cows, destroying Ranchers spent days shooting their barns, homes and fences. New York stricken livestock and burying them Times reporter Mitch Smith described in mass graves with a backhoe, heartthe scene around Vici, Okla. (pop. 699), broken and faca ranching community. ing financial ruin. “The fire’s timing was especially cruel,” It’s a bitter, hard Smith explained, “coming in the midst of thing. Not to menan extreme drought. Dead cows appear tion that every cow along roadsides, hooves pointed to the that goes into the sky. Driveways lead to piles of rubble. ground represents GENE LYONS When the wind blows, it smells a bit a $1,500 to $2,000 like a campfire.” loss, and a whole lot of labor. Rebuilding Last year it was Medicine Lodge, Kan. a herd takes years. — 400,000 acres ruined, an area larger “This is our Hurricane Katrina,” one than metropolitan New York and Chi- Kansas rancher told a Times reporter. cago combined — and the largest prai- Yes, there’s insurance money and assisrie wildfire in Kansas history. Eastern tance from the U.S. Department of AgriMontana and the Texas panhandle also culture, but it’s often too little and too experienced disastrous blazes in 2017 — late. What’s worse is that whether or a million acres consumed in all. not the region’s politicians — in thrall to The Times’ Jack Healy described energy producers and science-denying

Prey on the poor


raying for the poor was always a harmless offense in the halls of government, as long as you never insinuated that leaders should actually help the downtrodden and infirm. But last week, it got a Jesuit priest fired as the chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. Back in December, Father Patrick J. Conroy prayed that, like Jesus, congressmen might consider the poor while they were passing big tax cuts for the well-to-do. Even after a warning from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) not to engage in “politics” again, the old chaplain kept mentioning the poor in his brief homilies, as you would expect a man who took a vow of poverty to do. So Ryan gave him the boot. In the old days, I sometimes heard chaplains in the Arkansas legislature intone a few pious words for “the least fortunate among us,” but the lawmakers never read enough into the invocations to take umbrage. Today, I’m not sure a preacher will get a pass for even meekly taking the wrong side in the poverty wars, as Ryan thought the good padre did. Ryan and the other fathers of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 say that

starting next year they will trim the giant deficits created by the tax cuts by slashing entitlements — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — and poverty programs like food and housing assistance. Now it looks like they won’t have the votes to do that ERNEST next year. DUMAS But here in Arkansas they do. Governor Hutchinson will institute big cuts in medical insurance for poor adults this spring by making Medicaid enrollees get on their laptops every two months and prove they are working at least 80 hours a month, engaged in work-related activities or else exempt from the state’s new work requirement. If they can’t do that, they lose their health care for the year. Wait: They probably don’t have computers or email accounts, wouldn’t have a clue about how to use them or to build the evidence needed to keep their insurance, and may not live someplace with easy broadband coverage. The state’s answer: This will give them the energy to join the digital society. The governor and his Department

religious fundamentalists — choose to acknowledge it, global climate change is causing bigger and more frequent prairie wildfires all the time. Livestock producers are going to extraordinary lengths to help each other. Reporters described great convoys of trucks arriving at the Oklahoma scene last week from all over Middle America, laden with tons of free, life-saving hay. It’s a classic American story of ingenuity and self-reliance: powered by social media, word-of-mouth and a region-wide honor system. Reporter Smith interviewed brothers Levi and Blake Smith (no relation) who loaded a couple of semi-trailers with 64 round bales of hay — each weighing about 1,200 pounds and worth at least $2,000 altogether. The brothers drove 100 miles west and donated the load to rancher Rhett Smith to feed his and his neighbors’ cows for several weeks until the pastures green up. Always assuming it rains, that is. The brothers explained that donated hay saved their ranch after the 2017 fire, and they felt compelled to pay it forward. There’s also a fair amount of grumbling about the inefficiency and use-

lessness of government in such emergencies. Coming from states that have elected Republican politicians who have cut taxes and reduced government services while promising magical economic growth that somehow never materialized, that may strike urban readers as a bit rich. Having lived in cattle country the last decade, however, I’m inclined to cut the ranchers some slack. When I think Oklahoma, I think Garth Brooks, not Scott Pruitt. Also, it’s simply a fact that government can rarely act as efficiently and humanely as the brothers Smith. In my experience, cattle and horse people are an admirable lot. Take my Perry County hay guy, C.J. Gunther. Once a few years back, a terrible drought had Texans driving over to buy Arkansas hay for as much as $100 a bale. So when I went to settle up for the winter, I braced myself. How much did I owe him? Same as last year, he said, $35 a bale. I said I knew he could easily have sold his hay for a lot more. C.J. looked a little shocked. “I reckon so,” he said. “But you’re my neighbor.”

of Human Services chief said the work rule and all the bureaucratic hoops are not intended to punish poor people but just the opposite: to force them to improve their skills, get into the workforce and live happier lives. You have to wonder whether it is naivete or politics. Hutchinson’s defenders say he has to look tough by punishing the freeloaders or else the Republican legislature and his party will abandon him. Promising to dump the lazy from the Medicaid rolls helped round up the votes to keep the Medicaid expansion, which has brought hundreds of millions of dollars annually into the economy and pumped up the treasury. Building a bureaucratic maze that poor and uneducated people must navigate does exactly what it is intended to do: They give up. Several other states that adopted the Medicaid expansion offered by Obamacare are taking similar steps to make work a requirement to get health insurance, although they seem to me to clearly violate the rules for getting waivers from the Obamacare coverage procedures. The law had one overriding objective — to insure more people, not fewer. There has always been a popular notion that poverty is willful and that both physical and mental disabilities are usually self-inflicted and thus unfor-

giveable. They are happy with the bare existence that they can maintain with a little government assistance. Ignorance and unhealthy lifestyles do not earn them much sympathy. The story is actually much different. A large number of those who can’t meet the work requirement have mental or physical disabilities or else suffer from chronic illnesses that deter them from seeking jobs or employers from hiring them. Disabled people are already covered by Social Security, the state says. Social Security’s definition of disability is so narrow that most of the nonelderly disabled — some 64,000 on the Medicaid rolls — are not eligible for Social Security coverage. People can’t just decide they will go to work. Some employer must hire them. Legislators cheered the governor’s work requirement without a thought to the human beings who would suffer. It was only one of their good works in the 2017-18 sessions. They also passed a statute and a proposed constitutional amendment to discourage poor people from voting and still another constitutional amendment that will limit what ordinary people can get from nursing homes and other providers that harm them or their loved ones through neglect or abuse. They’ve got the poor on the run.

Follow Arkansas Blog on Twitter: @ArkansasBlog MAY 03, 2017


Unfruitful labor


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2/27/18 8:46 AM

hen 6-year-olds in Arkan- a consistent paycheck. But requiring sas blow out their birthday workers to have better, more consistent candles, they might wish for hours doesn’t make those jobs magia new toy or a family pet. Thanks to pro- cally appear. posed changes to SNAP benefits, their Threatening to take away grocery parents might soon wish for a miracle assistance won’t make parents suddenly just to keep food on the table. able to control their work schedules or Congress is considering new work remove other barriers to work. requirements that would make it even What is keeping harder for parents to continue qualifying Arkansas families for SNAP (or “food stamps”). Under the from working? It proposal, after their kids turn 6, parents starts with a lack of who work low-wage, seasonal or part- affordable childcare, time jobs could lose the aid that helps thanks to underELEANOR pay for groceries. funded pre-K proWHEELER Here’s the gist of the new rule: If you grams and the fact are an adult raising a child older than 6, that, nationally, 94 percent of low-wage you now must prove that you’re working workers have zero access to paid famat least 20 hours a week or in a training ily leave. Low educational attainment program (unless disabled or elderly). and transportation issues also play a You must report that you have met that huge role, and certain areas of Arkansas requirement every month. There is no still have higher than average unemrollover. ployment because of a lack of good jobs. Parents who go through a short Work requirements themselves can even period where work isn’t available will be a barrier to work. Parents often miss be out of luck even if they work 20 hours days of work to comply with in-person a week on average. One in four workers visits that are tied to work requirements on SNAP who meet the work require- in certain programs. ments overall throughout the year could This plan’s “job training” alternatives still lose eligibility. are an underfunded, untested, virtuFor a part-time working parent ally meaningless bureaucratic pretense making ends meet with SNAP, a minor for these harsh rules. The truth is that schedule change at the end of the month these changes save money by taking food could disqualify him at a time when his away from low-income kids and families paycheck is smallest. If you don’t meet who need it. The changes would cut or the requirements one month, you could reduce benefits to over a million lowlose benefits for the entire year unless income households nationwide, includthe circumstances of your job change. A ing those with children. second missed requirement could make SNAP is one of the most important you ineligible for up to three years. public health programs in the nation. It The proposal essentially demands helps children and adults avoid costly that low-wage parents get what many medical care and improves children’s can only dream of — predictable work chances to graduate from high school. schedules. If you want people in Arkan- Consistent and reliable access to food sas to have stable work hours, you should takes some of the pressure off families tell their employers. and helps parents show up to work and About half of early-career employees keep their jobs. We should be making get a week or less notice for shift sched- it easier, not harder, for every family to ules. It is common for retailers to give have access to healthy, nutritious food. short notice for a schedule change. Most There are 130,000 school-aged children early-career adults who work hourly in Arkansas who currently rely on SNAP. jobs have hours that fluctuate 50 per- If their parents don’t have the right kind cent on average from month to month. of job, they could lose access to food Industries like retail, service and food immediately or upon their next birthday. preparation are notorious for unpreThese rules are part of the Farm Bill, dictable scheduling, and they employ a version of which passed the House many low-wage Arkansans. Hospital- Agriculture Committee on April 18. The ity and retail have made up more than a Senate will work on its version in the third of non-farm employment growth coming months. in Arkansas since 2010. So yes, many of these workers would Eleanor Wheeler is a senior policy analove to have more hours every week. lyst for Arkansas Advocates for Children They would love to be able to count on and Families.

40 days of action


he news of the goings-on in D.C. is almost too much to handle. A steady stream of unqualified and shortsighted men and women rotate in and out of high-level government positions. We get rid of one and another pops up to take his or her place. It appears more and more likely that the House chaplain was asked to resign by Speaker Paul Ryan in response to a prayer for the poor during the debate over the GOP tax bill. Meanwhile, the American people are lied to daily and the free press is constantly under attack by this administration. When comedian Michelle Wolf called the whole mess out at the White House Correspondents Dinner, suddenly there was a rush of journalists defending the chief liar and abuser, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Why? Fear of losing access? Agency capture of the media? Stockholm syndrome? Back home in our communities, certain politicians work hard to stoke fears that someone, such as an immigrant, a poor person, a teacher or someone out of work, might get one morsel of food, health care, pay, or another benefit they might not “deserve.” We are abandoning and hurting entire groups of people as we race to see who can be the toughest on those who dare reach out for help in making their way. But instead of worrying about our public schools, teacher pay and insurance, and the plan to further cut taxes on the rich, we are focused on all the wrong things, such as making sure we have a Ten Commandment monument that can’t be knocked down again or defending the honor of a wellpaid, serial liar from a joke about her eye makeup. While we are worried about those who “punch up,” we allow our government and president unfettered ability to “punch down.” Where is our conscience? Well, I bring you some good news. In all of this cruelty and carrying on, a group of people is bringing light into the world. And they need help. On May 13, 2018, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, a nonpartisan coalition of people across the country, including here in Arkansas, are relaunching the campaign to, in their own words, “challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.” I know what you are thinking. Here’s another group with another event I need to attend. I get it. Fatigue has set in. It’s easier to tune out than to stay engaged.

But I ask you, before you write off this group, to do some research on the man who is leading this new Poor People’s Campaign. His name is Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. His name is a mouthful, but his message is simple: We need a moral revival to save our country. And for those of you who cringe at the thought of joining up with anything involved with church, the religion behind this movement is reminiscent of the way the faith comAUTUMN TOLBERT munities helped bring about the civil rights movement. Launching on Mother’s Day, the group plans 40 days of nonviolent direct action. There will be protests on Mondays in Little Rock, similar to the Moral Monday movement Barber used so effectively in North Carolina to help defeat regressive legislation, and other opportunities to engage throughout the state. Keep in mind, the movement in North Carolina started small. Fewer than 20 people showed up for the first event. But, five years later, the group had 80,000 strong attending a rally. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, are often arrested after taking part in nonviolent civil disobedience. Watching the poor and elderly being led away in cuffs while singing protest songs is a powerful scene. And I’m convinced more drastic action is the way to go. Letters and phone calls won’t change hearts and policy. People will bring about change. (A bit of a disclaimer: I recently started volunteering for the legal committee of the Arkansas Poor People’s Campaign, but I take no credit for any of the good work being done by the volunteers across Arkansas.) So, in a country where we care more about what Kanye West says about President Trump than we do about the lack of clean water in Flint, Mich., there is a group whose message of change and reform rings true. Look up the Arkansas Poor People’s Campaign on Facebook or online. Since all types of politicians are quick to quote King even while they support policies such as a strict voter ID law, raising rent on the poor and destroying our public schools, maybe if enough people show up during these 40 days of action, they will begin to take his words to heart, especially what he says about the Poor People’s Campaign of his day coming “to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible.”






As the baseball bounces


couple of weeks ago, I did what I were trying to finish off Alabama. More do best around here: I delivered on that momentarily, though. a hardcore jinx to a then-rolling At any rate, Arkansas seemed to be Arkansas baseball team. The Sports Il- hitting that unexlustrated cover hex ain’t got nothin’ on pected, nasty lull Pearls. that has occasionThe Hogs had surged to the top of ally befallen the Hogs the SEC West Division at the midway during even their point of the schedule, and that was after best seasons under facing five conference foes that were Van Horn. But given BEAU WILCOX ranked in the Top 15 nationally. There one last nonconferwere a couple of oh-so-close whiffs that ence opportunity to shine, the Hogs could’ve even elevated the Hogs to the seized it masterfully by wiping out top spot in the country with a bit bet- fourth-ranked Texas Tech at Baum ter execution at the plate with runners Stadium on Tuesday to get back on the on base and cleaner fielding, but it was winning track. Although nasty weather mighty hard to argue with the results. prevented the Razorbacks from taking STAY IN AND R ELAX, W E LCOM E TO T H E Then aHAVE seemingly trip two from the Red Raiders, the one vicOR GO OUT AND FUinnocuous N. to Starkville shifted things sharply tory — in which reliever Barrett Loseke E N J OY N E W LY R E N O VAT E D R O O M S the other direction, as the Mississippi shook off an uneven season with 4 2/3 J U S T M I N U State T E SBulldogs, F R O Mstill reeling from their innings of perfect, 10-strikeout relief — CR Y S TA L Bupstart R I D Gyoung E S &head AM AZE U MCan- got Arkansas back in the groove, and coach Andy Pl u s Freshl y Prep ared resigning Br ea kfa st at Th e Gainto r d en Gr i l lthe e , Hogs conclusively showed that by nizaro three games the C omp l i mentary season Wi - Fi , due a n d to Onpersonal - Si te Fi tness C ent e r indiscretions, sweeping Alabama to register their third trotted their .500 team out onto the dia- series sweep out of seven league series. 2 2 0 4 S E Wal ton B lvd . , B en to nv ille, A R mond and promptly won three straight Bama is the bottom-dweller in the 479. 464.73 0 0 | hilto n g a rd en in n 3 . h ilto n .com from the Hogs. From 10-5 to 10-8 in an West but still a feisty group, and the Hogs instant, Arkansas looked suddenly and had to win all three games in unconvenshockingly vulnerable, and with the team tional fashion. The finale on Sunday was vying for a national seed and an opportu- an overlong mess of a game — eight Hog nity to host Regional and Super Regional pitchers gave out 15 walks, but Bama rounds in the NCAA Tournament if it was oddly punchless even with all the can get that far, dropping three to the available runs to score — and Dominic floundering Dawgs wasn’t a good sign. Fletcher turned a Dylan Duarte fastThe opener was the bullpen’s fault, as ball inside-out for a three-run homer to Blaine Knight was staked to a 5-0 lead give the Hogs a lead they wouldn’t relinthat should always be good enough for quish. One weekend, the team looked the Razorback ace. But he ran into some lost and in peril, but it took about five trouble in the middle innings, and the days to restore confidence in the DiaHog bullpen threw gas on the fire while mond Hogs, and they have accordingly the offense sputtered after its hot start. made it through 45 games with 32 wins, N AND RSTAY E L A X IN , AND REL AX, The next two games in a Saturday dou- they’re back atop the division, and with O O UT AND bleheader roughly went the same way: LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M remainOR HAVE GO O FU U TNA. N D HAVE FUN . Arkansas cranked out 23 hits in the day- ing on the slate, winning a modest five of Y N EW LYENJOY R E N O VAT ED OENO O M SVAT ED RO O M S NEW LYRR night affair, which should be more than nine games would have the Razorbacks M INUT ES F R O MINU M enough to carry a competent team to at staring at a high seed in the conference JUST TES FR O M TAL BRID S & A MBARZIDGES E U M & AM AZ E U M least a split. But the Razorbacks were tournament and an opportunity to firm CGE RYSTAL shl y Pre p ar e d B r e a k f a st a t T h e G a r d e n G ri l l e , again short on clutch hits, leaving 20 up that national seed they’ve coveted. Pl u s F re s h ly P r e p a r e d B r e a k f a s t a t T he Gard e n Grille , enta ry W i- F i, a nd O n - S i t e F i t n e s s C e n te r men stranded over the two games, and They will have to address two pitchC o mplim e n tary W i - F i , a nd O n- S i t e F i t n e ss Ce n te r the starting pitchers (Kacey Murphy first, ing woes: Campbell’s aforementioned then Isaiah Campbell in the nightcap) issues and Matt Cronin’s apparent bout came a little unglued the second time with mononucleosis, which robs the n .co m STAY INthrough A N Dthe RState E LAorder. X, Hogs of their shutdown closer for the OR GO OU T A N D HAV E is FU Nliabil. Campbell, to be clear, the foreseeable future. If he can recover in ity on the Arkansas staff at this point. time for the postseason, he’s still going ENJOY NEWLY RENOVAT ED ROOMS He’s got a prototype physique and arm, to need opportunities to regain strength JUS T MINUT ES FROM and solid mechanics, but his command and shake off rust, and that’s not a luxury CRYSTAL BRID GES &sAMAZEUM Ploften u F epa r ed Bin r ea f a s t aLost The betrays him far too tore be shly a reli- Pr that presents itself May.kHowever, Plus Freshly Prepared Breakfast at The Garden Gri l l e, able weekend starter. looked great reke’s recent emergence him SECFitne COn-Site oHe’s mp l iFitness m enta y Wi-Fi, a nd earned On-Site C omplimentary Wi-Fi, and Center at times and awful at others, and that’s Pitcher of the Week honors, and he’s got why Coach Dave Van Horn didn’t hesi- the lively stuff that can bedevil a bunch 22 0 4 S E Wal to n Bl vd., Be nto nvi l l e, AR 2204 SE Wa l ton B l vd., B e n to nv ille, A R tate to bring his signature quick hook to of fastball yankers like those that are 479. 4 6 4 .73 0 0 | hi l to ngarde ni nn3.hi the mound on Sunday when the Hogs all over top-ranked Florida’s lineup.




479.464.73 0 0 | hi l tonga rd e n in n 3. h ilto n .co m


MAY 03, 2017


You deserve a

helping hand You belong at Holiday.




ust across the driveway from the Observatory on Maple Street is a house that has been a rent house for almost all the years Yours Truly and family have lived in Little Rock. When we first moved to Maple, the family who lived there owned the joint outright. The man of the house, his youthful six-pack long since multiplied to a keg, was prone to barbecuing shirtless over a burning drum in the yard. Their dog was equally prone to singing along with great, passionate feeling whenever he heard a distant ambulance siren at UAMS — which was often, at all hours of the day and night. So we can’t exactly say we were sad to see them go when they sold out lock, stock and burning barrel and decamped to the boonies. Though renters get a bad rap, we’ve been lucky with neighbors, we suppose. No power drinkers or wife-beaters, no screaming arguers or kleptomaniacs, no stealthy midnight peepers that we know of. About every two years or so, a U-Haul truck appears in the yard to be loaded, followed by another some days or weeks later, laden with household goods, to be trundled inside. Mostly, our neighbors stick to themselves and we are obliged to let them. What’s that the man said about good fences making good neighbors? When the houses are packed in as tight as they are down here in Stifft Station, sometimes a polite silence unless spoken to is the best fence of all. There have been times over the years when we have been spoken to and spoken back, of course. Like the folks who shared a beer or two with us before realizing that we’re more boring than they are. And the nice young man and his equally charming wife who disappeared some weeks after he sat on the steps of The Observatory one spring evening and told us of her miscarriage and his quest to find some cause for it: radon or paint fumes or just the misalignment of the stars. The little neighbor kids who stood in the yard and quizzed The Observer until our ears nearly dropped off about everything and anything, from our moody cats

and equally moody t’weenage Junior to our bicycle and Spouse’s car and how a raven is like and unlike a writing desk. The Observer is always happy to talk to the folks who want to talk. The new neighbor’s name is Andre. We know this because last week, he came over to inquire and commiserate, his entire paycheck, cashed and accidentally left in the center console of his car, having been boosted in the night by the five-finger discounters who seem to haunt Little Rock, making off with everything that ain’t padlocked securely to a fire hydrant or police officer’s leg. Little Rock is our home, and we love her, we told our new neighbor. But it is a town where people will give you the shirt off their back by day, then come back and steal it by night, simultaneously a big-hearted, hard-luck town. Turns out our new neighbors are from Flint, Mich. They stuck it out as long as they could, Andre said, as long as the city was delivering water that wouldn’t slowly poison his children. When that lead-free lifeline dried up, though, they fled to Little Rock. Turns out she’s another Little Rock boomerang baby, just like The Observer. Andre and Yours Truly both seem determined to break the cold that has hovered between the rent house next door and The Observatory over the years, calling each other by name and offering hearty waves whenever we see each other out and about. We’re already thinking of buying extra beer, in the hopes that this summer, when The Observer and Spouse take to the veranda to watch the bats swoop past the nightwatcher across the way, our neighbor and his lovely wife will drop over for a brew or at least a chilly glass of unpoisoned water. We can cuss Trump and gripe about the heat, like proper acquaintances. The Observer can share what little we know of Michigan and Andre can lend us his impressions of Arkansas, and there in the dark we can just be once strangers united by proximity, now neighbors, our invisible walls breached in the humid dark.

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Arkansas Reporter



PROGRESSIVE V. PROGRESSIVE: Tippi McCullough and Ross Noland, candidates for House District 33.

The battle for Hillcrest

Tippi McCullough and Ross Noland square off to represent perhaps the House’s most progressive district. BY LINDSEY MILLAR


n May 22, voters will decide the University of Arkansas for Medical the same issues everyone else does” with between Tippi McCullough, Sciences needs more state funding and housing, jobs and health care, she said. a longtime teacher and activ- support the preservation of War Memo- In January 2017, she became the chair ist, and Ross Noland, an attorney and rial Park as green space. of the Pulaski County Democratic Party. nonprofit director, in a race to repreMcCullough and Noland live one (She stepped back from active leadersent downtown and midtown Little street apart in Hillcrest, but their back- ship during the campaign and plans to Rock in the state legislature. Actually, grounds and policy priorities separate resume her duties after the election.) only Democratic voters will decide the them, each candidate said in an interOn the campaign trail, McCullough race, but in House District 33, which view. likes to say, “I’ve lived in Little Rock stretches across Little Rock’s midsecMcCullough, 54, has taught English for nearly 20 years, and I’m fortunate tion, from Reservoir Road to the River at Little Rock Central High School for to live in Hillcrest, but I didn’t grow up Market, south of Riverdale and mostly the last four years. Before that, she spent there.” She was raised by a single mother to the north of Interstate 630, there’s 14 years at Mount St. Mary Academy, in Hot Springs. She was the first in her not much distinction between Demo- which fired her in 2013 for marrying family to get a college education, thanks, cratic voters and all voters. It’s perhaps her longtime partner, Pulaski County McCullough says, to her basketball the state’s most reliably liberal district. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Barbara skills, which landed her a scholarship After serving three terms, Democratic Mariani. The Catholic girls’ school said at Ouachita Baptist University in ArkaRep. Warwick Sabin announced last year McCullough had violated a morality delphia. After graduation, she got a job he would not seek re-election, but would clause in her contract, though accord- coaching basketball and teaching Enginstead explore running for Little Rock ing to McCullough, her relationship with lish in Kingston (Madison County) and mayor. The winner of the Democratic Mariani was no secret at the school. The later Mountain Pine (Garland County) primary will win the November election firing led to a public outcry; McCullough and Newport. She was the first woman by default; no Republican or Libertarian and Mariani traveled around the coun- to be president of the Arkansas Basketcandidate filed to run. try sharing their story on behalf of the ball Coaches Association. (Asked in the At a debate sponsored by the Pulaski Human Rights Campaign’s advocacy for debate Monday how she would govern County Democratic Party held Monday LGBT rights. in the minority party, she cited that leadat Philander Smith College, McCullough The experience “opened my eyes a ership, saying the association looked and Noland substantively agreed on all little bit” to politics, McCullough said. a lot like the legislature, which drew policy questions: Both oppose Governor She became president of the Stonewall laughs from the audience.) Hutchinson’s proposal to reduce income Democrats in 2014, which in turn got Coaching and teaching all over the tax rates on the state’s highest earners, her more involved in state Democratic state makes it easy for her to relate to think charter schools should not be able politics. It was a natural transition from people, she said. She’s witnessed the to grow unchecked, believe that public LGBT advocate to political activist. “struggles” of her students and their schools are underfunded, argue that “LGBT people are people — they have families, “whether it was because they


MAY 03, 2017


were homeless or hungry or suffering abuse.” That experience, along with her involvement in the Arkansas Education Association, which she said “strives to improve students’ lives at school and also the teaching profession as a whole,” gives her an edge in the campaign, she said. “Every door I knock on, when I ask them the most important issue to them, they say, ‘Education.’ ” Noland, 37, is a lawyer who divides his time between his firm, specializing in environmental litigation, and serving as executive director of the Buffalo River Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to cooperative conservation in the Buffalo River watershed. He cites his Arkansas bona fides on the campaign trail. He was born and raised in Little Rock and graduated from Central High School in 1999 as “Mr. Tiger Spirit.” He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, before completing a master’s degree in environmental law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After working at a private firm in D.C., he returned to Little Rock to clerk for Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mary McGowan. Then he joined U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s staff as legislative counsel to Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which Lincoln chaired. After she was defeated by John Boozman, Noland returned to Little Rock and worked primarily on environmental litigation for the McMath Woods law firm for five years before going into solo practice and taking on the leadership position with the Buffalo River Foundation. Noland says his experience gives him

Tune in to our “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes &

the edge in the campaign. He’s seen the inner workings of government, from his time at the U.S. Senate to working as an attorney in Little Rock and writing bills that have become law and rules that became regulations. His knowledge of environmental issues also separates him from McCullough, he said. “There is no leader out on environmental issues down there. If there’s one thing that affects us all — rich or poor, black or white, north or south of the interstate — it’s the air that we breathe and the water we drink. To me, it’s one of the most important issues facing the state and the nation right now, and I don’t think we have enough emphasis on it. … As far as what I can get done, I’m fully aware that I’m running to be a freshman in the lower house in the minority party.” But Noland said issues he’s campaigning on have broad-based appeal. He wants to make renewable energy more accessible to the average person. “We need to make it easy for retail customers to deploy solar, whether it’s through access to financing or making sure they get a fair price when they put energy back into the grid,” he said. “There’s a freedom association to producing your own energy” that Republicans should appreciate. He also said the playbook for state conservation could be used in passing other environmental measures in the legislature. “We have a strong outdoor recreation movement in Arkansas. It’s key for the environmental and conservation movement to tie what you like to do outdoors on the weekend to the fact that you need clean air and water to do it — whether it’s duck hunting or floating or whatever.” Outdoor activity is a “huge economic engine” throughout the state, he said. Noland is married to Ali Noland; they have two children, the oldest of whom is in pre-K in the Little Rock School District. “The fundamental role of the legislature is to perform oversight of its executive agencies,” he said. “We’ve got to get a plan to return to local control of the school board,” he said. Expanding pre-K throughout the state is also one of his priorities. After years of being a “policy person,” Noland said he decided to get involved in politics because of the political climate. “The time to act is now. If you’re not pissed off about what’s going on out there now, you’re not paying attention,” he said.


Inconsequential News Quiz:

BIG Comic Sans Morgan PICTURE


Play at home, with the guidance of your outside counsel. 1) There’s been a disturbing pattern emerging at the East Arkansas Regional Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction, at Brickeys. What’s going on? A) The gigantic ethnic stereotype on death row refuses to use his magical healing powers to cure Tom Hanks’ urinary tract infection. B) Prisoners keep figuring out that, due to budget cuts, their cell bars are actually made of wrapping paper tubes painted gray. C) Prison officials claim four inmates have committed suicide in their cells since March 2. D) Inmates attempting to escape by tunneling under the wall keep running into smugglers tunneling in with loads of K2 synthetic pot. 2) The Jan Morgan for Governor campaign recently solicited $50 donations in exchange for chances to win a semi-automatic Kimber handgun engraved with the far-right Republican’s signature, but there seemed to be an issue with the drawing for the gun. What was the problem? A) Being a living cartoon, Morgan’s signature naturally comes out in Comic Sans font. B) At the time she signed the handgun, Morgan had worked herself into such a bigoted frenzy about Sharia law that she accidentally misspelled her own name as “Ban Muslims.” C) The drawing fit every definition for being a raffle, which is illegal under Amendment 84 of the Arkansas Constitution unless all funds collected are used “only for charitable, religious or philanthropic purposes.” D) Due to a factory error, the pistol fires only white-hot bolts of pure logic, making the potential of being struck by a ricochet dangerous for any member of Morgan’s voter base. 3) A recent Talk Business/Hendrix College poll of likely Republican primary voters found that 41.5 percent of them share a seemingly unlikely trait. What’s uniting them? A) The name “Dwight.” B) A preference for wearing thong underpants. C) They support Arkansas Works, the state’s unique version of Medicaid expansion for low-income Arkansans that is made possible by the Affordable Care Act, aka the much-hated “Obamacare.” D) They all have at least one immediate family member who died from choking on a pickled egg. 4) The Fayetteville School Board recently announced it has retained outside counsel. Why did the board feel the need to bring in hired-gun legal help? A) The gym teacher’s insistence that heads are fair game in dodge ball. B) It worries that the NRA-drafted “Glocks for Lockers” law passed by the state legislature last year may lead to student protests. C) An employee has claimed Superintendent Matthew Wendt made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including allegedly threatening to withhold a raise if she didn’t have sex with him. D) The Republican-majority school board hopes to sue textbook makers over the clear liberal bias of historical and scientific fact. 5) It looks as if the 72-year-old Turkey Trot festival in Yellville will go on, but the sponsoring Mid-Marion County Rotary Club said its financial involvement comes with a condition. What’s the condition? A) No more selecting one citizen at random to stone to death in order to assure a bountiful harvest. B) Marion County’s two remaining Democrats have to submit to public pillorying during the festival. C) That a “phantom pilot” and his minions stop flinging terrified turkeys, some of which fall to their deaths, from his low-flying Cessna in a gruesome ritual that has drawn international condemnation in recent years. D) Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin has to work the crowd while wearing a sweltering turkey costume.

Answers: C, C, C, C, C

LISTEN UP MAY 03, 2017




Its destiny is not in the stars, but ourselves. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK


MAY 03, 2017



he Arkansas Repertory Theatre last week produced the greatest drama in the 44-year history of the stage last week when it announced its debt

was so deep it had to cancel its last play of the season and bring down

the curtain indefinitely.

The news got a standing “Oh, no” ing off the Bank of the Ozarks, which from actors and audiences who knew Bush said has been “cooperative and that Little Rock — and Arkansas — intimately involved in what’s going had something special in its profes- on for at least six months.” The board sional theater. The Rep has a reputa- is also forming a group, “The Next tion of great performances among Act,” to talk about what form The Rep theatergoers and as a great place to should take to be sustainable. work among the many actors who’ve The Rep does have assets: Its thecome to Little Rock. The idea that The ater at Main and Sixth streets and Rep might close brought into sharp two apartment buildings for its outfocus what that would cost Little Rock of-town actors have been appraised — fortunately, before it’s gone, not after. at more than $6.5 million, Bush said. The drama has been building for That makes it “real estate rich and quite some time, thanks to a dive in cash poor,” he said. Selling its real ticket sales and a faltering capital estate “is on the table,” though the fact campaign. The course of theater never that The Rep has a place for its actors does run smooth, the Bard might say, to stay has been one of the great draws but finding itself without the means to for them to the Arkansas theater. stage its final 2017-18 season producThe Rep had raised $1.7 million tion, “God of Carnage,” which was to during the quiet phase of a capital open in June, the theater’s board of campaign the past couple of years, directors darkened the house. Bush said, but had hoped to raise The secured and unsecured debt — $2.7 million during that phase. The including $1.6 million in bank loans, total goal of $5.2 million would have including mortgages — is in total retired all debt and created a cush“north of $2 million,” Brian Bush, ion for the future, but with declining chairman of The Rep’s board, said revenues — The Rep could only fill 47 last week. The board is trying to raise percent its seats this season, Bush said, $750,000 to $1 million immediately and campaign cash had to be spent to to settle vendor debt and begin pay- put on the plays.

The Rep’s staff will be cut from 30 to 10 as of May 8. Producing Artistic Director John Miller-Stephany is among those losing his job. The theater education program, which breaks even, will continue through the summer. There may be some good news: Potentially waiting in the wings is a $1.8 million grant The Rep has applied for from the Windgate Charitable Trust of Siloam Springs, which has made several multimillion-dollar gifts in the past few years to the arts, including $40 million last year to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to create an art and design district and $20.3 million to UA Little Rock and $15.5 million to UA Fort Smith for their fine arts buildings. Should The Rep receive the grant, it would have to match it. ***


hat I can tell you,” actor Patrick Halley said last week, “is The Rep had a sterling reputation in New York as a wonderful and warm and incred-

ibly artist-friendly place to work. The way I got my first audition there was a friend I knew had worked there — I begged him, ‘Could you put in a good word for me?’ ” Since then, Halley has appeared in a number of Rep productions, including “The School for Lies” last October. “What always set The Rep apart was, some places you would go and work in a metropolis with a ton of options as far as culture goes. The audiences at The Rep always stood out as excited and engaged and grateful and you really got a sense of the impact that your work was having in the community.” Not every audience is like that, he said. The Rep’s staff of designers “are at the top of their game,” Halley said, “and that’s not always common. Folks like Linda Parlier [assistant to the production manager] and Alan Branson [sound design and engineer] and Mike Nichols [technical director and set designer], the costume shop — they had a world-class team.” Halley called Bob Hupp, the producing artistic director from 19992016, “an inspiring leader” and managing director Mike McCurdy “one of the kindest and sweetest men on the face of the earth.” Halley was in Fayetteville when the news The Rep would suspend operations got out. “The Rep has been so good to me,” Halley said. “When I got the news, it MAY 03, 2017



BOARD CHAIRMAN BRIAN BUSH: He puts The Rep’s secured and unsecured debt at “north of $2 million.”

felt like someone has passed away. I and this is just devastating,” Hinkle was so very, very sad.” said. “You can go anywhere in Central On Friday, the Friends of the Arkan- Arkansas and see talented people tell sas Repertory Theatre announced a good stories, but when you go to The Rally for the Rep to be held Tuesday, Rep … . You don’t realize how supMay 1, in front of the theater, with ported they are by technical artists. music by the Greasy Greens, and spe- Mike Nichols’ sets, the ability to crecial friends of the theater, including ate atmosphere by sound and lights. founder Cliff Baker, the director from It’s such a team effort to put on the 1976-1998 and a guest director for the shows that they do. That is what we past 17 years, will attend. By Monday, don’t get anywhere else. It’s a profes1,300 people had clicked the “Inter- sional jewel in our midst.” ested” button and more than 200 peoHinkle is convinced that there is ple had donated a total of $73,000. enough support for The Rep that it “In a strange way,” Halley said, “the can reopen and stay open. “It doesn’t level of outcry speaks to how special it have to come back as the grandiose was.” As Joni Mitchell sang, you don’t giant it had become. Even if it comes know what you’ve got till it’s gone. back with a different flavor, but the Candyce Hinkle has been an same dedication to technical support actress for 40 years, and has appeared and quality of performances: That’s in plays at The Rep and other local what we have to save.” theaters, as well as in such nationally The school must go on, as well, released movies as the Coen brothers’ Hinkle said. “How many lives has that “True Grit.” program changed? Just to give those “The Rep has been my heart, honey, kids that. They are treated profession-

ally: It’s not a babysitting opportunity. It’s hard work: You hold a kid to a standard, and they’re going to meet it. It’s strictly professional, it’s not just fun — it’s work to get to the fun.” ***



MAY 03, 2017


took a couple of days of heartache and mourning,” Cliff Baker said from his home outside Mayflower, but now he’s ready for action. Baker came to Arkansas from Missouri in the 1960s to enroll in the Arkansas Arts Center’s bachelor of fine arts program, which in its short time drew national accolades and a visit from The Juilliard School at its closing to recruit some of its actors. After working in theater outside Arkansas for a while, Baker returned to visit friends “and they said, ‘Let’s do a play,’ and I rented a storefront … and they were all kinky

plays,” Baker said. The Arkansas Philharmonic was also short-lived. Support for a new theater came from old-money folks who were thrilled to see a higher level of theater established in Little Rock. The Rep sold 300 season tickets at a fundraiser in the posh Edgehill neighborhood “and we didn’t have a theater and we didn’t have a season,” Baker said. The theater opened in what had been Hunter Memorial Methodist Church, across the street from MacArthur Park, and though the venue was humble, the theater staged ambitious productions, from the breakout gay-themed play “The Boys in the Band” (performed at the Arts Center before its Off-Broadway premiere) to musicals “Marat/Sade,” “Threepenny Opera” and “Ain’t Misbehavin.” The actors were young, the budget was a shoestring, and even if Baker

rehearsed a play for two weeks, “If I knew it was going to be bad, we just didn’t do it.” “In the nonprofit theater world, I don’t think you ever feel like you are on your feet,” Baker said. But in the 1980s, when the budget for The Rep reached $500,000 “and the actors weren’t having to do everything,” he decided it was time to look for a larger home. The Rep moved to its building on Main, with its larger theater and production space, in 1988. Its operating budget is $4 million. “I think the idea of a professional theater made all the difference” to the Little Rock audience, Baker said. “And people felt like they may not always like a particular play, but they knew it was going to be well done and there would be elements they would remember — the performances or the design.” Baker doesn’t believe people have lost interest in live theater. Little Rock and North Little Rock support The Weekend Theater, The Public Theatre, Celebrity Attraction productions at Robinson Center Performance Hall, the Argenta Community Theater, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Children’s Theatre and Murry’s Dinner Playhouse. But those venues — primarily Celebrity Attractions shows in the renovated Robinson — also present competition. Baker does think some of the excitement is missing. People can’t expect a big “joyous hit” like “Sister Act,” which Baker last directed at The Rep, every time they go to the theater. And a theater can’t sustain itself by planning that the success of one big show will carry the others. Now, with the “Second Act” strategizing, Baker is thinking about how to reopen The Rep in a model that would be sustainable. “That’s where I’m focusing. I’m calling friends and colleagues and and asking what works, what doesn’t work. “It’s an age-old dilemma for nonprofit theater. The Rep kind of overgrew and couldn’t support it.” ***


inger Pool, producing artistic director of Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, Va., has felt The Rep’s pain. So when Pool heard about The Rep’s crisis, she called board member Ruth Shepherd and offered to help in any way she could. In 2009, Mill Mountain, which

had its roots in a playhouse established in 1964, found itself $860,000 in debt. Its debt wasn’t related to real estate, but because for a decade it had over-produced, employed a fulltime professional staff of 23 with benefits, suffered high overhead and staged “a little bit of vanity theater, producing shows that Roanoke wasn’t supporting. The quality never dropped, but when the audience is not listening to you … .” And so Mill Mountain ceased oper-

been paid off or negotiated. For a while, Mill Mountain’s children’s theater put on the only productions, on holidays. The theater realized “Roanoke hasn’t given up on us yet,” Pool said, when it was announced the youths would perform “Annie”: The musical was a sellout before the play opened. It took Mill Mountain four years to have a “soft reopening.” A theater that once produced 14 shows on its main stage a season now produces

the public.” Mill Mountain still does theater that might be called art rather than entertainment, but does it in its small black box theater. It has also added Mill Mountain Music, twice-a-year concerts. “I will say people don’t donate money to pay off your debt. There are going to be angels in the community, but [their gifts are] not going to be of the magnitude that your problems are over,” Pool warned. *** FORMER DIRECTOR BOB HUPP: Says thriving arts go hand-in-hand with a thriving city.

ations, keeping only Pool, the director three. The new business model, Pool of its revenue-producing education said: “We have made a promise that program. The fulltime staff and 16 each individual production will make contract employees and 12 interns money standing by itself. We are not were let go. It cashed in its Actors in the frame of mind, do this giant Equity Association bond. show to pay for this riskier show. … So Pool got to work by meeting That’s a slippery slope for theaters. one-on-one with vendors, negotiating … So we look at what we’re choosing, such things as payment plans and tax and if we have any hesitation if this credits and “asking for forgiveness. … show can’t stand alone, we throw it It was the hardest work I’ve ever done, out. We drill down to worst-case sceand the most rewarding.” Within a narios, really analyzing everything, year, all but $75,000 of the debt had before we announce [the season] to


r o n i c a l l y, The Rep has been t he anchor of development on Main Street, in what M ayor M a rk Stodola calls the “Creative Corridor.” Its educational program in a renovated historic building catercornered from the theater along with Ballet Arkansas’s studio and a private gallery have supported the idea of a downtown arts district . The mayor learned of The Rep’s financial troubles a couple of weeks ago, he said. He said he’d approached Celebrity Attractions, which has a substantial marketing budget, about the possibility of the company’s taking a Rep show on the road, and noted that the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau supports The Rep with a contribution of $50,000 a year. The city made a small contribution last fall by buying tickets for a group. Stodola said The Rep had also broached the idea that perhaps the city could support the theater by buying the theater building and leasing it back to The Rep for a nominal sum, as is done in other cities. But Stodola said that idea was, for him, a no-go. “Other organizations that we support, they are city commissions, like the Arkansas Arts Center or the Museum of Discovery or the military museum,” Stodola told the Times. If it were to become a commission, The Rep board would have had to give up its governance, Stodola said, which was something it was reluctant to do. Board chair Bush said The Rep is open to collaborations with colleges and universities and other theaters. *** MAY 03, 2017



EMPTY SEATS: Part of The Rep’s problem is declining ticket sales: It filled only 47 percent of its seats in the 2017-18 season.


erhaps you are asking yourself, The Rep is the intimate relationship saddened, but not surprised, by the “I think the question people who live what sort of self-respecting city between the audience and the per- news of The Rep’s suspension. But in Little Rock have to ask is, ‘Is the can’t find the audience to keep formers. So, that always played pretty he said The Rep can return. situation with The Rep a canary in its professional theater open? Former well and distinguished The Rep from “If there were some combination the coal mine?’ Is this indicative of Producing Artistic Director Hupp, Celebrity Attractions. But the new of grassroots support and either city other, more challenging issues with who is now artistic director at Syra- model, and the amount of money the leadership or private leadership that the city? cuse Stage on the campus of Syracuse city put into the renovation of Robin- comes in and helps stabilize the the“A thriving city should have thrivUniversity in New York, said compe- son, definitely has an impact” on The ater, there is a path forward. There ing arts. And the arts organization tition from the rise of local theater Rep’s ticket sales, Hupp said. are people who feel very passionate has to be responsive and also provide groups is a factor, if not the factor, for To those who are skeptical about about The Rep. You’ve seen the social leadership and vision for what the arts The Rep’s woes. competition’s role in The Rep’s trou- media posts that have come out. That mean to the community. … A healthy “Celebrity Attractions has been ble filling seats, Hupp insisted there initial reaction of surprise and shock organization, wherever you are in performing [in the past], but they’ve is “legitimacy to the external factors.” — if that can move beyond that initial the country, has to generate earned never been able to bring in the tours Too, The Rep’s real estate burden, emotional reaction to real activism, income and the city has to show its they’re bringing in now [thanks to which includes both debt and ongoing real organization, then The Rep has partnership in that equation through the $70.5 million renovation of Rob- maintenance, is unusual, Hupp said. a great shot of sustaining itself in a philanthropic dollars. And that’s pubinson]. I mean, look at ‘The Lion King,’ “The expense of owning those proper- reimagined form.” lic support from the city itself and ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ a tour of ‘Les ties has always been a challenge for Here’s how Hupp puts the question private support from those who have Mis’ [‘Les Miserables’].” The Rep,” he said. of what it says about a city that lets means and can help.” “One of the things that’s great about The former director said he was its professional theater fail this way:


MAY 03, 2017


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Your bike is a vehicle on the road just like any other vehicle and you must also obey traffic laws— use turning and slowing hand signals, ride on right and yield to traffic as if driving. Be sure to establish eye contact with drivers. Remain visible and predictable at all times. MAY 03, 2017


Arts Entertainment AND

How the penny dropped A Q&A with Low Key Arts’ Sonny Kay. BY KATY HENRIKSEN


isual artist, founder of the Gold Standard Laboratories record label, frontman for punk rock outfits Angel Hair and The VSS and now, executive director of Hot Springs’ Low Key Arts, Sonny Kay’s DIY approach to new projects is a part of upbringing: He credits an unconventional childhood, moving around the world with a father pursuing a career as a film director and a mother who knew how to adapt quickly in new surroundings. After many years in Las Vegas (and before that, Los Angeles), working on graphic design and visual art projects, a job popped up “out of left field” at a small arts organization called Low Key Arts in Hot Springs National Park in the middle of Arkansas. And Kay leapt. Here’s an excerpt from a conversation I had with Kay earlier this year:

lent example throughout my life growing up. We moved around a lot when I was young, and were never all that financially secure, so experiencing her reaction to that and her willingness to adapt to these different situations and her motivation and her willingness to keep expanding her definition of herself was amazing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as an adult I’m very proud of her and I feel like more than any single person in my life she’s been a huge influence for me and a role model. I find taking the initiative and just being willing to redefine yourself really compelling. There’s some aspect of me that is also a bit of a control freak that likes being at the helm and feeling like I’m a motivator for other people. I’m a naturally creative person and I feel like sometimes that’s best suited to a singular endeavor — like making art — and sometimes it’s more useful in the world to collaborate with other people. I feel as though I’m at my best when I’m firing on all cylinders and at the center of something that’s creating a positive change around me.

What drew you into taking the Low Key Arts executive director position? I spent 14 years running a record label, which was definitely an exercise in orchestrating lots of people and lots of things, having a whole bunch of stuff going on at once all the time, and just being in a hive of activity. Then I spent the next 10 years freelancing — basically, being at home doing art by myself. There was definitely an element of group-project-aspect of something like Low Key Arts that was missing. I definitely felt a little isolated. I’d managed to publish a book of my art. It wasn’t that it wasn’t fulfilling or rewarding in its own way, but I missed being at the center of a lot of energy and excitement. Sometimes the best you can do is listen to yourself, and this is a good example. I was definitely at a crossroads for a period of years, and wasn’t sure which way to go.

Describe what your childhood was like a little more. Was there a seed that really sparked your DIY ethos?

BANANA BOAT: “Adrift (Or, Barking up the Rung Tree)” is a work by Low Key Arts Director Sonny Kay.

This came up, and it was like, “Oh, yeah, that could be really incredible,” and so I set caution aside and just did it. Throughout your life, you’ve been at the center of making things happen.

What draws you in? I think a big part of it is having parents that were similar, especially my mom. My mom is a very practical and pragmatic person, and was always an excel-

My parents were an unusual couple in the sense that my dad was twice as old as my mom. He was American and my mom was English. Basically, a month after they were married, they were pursuing his career as it took these strange turns around the globe. My dad was a film director and the constant moving was a result of that. His career, at that point, had apexed and things were declining for him. My mom was young and slightly naive


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ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog

and a little bit swept off her feet, thrilled about traveling to all these exotic places. There were a couple of situations where we’d land in these places and everything fell apart, to where we had to struggle to figure out what to do next. So that was the reality I was born into. The improvised energy that came with that I think at this point is in my DNA. When I was about 15 or 16 and living in Colorado, my grandfather came over from England to visit us at Christmas. I asked him to bring me a bunch of records from England that were difficult to find at the time — this would have been around 1987. He showed up with this fistful of Joy Division and Cure records I’d asked for. One day I was poring over these records, rambling on about these groups and he stopped me and asked “Why don’t you start your own group?” Honestly, the idea had never occured to me. He said something like, “Why be content to be a follower?” At the time, I thought I knew everything — and, you know, when you’re a teenager you rebel against everything, even your wise old grandfather speaking the truth of the universe to you. At the time, I disregarded what he was saying, but there’s something about that that planted a kernel of something in my mind. It really took him saying that to me for me to start to embrace the idea of DIY and involving myself in what — up to that point — I’d only been a fan or bystander of. Even though there were a thousand examples of teenagers starting bands and putting out records, it took a man in his 70s to say that to me for the penny to drop. You’ll take on music programming for the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival. What are you excited about? I’m still absorbing all this information and mapping it out in my mind. I’m fascinated to see it go from point A to point B to point C. I feel a little bit like an anthropologist in this situation where I’m a newcomer experiencing something that’s a cultural staple in that area. And I’ve been tasked with not necessarily improving it, but growing it and diversifying it, developing it, so I want to see where it’s at before I can take any practical measures to do any of those things.

LITTLE ROCK FILMMAKER Brent Renaud, who with his brother, Craig, has made such documentaries as “Off to War,” about Arkansas troops in Iraq, and “Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later,” among other docs, has won a prestigious Neiman Foundation for Journalism fellowship at Harvard University. The foundation selected 27 fellows, including reporters, editors, photographers, TV news anchors and other journalists. Renaud will be at Harvard for two semesters starting in the fall, and will study the effects of trauma and mental and emotional illness on rates

of poverty and violence in America. The Renaud brothers have won a Peabody Award, two Columbia DuPont Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and many others. GRAPHIC NOVELIST NATE POWELL of Little Rock and University of Arkansas at Fayetteville professor Dale Carpenter have been nominated for a 2018 Eisner Award in the Best Webcomic category for “Awaiting a Wave.” The comic, illustrated by Powell and written by Carpenter, is about how rising sea levels are

threatening the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Carpenter worked with Melisa Laelan, president of the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, to tell the story. Arkansas has a large population of Marshallese, most of whom came for jobs in the poultry industry. With climate change threatening to swamp the islands, their number could grow. The Eisners, known as the “Oscars of the comics world,” will be awarded at San Diego Comic-Con in July. Powell previously won an Eisner Award for his graphic novel “March,” civil rights leader John Lewis’ memoir.


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BONNIE BISHOP 8 p.m. South on Main. $30-$38.

Bonnie Bishop had given it her all. The Texas native spent years on the Lone Star State’s honky-tonk circuit, before landing a publishing deal in Nashville. Bonnie Raitt and the TV show “Nashville” each picked up one of her songs. But the grind got to her, and

son Isbell and Chris Stapleton. Cobb Susan Tedeschi, leaving room for a fair she called it quits, moved back home said it was crazy she was trying to sing amount of Bonnie Raitt-styled grit and with her parents at 35 and applied to country music. You’re a soul singer, he gumption,” and said the album takes grad school. Then she met Dave Cobb, told her. That led to the pair collabo- “‘Dusty in Memphis’ as its stylistic temright around the time he was getting rating on the 2016 album “Ain’t Who I plate and moves it into a contemporary, notice for producing country records Was.” American Songwriter magazine but not slick, setting.” This is the last with plenty of rock and soul in the mix said, “Her vocals mix the Southern concert in the Oxford American’s 2017for the likes of Sturgill Simpson, Ja- sass of Shelby Lynne with the guts of 18 Americana Series. LM

SOUTHERN SONGWRITER: Jason Isbell and the band 400 Unit will provide the MAD music.


SOUTHERN FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL Various times. Murphy Arts District, El Dorado.

With last year’s opening of the Murphy Arts Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit returns to ArDistrict’s MAD Amphitheater and restaurant kansas after playing a January date at Robinson and venue The Griffin, the somewhat sleepy Center Performance Hall that sold out quickly. Southern Food & Wine Festival El Dorado has Over the last decade or so, Isbell has developed hosted the last three years gets a major jolt in a reputation as one of the finest songwriters of year four. The masses will want to take note of his generation. The 400 Unit, Little Rock conSaturday’s offerings: From 3-6 p.m. in the am- certgoers reported, puts on a hell of a rock ’n’ phitheater, there will be a wine pour featuring a roll show, too. Even better, British folk-rock number of wineries; music from Emily & Matt, god Richard Thompson opens the show. A Trey Johnson and Maggie Koerner; and food founding member of Fairport Convention, he’s available for purchase from food trucks. Admis- released more than 30 albums as a duet partner, sion is $20. At 8 p.m., also in the amphitheater, with his ex-wife Linda Thompson, and alone.


MAY 03, 2017


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Rolling Stone magazine called him one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Tickets run from $32.50 to $60. For those with deeper pocketbooks and an appreciation of fine cuisine and wine, at 7 p.m. Friday, acclaimed chefs from El Dorado, San Francisco and Paris will collaborate on a five-course dinner, each of which will be paired with wine. Sommeliers from New York and San Francisco will be making the selections. Tickets are $175 per person. More info at LM



BFF FEATURES MUSIC, TOO: East LA’s Los Lobos are coming to the Bentonville Film Festival.


BENTONVILLE FILM FESTIVAL 9 a.m. Thu.-Sat., 11 a.m. Sun. Various venues. Free-$775.

A bevvy of film enthusiasts, celebs, fun-seekers and corporate “changemakers” will descend upon Bentonville this week to celebrate the Bentonville Film Festival, Geena Davis’ creative brainchild that celebrates inclusion and diversity in all forms of media. The six-day event is the culmination of the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation’s year-long programming, and boasts an ambitiously overwhelming lineup of screenings, panel discussions, concerts and family activities: nearly 150 feature, documentary and short-film screen-

ings (including 10 feature debuts), juried competition, a host of starstudded discussion panels (Meg Ryan will be honored with a Legacy Award), live concerts by acts like Los Lobos, group bike rides, a pet adoption drive, and a fully immersive Marvel experience. “Include” is the catchphrase for the event, which reflects Davis’ personal charge to shift the film industry’s culture. She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004, which strives to “engage, educate and influence content creators, marketers and

audiences about the importance of eliminating unconscious bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes and creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media.” In its fourth year strong, the BFF is a project of epic proportions, one made possible by sponsors like Walmart and Coca-Cola. Day passes are $65 and week passes are $275, but plenty of events are free. Best to check the BFF website (or download the festival app, for that matter) for a full schedule of what’s going on. RB


BEALE STREET MUSIC FESTIVAL 5 p.m. Fri., 1 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Tom Lee Park, Memphis. $55-$125.

It’s time for Memphis in May again, y’all, that fantastic excuse to cross Old Man River and spend a few days sweating with our Tennessee neighbors to the east. You can pretty much count on it raining at least once. Sure, there are lots of activi-

ties that make up Memphis in May, but we all know that the true jewel is the legendary Beale Street Music Festival. Three full days of straight-up fantastic times and live music that make all of us Arkies more than a little bit envious. They’ve been

doing the BSMF since 1990 and they know how to do it right: three days, three big stages, one blues tent and one blues “shack.” It’s no surprise to find good music in Memphis, of course, and the BSMF lineup this year is damn-near luscious. Big names include Jack White, David Byrne, Erykah

Badu, Queens of the Stone Age, Post Malone, Ludacris, Flaming Lips, Dashboard Confessional, Tyler the Creator, Alanis Morrisette, Cake, Delbert McClinton, Andrew W.K. and more. This one’s undoubtedly worth the drive. Hop in and head east. You’ll be glad you did. GH

Beloved Texas singer/songwriter Adam Carroll returns to the White Water Tavern, this time performing as a duo with his wife, Chris Carroll, 8 p.m. Traveling Squirrels and Kyle Owen play a benefit for the family of Dustin Andrew Searcy, an Arkansas musician who died recently, at Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $3 (all ages). Comedian Mike Baldwin yuks it up at The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri-Sat, $8-12. Tyrannosaurus Sketch debuts at The Joint in North Little Rock, 8 p.m., $5. Jay Roewe, senior vice president of West Coast production at HBO, will participate in “A Conversation about Film, Community and HBO” with Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane about, among other things, the third season of “True Detective,” which is filming in and around Fayetteville, 6 p.m., free, but reservations are requested. “Southern Fried Nuptials” continues at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, 6 p.m. (through Saturday), and 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, $15-$35. Chuck Pack plays at Cajun’s Wharf for happy hour, 5:30 p.m., free, or come later for Pamela K. Ward’s set, 9 p.m., $5.

FRIDAY 5/4 Folk rockers Blue Highway channel the sounds of Texas and Louisiana at Stickyz, 8:30 p.m., $10. A month ago, 30 local musicians got together, drew names out of a bucket and were sorted into groups that were tasked with coming up with original music in four weeks. Those six groups perform short sets at White Water to benefit Lucie’s Place, 9 p.m., $3. Arkansas natives Anna Moss and Joel Ludford, late of the Conway band Don’t Stop Please, return to Little Rock as the delightful duo Handmade Moments to play South on Main, 9 p.m., $12. Hoodoo Blues Revue comes to Four Quarter Bar in North Little Rock, 10 p.m., $7. Josh Hoyer & Soul Collosal play along with Alex Velte at King’s Live Music in Conway, 8:30 p.m., $5. Fire & Brimstone soundtrack happy hour at Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free, and The Woodpeckers headline, 9 p.m., $5. Galleries on Central Avenue in Hot Springs are open from 5-9 p.m. for the monthly Hot Springs Gallery Walk.

SATURDAY 5/5 Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is a teenaged blues guitar virtuoso from Clarksdale, Miss., who

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companiment with renowned works of classical and contemporary dance. Drew Mays, who won After last week’s announcement that The the Cliburn International Piano Competition, Rep will be immediately suspending its opera- will back up an intricate pas de deux (“step of tions, “Ballet Arkansas in Concert With Drew two”) male-female duet by Agnes De Mille, work Mays” could be the last show to grace the stage by Tony Award-winning choreographer Christofor some time. The performance is part of a pher Wheeldon, as well as world work by Ballet three-year series made possible by the Stella Arkansas Artistic Director Michael Fothergill. Boyle Smith Trust that marries live musical ac- RB

7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Arkansas Repertory Theatre. $30-$50.

‘TROUBLED ISLAND’ 7:30 p.m. (Friday) and 3 p.m. (Sunday). UA Pulaski Tech’s Center for Humanities and the Arts. $13-$60. SUPERLATIVE: Marty Stuart, coming to Conway on Saturday.


TOAD SUCK DAZE 5:15 p.m. Fri., noon Sat., 11 a.m. Sun. Downtown Conway. Free.

Consistently one of the very best things about Toad Suck Daze is the chance to mention it to out-of-staters and get that whole, “Umm, what’s that again?” conversation going as they envision an Arkie festival crowd with mouths fulla amphibians. It’s good for a laugh, at least until we remember that our leaders actually do have an annual raccoon-eating event every January. Toad Suck Daze has much better eats and entertainment, a free festival filling the streets of Conway with music and families every year. All proceeds from Toad Suck Daze (held since 1982) go to supporting local scholarship and downtown development. Come for the “Very Important Toad Races” (held intermittently throughout the festival) and stay late for the headlining bands. Toad Suck Daze 2018 features a family-friendly musical lineup that includes the funk/soul sounds of Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal headlining on Friday and the legendary Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives on Saturday. Sunday morning features praise and worship music beginning at 10 a.m. for those who want a little outdoor church time. If that’s not enough good clean family fun for you, sign up for the official Toad Suck Daze 10K, 5K or Tadpole Trot. The Toad Suck T-shirt alone should be motivation enough. GH


MAY 03, 2017




Famed composer William Grant Still broke all sorts of ground. He was the first African American to conduct a major American symphony and the first to have a symphony performed by a prominent orchestra. The Little Rock-raised composer was also the first African American to have an opera performed by an established opera company. Opera and the Rock presents that production, “Troubled Island,” for the first time in Arkansas and featuring an all African-American cast of local and regional talent. Still collaborated on the libretto with Langston Hughes before Hughes left the project to cover the Spanish Civil War; librettist Verna Arvey completed the project with Still, and the two later married. The story is about Jean Jacques Dessalines, the African slave who liberated Haiti from the French and later became emperor of the country. UCA alumni Ronald Jensen-McDaniel and Nisheedah Golden star as Dessalines and his wife, Azelia. LM

NISHEEDAH GOLDEN: In the CHARTS’ production of William Grant Still’s “Troubled Island.”


“BE LIKE JO: LITTLE WOMEN” 2 p.m. Historic Arkansas Museum. Free, registration required.

The Historic Arkansas Museum offers a sneak preview of the new PBS “Masterpiece” adaptation of “Little Women,” followed by wholesome Civil War-period-themed activities. Premiering to the public May 13, the nine-part mini-series follows Louisa May Alcott’s classic female bildungsroman of the four March sisters — Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy, and their virtuous matri-

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arch, Marmee. The PBS version features Angela Langsbury as crotchety old Aunt March, joined by Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore in the last six Harry Potter films) as the Marchs’ benevolent neighbor Mr. Laurence. Guests of the screening will get the chance to try their hand with a quill pen (as used by Jo) and explore other Little Women-era artifacts on the HAM grounds. This promises to be a delightfully feel-good event, a solid chance to bond with your mom. RB



KANIS BASH Noon. Kanis Skate Park. Free.

Kanis Park is one of those rare places that fully embody the local punk/DIY ethos, started and maintained for almost a decade by the work and money of the local skate community until the city and corporate pocketbooks kicked in big-time a couple of years ago for some much-needed improvements. It’s one of those great, semi-hidden places in Little Rock that are easy to miss unless you have a reason to make it your destination. Consider this your reason. Kanis Bash 2018 is a full day of skateboarding, local bratty punk and building community. Come out to skate or watch, while the likes of Life Sucks, 9th Professor, Skate Fast Die, Jethro Skull, UltraRiot and The Outbound Train provide the soundtrack to what’ll be both an epic day for the kids and a super flashback for the more seasoned set. GH

WHAT YOU GONNA SEE? “Ghostbusters,” at The Root Cafe.


‘GHOSTBUSTERS’ 8 p.m. The Root Cafe. Free.

Movies in the (Root) Parking Lot continues its theme of nostalgiainducing cult favorites with a screening of the original “Ghostbusters” Sunday night. Brought to SoMa by the Arkansas Cinema Society and the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, the series offers a good excuse to get outside and take the edge off your Sunday blues, drink some beer and chill with your neighbors. Food and snacks will be available from Shambala Mobile Vegan Kitchen, Adobo To Go and other food trucks. There will be a beer tent, courtesy of Lost Forty Brewing. Kids and dogs are welcome. BYOFolding Chair, BYOQuilt. RB

graduated from high school last year. He comes to Stickyz the night after playing the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis and in advance of his much anticipated album debut, 9 p.m., $10 advance, $12 day of show. The 12-member party band Big Damn Horns blow their horns at Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $8. Arkansas’s favorite psych-a-Delta duo Tyrannosaurus Chicken take a break from their work in the Ben Miller Band to play White Water, 9 p.m., $10. The Old Statehouse Museum hosts its annual Seersucker Social with food from Brewski’s Pub and Grub, mint juleps (made from Rock Town Distillery bourbon) and craft beer from Lost Forty. The event benefits the museum’s School Bus Fund, 3 p.m., $25-$100. MarQuis & Mood play a Cinco de Mayo Funk Fiesta that doubles as a celebration of Marquis Hunt’s 50th birthday, 9 p.m., $15. Fayetteville party band Cadillac Jackson helps Four Quarter celebrate Cinco de Mayo, 10 p.m., $7. The Arkansas Travelers host the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at Dickey-Stephens Park, 5:30 p.m. The series continues Sunday (2:10 p.m.), Monday and Tuesday (7:10 p.m.). Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings share a bill with The Going Jessies at King’s Live Music, 8:30 p.m., $5. Adam Tilly plays at Cajun’s Wharf for happy hour, 5:30 p.m., free, or come later for The Shame’s set, 9 p.m., $5. The Delta Cultural Center in Helena/ West Helena opens its exhibition “Over Here and There: the Sons and Daughters of Arkansas’s Delta at War” with a remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by the posting of colors.

SUNDAY 5/6 Amy Garland, Blues Boy Jag & the Juke Joint Zombies, the Akeem Kemp Band and more play a benefit for Nightflying magazine that begins at 3 p.m. at White Water; Midtown Billiards hosts the after party. Swimming with Bears from Austin, Texas, play dance-y indie pop at Stickyz with The Cuckoos opening, $10 advance, $12 day of show.

TUESDAY 5/8 It’s a jam-packed lineup of a wide variety at White Water, with sets from Princeaus, Couch Jackets, Spirit Cuntz and 9th Scientist, 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 5/9 Cleveland’s Mushroomhead have been playing industrial metal for 15 years. The group comes to Revolution, 7:30 p.m., $20-25. Follow Rock Candy on Twitter: @RockCandies MAY 03, 2017



CINCO DE HEIGHTS doesn’t have much of a ring to it, but Heights Taco & Tamale’s second annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday promises to bring live Americana sound and more to the streets. A fierce golf cart “buildoff” competition for prizes and a golf cart giveaway will tee off to the tunes of The Good Time Ramblers in front of the restaurant, 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. There will be street food and drink — roasted turkey legs and a walk-up margarita and mojito street bar — and kids’ activities like maraca and face painting and a bounce zone. You’ll find various deals at Heights merchants Domestic Domestic, Le Pops, Tulips, Steamroller Blues and Eggshells Kitchen Co. Golf carts will parade at “12:15 p.m.-ish.” Heights Taco & Tamale is also offering a Taco Island to anyone who wants to book its deck for parties up to 20 to get a guaranteed seat facing the music and fiesta for the entire event. Email for more information. MORE NEWS ON the “East Village Street Food Jam,” to be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 16, on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center: You’ll find The Salty Dogs there, along with the Going Jessies and Rodney Block/Black Superman for musical entertainment. Jamming the food will be food trucks Almost Famous, Beaver Tails, Bryant’s BBQ and Catering, Count Porkula, Kyleigh’s Lemonade Stand, Loblolly Creamery, Say Cheese Handcrafted Sandwiches, Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co., Sweet Tea Kitchen and Coffee Spot and Wok-n-roll. The Downtown Little Rock Partnership is promoting ticket sales by offering buyone-get-one-free deal for early sales. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at Riceland Foods is the presenting sponsor and will bring its new food truck, the Riceland Mobile Cafe, to the event. HERE’S ANOTHER “SAVE THE DATE”: The 34th annual Greek Food Festival is just a couple of weeks off, from Friday, May 18, to Sunday, May 20, at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive. Admission is $3 or three canned food items for the Arkansas Foodbank. If for some reason you’ve never been — like you were just born or something — just turn to the next person you meet on the street and get filled in on how you can fill up on fried calamari, pork sausages (Loukanikos), gyros, baklava, kourambiethes (powdered sugar cookies), shish kebabs, lamb and chicken. That’s just the food part. More to come.


MAY 03, 2017


MODERN ART: The Spicy Spider Roll piles fried soft-shell crab and fish roe atop a ring of sushi.

A sushi go-to Sky Modern hits all the right notes — and price point.


ittle Rock, at least for the moment, is swimming in a sea of solid, no-frills sushi restaurants. Sky Modern Japanese, located in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, deserves to be mentioned alongside some of our other favorites like Kiyen’s or Hanaroo. You don’t get that intimate, chic, white-table-cloth vibe of Kemuri, but you do get consistency and quality, not to mention a lower price point. The inside of the restaurant is modern and clean, with high ceilings and glossy concrete floors. The music is turned very low. A few booths dot the walls, but there’s little else in the way of privacy. We opted for the patio, a great choice on a hospitable evening. It’s spacious and clean. String lights give a warm glow. Muzak pumped in from the shopping plaza provides a bland

Follow Eat Arkansas on Twitter: @EatArkansas

soundtrack, but it’s also scientifically engineered to be ignored. You can do a lot worse than the Sky Peartini ($9), a mix of ginger liqueur, pear vodka and lime juice. It comes in an electric blue glass and zaps the palate with a warming fruity buzz. It was a nice pairing for the Seared Albacore Roll ($12). A roll of bright red spicy tuna, scallion, cilantro and avocado is topped with thin slices of seared and sesame-speckled albacore tuna. The overall effect is fresh and light. Sliced scallions add texture and a visual pop. The Japanese eggplant is another great starter ($7.59). Sliced eggplant is sauteed with a honey sesame miso glaze and topped with a smattering of flash-fried microgreens. The eggplant was cooked until soft, the glaze was pasty, sticky and gave the dish a warm,

honey-colored glow. It’s a good mix of sweet and salty. Microgreens added a nice contrasting texture and had that satisfying “fried” flavor we all love. A note about ordering sushi. In general this exercise has the potential to make us feel harried and nervous. There are always plenty (or too many) options, each with its own tiny description and occasional unknown ingredient. At Sky, the process is made easier. For one, they have a very manageable number of special rolls, 25 to be exact. Second, each is described by what’s on the inside, and what’s on the outside. It’s very simple and direct, which we like. Take the Spicy Spider Roll ($14). It’s described on the menu as “Inside: tempura soft-shell crab, green onion, masago, spicy mayo and cucumber. Outside: tobiko and soft shell crab mix on top.” And that’s exactly what you get. Visually, it’s different. It’s not presented in your typical roll. Instead, you get a bed of sliced sushi topped with chopped-up bits of soft shell crab and a dark dash of tobiko roe. This one


Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas


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.

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Fitness and Recovery


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

DELICIOUS BUT HARD TO EAT: The Firecracker Roll.

is decidedly heavy, owing to the large dose of fried crab, but it’s tasty and one we would order again. If sushi isn’t your thing, try a hibachi dinner. We opted for chicken ($15.99). You can choose between soup or salad as a starter, and we recommend the ginger dressing if you order the salad. The tender white meat chicken was served with hibachi vegetables, three grilled shrimp, rice (we upgraded from steamed to fried for $3.29), and two dipping sauces. In our experience, hibachi dinners are laden with soy sauce and oil. That’s not the case at Sky. In fact, all the components of the hibachi dinner were flavorful but not overly seasoned, including the sauteed vegetables — zucchini, carrots, onions and mushrooms. The ginger- and mustard-based dipping sauces are not an afterthought but lend flashes of flavor to the simply seasoned chicken. With its friendly service, a creative and user-friendly sushi menu, and generous portions, Sky has the potential to become your new go-to place for sushi.

Sky Modern Japanese 11525 Cantrell Road 224-4300 QUICK BITE

The Firecracker Roll ($12.50) is great, though a bit difficult to eat. It’s filled with spicy crab and avocado and topped with a cracker-sized piece of fried wonton, a slice of fresh tuna, mango salsa and a drizzle of hot sauce. Everything tastes spot on; it’s just a little more than a mouthful. It’s almost two dishes: the roll itself and the ceviche-like topping.


11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, to 9:30 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, to 9 p.m. Sunday.


Full bar, CC accepted.

Seafood Boils and Catering! Book your event today! 1619 REBSAMEN PARK RD. 501.838.3888

serving better than bar food all night long


4 - Hoodoo Blues Revue 5 - Cadillac Jackson 11 - Travis Linville 12 - Delta Made afterparty w/ The Funk Donors 18 - Eric Sommer 19 - Combsy Open until 2am every night!

415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 • MAY 03, 2017




Mary Flower Thursday May 17 7:30 p.m. The Joint

301 Main Street North Little Rock

Tickets $25

“Marries acoustic blues with touches of ragtime, folk, and jazz…the interplay is always interesting, often provocative…” — Living Blues

Available at the door or online at

ALL THE SUPERHEROES: Star in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

PATIO IS BACK! THURSDAY, MAY 24TH 5PM-10PM Lakehill Shopping Center, NLR



5:00 - 6:15pm - Jamie Lou and Hullabaloo (2018 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Winner) 6:30 - 7:45pm - The Wildflower Revue 8:00 - 9:30pm - Dazz and Brie (2017 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase Winner) TH 2 0 18 Y M AY 2 4




5:15 - 6:30pm - Ben Byers 6:45 - 8pm - Joe Darr 8:15 - 9:30pm - Brian Nahlen • Park Hill Baptist Church on C street and JFK will have a FREE TROLLEY • Dogs are welcome! • Bring your own chairs!

Proceeds benefit the non-profit organization Park Hill Business and Merchants Association (PHBMA). for more info or visit our Facebook page! 28

MAY 03, 2017


A Marvel ‘Infinity’ The umpteenth installment of the Avengers. BY SAM EIFLING


he week that “Avengers: Infin- is so damn big and so damn dramatic ity War” dropped was clearly a in its stakes that you’re going to hear race to see the movie before the about it eventually, somewhere, from internet ruined it for you. The movie someone. I’m not going to tip anything cleared almost a quarter-billion dollars further here, except to say that while its first weekend, a record, because “Black Panther” was the better film, spoilers were everywhere — on Face- “Infinity War” wins for the most shockbook (even as memes), in conversations, ing Marvel outing yet. This will be a in the air itself, settling on the world movie kids talk about in 20 or 30 years like fine volcanic ash. Someone I know the way a certain earlier generation literally ran from two dads he heard remembers when Optimus Prime died chatting about the movie at a train sta- in “Transformers: The Movie.” (Ah, tion. Another friend mourned when he heck, 1986 spoiler alert.) came across TMI online. “Look, I get Since 18 other movies and literally it, being online more than 48 hours dozens of characters have been spiralafter an enormous movie opening ing toward this moment, it may take a that’s right in my wheelhouse is like sec to catch up, but here’s the big open. skipping blindfolded through a mine- Thanos, the supervillanous space titan field,” he tweeted. “Still, it kinda sucks who’s been lurking in these films since that it happened.” “The Avengers” in 2012 (gaaaaah, we’re The 19th (or is it 100th?) install- all old) has finally sprung his plan to ment in the Marvel Cinematic Uni- collect a half-dozen of these macgufverse, America’s favorite telenovela, fins called infinity stones and use them

MacArthur Park 5K Run/Walk and Dog Jog Friday, May 4, 2018 7 pm- 10 pm Register online at Register online at or on site or on site

Prices vary with age

Proceeds will go to multi-purpose courts

to wield nigh-godlike powers. Josh are … hell, who can even tell, really? Brolin plays the giant purple thug; first Brolin likely gets more lines than anything he does out of the gate is out- one else — more than any other MCU wrestle the Hulk and whip Thor and film, this is a villain’s film. He offers a Loki, establishing firmly that everyone surprising amount of depth and heart is screwed. (perverse though it is) and becomes, in From there, it’s a jumble of plots and a sense, the only character who seems pair-offs, in a nearly “Game of Thrones” to be driving, rather than flinching at, style: Iron Man, Dr. Strange and Spider- the events in motion. You’re not going Man go to space together! Vision (and to understand his mission (as a plot the stone in his forehead) and Scarlet device it’s amazing; as a characterWitch have a big relationship talk in driven story, it’s a head-scratcher) but Scotland, then get ambushed by Thanos’ there are absolutely stakes, and if this goons, only to get bailed out by Captain bastard wins, well … . America! Thor goes in search of a masEventually these films are going to sive space forge with Rocket and Groot, have to slim down. There’s simply too while Drax and Gamora and Mantis much noise, too many moving parts, for chase after the Collector and run into this to be sustainable as a structure for Thanos! Bucky’s in Wakanda! If any of filmmaking. The good news: The outthat sentence didn’t make sense, don’t come of “Infinity War” ensures that worry, you’ve got only 10 years of comic Marvel will be able to focus more on book movies to catch up on and Ama- characters, which, ultimately, is why zon streaming is now a thing. people keep shelling out to see these The usual hosannas apply to “Infin- flicks. Chances are we’ll look back at ity War,” which like its predecessors “Infinity War” as a high-water mark of a sets the outer boundary of what you can certain kind of moviemaking, admire it, see on a screen and convince your brain and count ourselves glad that nothing is really happening. The humor keeps else since quite matched its scale and things light, despite an incredibly heavy ambition. There will be more Marvel plot that has, at stake, half the beings in movies; with any luck, there will never the entire universe. The performances be another “Infinity War.”

feature concert


11 • 7


Known for his smooth, clear voice and authentic phrasing, Jonathan “JT” Trawick continues a rich tradition of singing from deep within the Ozark hills. TICKET INFO:


CABIN RESERVATIONS: 877-879-2741 MAY 03, 2017



HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Mother’s Day is May 13! Don’t forget to shop these local retailers and show some love to all the great moms in your life.

Does your mom love wine? Edwards

Make your mom’s day

makes buying wine fun, easy and handy. Get this tidy Six Pack holder and 10% OFF your assortment of wine!!! Every day (except Sunday).

with a special gift from Stifft Station Gifts, where you’ll find something for your mom, no matter what she loves.

Show your mom a little love

this Mother’s Day with a special gift from Rhea Drug Store.

Coordinate and Captivate Bolts and bolts in stock!

We help you choose choose, coordinate & cover.

Free In-Store Design Services • Custom Labor • Gifts & Home Decor

1523 Rebsamen Park Rd | Riverdale Design District | Little Rock 501-663-0460 | 10–5:30 Mon–Fri;10–4 Sat | cynthiaeastfabrics. com 30 32



Make Mama A Cocktail! Lemon Ginger Shandy

½ cup Oskar Blues Mamma’s Little Yella Pils  ½ cup Fever Tree ginger ale ¼ cup Simply lemonade  Thinly sliced lemon for garnish Pour ingredients into a pint glass starting with beer, then add ginger ale and lemonade. Stir until combined. Add ice if desired (although not necessary). Garnish with lemon slice. Pick up all the ingredients at Colonial Wine & Spirits


Thank yours with a special treat this Mother’s Day!

Rhea Drug Store

A Traditional Pharmacy with eclectic Gifts.

Since 1922 2801 Kavanaugh, Little Rock 501.663.4131

Taking custom orders for Mother’s Day and graduation

523 S. Louisiana St. Little Rock, AR | 501.396.9146

sleeping in style

Mom will be with a pair of these colorful and comfy pajamas from Cynthia East!


Find the featured items at the following locations:

Bella Vita Jewelry

523 S Louisiana St., Suite 175 396.9146

Colonial Wines & Spirits

Edwards Food Giant

7507 Cantrell Rd. 614.3477 other locations statewide

Rhea Drug Store

11200 W Markham St. 223.3120

2801 Kavanaugh Blvd. 663.4131

Cynthia East Fabrics

3009 W Markham St. 725.0209

1523 Rebsamen Park Rd. 490.9330

Stifft Station Gifts


31 33

MAY 11



Summer Kick Off Party! Featuring BOGGY CREEK BEEHIVES and BELL URBAN FARM who will both be showing off their latest harvest and gift items. Complimentary beverages. Come See Us!

300 East Third St. • 501-375-3333

Bella523Vita Jewelry S. Louisiana St. Little Rock, AR 501.396.9146


FOR MAY 11’S 2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT, we are thrilled to announce that we will be partnering with Lost Forty Brewing to add something very special to our free event trolley! 2nd Friday Art Night has always had a free trolley that allowed Art Night goers to jump more quickly to

Opening reception for

Secret Stories: Anais Dasse and Holly Laws

the different venues around downtown. For our May

with live music by SAD DADDY.

event, we are adding a Lost 3 Statehouse Plaza 501-906-4000

A museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

200 E. Third Street • 501-324-9351

Arkansas In World War I

- A Living History Event Experience living history demonstrations of life on the homefront, Army camp life, Red Cross activities, A m us e u m o f t he women’s suffrage rallies, De p a r t m e n t o f A rk a ns as H e ri t a g e and more! 300 W. Markham St. m



SWAY 412 Louisiana Street Little Rock

Pyramid Building — above Gallery 221 Featuring works by Mike Gaines, Michael Darr and Larry Crane

may 10/11 5-9pm


A multi-disciplinary art event featuring works of Arkansas LGBTQ artists and allies.

antigalleryarts 32

MAY 03, 2017




108 W 6th St., Suite A (501) 725-8508 •



“ROUND ROBIN” is an art event with Gallery 221’s local working 2nd floor artists. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see differing ways artists’s work and to problem-solve new challenges.

Forty Brewing beer tasting to the ride. Art Night patrons can hop on the trolley at one of its stops and be treated to a small sample of some of their exciting brews, all while en route to their next 2nd

Pyramid Place • 2nd & Center St (501) 801-0211

About the free 2nd Friday Art Night Trolley

The Arkansas Destinations wheeled trolley makes stops at all of the participating 2nd Friday Art Night venues. Each participating location has a designated pick up and drop off spot outside their venue. If the trolley stop is not clearly marked, just inquire inside the venue on where the trolley will pick you up. The 2nd Friday Art Night trolley takes about 15 - 20 minutes to drive the Art Night loop and runs continuously from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday Art Night stop. (Must be 21 for tastings. ID required)

2nd Friday Art Night is also a very walkable event. Most of the venues are spaced a few blocks from each other making it easy to walk the loop. #2ndFridayLR



“Southern Fried Nuptials.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse presents the sequel to “Southern Fried Funeral.” 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 May 26. $15-$37. 6323 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Orange Is the New White.” The twoact political comedy show from The Main Thing. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through June 16. $24. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-3720205. Disney’s “The Lion King.” The touring

production of Julie Taymor’s longM running musical. 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat.,


6:30 p.m. Sun., 2 p.m. Sat. and 1 p.m. Sun., through May 6. Robinson Center Performance Hall. 426 W. Markham St. 501-244-8800.

“The Hound of the Baskervilles.” TheatreSquared reimagines the Sherlock Holmes mystery. 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., through May 27. $25-$44. Walton Arts Center’s Studio Theater, 495 W. Dickson St. 479-443-5600.



ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “POP! Beaux Arts Ball,” honoree Jane McGehee Wilson, 6 p.m. May 3, $150; MAY 8-JULY 22: 57th “Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition,” May 8-July 22; Arkansas Arts Center. 10 a.m.5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.; Architecture and Design Network Series presentation “Polk Stanley Wilcox: 40 Year Legacy,” 5:30 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. lecture May 8; “Strokes of Life: ot Recovering from a Stroke,” twelve ACR works by C.J. Duvall Jr., through May. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. ARTS & SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 S. Main St.: “Fire and Fiber,” works by metalsmith David Clemons and fiber artist Sofia Gonzalez; “UAPB & ASC: Five Decades of Collaboration,” work by Tarrence Corbin, Earnest Davidson, Fred Schmidt, Dr. William Detmers and others from UA Pine Bluff in the ASC permanent collection, through Nov. 3. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 870-536-3375. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Howard Simon: Art and Illustrations,” through June 30; “Arkansas and WWI,” documents, photographs and artifacts, through May 26. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790.

p.m. Sun., $10 adults, $8 seniors, retired military and college students, $6 youth 6-17, free to active military and children under 6. 374-4242. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way, Bentonville: “All or Nothing,” works from the permanent collection in black and white, through May 28; “The Garden,” works from the collection, through Oct. 8; American masterworks spanning four centuries in the permanent collection. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700. DELTA CULTURAL CENTER, 141 Cherry St., Helena/West Helena: “Over Here

and There: the Sons and Daughters of Arkansas’s Delta at War,” grand opening ceremony 11 a.m. May 5. 870338-4350.

SEUM, 1601 Rogers Ave.: “Will Barnet: Forms and Figures,” through June 3; “The Essence of Place: David Halpern Photographs from the Gilcrease Collection,” through July 29. 18. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 479-784-2787.

ESSE PURSE MUSEUM & STORE, 1510 S. Main St.: “Cutting Edge,” paper dresses from the 1960s, through May 20; HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK: “Caution: Garment May Be Flammable,” “Arts & the Park,” studio tours, gallery mixed media work by Laura Fanning, exhibitions, poetry readings, theatrical workshop in making paper clothes or productions, music, craft demonstracollages with the artist 1-3 p.m. May tions, through May 6, various venues. 19, $30. “What’s Inside: A Century of for schedule. Women and Handbags,” permanent exhibit. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS 3 p.m. Sun. $10, $8 for students, seniors MILITARY HISTORY, 503 E. 9th St. (Maand military. 916-9022. cArthur Park): Closed through August for renovation. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUp.m. Sun. 376-4602.


D N A S R E G R S U R E B G M R A U H B 0 $3.0 0 CHEESE N MAY 8 1 $3.5 LUNCH O MAY 7-1 FOR Z. FILETS O 8 0 0 . $30

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.: “Louder than Words: Rock, Power & Politics,” through Aug. 5; permanent exhibits on the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5

Lunch: Mon- Fri 11am-2pm • Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-9:30pm; Fri & Sat 5:30-10pm 1023 West Markham • Downtown Little Rock • 501-376-1195 • MAY 03, 2017


Celebrating Our Nurses NURSES WEEK 2018



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Baptist Health College Little Rock does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, physical challenges, gender, marital status, race, national origin, or religion. Gainful employment and consumer information can be found at BHCLR-Schools of Allied Health are licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Private Career Education. BHCLR-Schools of Nursing are licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. 34 34






BY LISA IANNUCCI, CTW FEATURES o you watch “ER”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scrubs” or Nurse Jackie and believe that a nurse’s job isn’t as important as a doctor’s? Think again, because if you believe that television accurately portrays what nurses really do for patients, you’re wrong.


It’s funny how people may still believe in this day and age that all nurses do is empty bedpans and follow doctor’s orders. That couldn’t be further from the truth.” Nurses are highly-trained, highly-skilled profes-

sionals. They possess in-depth knowledge and understanding of a variety of medical issues as well as critical thinking skills. Their interactions with other departments in the background are often not seen by the patient or their families. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36


NURSE APPRECIATION PERCEPTION VS. REALITY CONTINUED In hospitals, patients shouldn’t expect nurses to do hands-on work. These functions now are performed by nursing assistants, known as CNAs, or certified nursing assistants. Just like there are different types of physicians, there are different types of nurses too. Registered Nurses work in a variety of settings, with most working in hospitals. Once someone is licensed as an RN, they may choose to work in a hospital, clinic, school, prison, public health, home health care, or nursing homes. There are many specialty areas that a nurse can focus on depending on their education and experience. As many systems as there are in a human body, and as many stages of human development there are, all of these can be a specialty area for a nurse. They often obtain specialty certification, which is not always required and may include additional education, practicum experiences and testing. Advance practice nurses have master’s degrees or doctorates in nursing and are involved in administering anesthesia,

birthing babies, teaching at the college level, conducting research, designing health systems and more. In a doctor’s office, a nurse will take the patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure, height, weight, pulmonary and/or electrocardiograms. The doctor handles all other aspects of the medical assessment. Nurses in a physician’s office will also perform clerical work and electronic documentation. A hospital nurse works in the recovery room, intensive care unit (ICU), critical care unit (CCU) or the medical-surgery unit, pediatrics and other areas which require specialized training. Nurses also work in the hospital specialty unit or in the home, providing end-of-life care. Pain management, comfort and support to the patient is their primary role; the hospice care nurse also comforts and supports the family. The next time you’re watching a television show and the nurses are seen emptying bedpans and taking orders, consider it a comedy, because it’s far from reality.■

Nursing at UAMS T

o learn why our nurses chose UAMS, view our nurses stories located at nurses.uams. edu under the ‘About Us’ tab from our diverse staff and areas: #UAMSNursesRock! ■

Baptist Health School of Nursing G

eorgia Seward has worked for Baptist Health for an incredible 50 years and currently works as a faculty member at Baptist Health School of Nursing where she teaches critical care for final semester nursing students. She is also a retired colonel with the United States Army Reserve and has volunteered to assist with local disasters. She has mentored many individuals throughout her career at Baptist Health and the Army Reserve. Seward loves the students, and they love her. She has an opendoor policy and mentors students regardless of what level they are. You will see students lined up outside her office door waiting to see her, and she never turns a student away. She has worked in various positions

Libby Ramirez

LIBBY RAMIREZ, RN Surgical/Trauma ICU: “I like the fast pace, action and thrill of taking care of our patients.” CALEB THOMPSON, RN Cardiac Progressive Care: “The new graduate residency program is about not only supporting you as you are starting off in your career … but how to provide nursing care to a different variety of people. I feel valued and appreciated at UAMS … everyone was accepting of me and what I brought to the table.” GLEN LEWIS, RN Medical Specialties: “I love learning … you can move around … research, patient care, education, leadership … there are plenty of opportunities at UAMS! Come with an open mind and an open heart … I could not have chosen a better place.”

Caleb Thompson

Glen Lewis Georgia Seward, Baptist Health

36 36


during her 50-year tenure at Baptist Health, including in the emergency room and ICU, and has been a shift supervisor and course leader for critical care at the college. Seward holds a diploma, BSN, and master’s degree in nursing, and she earned a second master’s degree in administration and emergency management. When asked to name the most significant role she has played during her career as a nurse, Seward says this: “My most significant role was taking care of patients in the intensive care unit. At that time, the intensive care unit was a mixed unit, which meant that the patients might be medical or general surgery or cardiovascular, to include post-operative open heart patients. Medicine was advancing




Not only during Nurses Week but all through the year – we recognize, acknowledge and appreciate our nursing staff and nurses for their expertise and

Nurses helping nurses. rapidly and nursing care had to advance just as rapidly. There were many, many patients that challenged us mentally to determine what the problem was and how to treat it. I enjoyed that challenge. I liked realizing what was happening medically with the patient and working with the physician or other health care professional to treat the issue and “save” the patient. One of the reasons this role was so significant is because, with the knowledge I gained in the ICU at Baptist, I was able

to work in other areas and appropriately care for those patients. Those other areas included ER and as a nursing supervisor and as a nursing instructor! I also used that ICU knowledge when I worked in military hospitals or clinics or field deployments for two or three weeks at a time. So all that critical care knowledge was critical to my career! (I don’t know if that pun is intended or not).” And finally, if you ask Seward the greatest benefit she’s received during her nursing career, she says, “It is all the friends I have made.”■


ou’re not feeling well and called for a doctor’s appointment. The office informs you that the doctor doesn’t have any open appointments, but the nurse practitioner is available. You know what a nurse is, but what’s a nurse practitioner? According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, they are often referred to as “nurses,” but that terminology inaccurately reflects their advanced education, professional accreditation and scope of practice. A nurse practitioner is a nurse with advanced training and education beyond their basic RN degree. Advance practice nurses have a master’s degree or a doctorate. They can specialize in pediatrics or geriatrics or many other areas. They have prescriptive privileges and, depending on state regulations, may admit patients to the hospital and follow them at the nursing home or other healthcare institutions. They can order and

interpret lab and diagnostic tests. In some states they can practice independently. There is an increased demand for nurse practitioners. They are seen as a valued provider of services for patient populations that are often underserved. These patient populations may be less attractive to some physicians due to poor reimbursement for services. Nurse practitioners are paid less than physicians but can perform similar, or in some cases the same, services making them a valuable healthcare team member. Nurse practitioners may specialize in services that a physician may not have expertise in. For example, advanced wound management or end of life care. The Association of Nurse Practitioners say that 86.6 percent of NPs are certified in an area of primary care and the majority of NPs see three or more patients per hour. So the next time you need a doctor, a nurse practitioner will due just fine. ■

commitment in creating comfort, hope and healing with our patients and families. If you want a nursing career where nurses are valued and supported, consider UAMS. Visit or call (501) 686.5691 ext. 1

We care for the people who care for our patients.


There are 1,906 reasons why Conway Regional is a great place to work. That’s the number of people who work together to make our culture exceptional.

As a healthcare professional, you make decisions that affect our patients every day. So of course you deserve to be treated like the valuable team member you are. That’s why, if you choose a career with Conway Regional, you’ll enjoy: • Market-competitive salary & benefits • Encouraging team atmosphere • Low nurse-to-patient ratios • Inter-professional shared governance structure • High employee satisfaction & retention Apply online at 501-513-5311

One Team. One Promise. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT MAY 3 2018 37 MAY 03, 2017 37


Make plans to attend the first ever, Arkansas Times Yoga On The Field event presented by Baptist Health at 6 p.m., Saturday May 26 at War Memorial Stadium. Join Wendy Cook from Big Rock Yoga along with hundreds of Central Arkansas yoga enthusiasts for an hour of fun, intensive yoga followed by food, cocktails and Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer in the south end zone. 




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LOGO 21.07.2016 MD









Includes complimentary food and cocktails after the yoga session. Tickets are limited. wase early.



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MAY 03, 2017









You’re Invited!

Can ihelp you? Sat. May 12, 2018 • 6-9pm Food • Drinks • Crafts • Music

Learn to get the most from Free admission! your Apple products at

or your office. Thank you to ourhome Supporters!

*Created by and benefiting immigrant families served by El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center

• Learn to get the

• Data Recovery & troubleshooting Thank you to our Supporters! products at • Hardware & Thank you Apple to our Supporters! home or your office software • Guide you to the installations perfect Mac or • Organize and device forArts your Council, Support is provided, in part, by the Arkansas agency of the backupan all your Support is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas needs and budget Heritage and the National Endowment of the Arts. documents, Support is Heritage, provided, in part, the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency the Arts Department of Arkansas andbythe National Endowment ofofthe • Everything photos, music, Department of Arkansas Heritage, and theApple: National Endowment of the Arts Macs, iPads, movies and iPhones, Apple TV email on all your and Apple Watch devices with iCloud

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feature concert




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MOVING TO MAC • 501-681-5855

Native Arkansan, songwriter, singer, and outlaw country artist Bonnie Montgomery kicks off the Ozark Folk Center Feature Concert Series with a sound that hearkens back to the era of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn with a unique drive and attitude all her own. Tickets available at:



LOCAL MAY 03, 2017


Non-Profit Recipient:


downtown little Rock partnership

MAY 10 | 6-9pm presents

river market pavilionS


! E L A S R O F R E E B C O L D C O RO N A Join the fun

as Don Julio, the world’s first ultra-premium tequila, presents the second annual Margarita Festival • Thursday, May 10 at the Little Rock River Market Pavilions •

It’s a salute to the perfection of a great margarita!

Sample variations of the classic cocktail from the city’s best bartenders and VOTE for your favorites! We will crown one margarita best of the fest!

Some of Our Competing Bars and Restaurants

Food Available for Purchase from:

La Terraza • Taco Mama

Latin Salsa tunes Doubletree’s Bridges Restaurant & Lounge & Jimmy Buffett Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill standards from: Revolution Taco and Tequila Bar Club 27 O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor Little Rock Salsa La Terraza Rum & Lounge TICKETS Cache Restaurant EARLY BIRD PRICE! Big Whiskey’s Purchase Now The Pizzeria Before Rates Ernie Biggs Go Up! 109 & Co. Ticket price includes 20 three-ounce Margarita samples. Loblolly Cold Corona For Sale. Bleu Monkey Grill (Hot Springs) Taco Mama (Hot Springs) Ohio Club (Hot Springs)


And more coming...

Tickets are limited. Purchase early.

Club 27 Photobooth Sponsor 40

MAY 03, 2017


Wristband Sponsor

Music Sponsor


Arkansas Times - May 03, 2018  

Crack of Doom - The Rep shocks LR by going dark. By Leslie Newell Peacock.

Arkansas Times - May 03, 2018  

Crack of Doom - The Rep shocks LR by going dark. By Leslie Newell Peacock.