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VOLUME 43, NUMBER 54 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, SUITE 200, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $74 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current singlecopy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.



CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock has been named the No. 1 hospital in Arkansas for 2017-18 by U.S. News & World Report. This is our fifth year in a row to receive this quality recognition. It is rewarding to know Arkansans put their confidence in us to meet their medical needs. For more about your health and our specialists, visit

Infirmary High performing in: Heart Bypass Surgery | Heart Failure | Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair | Aortic Valve Surgery | Colon Cancer Surgery | Hip Replacement | Knee Replacement SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


Silly season The “silly season” is almost here. This is the season in which some people talk and act crazy about themselves and public policy. It happens around every two years. Political candidates do everything in their power to win public office. In Arkansas, judicial candidates file as early as December of this year. Democrats and Republicans will start signing up as early as February 2018. Voting for primary elections starts in early May. When the primaries are finished, Arkansas’s political government will basically be decided. There is only one viable political party now in Arkansas, the Republicans, and winners of the Republican primary contests will most likely proceed to public office. The general election in November 2018 will simply be a formality for our red state’s constitutional officers and most of the legislature. Our governor, attorney general and representatives can plan their agendas now for the next two years. The silly season is also made simpler by computer voting. Arkansas is quickly switching to the Schouptronic machines provided by the Danahar Control Corp. in Illinois. Paper trails are not available to the silly news media and software engineers will eventually be able to design voting results throughout our state. Maybe someday soon Arkansans will be able to phone text their choices for “Republican Idol.” Virtual democracy and a one-party system take a lot of the silliness out of politics. G ene Mason Jacksonville

On bullshit I am quoted in Leslie Peacock’s article about doctors and medical marijuana. I do not disown any of the things I am quoted as saying, and I commend Peacock on her excellent research and writing. I’ve enjoyed reading her for at least two decades. But the slant of the article creates a misperception that I am (and many other doctors like me are) cruelly depriving suffering human beings of beneficial treatment. This is not correct. The problem is that there is a lack of scientifically valid evidence that marijuana is helpful for any medical condition that I treat, such as PTSD. Peacock notes on the Psychiatric Associates 4

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COMMENT of Arkansas Facebook page an arti- apple juice cured colon cancer, it not hard to find examples of testicle reviewing the evidence for using would not make it any more effec- mony to just about anything. Even marijuana for PTSD and chronic tive. I do not object to unusual treat- the available testimonial data is not pain. The article concludes there ments. If you look on the Facebook gathered in the systematic scientific is no good evidence that marijuana page there are also articles about way a medical sociologist might do. is a beneficial treatment for either using ketamine (the club drug “spe- In my own area of psychiatry there of these conditions. The article is cial K”) as a treatment for depression is plenty of evidence that marijuana published in the prestigious, peer- and MDMA (the club drug “ecstasy”) does harm. For instances it can proreviewed journal Annals of Internal as a treatment for PTSD. If there voke paranoia and psychosis in peoMedicine and is summarized in a is evidence a treatment is safe and ple who are predisposed. It can interReuter’s clip. Peacock’s article states alleviates human suffering or reme- fere with motivation and memory. I that my office “voted” not to certify diates human disease, then I am all defer to other specialists regarding medical marijuana. Voting has noth- over it. The “evidence” for medical marijuana as a treatment for seizures, ing to do with this or with determin- marijuana is testimonial. While tes- HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. ing whether any medical treatment timony is emotionally compelling, I know that the law only requires is appropriate. If doctors voted that it carries no scientific weight. It is that a doctor certify that somebody has one of the listed conditions and does not require the doctor to certify that it is his or her professional opinion that marijuana helps the condition. Think about who this disclaimer lets off the hook: It is not the doctors who provide treatments to patients that are proven to be helpful to them. I will never in my capacity as a doctor advise a patient: “Take this; there is no evidence it works and I don’t know whether it does more harm than good — but here you go.” In Peacock’s article I am quoted using the word “baloney.” I apologize for this word choice. I selfcensored to be polite. The word I actually have in mind is “bullshit,” in the sense described in the philosopher H.G. Frankfurt’s definitive treatise “On Bullshit.” Frankfurt argues bullshit is a valuable concept in analyzing human discourse. He states that the difference between bullshit and lying is that the liar is concerned with truth (and wants to obscure or misrepresent it), whereas the bullshitter does not care what the truth is — he is up to something else. For instance, I was out with a friend, and he ordered a bottle of wine and grinned and said “for my heart.” I rolled my eyes. Why did he grin and why did I roll my eyes? Because both of us recognized his statement was bullshit. Notice that truth is irrelevant here; wine may or may not be good for his heart, but that is not why he was ordering a bottle of wine. He was ordering a bottle of wine because it is an intoxicating, euphoriant drug, and we both know it. When I say medical marijuana is bullshit, what I mean is that whether or not medical marijuana is helpful for any medical condition, people use it because it is an intoxicating, euphoriant drug. And we all know it. When someone says they use marijuana for their PTSD,

they should grin and we should roll our eyes. Arkansas voters can pass a law legalizing medical marijuana, but they cannot pass a law making marijuana an appropriate treatment for any illness any more than my partners and I can vote that marijuana is not an appropriate treatment for PTSD. The only thing that can establish the utility of marijuana as a treatment is a randomized blocks, placebo-controlled trial comparing marijuana with a plausible placebo and using objective measures and statistical analyses to sort out all the biases that human beings are prone to. In the case of medical marijuana, such evidence is conspicuously absent. Unless there is good scientific evidence, medicine should not be involved with this at all. Also, notice that I am not necessarily against revoking the laws prohibiting marijuana use. I think a good case can be made for repealing all of our vice laws — because their enforcement is too expensive, painful, and ineffective — and then mount public health information campaigns and presume that smart, good, well-informed people will choose to live healthy, happy, productive lives and cultivate good habits rather than bad habits, and they will judiciously use pharmaceuticals that are proven to be helpful to them. That is, we might do better if we treated all vices like we do nicotine use — develop public health and moral solutions rather than punitive, painful legal sanctions. And a debate about this would be honest and not bullshit. I also worry about doctors monetizing human suffering. The U.S. medical system, which should be devoted to ameliorating disease and easing suffering, is already badly twisted by perverse economic incentives. Obviously, the most self-serving way for me to play the medical marijuana game would be to hand out a checklist with the qualifying diagnoses and their symptoms and have patients check off symptoms and attach a check for $250. I would then provide a signed certificate and a disclaimer that there is no good scientific evidence that marijuana helps any of these conditions. And I could do it all by mail or telemedicine. The patients would buy shortterm happiness and I’d be rich. And we could both grin and roll our eyes. Richard Owings Psychiatric Associates of

Arkansas Little Rock

From the web In response to Leslie Peacock’s Sept. 7 cover story on medical marijuana: Is hydrocodone “baloney”? Is OxyContin “baloney”? Are fentanyl patches “baloney”? Are the addictions and long-lasting effects on patients’ health of the three previous drugs mentioned just “baloney”? I have never met a marijuana addict. I have met plenty of hydrocodone addicts who are now so messed up that they are turning to heroine to ease their physical pain and sadly falling into deeper spirals of addiction.



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Artificial Intelligence Amen. I say give it awhile. After the storm of the early days turns into months and a year or so, the benefits will began to show and start outweighing the negative attitudes on the subjects. The doctors will truly see the good in using it and will begin to come around. You’ll see. M ike Hogan Sr. Anything that might, I say even might, cut down on the opioid addiction in this country, which leads to heroin, I am all for. Since it is nonaddictive (not to be confused with habit or liking it a lot), I say it is worth a try. Many parts of the country are seeing enormous spikes in opioid addiction deaths in all age groups. No approach seems to be working. For that reason alone, I would be in favor of legalization of marijuana. Ark7788 SEPTEMBER 14, 2017




Tweet of the week “The City of LR is going after Amazon HQ2! Teamed with our Econ Development team at the Chamber and AEDC we will Think Big and Be Creative” — Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola (@ LittleRockMayor). Think big, all right. Amazon is looking for a metropolitan area of 1 million people, an international airport, mass transit and a workforce of thousands of technology-talented workers, all of which are in short supply in Little Rock.

Racial bias suit settled The Little Rock School District and a group of African-American plaintiffs represented by veteran civil rights attorney Rep. John Walker (D-Little Rock) reached a settlement in a racial bias lawsuit. Plaintiffs in the case, which had been scheduled to go to trial Sept. 13 before U.S. District Judge Price Marshall, alleged that the LRSD continues to effectively discriminate on the basis of race by providing inequitable school facilities and academic programs to black students. Under the terms of the settlement, the district is required to increase access to AP and pre-AP classes, fix various facilities issues at three predominately African-American schools, and raise parent awareness of academic offerings such as AP classes, gifted and talented programs and the Forest Heights STEM Academy. Walker and his firm will receive $100,000 in fees and costs. The district will receive assurances that the plaintiffs will not sue again. The two most significant requirements, though, would come with a three-year timeline attached. The district would be required to redraw its high school attendance zones by fall 6

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


2020. It would also declare a moratorium has released aggregate ACT scores for on new construction projects, including the graduating class of 2017. The scores school expansions, until a new high reflect for the first time a new statewide school is completed in Southwest Little program to administer the college Rock and Cloverdale Middle School is entrance exam to all public school juniors replaced. free of charge. Voters this spring rejected LRSD Arkansas’s average composite ACT Superintendent Michael Poore’s score fell by almost a full point, from 20.2 attempt to enact a $160 million capital for last year’s graduating class to 19.4 for improvement project by means of the cohort that just graduated in May. extending the life of the district’s bonded That figure includes both public and debt. After the millage extension vote private school students. For public school failed, the district decided to use secondstudents alone, the average composite lien bonds, a method of refinancing that score was 19.2. The maximum possible does not require voter approval, to raise ACT score is a 36. $90 million. Of that, an estimated $55 The drop can be explained by the million will be used to build the new fact that 25 percent more public school Southwest Little Rock high school, students took the test, the Education which will replace McClellan and also in 2018, setting up at least a three-way Department said. Public schools statewide absorb J.A. Fair High School. Poore said contest for leadership of the city. began administering the test to all juniors groundbreaking for the new high school Scott will face at least two opponents: — paid for by the state — in 2016, so the will be Oct. 2. Portions of the remaining incumbent Mark Stodola and Rep. class of 2017 was the first to benefit from money will be used to pay for the other Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock), who the statewide program. The free statewide facilities requirements in the settlement. announced his own “exploration” of the administration requirement only applies mayoral race in July. to public schools; private schools abide by different testing standards. Most of Arkansas’s neighbors administer the test Frank Scott Jr., a Little Rock banker statewide, and Arkansas’s 19.4 average is who formerly sat on the state Highway comparable to those found in Louisiana Commission, has announced he’s (19.5), Mississippi (18.6), Missouri (20.4), The state Department of Education Oklahoma (19.4) and Tennessee (19.8). exploring a bid for Little Rock mayor

Scott jumps in mayor’s race

ACT results comparable to surrounding states

Tipping point


was extremely cautious before engaging in the educational debate about the State Board of Education’s decision to take over the Little Rock School District. I did not want to be just another black voice saying no to the powers that be. Then, a lightbulb turned on: I’m a lawyer, so I should just go read the law. I read the law, talked to parents, talked to students, talked to teachers, talked with lobbyists who support charter expansion, talked with those opposed to the proliferation of charter schools, and met with policymakers about this important issue in educational history in Arkansas. Coupled with my life experiences and as a graduate of Little Rock McClellan High School, I have developed my own perspective and approach to the educational landscape in Little Rock. Shortly after its decision to take over the LRSD, in April 2016, the State Board of Education approved the creation of the Little Rock Area Public Education Stakeholder Group. Along with six others, I was appointed to serve on the group. After a year of research, meetings and presentations, the stakeholder group gave its final report. In connection, I authored a


concurring opinion to highlight some additional recommendations to the state board to assist with the creation of ANTWAN a strategic plan. It PHILLIPS Guest Columnist focused primarily on the policy issues surrounding charter authorization. My first recommendation was that, before the Arkansas Department of Education can facilitate any semblance of collaboration, there must be equity and enforcement. For example, department rules say that a local school board may review the application of a proposed open-enrollment public charter within the district’s footprint. A local school board would not have the final say on whether the charter school was approved, but the rule was presumably created to provide some much needed context and consideration from local representation on the need or impact of an additional charter school. In the LRSD, because there is no school board, there is no one to fulfill this check and balance.

Climate blind


f there was ever a teaching moment for a nation or a culture on an issue of historic importance, wouldn’t it be the late summer of 2017 for climate change? Four powerful Atlantic hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Jose and Katia — threatened low-lying coasts with devastation of biblical proportions, and the three that made landfall brought death, suffering and destruction to a wide swath of coastal United States and Mexico as well as anarchy on the territorial islands of the West Indies. All of that in a single week following the planet’s warmest year on record. But the prevailing policy in the United States is that it is indecent — “insensitive” was President Trump’s environmental chief’s word for it — to talk about global warming or climate change while millions of people are suffering from an act of nature. Rush Limbaugh said all the publicity about the hurricanes was part of the hoax by liberals, scientists, maybe the pope and big advertisers to take away our liberties.

It is terribly wrong now to mention that the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990 said that the increasing ERNEST DUMAS concentration of greenhouse gases in the skies was producing gradually warming oceans and atmosphere, which would produce steadily more catastrophic weather events like hurricanes, floods and droughts — like Harvey and Irma. Big hurricanes were only one of the dreaded effects of the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons across the decades and centuries, but they are the most sensational and thus might offer the best teaching moment. When Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and the man charged with dismantling all the nation’s rules to reduce greenhouse poisoning, lectured us

The only analysis of the potential we send to those students and families impact that the State Board receives is if we continue to choose not to attend whether the charter school will negatively school with them. This hits home with affect desegregation efforts. This is a note- me, because as a child I fit that descripworthy analysis, but it’s also important to tion. I was a member of one of those famiconsider whether a charter school will lies. This hits home with me because I negatively affect the social and financial believe that some parents would welcome viability of the local school district or any the opportunity to send their children to specific school within the district. school with my future children, but would This is of critical concern because have hesitated to send their children to on Sept. 14, the state board will decide school with me when I was a child. whether to approve an additional three Some reading this will attempt to label charter schools within the LRSD foot- me as anti-charter. There was a place for print. As stated in the stakeholder group’s charter schools, but it was not to replace report, there is a tipping point at which traditional schools. I’m not anti-charter; the growth of charter schools negatively just pro-LRSD. Unless the plan is to creaffects traditional schools. We do not ate over 20,000-plus charter school seats, know the financial tipping point, but the there will always be students in the LRSD. societal tipping point has already been As long as there are students in the LRSD, reached. Aside from the protests, rallies, our community, our city leaders and the town halls, op-eds, lawsuits and social Department of Education need to be delibmedia posts, the social tipping point is erate and thorough in determining how affecting families in other ways. decisions impact the educational environTake a moment to consider the child ment of students in the LRSD. Starting and the family that continues to attend Sept. 14, the Department of Education school in the LRSD and how they must feel and state board must evaluate how the to hear their school repeatedly belittled. continued growth of charter seats impacts Consider how a child and family must feel the social, fiscal and educational viability to know that we are talking about them of the LRSD. when we discuss “poor test scores,” perceived “discipline issues” and low socioAntwan Phillips is an attorney at Wright, economic status. Think about the message Lindsey & Jennings.

that it was insensitive for anyone detailed EPA report on climate indito mention climate change amid so cators in 2016 said storm surges from much suffering, the Republican mayor hurricanes would become increasof Miami, offered a rejoinder: ingly larger and more destructive. “This is the time to talk about cli- The average storm surge will be up mate change. This is the time that the to 47 percent higher by the end of president and the EPA and whoever the century, even if Trump reverses makes decisions needs to talk about course and implements the carbonclimate change. If this isn’t climate lowering mandates of the climatechange, I don’t know what is. This change treaty and the rest of the is a truly, truly poster child for what world, which believes in global warmis to come.” ing, also does its duty. About that time, Irma fortuitously Warmer oceans and gulfs mean changed its course and hit the west- more energy for hurricanes to extract ern coast of Florida instead of the from the top layers of water. More Miami and Palm Beach side so that energetic storms mean fiercer winds, its counterclockwise winds weakened which mean higher and deadlier and produced smaller and less dam- storm surges. Sea-level rise, which aging storm surges into the coastal already is driving Miami’s mayor cities. Limbaugh’s resort home and bananas, but not Gov. Rick Scott, will Trump’s resorts were saved. Could be especially damaging to the Atlantic that have been a biblical message? If coast because of the gradually slopthe hurricane’s eye had gone up the ing continental shelf. Scott, by the Atlantic coast, the counterclockwise way, forbids mention of the phrases winds would have delivered tower- “climate change” or “global warming” ing ocean surges into Miami, Palm in any government document. Beach, Jacksonville and the other The latest polls show that while eastern cities. 68 percent of Americans know that If it is a teaching moment, here’s human activity is warming the planet something to think about, unless only 45 percent worry “a great deal” you are one who distrusts anything about it. Members of the other 55 that scientists or the EPA says: The percent are running the country. Follow Arkansas Blog on Twitter: @ArkansasBlog SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


The deluge


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f the American people, collectively but not, of course, speaking, had enough sense to come with his gullible in out of the rain, the climate “de- listeners. bate” — long settled almost everywhere The Limbaugh else on earth — would be over. position is that No, it’s not possible to assert with conspiratorial libGENE mathematical certainty that hurricanes erals in the news LYONS Harvey and Irma were caused by global media deliberwarming. It’s also not possible to stip- ately stoke panic for the sake of profulate exactly which carton of Camels its. He argued that “there is a symbibrought about my father’s lung cancer. otic relationship between retailers and Only that his 40-year, two-packs-a-day local media, and it’s related to money. It tobacco habit shortened his life by a revolves around money. You have major, decade or more. Although the tobacco major industries and businesses, which companies once resisted the evidence prosper during times of crisis and panic, as vigorously (and dishonestly) as Koch such as a hurricane, which could destroy Industries and the rest now fight cli- or greatly damage people’s homes, and mate science, nobody argues about it it could interrupt the flow of water and anymore. electricity. So what happens? Eventually, statistical evidence con“Well, the TV stations begin reportflates with lived experience to the point ing this and the panic begins to increase. where denialists feel less like icono- And then people end up going to various clasts and more like fools. It’s tempting stores to stock up on water and whatto wonder if two of the most powerful ever they might need for home repairs hurricanes in U.S. history striking Texas and batteries and all this that they’re and Florida within two weeks of each advised to get, and a vicious circle is other might cause Republican climate created,” Limbaugh said. change deniers like EPA administrator “So the media benefits with the Scott Pruitt to go the way of the Marl- panic with increased eyeballs, and the boro Man. retailers benefit from the panic with Pruitt’s the Trump appointee who increased sales, and the TV companies declared it insulting to Floridians to benefit because they’re getting advertisassociate the strongest Atlantic hur- ing dollars from the businesses that are ricane in recorded history with ever- seeing all this attention from customers.” increasing ocean temperatures. This In short, Limbaugh sounded pretty despite the fact that it’s a basic matter much like Sen. Bernie Sanders on crack of atmospheric physics: The warmer — a straight Marxist analysis of the evils the ocean, the more powerful the storm. of corporate broadcasting. Except here’s The connection between record high the problem: Hurricane Irma kept comtemperatures and catastrophic flood- ing, swallowing up St. Martin and the ing events isn’t inferential, it’s direct. Virgin Islands, and looking less imagiEven more than Irma, Hurricane nary every day. Harvey — 50 inches of rain, 70 dead, So Limbaugh shut down his Palm countless lives and livelihoods ruined, Beach studio and evacuated for parts billions in property damage all over unknown, like millions of other Flosouth Texas — impressed scientists as ridians. Needless to say, he’ll come up entirely consistent with a warming Gulf with a fancy alibi. I’m sure it’ll be a humof Mexico. dinger. But how anybody could ever But the real prizewinner, of course, take the portly blowhard seriously again wasn’t EPA’s Pruitt or renowned cli- beggars my poor imagination. matologist Donald J. Trump, but talk That’s the great paradox among radio clown Rush Limbaugh. Even as today’s right-wing true-believers, Hurricane Irma tore through the Carib- where Chicken Little stories are always bean, its 185-mph winds leaving chaos in fashion. The sky is always about to and destruction in its wake, Limbaugh fall. assured listeners that the storm was Except, that is, when it does, as in basically Fake News, a figment of the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. liberal imagination. We may expect such persons to go Believe it or not, he blamed the into increased frenzies of denial. Some malign influence of “Big Water.” Lim- human beings are rarely more passionbaugh claimed to know exactly where ate than when denying reality. and when Irma would make landfall, a Hopefully, the majority proves capasecret he had shared with his “buddies,” ble of learning from it.

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Truth is, Sanders and Clinton supporters had many of the same goals during the primaries; they just differed on how to achieve them and the rhetoric necAUTUMN essary to argue for TOLBERT those policies. The important thing now is to not lose sight of the damage that can be done to the environment, civil rights and immigrants if the left continues to argue over purity and the past. To fight the religious right and the alt-right (a.k.a. Nazis), the left must be open to forming coalitions on specific issues. Not only between Sanders and Clinton supporters, but also with those on the right. This does not mean adopting a more centrist platform or abandoning certain fights. It just means that on specific issues they must partner with groups who want the same outcome but want it for different reasons. Why is this so tough? Sometimes the reluctance to compromise is warranted. For the young progressives who spend so much energy fighting for civil rights issues, compromising and joining with those who don’t share the same humanitarian reasons for their policy positions can be difficult. And partnering with those groups probably does mean that battles can be harder in the future if a line is drawn around the groups they want to protect. For example, a common talking point on DACA is that these young people have a clean criminal history. Fact is, most of us know immigrants who are just as deserving who have committed a misdemeanor that makes them ineligible for DACA. By using this language, advocates shore up arguments against that second group. Similar rhetorical issues exist in criminal justice reform. In Arkansas, some criminal justice reform on drug sentences has been achieved by forming a coalition between those who believe it is immoral to lock up addicts and those who just don’t want to spend the money. It was not the comprehensive reform the left wanted, but it’s a start. And it will help real people. In Arkansas and in D.C., we are in a tempest. And as much as we would like to see lifeboats or shelter for all, much of the country does not want those things. It’s time to join hands with those who do, even if it requires both groups to hold their noses a bit when welcoming our new bedfellows.



ast week, after President Trump joined with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling for three months and providing hurricane relief, the phrase “politics makes strange bedfellows” was on everyone’s lips and Twitter feeds. The more appropriate sentiment right now would be the line from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” the phrase is based upon: “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Misery is right. Except for the hardcore group of Trump supporters who gleefully fawn over his every word and act, the entire country seems miserable all the way around. Senate and House majority leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are in uncharted waters and it shows. While Hurricane Trump wreaks havoc on everything that is decent and democratic, another storm in the Democratic Party just won’t let up. Many of us hoped the turmoil between Hillary Clinton’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters had finally subsided; both groups rallied together to fight draconian changes in health care policy and the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. But some of the old animosity is back as Clinton’s book “What Happened” is to be released this week. As evidenced from early excerpts, Clinton throws some shade Sanders’ way. Pundits have seized on this and have condemned Clinton for releasing a book as things start to heat up for the 2018 midterm election. I’m not sure when her critics believe the proper time for this book would be. I imagine never would be the answer for most. What they don’t get is that there is a growing group of women announcing for office who want to hear what the first female presidential nominee from a major party has to say about her defeat. Women who aren’t running but are involved in politics also want that perspective. I want that perspective. I want to hear what Clinton has to say now, a year from her loss. I want to hear what she has to say 10 years from now. Hers is a unique voice we have not heard before and will not hear again. Those who lambast her for speaking out forget that listening to someone’s experience is not the same as agreeing with that person’s assessment. And if a former nominee’s book is so dangerous, then maybe Trump’s supporters are right about the whole “snowflake” business.



Visit us at any one of our Central Arkansas locations. SEPTEMBER 14, 2017



Bumbling Bielema


he numbing sense of complete disillusionment in the wake of a listless 28-7 loss to Texas Christian University on Saturday in the Arkansas Razorbacks’ “true” home opener gives way to disgust when you see these statistical markers of failure: *Arkansas trailed the Horned Frogs 14-7 at the break after a ragged first 30 minutes, then petered out more fully from there in the loss, running Bret Bielema’s record to 0-15 when his Razorback teams trail at halftime. I get it, when you’re down 28-3 at Auburn (2016) or 28-0 to Alabama (2013), you probably don’t come roaring back — you are just flat beat, and that will happen from time to time. But being down by a touchdown or fewer in five of those losses? Where is that character-building second-half rally? Ironically, the Hogs furiously came back against Mississippi State in 2015 after trailing by 17 in the first half and stormed ahead by 11 on the strength of four straight Brandon Allen touchdown throws, but that was probably the last time the Hogs came blistering out of the gates after halftime. And yet they ended up losing even that one because ... *Cole Hedlund, once hailed as the best placekicking recruit the university has seen, shanked two extra-point-level field goal tries, bringing his career tally at Arkansas to a rather hideous 14 of 24 over two-plus seasons. He’s had potential winners blocked and he’s never genuinely made a clutch kick to speak of, so ... why was he still holding the job? This has been a known issue for two full years; ergo, it’s no longer his fault for all the trust being misplaced in him. Bielema bewilderingly characterized the second miss against TCU, a straighton 20-yarder after Austin Cantrell stupidly lost track of where his feet were on a potential game-tying touchdown toss, as “juvenile.” You know what is juvenile, coach? Trotting Hedlund out there time and time again to make kicks he has exhibited zero competency at making. The first whiff from 22 yards should’ve been the ultimate indicator that Hedlund was incapable of helping the Hogs on a Saturday where every point mattered, at least until the late stages. *Austin Allen had yet another stupefying, horrifying day. Not because of his own performance, mind you — he is not responsible for once-dependable people like Jared Cornelius completely disappearing, his aforementioned tight end


SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


blowing an easy score on a bootleg, or his linemen continually showing poor balance in the face of a pass rush. But Allen, the league’s most productive passer in 2016 despite inordinate challenges, now has 273 yards passing BEAU in the aggregate WILCOX over two games, and he crossed that mark in a single game five times last year. The lack of trustworthy receivers is one issue, but he might well develop chemistry with some of these targets if Johnny Gibson could hold a block. *Last and most damning: take away the gaudy numbers Dan Enos’ offense put up against the two Mississippi schools in 2015-16, and this has really been an erratic and pedestrian mess on that side of the ball for the most part for quite some time. “Halftime adjustments” is an oxymoron in the embattled coordinator’s world — after Allen put the Hogs on the board with a beautiful bootleg left and toss to Jonathan Nance for a 49-yard score, the ensuing drives were punchless. Some of it is playcalling, but personnel choices were baffling, too. David Williams showed burst and strength on three runs on the scoring drive, then was rarely used again until another semisuccessful third quarter drive where the Hogs threatened to tie but didn’t, thanks to Cantrell’s lack of spatial awareness and Hedlund mistaking the goal posts themselves as the target instead of the wideassed gulf between them. Bielema is coaching the rest of the year for his job, and that is now a fact. He has a large buyout and a clearly stellar relationship with his boss, but the old seeds of discontent that were sown when that interloper athletic director hired a Big Ten coach (not my words, mind you, but a rough amalgamation of the regional public’s bristling in late 2012) have come home to roost again. Bielema had almost turned the corner and gotten this fan base fully behind him despite a somewhat rocky 2016 season. But Missouri slammed on the brakes. Virginia Tech squealed the tires. On Saturday, TCU threw the party bus in full reverse and over the next week and a half in preparation for similarly unstable Texas A&M, somebody is going to need to get back behind the wheel and act like he can move the damn thing forward again.



The lake house


he Observer got to the lake over speaking bird languages, a bird telethe weekend, courtesy of some graph that had been ping-ponging friends who rented a place on around that land since before the disthe water. tant dam blocked the Ouachita and It was a beautiful spot to spend the created the lake, before the tranquil weekend: a large and secluded home river rose from its ancient bed to fill with a wide veranda, perched at the the valleys and hollows and subsume head of a sloping lawn that dropped the world up to the very spot where straight into the water. The secluded The Observer was sitting. part worried Spouse, weaned on one Staring out over the water, we too many movies where The Killer thought to try what we’d heard Budrises from Camp Crystal Lake to seek dhists do, which is to attempt to clear his bloody, umpteenth revenge on their minds of all thought. We tried, cavorting teens. She’s been a city girl but the buzz of consciousness always long enough that the woods outside the pushed through — most often the streetlights give her fits, surely packed thought that what we were experias they are with cannibal hillbillies and encing wasn’t actually nonthought, just Hellish Things. The Observer, sadly, the thought of blackness, of still water, had to remind our Beloved that we’ve of the somethingness of trying to will aged out of the slasher movie victim oneself to think of nothingness, which demographic and are well past any isn’t really nothingness at all. We had reliable shenanigans that might attract to take a long drag off the coffee at that the attentions of a walking, phallic one, and accept the fact that we probobject-wielding metaphor for the dire ably wouldn’t make a very good Budconsequences of high school debauch- dhist. We are, as a whole, too greedy ery and pre-marital sex. Anything we for moments like sitting there, watchmight get up to these days is decidedly ing the sun come up, to ever attain post-marital. Nirvana, even if we actually wanted With attacks by Jason Voorhees to quit being reincarnated into this and Michael Myers not forthcoming, world so full of beautiful suffering and we survived the night, only to wake in lovely despair, days at the lake and the dark on Sunday, our back protest- good dogs, decent beers and serviceing at the unfamiliar mattress. Unable able cheese platters, kisses, kittens and to go back to sleep, we fixed some cof- splashing fish. fee and padded down the to the boat We watched the daylight of Sept. 10, dock in bare feet. There was a chair 2017, come on, the only 9/10/17 that will there, and we sat, facing the blush of ever be, as unique as a fingerprint. We the dawn at the edge of the lake. As sipped our coffee and pondered life’s we sipped and sat, the light came up mysteries, as Dear Old Pa always said over the next hour like the lights in a he was doing when we asked him what movie house, the crickets giving way he was doing in a chair out at the end to morning birds. of his boat dock on Lake Conway in the It was chilly, and tendrils of vapor dawn, and we came to see his wisdom. rose from the water, the glass surface Our cup drained, we rose and turned of the lake painted orange and blue and trudged back up the dew-wet and black, reflecting the trees down hill toward the sleeping house full of to the last leaf and needle, a mirror friends. And as we did, we wondered broken only occasionally by a fish ris- just who in the hell could own a place ing to the surface to taste the foreign on the water and grow so tired of it that air. Every bullseye of ripples pushed it just became another thing to rent, out bigger and bigger until they were all those irreplaceable dawns sold off stilled. Crows called from the pines to strangers like me, as if money were on the far shore, echoing other crows, worth more.


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Arkansas Reporter


When Pine Bluff jailed Dick Gregory The comedian and civil rights activist was attempting to eat at a segregated diner in 1964. BY JOHN A. KIRK


ick Gregory, who recently died Gregory came to Pine Bluff from his at the age of 84, was a pioneering hometown of Chicago to encourage civil African-American satirist. Like rights activism. His appearance drew many black entertainers in the 1960s, an audience of over 500 and he took he used his celebrity to aid the cause to the stage for almost two-and-a-half of civil rights by drawing attention to hours, with the rally going well into the the absurdities of segregation and racial night. After it ended, Gregory and Handiscrimination. Not only did Gregory do sen looked for a place to eat. A couple of a trial date was set for the following week, this by performing, writing books, giving black-owned restaurants they visited on Tuesday, Feb. 25. “I ain’t leaving lectures and making media appearances, were already closed, since it was now the this town until that place is integrated,” but he also climbed into the trenches. early hours of Monday morning. They Gregory told reporters, stating his intenGregory campaigned for voting rights then chanced upon the 24-hour Ray’s tion to refuse bond and to remain in jail. in Mississippi in 1962, he was arrested Truck Stop and Cafe on U.S. Highway On Monday evening, Rev. Ben Grinage, numerous times, including in Birming- 79, just north of the city limits in a pre- a Methodist minister and chair of the ham, Ala., in 1963, and he was shot in the dominantly black neighborhood. The Pine Bluff Movement, began to mobilize leg while trying to be a peacemaker dur- two sat down in the customerless cafe, local youth for demonstrations. A total ing the 1965 Watts, Los Angeles, upris- but the waitress, Jewell Nugent, told of 40 young people turned up ready and ing. In one of his lesser-known episodes them that Gregory needed to go to the willing to go to the truck stop, but Griof civil rights activism, in 1964 Gregory rear “where Negroes are served.” Greg- nage told them to wait until the followwas thrown into the Jefferson County ory, not for the first time, felt life imi- ing day so that he could arrange enough Jail in Pine Bluff for trying to eat in the tate art. One his most famous routines bond money to free any of them if need whites-only section of a truck stop cafe. involved exactly the scenario he now be. “Be ready to go to jail,” he told them. The events leading to Gregory’s con- faced, with a waitress telling him “We “We ask you to commit yourselves to stay finement began on Sunday night, Feb. 16, don’t serve colored people here,” and as long as necessary.” 1964, when he was in Pine Bluff talking Gregory retorting, “That’s all right, I When demonstrators arrived at the to members of the Pine Bluff Movement, don’t eat colored people. Just bring me truck stop cafe on Tuesday evening, they a local organization affiliated with the a whole fried chicken.” found that it had already been closed in Student Nonviolent Coordinating ComThis time, it was Hansen who spoke anticipation of their arrival. The demonmittee (SNCC — pronounced “snick”). up first. “No, he’s my friend,” he told strators picketed the cafe for a couple of SNCC had established a foothold in Nugent. “If he can’t eat up here with me, hours. Grinage told reporters, “We’re Arkansas in October 1962 when it sent then he ain’t gonna eat.” The waitress satisfied if it’s closed.” After all, the white civil rights worker Bill Hansen and truck stop and cafe co-owner Ray cafe could not practice segregation if it to help Philander Smith College stu- Watson, 33, who ran the business with was not open for business. On Wednesdents in Little Rock organize a sit-in his mother, decided to press charges. day evening, 40 demonstrators turned movement. After demonstrations suc- Jefferson County Sheriff Harold Nor- up at the reopened cafe. They were all cessfully brought white businessmen in ton arrested both Gregory and Hansen arrested and jailed. On Thursday evening, the city to the negotiating table to end under a state law that made it illegal not 25 demonstrators turned up at the cafe. downtown segregation, Hansen moved to leave the place of a business when Immediately, Ray Watson closed the to Pine Bluff to set up operations there. requested to do so by the owner. They doors to prevent their entry and ushered Hansen helped mobilize black youth in were transported to the segregated Jef- his existing 20 white customers out of Pine Bluff and used the city as SNCC’s ferson County Jail in Pine Bluff. the kitchen door. headquarters to launch other initiatives At a hearing in Judge Wilton E. On Friday, Gregory posted bond and in the Arkansas Delta. Steed’s Municipal Court later that day, was released. He was critical about his 12

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


GREGORY: Described Jefferson County’s segregated jail as a “secret torture chamber.”

time in the jail, telling reporters, “The Health Department man would have to clean that place up and disinfect it before he could go in there to condemn it.” He described conditions as “unhuman” and “unbelievable,” likening it to “somebody’s secret torture chamber.” Gregory informed the press that he had already spoken twice with U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who had promised to investigate. He remained adamant that he would not leave Pine Bluff until the truck stop cafe was desegregated. Hansen and 17 of the 40 other arrested demonstrators remained in jail. Gregory’s main reason for posting bond was the antics of Gov. Orval Faubus. Faubus was busy inflaming the situation, describing it as “threatening” and “riotous.” The governor had amassed state troopers in the area and they were readying a riot plan. Facing a credible Republican opponent in the shape of Winthrop Rockefeller in the 1964 election, there were fears that Faubus was looking to repeat his earlier rabble-rousing at Little Rock’s Central High School and create another expedient racial crisis to exploit. White business leaders in Pine Bluff were alarmed by Faubus’ rhetoric. A Pine Bluff Commercial editorial denounced the governor for using the city’s “trouble for political gain.” On Saturday, Gregory left Pine Bluff altogether in an effort to calm the escalating situation. “Man, this thing has got way out of proportion,” he told reporters. “There ain’t nothing wrong going on here, but Faubus might just make folks think there is. I knew it was getting out of hand when I called my wife in Chicago last night and she told me it was on the front page.” In a brokered compromise, Ray Watson and the Pine Bluff Movement agreed to a 72-hour truce. Watson agreed to keep his cafe closed and the Pine Bluff Movement agreed not to picket. All the remaining demonstrators in the county jail, including Hansen, were released on bonds paid for by local African American businessmen and professionals. Gregory flew back into Pine Bluff for

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

John A. Kirk is the George W. Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Joel E. Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Inconsequential News Quiz:

BIG Booty Bowl Edition PICTURE

Play at home, with your Naloxone close at hand.

1) City building inspectors forced the closure of a bar and grill on Asher Avenue last week, citing several fire code violations. Which of the following is an event that had to be canceled because of the closure? A) A set by Power Ultra Lounge regular DJ Felon in Pozzezzion of a Firearm. B) Mayor Mark Stodola look-alike contest. C) The 2017 Booty Bowl. D) Unplanned pregnancy information fair for those who attended the True Love Waits Christian Rock Festival in June. 2) At a press conference last week, Governor Hutchinson announced that pharmacists across Arkansas may now dispense something without a prescription for the first time. What is it? A) Sound advice to get the hell out of this state while the gettin’ is good. B) Naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. C) Bible verses and shame to any unmarried person attempting to buy rubbers. D) Hot fudge sundaes with blue supermeth sprinkles. 3) The American Atheists advocacy group recently sent a letter to over 260 public school superintendents across Arkansas, informing them of something. What did the letter say? A) That grown men bending over and paddling children and pubescent teens to “discipline” them is a really, REALLY weird thing to do. B) That Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be An American” is not, in fact, the National Anthem. C) That it has received a “credible threat” that Santa Claus, Jesus and SpongeBob SquarePants are planning a terrorist attack on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. D) That it’s prepared to sue if schools implement a new state law requiring a framed copy of the phrase “In God We Trust” on the wall of every public school classroom. 4) Arkansas’s average ACT score fell by almost a full point, from 20.2 for last year’s high school seniors, to 19.4 for this year. On what does the Arkansas Department of Education blame the drop? A) Over 60 percent of Arkansas teachers are addicted to huffing dry-erase markers. B) A lack of framed “In God We Trust” reminders in classrooms. C) 25 percent more students taking the test, since the state started picking up the cost for all juniors to take the test in 2016. D) Historic shortages of No. 2 pencils in Crawford, Ashley, Polk and Merkin counties.


the trial, taking a commercial flight from Chicago to Memphis and then renting a private plane at $10 per hour for the last leg of his journey. Gregory was just over half an hour late for his trial, earning him a $50 fine from Judge Steed. The courtroom was already packed with a mainly black audience. In just under two hours, Gregory and Hansen were found guilty as charged and were each handed a $500 fine and a six-month prison sentence, the maximum allowed under state law. “When I heard that ‘six months’ I thought, ‘What am I gonna do with that pilot?’ ” Gregory later quipped. “He’s out there waitin’ on me.” Pine Bluff attorney and NAACP state president George Howard, who represented both men in court, indicated that they would appeal the decision. Both Gregory and Hansen were released on $2,500 bonds. Gregory reckoned that the time he had already spent in jail had cost him $42,000 in bookings he had been forced to cancel. The following day, Ray Watson successfully sought a restraining order from the court, banning Gregory and Pine Bluff Movement members from demonstrating at his cafe. He reopened for business on Thursday afternoon. On March 19, the other demonstrators who had been arrested were all fined $500 each and sentenced to 30 days in jail. All posted bond pending appeal. The episode was finally brought to a close later that summer when the U.S. Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act that made segregation illegal in public accommodations and facilities. Subsequent U.S. Supreme Court rulings made it clear that the definition of public accommodations and facilities could be extended to private businesses, like Ray’s Truck Stop and Cafe, too. Another court ruling freed over 3,000 people, including Gregory, Hansen and Pine Bluff Movement demonstrators, from their fines and sentences resulting from anti-segregation protests. Gregory’s appearance in Pine Bluff was by no means his last in Arkansas. He returned numerous times, both in his capacity as an entertainer and as an activist. But apparently his visit to the Jefferson County Jail in 1964 convinced Gregory that it should be his first and last experience of incarceration in the state.


5) It’s been announced that the next season of a popular TV series will have an Arkansas connection. What’s the connection? A) Leaked scripts for the next season of “Game of Thrones” reveal that the show will end with the Iron Throne somehow occupied by an unemployed roofer from Malvern named The Dread King Danny Jack Bodean. B) A new character on “Orange Is the New Black” will be a woman sent to prison for selling Arkansas Department of Correction Director Wendy Kelley two vials of the execution drug Midazolam on a Piggly Wiggly parking lot. C) The Duggar family will soon debut its new TLC reality show, “19 Kids Counting On Psychotherapy.” D) The third season of HBO’s “True Detective” will be set in Northwest Arkansas.

Answers: C, B, D, C, D






THE NEW AMPHITHEATER: Work is nearly complete on the outdoor performance space, which will seat 8,000.

Going MAD

Arkansas’s original boomtown booms again. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE


n the last dying days of September, Brad Paisley, Ludacris, Train, Robert Randolph, Smokey Robinson, Migos, Natasha Bedingfield and ZZ Top will all be making a beeline for Union County, bypassing cultural and culinary hubs like Bentonville and Little Rock for South Arkansas, where a former oil boom town is undergoing a $100 million makeover. MAD, as it’s called, short for Murphy Arts District, is a two-phase creation of an entertainment district aimed at revitalizing downtown El Dorado. It involves turning the 1928 Griffin Auto Co. Building, once a fuel station and showroom for Model T Fords, into The Griffin, a farm-to-table restaurant flanked by a cabaret lounge and a 2,000-seat music hall with a stageside elevator, multiple


SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


bars, a VIP loft, a concession area, dress- caught some attention for its wholeing rooms and a patio adorned with a 110- some but savvy parodies — see the Macklfoot statue of an oil derrick, a bombastic emore-inspired “Downtown” video on homage to the black gold from which El YouTube from the spring of 2016, or this Dorado sprang. The lawn outside The year’s MGM-bright, one-take ensemble Griffin has been carved into an outdoor number “El Do Land,” a parody of the amphitheater that can accomodate 8,000 opening sequence from “La La Land,” people, with an adjacent farmer’s market the whimsical, not-quite-“Best Picture” and 2-acre, free-admission “destination of the 2017 Oscars. playscape” for kids. The whole thing’s in countdown That’s just the part MAD calls “Phase mode, with organizers preparing for a I.” Phase II, set to begin in two years, massive five-day launch Sept. 28 with six involves renovating the 1920s-chic Rialto major ticketed concerts, private donor Theater (on the National Register of His- events and over 25 free concerts on El toric Places, along with the Griffin Build- Dorado’s Union Square. Like its proing) and turning the adjacent McWil- motional videos, MAD is an ambitious liams building into a 10,000-square-foot operation, tightly choreographed, but art gallery with artist-in-residence quar- nimble enough to turn on a dime when it ters. needs to. I’ve been down Highway 167 to MAD’s marketing campaign has watch things take shape as the clock ticks.

Location, location, location MAD is an acronym, but it’s also a pretty apt description of the ethos behind the project. To understand why, it helps to take a look at a map of the country. Put pushpins on the major markets in the lucrative and logistically complex world of big-budget music tours. We’re talking about cities targeted by behemoth PR machines like, say, the one behind Brad Paisley’s “Weekend Warrior World Tour,” a 38-date affair complete with three opening acts, stops in Norway and Sweden and a concurrent partnership with Boot Barn on an exclusive line of jeans, hats, jewelry, belts and woven shirts called “Moonshine Spirit.” Tours like Paisley’s usually land on some clear frontrunner markets: New York, LA, Chicago. In the South, there’s Nashville, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta. Because tour production companies like Live Nation and AEG Presents have built their fortunes along the infrastructure that links those cities, location matters — a lot. It’s the reason why



Little Rock is blessed with a bounty of January discovery of an oil well spurred last-minute shows from inventive up- the creation of a town swimming pool, and-comers the week preceding South amusement park and auditorium. Nine by Southwest: they’re all Austin-bound. hundred other oil wells followed, and As any show promoter will tell you, a the population of 4,000 — sustained market’s proximity to its bigger neigh- mostly by a cotton and timber indusbors, paired with a promoter’s ability to try — ballooned to over 25,000. When catch talent traveling between markets, there’s Texas Tea involved, proximity of can make or break the success of a live neighboring markets is of little concern. music venue in its first year of operation. You get some tanker trains loaded and Consider all that when you place the moving — boxcars trembling from the next pin on your theoretical map: directly top to the ground, as Merle Haggard above El Dorado, smack dab in the mid- sang — and you export the stuff. dle of Union County, about 16 miles north When it’s a century later, and it’s culof the Louisiana border. Closest neigh- ture itself you want to tremble and shake, bors include Parkers Chapel, Quinn you get Terry Stewart. and Newell. Further out in the county, there are cities whose populations the U.S. Census Bureau actually bothers to Boom (again) count: Norphlet (population 844), Calion (494) and Smackover (1,865); not exactly Stewart’s office sits at the far end thrilling territory for music promoters of a long, open workspace at the cortrying to engage new listeners (and their ner of Cedar and Washington streets wallets). That is, El Dorado is not only in downtown El Dorado. On a visit in in the middle of nowhere, it’s not even early August, the place buzzed with the on the way to anywhere. energy of a young tech startup — open Then again, relative geography didn’t floor plan down the middle, lined with matter to El Dorado circa 1921, when the meeting rooms around the perimeter,


MAD NOW, TOMORROW: The Griffin Building (top) has been transformed into a music hall, cabaret and restaurant as part of Phase I; in Phase II, the Rialto Theater will be renovated alongside a 10,000-square-foot art gallery and exhibit hall with artist-inresidence quarters.



HARDHAT ZONE: MAD’s Tara Gathright stands in front of the Griffin Restaurant.

the doors of most of them swung open. A every few years. color-coded map of concrete-pour plans So how’d the guy who ran Marvel stretched across a wall in the reception and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame end area. A young woman up front spoke up in El Dorado? “You have three pubinto the reception phone receiver and licly traded companies here — Murphy made notes on a memo pad. “Yes, ma’am, Oil, Murphy USA and Deltic Timber,” we’re really excited,” she told her caller. Stewart said. “You have a number of Stewart’s office is scant and smartly chemical companies. You have a refinery decorated. What he says is only a tiny here. And they have a bad time recruiting sampling of his record collection sits people to come work in their companies.” on a shelf above his desk, a John Raitt Stewart first visited for the town’s annual LP in full view. A tiny fidget spinner pin Musicfest El Dorado “six or seven years decorates the lapel of his jacket; Stew- ago.” He says that despite assets like a art self-identifies as a “culture vulture.” $50 million high school, the longest-runOn a scale of one to the Atacama Desert, ning symphony in the state and Murphy Stewart’s wit is upward of the 90th per- Oil Foundation’s ambitious college scholcentile, impeccably dry. When I asked arship program — the “El Dorado Promhim, for example, how the MAD project ise” — it turns out that people graduating would sustain itself after launch, he dead- from large colleges in major metropolipanned: “It’s not. It’s gonna fail miser- tan areas, “the people they’re trying to ably. I’ll be back in Cleveland, and none recruit,” Stewart said, don’t especially of it will matter.” A curl at the edge of his want to uproot their lives and set up shop mouth telegraphed his mischief, but he south of someplace called Smackover committed to the routine anyway, insist- for a job offer. When recruitment gets ing that I’d be able to get a whale of a deal tough, big companies often jump ship on the MAD headquarters’ office furni- and relocate their headquarters. “If they ture after the whole thing folds. do,” Stewart said, “it’s going to underStewart was “born in LA,” he told me: mine this town, which is a very bucolic, “Lower Alabama.” As a kid, he collected lovely town.” comics. Later, he collected degrees — Bob Tarren, MAD’s chief markettwo from Rutgers University in educa- ing officer, was the former markettion and engineering and two graduate ing director for The Frick Pittsburgh degrees from Cornell University in busi- and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. ness and law. He steered Marvel Comics “There are white collar jobs as well as through a financially turbulent decade blue that are hard to fill because people in the ’90s as the company’s executive- come here with their families and say, turned-COO and was named CNBC’s ‘What’s there to do?’ ” he said. “Marketing Executive of The Year” in Stewart concluded, “The idea was, 1991, the year the company went public. how do you change that cultural situIn 1999, he signed on as CEO of the Rock ation?” & Roll Hall of Fame as its fifth director First, spend a lot of money. Stewart since the hall opened four years earlier. and his team say they’ve raised “someStewart stayed on for 14 years. In that thing approaching $70 million,” banktime, he oversaw a complete museum rolled by contributions from The Walton redesign, shepherded the company’s Foundation, Murphy Oil, Murphy USA checkbook safely away from chaos and and The Murphy Foundation. “The city negotiated to get the induction ceremony has passed two levies that total $14 milmoved from Manhattan to Cleveland lion,” Stewart said, “and then there are SEPTEMBER 14, 2017




other individuals who have given a mil- cheers broke out and bells clanged in the teach you everything else,’ ” Gathright El Dorado is a corridor of uniform pine lion here, a million there.” main room. I asked what had happened. recalled. Hill’s, which Gathright says is trees, farmed by logging companies like I asked Stewart if he’d heard any con“I don’t know,” Stewart said. “Mary, also getting an update, boasts the title of Deltic Timber Corp., a company that cern from residents fearing downtown’s what was that about?” The Beach Boys the longest-running pool hall in the state, owns 530,000 acres of timber and that’s disruption could lead to higher rents, had just been confirmed for a Nov. 1 open since 1925 and undoubtedly the listed on the New York Stock Exchange. gentrification or eventual displacement. concert. future gritty counterpoint to the nearby Big rigs abound — the kind with their He gestured toward the office door to There are genres Stewart feels Griffin, which will serve craft beer, fine walls pulled out to reveal skeletal scafthe island along the center of the work- strongly about representing in future wine and custom cocktails. folding, lined with clean yellow logs. space, awash with blueprints, plans for months, he says, that are missing from “Every time I come in here it looks Deer stands and signs announcing condeveloping MAD’s donor base, hard hats the launch lineup — metal and the music different,” she said, strolling up to a VIP cealed carry classes and hunting clubs with paint jobs courtesy of some local art of Latin American countries, for example. loft overlooking the amphitheater lawn. pop up irregularly, reminding passersby students and a crew in steady motion. We wandered through a maze of dress- that this is gun country. Clearcuts along “All the people you see sitting out there,” ing rooms, rooms for security staff, a ser- the highway have left wide dirt tracks he said, “are from here. ... We brought Tara and Tinkerbell vice alley, a coat check room and a room amid the pines, with piles of burned in a core group of people from outside dedicated solely to housing the leviathan brush alongside. Somewhere in those who we thought had the experience we One of the individuals cheering at the air conditioning unit that will cool the pines, just past the Calhoun County needed. Austin [Barrow, MAD presi- MAD offices that day was Tara Gathright, music hall. A tiny dog bounced between line where Hwy. 167 splits off from dent and formerly a theater professor an El Dorado native and dance teacher the feet of several construction workers U.S. Highway 79, the signal for Litat Andrew College tle Rock’s NPR affiliin Cuthbert, Ga.] ate gives out a little is from here. Bob, and Al Gore’s admoFARM-TO-TABLE: MAD Vice President Dan Smith has myself, Dan [Dan nitions on “Fresh Air” developed a network of farmers and suppliers for the Griffin, no small task in the piney woods of Union County. Smith, MAD’s vice about climate change president, who and “the marriage of managed food and the presidency to the beverage for the television screen” get Cleveland India sloppy mash-up with ans and a handful The Police’s “Every of “House of Blues” Little Thing She Does venues] all came Is Magic.” in from someplace It’s difficult to imagelse. Mark [Givens], ine that road becomour talent booker, is ing a well-worn path from here.” Stewfor culture seekers, art estimates the perhaps because what project will create MAD is doing doesn’t around 65 to 70 jobs have a direct role and, he hopes, many model. It’s a hybrid more in neighborproject — part festival, ing businesses in part urban renewal years to come. project, part amuse“This is not ment park for oil comsomething that’s pany families and visigonna be cashtors from Memphis, flow positive when Dallas, Jackson and BRIAN CHILSON we open up,” StewShreveport. “There’s art said. “It’s gonna nothing like us to comtake a long time until it’s sustainable. And who escorted me around the construc- installing security equipment in a glass- pare us to,” marketing director Tarto make sure that we don’t fail, we need tion site. Shedding her heels in favor encased anteroom. “That’s Tinkerbell,” ren said. “And we’re building it from the funding to continue to do something of closed-toed boots, Gathright donned Gathright said. The chihuahua mix, evi- the dirt up.” Marfa, Texas, and Woodthat looks like how we opened.” Obvi- a glitter-covered hard hat and crossed dently a staple of the MAD construction stock, N.Y., might be the closest analoously, he noted, the likes of Migos and Cedar Street, passing through the ruddy scene, makes a cameo in a few of MAD’s gies: destination art towns far from the Brad Paisley won’t be a nightly thing, construction mud southeast of Hill’s Rec- update videos on social media. Gathright big city lights. Notably, MAD’s design but MAD will create 12 months a year reation Parlor. Since June, she’s acted as and I exited behind the Rialto Theater, comes from Paul Westlake, the archiof “weekly and monthly programming MAD’s membership manager, cultivat- slated for revamp in Phase II. She thinks, tect behind Woodstock’s Bethel Woods — a continuity that people can come to ing and finessing donor relationships. “I if memory serves, she had her first kiss Center for the Arts, which opened in expect, like, ‘Oh, wow, I wonder what loved my dance studio,” she said, “but I there. I asked her what movie was play- 2006. “What we’re doing is so dimenthey’re doing in El Dorado tonight.’ ” needed something else.” Despite hesita- ing. “Oh, you know, probably “Teen Wolf sional,” Tarren said. “And we know Post-launch, MAD has programmed a tion that her experience as a dancer in II!” she said, and laughed. that not everything we think is going dense fall lineup: Earls of Leicester, the Vegas and on cruise ships didn’t qualify to work, will work. And so we’re gonna El Dorado Film Festival, the acrobatic her for the work, Dan Smith, the MAD A griffin is a mythological adjust.” Shanghai Circus and an ’80s tribute band vice president, recruited her for the job. hybrid animal called The Molly Ringwalds. As I spoke “He said, ‘You’ve been all over the world, For tickets or for more information, visit with Stewart on a Wednesday in August, and you know what good service is. I’ll U.S. Highway 167 from Little Rock to


SEPTEMBER 14, 2017




ARKANSAS CONNECTIONS: Songwriter Lucinda Williams and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (below, right) are among the artists performing in Central Arkansas this fall.

Beats, brass and blues A preview of music in Central Arkansas this fall. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE


are a few highlights: For starters, the performance space at hanks to a thoughtful group of musicians and venue owners, the UA Pulaski Technical College (CHARTS, Central Arkansas music scene the Center for the Humanities and Arts), continues to prove that it is as which is fewer than 10 minutes away from the River Market district, is home vibrant and many-faceted as scenes with to a Sept. 21 performance from Jimmy far more acclaim, such as Athens, Ga.; Ashe- “Duck” Holmes — cited as the last of the ville, N.C.; and Portland, Ore. If that seems Bentonia bluesmen — for “Blues Trifeclike hyperbole, consider the range of per- ta,” a concert featuring a talk from blues formances from Arkansas musicians lined archivist Dick Waterman and a screening up for this fall: jazz saxophonist Pharoah of Samuel D. Pollard’s “Two Trains RunSanders, a city orchestra performance of nin’.” Or, go catch acoustic guitarist Anthe music from “Harry Potter,” the St. Mark drew York at The Joint, who’s here that Sanctuary Choir, “girl gang” Dazz & Brie same night as part of the Argenta Arts & The Emotionalz, a performance of Wil- Acoustic Music Series, or the harmonizing duo The Secret Sisters at South on liam Grant Still’s opera “Troubled Island,” Main. On Sept. 22, pianist Tatiana Roitpiano performances in the middle of local man Mann joins colleagues Kiril Laskarov libraries. Pair that lineup with some stellar and Andrey Dyachenko for “To Life,” the musicmakers lured in from elsewhere, and next in Roitman Mann’s “New Deal Sayou’ve got a few hundred good reasons to lon” series at New Deal Gallery at 2003 get out and do some listening this fall. Here S. Louisiana St. Also that evening, Opera

in the Rock presents its rendition of William Grant Still and Langston Hughes’ “Troubled Island” at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band performs at Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub for the 2017 ACANSA Arts Festival and none other than Raekwon the Chef of the Wu-Tang Clan drops into Revolution. The commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School continues Sept. 23, with a concert from Mavis Staples at Robinson Center Music Hall and the “No Tears Suite,” an original jazz piece from Chris Parker inspired by Melba Patillo Beals’ memoir, at Central. ACANSA continues with a gospel brunch featuring the St. Mark Sanctuary Choir at Wildwood Park for the Arts Sept. 24. Dazz & Brie and their dynamic vocalist Hope Dixon share a bill at South on Main on Sept. 27 as part of the venue’s “Sessions” series; and catch guitarist John Burnette’s dulcet, clever tunes from his debut album the next night at South on Main. Also Sept. 28: If you’re in Spa City soaking up the last bits of autumn, don’t miss Bruiser Queen, a knockout punk rock duo from St. Louis that’s performing a free show at Maxine’s that night. Nashville rockers Benchmarks return to the White Water Tavern (and unlike their Holiday Hangout appearance, you’ll have a chance at a ticket!) with Colour Design Sept. 28, too. The Butler Center’s Arkansas Sounds series is bringing Hot Club of Cowtown to town Sept. 29. Rapper-turned-YouTube-sensation Froggy Fresh (formerly Krispy Kreme) lands at Low Key Arts in Hot Springs Sept. 29, and it’s early enough that you can catch Ronnie Heart channeling the late Prince at Maxine’s later that evening. From Sept. 30-Oct.1, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opens its season with “Go Brahms,” featuring guest violinist Jennifer Frautschi. Band of Horses lands at the Clear Channel Metroplex Oct. 4, followed the next night by a Contemporary Christian lineup at Verizon Arena (Skillet, Colton Dixon) and some honky-tonk at Revolution courtesy of the Randy Rogers Band. On Oct. 6-7, the Hot Water Hills Festival springs up on Bathhouse Row’s Hill Wheatley Plaza in

Hot Springs, featuring sets from ItchyO, Claire Morales, Vodi and more. Jason Aldean brings “Big Green Tractor” to Verizon Arena Oct. 13. The Akeem Kemp Band takes its rock-solid blues set to Kings Live Music in Conway on Oct. 14. Italian guitarist Beppe Gambetta gives a concert at The Joint Oct. 19; if the punk-blues of Fantastic Negrito’s more your thing, catch him at South on Main that same night. Adam Faucett brings his ethereal howl to Kings Live Music on Oct. 20. Bruno Mars devotees gather en masse at Verizon Arena for the crooner’s show Oct. 22. Fleetwood Mac fans: Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie are sharing a bill at Robinson Center Music Hall on Oct. 25, and on Oct. 28, Robinson hosts the 25th anniversary celebration of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, featuring performances from Little Rock native Pharoah Sanders, comedian Luenell and poet Haki Madhubuti. In Conway, Mountain Sprout takes the stage at Kings Live Music, also on Oct. 28. Lucinda Williams graces the stage at Pulaski Tech’s CHARTs for Oxford American’s “Books, Bourbon and Boogie” Nov. 2. The ASO’s River Rhapsody Chamber Series turns its attention to “Spanish Dance” with works from Saint-Saens and Sarasate at the Clinton Presidential Center Nov. 7. Jeff Coleman tickles the ivories on a piano set up at the Sanders Library Nov. 16 in Sherwood as part of Central Arkansas Library System’s “Sounds in the Stacks” series, and later that night, the “All-American Road Show” breezes through Verizon Arena, with Chris Stapleton, Marty Stuart and Brent Cobb. On Dec. 6, Bully, the ensemble project from producer/ engineer Alicia Bognanno, lands at Stickyz. The pianocentric Bob Boyd Sounds gives a concert at the Ron Robinson Theater on Dec. 8. SEPTEMBER 14, 2017






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he stage offerings in Little Rock this fall include, but are not limited to, an original chamber musical version of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”; a staged memoir from the woman responsible for the Bechdel Test; Alton Brown and sciencewielding puppets; a Sherlock Holmes mystery; and David Sedaris’ middle finger to holiday cheer. Below, we highlight a few productions in Little Rock and beyond. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s 2017-18 season, which started in August, is the first to be programmed by new Producing Artistic Director John MillerStephany. The season opened with Carson McCullers’ “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” which ran through Sept. 10. Next, the theater takes on another adap-

tation: “The School of Lies,” David Ives’ snarky rewrite of Moliere’s already snarky “The Misanthrope.” It’s performed completely in rhymed couplets, rap battle-style, and runs Oct. 11-29. The Rep has programmed two shows for the holidays, wildly different in tone and with staggered curtain times; you could catch both in a single day. Forgoing the available stage versions of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” lyricist Maggie-Kate Coleman, playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (“Tuesdays with Morrie,” “Compleat Female Stage Beauty”) and composer Andrew Cooke (on staff at The Rep’s Education Department) have created a new chamber musical version, to premiere Nov. 29-Dec. 24. Over at the black box in the theater’s education annex (518 Main St.), a sardonic antidote to all things Christmas, David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries,” hits the stage Dec.


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6-24. For more information, visit therep. org or see the Arkansas Times’ March 2 story, “Farther Down the Road.” There’s still time to catch one of a few final performances of “Little Brother,” which runs through Sept. 30 at The Weekend Theater. Josh Costello’s play examines questions of morality through the eyes of a teenager caught up in a terrorist attack who runs afoul of Homeland Security. Following that, TWT takes on Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show,” Oct. 20-Nov. 5. John Cariani’s nine-vignette exploration of love, “Almost, Maine,” gets a run Dec. 1-16. For tickets or more information, visit Whether or not you’ve read the graphic memoir, make a point to catch The Studio Theater’s take on Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home,” running Sept. 14-24. The theater’s one of the first group of community companies to produce the “family tragicomic,” adapted for the stage by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori. Following that is another Broadway smash, Christopher Durang’s 2012 hit “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Nov. 2-12, and a production of Hugh Martin and Robert Blane’s “Meet Me in St. Louis,” made famous by the 1944 MGM film version starring Judy Garland. It runs Dec. 1-17. See for more information.

There’s a concurrent production of “Fun Home” running in Northwest Arkansas, too, at TheaterSquared’s Walton Arts Center space through Sept. 17. Following that, the NWA company presents the world premiere of Amy Evans’ Nina Simone-centric tale, “The Champion,” Oct. 11-Nov. 5. For the holidays, TheaterSquared presents a live radio play version of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Nov. 29-Dec. 31. See the full schedule at Celebrity Attractions, the production company that will bring touring Broadway shows like “The Lion King” to a newly outfitted Robinson Center Music Hall next spring, launches its run of “Kinky Boots” Oct. 13-15, followed by the Broadway production of Alton Brown’s (“Good Eats”) live show, “Eat Your Science,” 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Starting Nov. 29, Robinson hosts a touring version of Claude-Michel Schonberg’s “Les Miserables,” the stage version made famous by British producer Cameron Mackintosh. It runs through Dec. 3. Visit for tickets. University of Central Arkansas’s Reynolds Performance Hall is home to two touring productions this fall: “The Wizard of Oz,” 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, $27-$40. In December, a stage version of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. Over at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, celebrating its 50th year in operation, “The Savannah Sipping Society,” a comedy from Jamie Wooten, Jessie Jones and Nicholas Hope (“Dixie Swim Club,” “The Red Velvet Cake War”) gets a run Sept. 26-Oct. 21, followed by the Ken Ludwig mystery “Baskerville,” an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tale, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” Oct. 31-Nov. 25. Murry’s rounds out the year with “Harvey,” the 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy from Mary Chase, Nov. 28-Dec. 31. Check out the full lineup at murrysdp. com. Over at Argenta Community Theater, preparations for a March run of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” is already underway (those familiar with Sondheim will understand why this has to happen now), but the theater will still find time for a Dec. 13-23 run of Judy Goss’ adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.” Check out the theater’s other offerings at


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SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


‘LUCKY STRIKE’: Stuart Davis’ 1924 oil on paperboard, from the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution.

Stand up, sit down Swing with Stuart Davis at CBM, have a seat at the AAC. BY LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK

on advertising and his Cubist-inspired abstraction. The jazz-loving Davis rt lovers will get to swing (1892-1964) sought to make his work in Bentonville and take a convey the modern American spirit seat in Little Rock, thanks in the same way that jazz does, and to major exhibitions that while he appropriated a bit of French celebrate jazz-inspired art and art- cubist George Braque (see “Lucky inspired seating this fall. Strike,” 1924, which features a pack of “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing,” which cigarettes against a newspaper) thanks opens Saturday, Sept. 16, at Crystal to time he spent in France, he surely Bridges Museum of American Art, influenced the pop of uber-American features more than 80 works by the masters Robert Rauschenberg and proto-pop artist who rose to fame Andy Warhol with his later work in the early decades of the 20th (see “Owh! In San Pao,” 1951), which century with his geometric takeoffs bounced flat shapes of intense pure




color and words off one another. Prepare for the full swing of vibrant color and hard edges. The exhibition opens with a lecture by Harry Cooper, senior curator of modern art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which organized the show with the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Cooper will talk about Davis’ development of style at 7 p.m. Friday night, the evening before the public opening; admission is free. The exhibition runs through Jan. 1. Also on exhibit through October: “Animal Meet Human,” 16 works of animal imagery from the collection. “Not to Scale,” drawings, models and sketches of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome on the grounds, is up through March 2018. In Little Rock, the Arkansas Arts Center is showing “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design” starting Sept. 29. The show, organized by the Museum of Contemporary

Art in Jacksonville, Fla., is the “first comprehensive survey of American chair design,” a press release says. It traces the evolution of American design with 43 chairs crafted between 1810 to 2010 from the collection of Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Foundation. The chairs reflect their makers’ aesthetic as well as the status of the folks they’d seat, from the simple Shaker rocking chair (c. 1840) from New Lebanon, N.Y., to the elaborately carved “Slipper Chair” (c. 1860) by John Henry Belter, which incorporates carved grapes and oak leaves. A Charles and Ray Eames lounge chair (c. 1945) in wood, proclaimed by Time Magazine as the “Chair of the Century,” is matched in its sleek and sinuous design by Vivian Beer’s handmade steel “Current” (2004), which the Penland designer said she wanted to feel “fast and clean as water.” Other designers whose names visitors will recognize include Sam Maloof, also of wooden rocker fame; the Stickley Brothers; Frank Lloyd Wright; Isamu Noguchi; and Frank Gehry. On Sept. 28, Diane Jacobsen will give a lecture on the historical, social, economic, political and cultural context in which the chairs were created. The talk will be at 6 p.m., after a 5:30 p.m. wine reception; it’s free for Arts Center members and $15 for nonmembers. After the talk, there will be a members’ reception and preview of the exhibition in the gallery. The Arts Center has scheduled several related events: Furniture designer Mark Goetz will give the Architecture and Design Network’s Art of Architecture talk at 6 p.m. Oct. 3; families will design their “dream chairs” at a Free Family Funday event from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 8; and furniture design students from UA Little Rock will give a gallery talk at noon Nov. 10. Also in Little Rock: The Clinton Presidential Center is showing “Art of Africa: One Continent, Limitless Vision,” artworks, including textiles, wood carvings, paintings and jewelry from the personal collection of President Bill Clinton and from the gifts given the president and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and owned by the National Archives. The items include a Philippe scarab in gold and copper, a photographic portrait of Nelson Mandela and other photographs, batik and kente fabrics and other works.

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‘TITICUT FOLLIES:’ Frederick Wiseman’s graphic 1967 documentary on the conditions inside the Bridgewater State Hospital is credited with sparking reform in the world of health care for the mentally ill, and is among the offerings at Riverdale 10 Cinema’s Art House Theater Day.

Fall into film

to be thankful for. That’s especially so in the fall of the year, when a lot of the more brilliant stars in the state’s silver screen firmament come out to shine. The biggest news in Arkansas film this fall is the 26th annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, which Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Horror runs Oct. 6-15. Always a draw for lovers of nonfiction shorts and features, Fest, Riverdale’s Art House Day offer something the HSDFF has a few extra reasons to for all. celebrate this year. Its opening night film, for example, is “LADDIE: The BY DAVID KOON you can buy at your local theater. From Man Behind the Movies.” The feathe long-running Hot Springs Doc- ture documentary, which includes or whatever reason, Arkan- umentary Film Festival to the long- commentary from luminaries like sas’s cinema cup seems to mourned Little Rock Film Festival, to Mel Brooks and Morgan Freeman, is have runneth over in recent still newish offerings like the Benton- director Amanda Ladd’s tribute to years, and I’m not talking ville Film Festival and the Arkansas her father, the great film producer about the 84-ounce, $7 bladderbuster Cinema Society, film buffs have a lot Alan Ladd Jr., who emerged from the



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shadow of his own famous father to carve out his bit of Hollywood greatness by producing a host of classic films, including “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Star Wars,” “Braveheart,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Chariots of Fire” and “Police Academy.” Kathleen Turner, the Academy Awardnominated and Golden Globe-winning star of such films as “Romancing the Stone,” “Peggy Sue Got Married,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and the Ladd-produced “Body Heat” will be on hand in Hot Springs to introduce the film and serve as the festival’s honorary co-chair. The HSDFF has managed to score another big-name draw in booking an appearance by the masterful doc director Werner Herzog, director of such classics of the genre as “Grizzly Man,” “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” “Encounters at the End of the World,” and others. The festival hasn’t announced whether Herzog will be screening a film, but meeting one of the great directors of our time is worth the price of admission, whatever he’s going to do. Those are only two highlights of a festival with a slate of over 50 international documentaries — many with their filmmakers in attendance — plus parties and panel discussions and all manner of things to delight a cinephile. Ticket prices range from $10 for a single screening to $300 for an all-inclusive pass with priority admission. Visit for more information. Another light of Hot Springs film, though a decidedly darker one, is the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival, which rips into its fifth year of scares Sept. 21-24. The festival features over 50 shorts and features, from the eerie to the blood-drenched, with filmmakers on hand to discuss many of the films. Guest speakers include Bob Sheen — grandson of film and TV star Martin Sheen and the son of Mr. “Winning!” himself — who will be on hand to screen his horror film “The Rake.” If you’re into forensic investigation, a must-see attendee is Joseph Scott Morgan, who has appeared on shows across the cable spectrum to comment on cases ranging from the Jon Benet Ramsey murder to the Zodiac Killer. Tickets for the festival range from a $25 day pass to $55 for a full weekend badge. Festival sponsor Hot Springs Hotel and Spa is offering discounted rates for the weekend. For more information, visit the festival website at hot spring-



LEGEND IN SPA CITY: Werner Herzog, the prolific German filmmaker and opera director responsible for “Fitzcarraldo” and “Grizzly Man,” visits the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. following the assassination of a dissiAnother promising film event com- dent leader and tanks rolling through ing up soon is Riverdale 10 VIP Cin- a car wash. For more information on ema’s Art House Theater Day, start- Riverdale’s Art House Theater Day ing at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. The or to buy tickets, hit its website at five-picture mini-festival features some real gems, including “Stairway While it doesn’t have any new to Heaven” (1946), about a man who, events scheduled yet, another group thanks to a heavenly mix-up, survives to keep an eye on is the new Arkansas a fall from a plane without a para- Cinema Society. The society, founded chute. The film stars David Niven by Arkansas-born director Jeff Nichwith Kim Hunter, Kathleen Byron and ols (“Mud,” “Take Shelter,” “Midnight Sir Richard Attenborough. Also on the Special”) and Kathryn Tucker (“Glee,” bill is the rarely seen 1967 documen- “40,” “Oblivion”), held its first festary “Titicut Follies.” An unflinch- tival Aug. 24-26. It was definitely ing look at the conditions inside the a down payment on great things to Massachusetts State Prison for the come, bringing big name actor Adam Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Driver, who stars as “Star Wars” vilMass., the film was one of several lain Kylo Ren, to town, along with late-’60s efforts that led to reforms up-and-coming director David Lowin the treatment of the mentally ill. ery (“Pete’s Dragon,” “Ghost Story”) Fans of foreign film will want to catch and producer Noah Stahl, whose director Dmitri Kalashnikov’s “The film “Patti Cake$” was a Sundance Road Movie.” Created entirely from hit. Check out the ACS website at clips shot via automobile dashcams, and follow the film captures surprising scenes its Facebook page to stay up to date of life in Russia, including the chaos on the society’s future offerings.

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2017










t’s 10 a.m. in downtown Little Rock and the Main Library campus of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is already bustling. The stately downtown branch gleams in the sun as patrons young and old make their way through the yawning front doors. On the main Former and current executive directors of the Central Arkansas Library System: floor, touch-screen electronic kiosks stand in Bobby Roberts (left) and Nate Coulter. rapt attention, the latest generation of computers that long ago replaced card catalogs. Around the corner from the circulation desk, a group of entrehis mouth was ‘Y’know I’ve been thinking,’ because there was preneurs hold a brainstorming session in one of the first floor always a new idea. Sometimes you would think they were just meeting spaces. Staffers greet visitors or glide silently among totally crazy, but mostly they weren’t. He was an idea hamster, the stacks with carts full of books and periodicals for reshelving. but it worked.” Upstairs, a graduate student taps away on a laptop. Earphones A LEGACY OF LIBRARIES in place and surrounded by reference material, she shares a ibraries of various stripes existed in Little Rock as early as smile with a pair of elementary schoolers walked by the hands 1834 sponsored by private citizens, civic groups or busiof their grandmother to the central staircase and the children’s nesses that generally catered to a specific segment of the section one floor up. population. Downtown has had a permanent library presMeanwhile, just a few steps away from the main building, ence since the first Carnegie-funded Little Rock Public Library an elderly man lingers within the Butler Center’s art galleries as his wife browses documents to fill in her genealogy project. Later, they’ll take the short walk across the parking lot to River Market Books and Gifts for a latte and conversation. LATINA SHEARD BRANCH MANAGER, CALS SUE COWAN Such scenes as these are played out daily here, by both resiWILLIAMS LIBRARY dents and visitors alike, some of whom are well-acquainted with We’re next door to a middle school. We’re the amenities of Little Rock’s flagship library and some who are jam packed full of programs in the afterdiscovering it, like a new author’s first work. noon hours Monday through Friday. “Public libraries are crucial if you’re going to do what I think From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., we’re kind of like a democracy has to do, which is level the playing field,” said an unofficial after-school program and Bobby Roberts who served as CALS director from 1989 to that’s what our community needs with working families, is giving 2016. “Everybody needs to start off with a fair chance and the kids something positive to do after school. libraries do a little sliver of that. We don’t have a lot of places We have a teen advisory board which is a group of kids who basiwhere the field’s level.” cally tell us what to do to keep them happy. We have tons of teen volunteers, too; we’re probably the only branch where 90 percent of Roberts is widely considered the visionary of not only the our Volunteers of the Year are under the age of 18. They really like it. Main Library branch, but the downtown library campus as a I think the coolest thing is I’ve hired four or five former “library whole by people who had a ringside seat to its development kids” that now work at the library. Their thing was the staff made straight through to the people who oversee the campus today. it look like a cool place and that’s why they wanted to work here. It “Bobby was so full of ideas,” said Linda Bly, who spent 40 left a lasting impression. years in various CALS departments, including administration. “I often said the scariest thing you could hear coming out of





opened its doors in 1910. The original public library was constructed at 7th and Louisiana Streets, a building which stood more than 50 years until a new building was constructed on that site in 1964. By the 1980s, the library system found itself at a crossroads. As the city continued to expand to the west, the cry for branches to serve the new neighborhoods grew louder. However, as each new branch was enthusiastically received -- Terry Library’s opening day in 1990 set a then-record with 3,185 booked checked out and 443 library cards issued -- the Main Library experienced consistent and precipitous decline in circulation. “We were dying,” Roberts said. “People were just not using (the Main Library). That building -- structurally it was fine, it was a big, strong, heavy building. But it was built in the ‘60s so you couldn’t shift the walls around. Parking issues and lack of physical space led the CALS board to discuss taking action on the matter as early as 1983, but action was stalled by lack of funds and a cohesive plan forward. The biggest issue was the pittance one-mill cap on library taxes that had been in place since World War II. “If the constitution didn’t change, there wasn’t going to be any new library unless somebody walked in with $15 million and gave it to us.” So Roberts set out to change the state’s constitution during the 1991 legislative session. The result was a constitutional amendment proposal to increase the millage from one to five with an additional three mill to be had with voter approval. The amendment passed in November 1992.



ALS wasted no time in leveraging this new resource; the following year voters in Little Rock and Maumelle approved two bond issues totaling $19 million for capital improvements. Little Rock also voted in a one mill increase for operations and county voters OK’d a 0.6 mill increase for operations and upkeep. With that solidified, the CALS board could then turn its attention to where the new Main Library branch would be located. Two camps quickly emerged among CALS board members


Aerial view of the Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library branch in the River Market District. on the issue. Anyone who was around Little Rock in the 1980s and 1990s, can understand the dim view of making such a sizable investment in the city’s core. Pre-River Market downtown was a far cry from what it is today; in fact it was arguably the city’s dreariest district particularly near the river. Critics questioned the wisdom of spending millions in a derelict neighborhood of crumbling warehouses where the average citizen was afraid to go. The opposing camp was equally strident in their view that the Main Library belonged, and therefore should remain, downtown. The fact that the district had become depressed, Bly said, only underscored the argument for staying. “I was in the ‘stay downtown’ camp because I always felt a strong and vital downtown was necessary for a first-class city,” Bly said. “A public institution is not like a shopping mall where you say, ‘Well it didn’t work out, we didn’t get the business so we’re closing down.’ A public institution investing in an area brings stability and hope to other investors.” Bill Spivy, bond attorney for CALS during this time, perhaps summed it up best.

Self-check kiosks are complimented by helpful staff.

“I won’t say that was the seminal investment that triggered the redevelopment in the River Market, but many of us who have watched this believe that but for the public investment, that area might not be what it is today.”



SOMMELIER & FOCAL BOARD MEMBER I grew up in libraries. My dad was a librarian, my grandmother was president of the local library club. My mom took me to all the after-school programming our local library did. There was never a time when I wasn’t involved in a library. With CALS, I remember my AP English teacher in high school picked me up one Saturday and took me to Lit Fest and it was great. It was the first time I’d ever seen people reading and celebrating books. I don’t come into a branch that much, the primary way I interact with my library is actually through my phone, with the Overdrive app. That’s how I get my library books. For me it’s super convenient and I’m not rich, so I can’t go buy every book I want to read. Being able to check it out, read it, listen to it, whatever, for free -- that’s probably the thing I like about the library most.

nce the CALS board decided to keep the Main Library downtown, the next order of business was to find a suitable location. “The old building we were in was about 80,000 square feet. We needed to get at least 100,000, maybe 150,000,” Roberts said. “We couldn’t build a building like that in downtown Little Rock for $12 to $13 million. We just couldn’t do it. The next thing was OK, if we’re going to stay down here let’s see if we can find an old building.”

Three buildings would be considered. The first, the former Little Rock Gazette building, Roberts envisioned pairing with the former federal reserve building next door. “The problem was, libraries are not like building a house. You’ve got to have a load capacity in them that’s probably three times what an office building is,”Roberts said. “When we got the architects to look at it they said, ‘You can’t do this for $13 million because the floor loads are no good in it.’” The Terminal Warehouse was next on the list, but it was too big with a pricetag to match. It was then that Roberts took a look at the Fones Building, a decrepit former hardware warehouse at 100 South Rock Street, recommended by Bill Spivey. “Spivey calls me up, the building was in bankruptcy, full of

Spaces to study and read are located throughout the library.




other materials, a collection that numbered well over 100,000 items. Employee Jennifer Chilcoat devised a tagging system and corresponding mapping of the shelving configuration at the new location that was remarkable in its efficiency. “We practiced when the new Fletcher Library opened to get the technique down,” Bly said. “Much smaller building, much smaller collection, but it was an opportunity to try it out and see how it worked and it definitely worked. “It was so efficient; we had two shifts of people working sixhour shifts and we were able to move the bulk of the collection from the old Main Library to the new library, shelf to shelf, in three and a half days.”



An upstairs view of one of the Butler Center’s art galleries. pigeon crap, the windows knocked out of it. It was a God-awful looking building. I told Bill, I said, ‘I don’t have any interest in that damn building.’” Once the search cycled through the other options, Roberts reluctantly agreed to what he thought would be a courtesy tour to get Spivy off his back. Instead, Roberts took one look at the massive concrete columns that ran straight through to the top floor and saw the future. The building had a lot going for it -- proximity to the Interstate, sufficient square footage (156,000 square feet over five floors and a basement) visibility, prospective parking areas and, being in bankruptcy, was an unbelievable bargain. “We bought it and the building where the Flying Saucer is now and where the (library) parking deck is now, and another building adjacent to Flying Saucer,” Roberts said, still incredulous. “It was all of that for $500,000 which was a bargain. I mean it was a bargain!” Polk, Stanley and Yeary; Witsell, Evans and Rasco; and Cromwell Firm provided design services and Flynco was the construction company of record. Because of the rock bottom purchase price, CALS had $12.5 million to spend on the renovation, a fortuitous largesse given that $125,000 would be required solely to remove decades of pigeon droppings. One element of the new building all agreed would quickly become iconic was a frieze encircling the top rim of the exterior featuring the names of famous authors. The list was compiled

via nomination and voting by the general public and spans Aristotle to Dr. Seuss. Construction elements weren’t the only monumental task facing CALS; as the building neared completion the staff was faced with moving the books, periodicals, historical papers and


CALS MAIN LIBRARY BRANCH I’m in my 28th year with CALS. I just think one of the most exciting times of my life, especially in my career, was to open the Main Library for the first time and to see the people walk in. We have people who are very cosmopolitan here and they’ve been to large libraries in large cities, but I don’t think anyone really expected us to have what we showed them when we opened the doors to this building. That project began an entire culture of ‘We can do this,’ at CALS, of thinking that if we don’t have experience, that’s not our biggest stumbling block. Our biggest stumbling block is if we say we can’t do it. I think that carried over to a lot of our branches as well. When people walk in for the first time and you can see that you have exceeded their expectations, it’s just a really incredible, fulfilling experience.

he new Main Library opened Sept. 20, 1997 and was an immediate hit. Circulation jumped by 50 percent the first year, launching the branch into the top spot among all CALS locations, a perch it holds to this day. Staff members noticed surprising trends among the patrons, namely the flood of families, that drove them to spike children’s and family programming options. Community groups were equally enthusiastic and use of the branch’s meeting space skyrocketed. In June 1998 alone, 120 meetings were held there, a six-fold increase over the Louisiana Street location’s monthly average. “I just feel so proud of not only the library board and staff but the voters of the CALS service area that they trusted the library to take their money and do something with it. That’s just very fulfilling and very humbling.” Bly said. “Especially on Opening Day, to stand there and watch people come in and stop and just stare. To have people say, ‘I can’t believe this is in Little Rock,’ and to have the overall acceptance and to prevail over the naysayers that said downtown is dead and nobody goes downtown anymore and you’re going to build that big building and nobody’s gonna use it. It was really a case of if you build it they will come.”



s the years have progressed, the Main Library has been internally reconfigured several times. Only three floors were finished and/or occupied at the time of the grand opening, but the rest were quickly put into service to keep up with demand. Today, an estimated 60 percent of the population in CALS’ service area hold a library card. The campus itself would mushroom as well, first with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, created in 1997 and located

Interior and exterior of the last Fones Brothers Hardware Company location — now the CALS Main Library Branch — that opened in early 1921, and their baseball team.

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a used bookstore and coffee shop operated by CALS. RACHEL TENNIAL Finally, in 2012 voters approved a ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, bond issue to fund construction of the UALR Ron Robinson Theatre, that opened I moved here a few years ago from St. in 2014. The 315-seat multi-purpose Louis. I was a big user of the St. Louis event venue provides programs for Public Library and I loved it. So when I all ages including films, music permoved here one of the important things formances, plays, readings, lectures, for me was get a library card. speakers and children’s activities. I got my card at the Main Library. That library was beautiful, I loved the way it looked. For me what it says about Little Rock is, Now, 20 years after the new it’s a welcoming place. It was really inviting and the building itself downtown branch opened its doors kind of beckons you in. to the public, Little Rock is a city When I first moved to Little Rock and didn’t know anybody, the seemingly overflowing with libraries library was a really easy space to go into. It made me feel less like from the public to the academic to a stranger in the city, and that was really, really nice. All of the the presidential. None can rival the library’s staff were great. They made the process of getting back Main Library for its role in shaping to something that was familiar -- like reading, like books -- really a city and its people. easy in a time when I just needed some familiarity. “Libraries have got to do a lot of different things,”said Roberts.“People say, ‘Why did you build a theater?’ in the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) just across and I said, ‘Well, why not? There’s no theater like the street. The Butler Center feature an eclectic that around.’ We may not have known exactly collection of maps, photographs and historical what we were going to do with it, but we’ll figure records. It also features several art galleries, colout what to do with it.” lections of papers from Arkansas members of “Same thing with the Butler Center; if you were the U.S. Congress and is home to the Arkansas going to try to justify it just on the number of Sounds Music Series archives. people that use it, it’d be tough compared to a “When I came to the library we had a little branch library. But if you’re going to justify it on manuscript collection, an Arkansas history collecthe fact that it now has probably the best Civil tion,” Roberts said. “We didn’t even staff it all the War photographic collection in the country then time. I’m a historian by training and good public is that worth it? Yeah, it is to me, because all that libraries have always had a big footprint in local cultural side of us is important.” and state history. Goes back to the English, it’s At this, the man who became director of very common. Some of the great regional colCALS before he got his first library card, pauses lections are in public libraries -- Cleveland, the and smiles. Denver Public Library, Chicago, places like that. “A library system should serve whatever reading “I thought we ought to have something like and information a community needs. That’s what that. But to have what we have, there’s not one the basic function is. It needs not only the books, like it probably in the country that is that big but the programming to go with it. It needs the compared to the rest of the system.” book clubs. You need to bring in speakers. It’s a In 2001, CALS renovated the 13,000-squarebalancing act to have the really mainstream and foot Cox Creative Center and originally used it not so mainstream.” to house the art galleries that would eventually “You need to get people thinking. I mean, the move to the Butler Center. After that, the buildonly way out of any plight is to think your way ing was turned into River Market Books and Gifts, out of it.” ■


CALS RON ROBINSON THEATER• SATURDAY, SEP 16 • 2 PM• ADULTS A screening of clips from The Vietnam War will be followed by discussion about the Butler Center ‘s Arkansas Vietnam War Project.


CALS RON ROBINSON THEATER• THURSDAY, SEP 21 • 7 PM• ADULTS Dr. Donald A. Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate, will relate the influence of women on Capitol Hill since Arkansas voted for Hattie Caraway in 1932, making her the first woman to be elected to the Senate. This lecture is part of the Betsey Wright Distinguished Lecture series.


CALS RON ROBINSON THEATER• TUESDAY, SEP 26-0CT 31 • 6 PM ADULTS • $2 The Fall Terror Tuesdays series kicks off with the 2Q1h anniversary edition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and ends with a Halloween bash. Special beer selections will be available each Tuesday.


MAIN LIBRARY LEE ROOM • WEDNESDAY, SEP 27 • NOON-2 PM ALL AGES Drop in for cake, share your CALS stories, and view our special anniversary video.


MAIN LIBRARY CAMPUS • THURSDAY, OCT 19 • 5:30 PM • ALL AGES We’re teaming up with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership for an outdoor celebration.


CALS RON ROBINSON THEATER• THURSDAY, OCT 19, • 7 PM• ADULTS Watch the 20’h anniversary edition of the movie of two dim-witted, inseparable friends hit the road for their ten-year high school reunion and concoct an elaborate lie about their lives in order to impress their classmates.

TEXT TO DONATE Join us in our “$20 for 20” campaign celebrating the 20th Anniversary of both the Main Library campus and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. Particpation is easy, simply use your mobile device and text “CALS” to 41444.

CONNECT WITH US 100 Rock Street 918-3000 @calibrarysystem @calibrarysystem River Market Books & Gifts is located inside the Cox Creative Center building.






s impossible as it is to miss the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, looming across the street from the front door of the Main Library, sheathed in the glass and stone of the Arkansas Studies Institute building, many people have no idea what a rarity the institution represents. “There’s a woman who did a book for the American Library Association a couple years ago about special collections in public library systems,” said David Stricklin, Butler Center director. “She did an interview with me and said, ‘I’ve talked to people at 80 library systems and there’s not another public library in the United States that has something that does everything the Butler Center does.’” “I think of the Arkansas Studies Institute building as a giant public history laboratory. But it’s also the The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies has a large collection of historic photos. reflection of the free public library, a natural extension of what CALS does, having to do with history and culture. But around the country, remarkable,” he said. “The Butler Center was already a great we’re unusual in being an organization of this type that’s part organization when I got here 12 years ago. They had done a of a public library system.” lot of cool things under founding curator Tom W. Dillard. But The Butler Center, opened in 1997, was the brainchild of CALS Bobby Roberts really wanted to expand on his ideas about what then-director Bobby Roberts as a research companion to the the library could do with Arkansas history and art.” Main Library. Named for its benefactor, the late Richard Butler “This was especially true as we prepared to build the Arkansas Sr., it’s a multi-faceted collection of art and historical documents Studies Institute building and create the partnership with UA that’s more commonly found at land grant universities, if it can Little Rock, which moved its Arkansas-related documents and be found under one roof at all. A repository of all things indigphotographs down here when we opened in 2009. Bobby said, enous to the Natural State, the Butler Center is treasured by ‘I really want to have something spectacular.’” scholars, students, authors and regular citizens alike. “A whole lot of people find their way into our place who started out in the Main Library or one of the branches,” Stricklin said. TOM DeBLACK PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, “But there probably are also people who have come into our ARKANSAS TECH UNIVERSITY building who never come into the Main Library to check out a As I get older, I’m constantly struck by how book. We hope when those people start out with us they learn little historical knowledge my students also about all the great things the rest of the system has to offer.” have. And you really don’t know where “Our digital footprint is enormous as well; we have researchyou’re going unless you know where you ers literally around the world using the things that we have.” come from and where you are. The various components of the collection range from the The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture has been the Arkansas Sounds Music Collection celebrating the state’s musigreatest advancement in the teaching and research of Arkansas cal heritage to collections of Arkansans in U.S. Congress to history in my lifetime. It contains not only a wide range of entries, assembled maps that date back to the 1700s. It’s also home but it also has sections that deal with certain timeframes -- early to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, an online Arkansas history, the Civil War era, things like that. So you can get a brief overview of Arkansas history and then you can get into resource believed to be unique to public library systems nationthe specifics of Arkansas history. Another thing it does, at the end wide, that hosts 1.6 million visits per year. of each article it gives you the author and the sources they used. Stricklin joined the Butler Center 12 years ago from the I think that’s an incredibly valuable thing for any culture of people ranks of higher education and immediately felt the big ideas to have. It’s one place where they can find so much of their past. at work there. “I was intrigued by the vision of building something truly

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The Butler Center’s collection is also home to digital records from all 75 Arkansas counties, materials that feed the Butler Center’s reputation as an indispensable resource for genealogists, complete with popular seminars on tracing one’s family tree. “The annual genealogy workshops are a big deal,” Stricklin said. “We’ll have 250 people attend. And every day there’s somebody doing genealogy research here because of the resources we have.” “I always tell people, if you’re looking for somebody in your family and our folks can’t find them, they’re in witness protection.” The collection is meticulously curated by nine professional archivists, five of whom are Certified Archivists, whom Stricklin calls “the CPAs of the archives world.”These individuals not only ensure proper storage, handling and cataloging of materials, but also help the collection grow in a way that appreciates how ordinary items can lend extraordinary depth and overall understanding. “If somebody said, ‘Hey, I’ll give you a bunch of letters from some really famous person,’ that’s great. That’s wonderful. But we know a lot about that famous person already,” Stricklin said. “If it’s somebody we’ve never heard of, especially if they’re from outside Little Rock, those kinds of things really give you a window into the life of somebody we just wouldn’t have known about otherwise and that’s really exciting, too.” “We want to have as full a record as possible of the Arkansas experience and you can’t do that if you just have the famous people and the Chamber of Commerce presidents and the bank presidents and people like that. You have to have the guy who ran the bait shop on the river, and if that guy has a scrapbook or photographs, we’re thrilled to have that as well.” Many of these items not only tell the state’s story, but of individual experiences in a way that’s incredibly powerful. Stricklin said these items above all hold a place of reverence in the collection. “It’s really a pleasure when you tell somebody, ‘Here’s what we’re doing. We want your papers or your art or your phonograph recordings’ or whatever it is and they say, ‘Yes, I trust you. I want you to share it with the public and make it available to people,’” he said. “But even more gratifying are the people who come to us and say, ‘I know what you’re doing. I like what you’re doing. I want you to have these photographs of my parents on their wedding day in 1942 before my dad went off to the war.’That’s been the most gratifying thing of all.” ■



eyond the Main Library’s books and periodicals, beyond the stacks of reference materials and historical documents at the Butler Center, CALS has developed a roster of programming and touch points that seek to develop the next generation of patrons. “To me, the library is a hub. It’s a place where people can go and feel safe and know that when they ask a question or ask for help there’s no ulterior motive, that help is just ready and available,” said Lee Ann Hoskyn, director of communications. “We’re also a place where you can not only get traditional books but you can branch out into other things for free. If you want to dip your toe into something, you can do it here.” “If you want to learn how to make sushi, you can check out a book on that or you could go to a class or we have online classes that you can take as well. Any way you want to go about learning something, we can help you in the way you learn best.”

Lectures and classes on a variety of topics are offered. Such diversity of format is one way CALS is working to connect with younger generations. Starting in middle school, individuals tend to stray from the public library and that estrangement can last well into adulthood, particularly among men. Reversing that trend, especially among the Millennial generation, requires new thinking, often made manifest by technology. “We’re always trying to improve accessibility, especially our services online, be it a downloadable book or putting a book on hold or learning about programming,” Hoskyn said. “We’re in the process of redesigning our website, which should launch the first quarter of 2018. We’re devoting as much time and energy into our digital ‘branch’ as we do to our physical spaces.” “People want instant access to everything and

while we’re not quite there yet, we’re always working towards a better, quicker way to access information.” The process of encouraging lifelong learning starts early. Deputy Director Lisa Donovan said CALS’ well-developed and popular children’s programming provides important mooring points as well as developmental benefits. “We’ve known for a long time about language development,”she said.“We know that the more words a kid has in his vocabulary probably even at age 2, but certainly at age 4 and 5, the more likely he is to be successful in school.” “But there is another, more recent area of research that speaks to out-of-school activities for school-aged kids and what happens when kids aren’t engaged. There’s a lot of research now about learning loss, particularly in the summer and particularly among poor kids Hands-on crafts and activities are available for patrons of all ages. who lose more ground than kids whose families take vacations, visit museums and libraries said. “What libraries can do, that perhaps a more structured or whose parents just read to them.” learning environment can’t, is provide individual choice and Last year, CALS hosted nearly 7,000 events variety. That’s where programming comes in.” for children and teens, running the gamut CALS has also paid attention to environment and engagement from Weird Science and Kids in the Kitchen as a way to attract and retain older kids and teens. The Main to LEGO Junior Makers Club and Draw Your Library features a teen-only area and some branches around Own Comic Book. The seminal summer readthe city have developed teen advisory boards that get to detering program drew 8,900 participants, offermine what programming focuses on and how it’s delivered. ing 100 different programs system-wide in “We’ve also found that providing teens with volunteer opporany given week. tunities is a popular and worthwhile thing to do,” Donovan Depending on the CALS branch, formal said. “Offering them opportunities to earn volunteer hours reading programming starts as early as infants for their school or club activities is one of the most successand toddlers and continues through teenful things that we do with teens. This is a win-win for everyage years. However, there has traditionally one; teens get their volunteer hours and the library benefits been a precipitous drop-off around seventh from their help.” or eighth grade. To combat this, CALS has introduced several The same strategy of providing choice and engagement initiatives to hold young readers longer. opportunities is proving effective in attracting Millennials to “It is a challenge to figure out what a kid is interested in. It’s one CALS branches and programs. From browsing titles over capthing to teach a kid phonics and reading and math and school puccino at River Market Books and Gifts, the library’s used skills, but it’s another to figure out whether a kid is interested in bookstore and coffee shop, to taking in a movie or lecture at math or science or poetry or art or building things,” Donovan the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, programmatic diversity is one element that’s holding their attention. “People my age respond to communitybuilding whether it’s the annual book sale or getting involved with FOCAL, our friends of the library group,” Hoskyn said. “We’ve just revived our young professionals group of FOCAL and we’re looking to expand that, making it not just about financial support, but about volunteering and events, too.” ■




The Central Arkansas Library System has many options for family activities.



ooks have always held a certain allure to Nate Coulter, that day’s share of 2016’s 2.1 million total visitors, all seekespecially Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Growing ing the printed, spoken, sung, acted or interpreted word. up in small town Arkansas, it was the novel that gave wings “Books are always going to be at the heart of what the to a young man’s imagination. library does, but it’s also about delivering other kinds of “When I was in college, I decided I was not going to go material -- genealogical information, information about back and work in my dad’s retail business on Main Street history, magazines, audio recordings, audio books,”Coulter Nashville. I decided to go to law school,” he said. “I tell said. “It’s more complicated and more expensive to deliver people books had a lot to do with my becoming a lawyer.” all these different sources of information and entertainment Today, as executive director of the to people on DVD, video and other formats, Central Arkansas Library System, Coulter no question about it. But all those kinds of does more than marvel at the power of things are required if we are fulfilling our books, it’s his stock and trade and the very role in the community.” foundation of quality of life in Little Rock. “I am absolutely convinced that the library “Libraries are always going to be about that evolves and adapts to technology and books,”he said.“Bill Gates was infamously figures out this mission that I’m talking about quoted as saying he thought books -- how to connect with people and provide would not be around too much longer them what they want -- is going to be as after he invented the iPhone. The data healthy and important as it has ever been.” doesn’t support that. Significant numLibraries can be regarded as a constitutional Nate Coulter, executive bers of people still want printed books.” warehouse, a living repository of the very director of the Central Yet Coulter is the first to tell you that of ideals of freedom of speech, thought and Arkansas Library System the more than 2.7 million items checked creative expression upon which American out last year, printed books represent society is based. Given this, Coulter said, a shrinking percentage of CALS transactions. He’ll just as CALS’ branches serve an integral role as gateways of the quickly tell you it’s a testament to the local public library First Amendment. system to have adapted so many alternative forms of media. “A library is public service. It’s got an egalitarian mis“People might not be reading the kinds of books that sion, clearly. It serves everybody, it doesn’t matter what you or I would recommend, but people are going to keep your station in life is,” he said. “Democracy works when you reading,” he said. “Younger people are going to read digital have institutions like the public library that make people only, some people are going to read both and some people better informed in theory and better participants in their are only going to read printed books. This is always going self-governance. But it also has to engage people in the to be at the heart of what the library does.” community; it has to go find what things people need and Roughly one half of the people in CALS’ service area provide a place for people to address those needs.” hold a library card. Last year, 297 CALS employees across all Access is key, Coulter said, adding for as grand a place branches answered an average of 3,600 questions posed by as the Main Library is, it is lacking without the participation


and strength of CALS’ 13 branches. “I think it’s a great combination to say yes, let’s have a flagship place downtown that has the things that have developed around it, not just one space but a campus,” he said. “It’s nice to have this big, fabulous facility down here. It’s good for the city. It’s good for the library system.” “While doing that, let’s also remember that a lot of people want a neighborhood library, so let’s build libraries all over the city, fine spaces, architectural award-winning spaces, spaces that make people want to show up. Of the things that I’m proudest about this system, it’s that we have these branches where people can get to the library, sometimes on foot, and they can participate in the process the same as anyone across town or across the state if you’re talking about online resources.” Of the future of CALS, Coulter predicted the same ideals of public space, easy access and reliable curation of various types of information will continue to serve as the organization’s guiding lights. But asked how services will be delivered and in what format, he only shakes his head in wonder. “What that looks like 10 years from now, 20 years from now, is hard to say,” he said. “There may be smaller collections because everything is going to be digitized. I was reading the other day that President Obama’s library at the University of Chicago is going to have no paper archive materials of the sort that we have at the Butler Center and in the Clinton Presidential Library. So that’s one sign.” “But I also read an interesting piece the other day that proposed the 16th century Gutenberg press had a bigger impact on society than the iPhone in terms of what it had done to liberate people’s minds and help them spread information in ways that theretofore they couldn’t. So, I still think libraries are relevant and will be relevant in circulating materials, printed or otherwise, 50 or 100 years from now. It’s just a central part of our society.” ■




Fall Arts Calendar GREATER LITTLE ROCK MUSIC SEPT. 21: “Blues Trifecta.” Dick Waterman, “Duck” Holmes and “Two Trains Runnin.’ ” UA Pulaski Technical College Center for the Humanities and Arts, 7 p.m. $25-$50. SEPT. 21: Andrew York. The Joint, 7:30 p.m. $25.

2017 FALL ARTS GUIDE SEPT. 27: Jazz in the Park: Rodney Block. Riverfront Park, History Pavilion, 6 p.m. Free.

OCT. 19: Beppe Gambetta. The Joint, 7:30 p.m. $25.

SEPT. 27: Hope Dixon, Dazz & Brie. South on Main, 8 p.m. $10.

OCT. 19: Fantastic Negrito. South on Main, 8 p.m. $30-$40.

SEPT. 27: A Giant Dog, Ten High. Stickyz, 9 p.m. $5.

OCT. 19: Liquid Stranger, Manic Focus. Revolution, 8 p.m. $17-$20.

SEPT. 28: John Burnette. South on Main, 8 p.m. $10.

OCT. 21-22: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: “French Connection.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. $15-$65.

SEPT. 28: Benchmarks, Colour Design. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. SEPT. 29: Katmandu. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m. Free. SEPT. 29: Hot Club of Cowtown. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m. $20.

SEPT. 21: Luke Pell. Revolution, 8 p.m. $15.

SEPT. 29: The Obsessed, Iron Tongue, Tempus Terra, Seahag. White Water Tavern, 8 p.m. $15.

SEPT. 21: The Secret Sisters. South on Main, 8 p.m., $25-$34.

SEPT. 29: American Lions. Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m.

SEPT. 21: The Brian Nahlen Band. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m.

SEPT. 30-OCT. 1: “Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: Go Brahms.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. $15-$65.

SEPT. 22: “New Deal Salon: To Life.” Tatiana Roitman Mann, Kiril Laskarov, Andrey Dyachenko. New Deal Salon, 7 p.m. $10-$20. SEPT. 22: “Opera in the Rock: Troubled Island.” Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 7 p.m. Free. SEPT. 22: Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, 8 p.m. $10-$25.

SEPT. 30: Convictions. Revolution, 8 p.m. $10$12.

SEPT. 22: Rodney Block Album Release Show. South on Main, 9 p.m. $15.

OCT. 4: Band of Horses. Clear Channel Metroplex, 8 p.m. $30.

SEPT. 22: Dreams: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m. $5.

OCT. 5: Skillet, Britt Nicole, Colton Dixon. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m. $20-$50.

SEPT. 22: Motherfunkship. Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m.

OCT. 5: Parker Millsap. South on Main, 8 p.m. $22-$30.

SEPT. 23: 9 Horses. Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library, 11 a.m. and UA Little Rock Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, 6 p.m. Free.

OCT. 5: Randy Rogers Band. Revolution, 8:30 p.m. $22-$25.

NOV. 16: Dakota Dave Hull. The Joint, 7:30 p.m. $25.

OCT. 25: Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie. Robinson Center Music Hall, 8 p.m. $69-$190.

NOV. 17: The Cate Brothers Band. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m. $20.

OCT. 25: Judah & The Lion. Clear Channel Metroplex, 8 p.m. $22-$25.

OCT. 26: Conor Oberst. Revolution, 8:30 p.m. $25.

DEC. 8: Bob Boyd Sounds. Ron Robinson Theater, 8 p.m. Free.


OCT. 7: Nikki Hill. Stickyz, 9 p.m. $10.

OCT. 27: Top of the Rock Chorus, Acapella Rising. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m. Free.

OCT. 11: Eli Young Band. Revolution, 8:30 p.m. $30.

SEPT. 23: Pamela Ward. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m. $5.

OCT. 11: White Reaper. Stickyz, 8:30 p.m. $10.

NOV. 2: Aaron Lewis, Blackberry Smoke. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m. $40-$55.

OCT.12: Jimmy Vaughn. UA Pulaski Technical College Center for the Humanities and Arts, 7 p.m.

NOV. 2: Lucinda Williams: Books, Bourbon and Boogie. UA Pulaski Technical College Center for the Humanities and Arts, 7:30 p.m.

OCT. 13: Jason Aldean. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m. $34-$74.

NOV. 3: Casting Crowns. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $20-$70.

OCT. 13: Paul Thorn. Revolution, 8:30 p.m. $25.

NOV. 4-5: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: “Romeo and Juliet.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. $15-$65.

SEPT. 26: Big Thief. Stickyz, 8:30 p.m. $10-$12.

DEC. 6: Bully. Stickyz, 9 p.m. $10-$13. DEC. 7: Latin Jazz All-Stars. South on Main, 8 p.m. $30-$46.

SEPT. 23: Dylan Earl, Willi Carlisle, The Phlegms. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m.

SEPT. 26: Sounds in the Stacks: Robert “Frisbee” Coleman and Franko Nilsson Coleman. Fletcher Library, 6:30 p.m. Free.

DEC. 2: The Stolen Faces. Stickyz, 9 p.m. $10.

OCT. 25: Andy Frasco & The U.N. Stickyz, 8:30 p.m. $10-$12.

SEPT. 23: Mavis Staples. Robinson Center Music Hall, 7 p.m. $39-$180.

SEPT. 24: Gospel Brunch: St. Mark Sanctuary Choir. Wildwood Park for the Arts, 11 a.m. $45.

NOV. 16: Chris Stapleton, Marty Stuart, Brent Cobb. Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $36-$71.

OCT. 22: Bruno Mars. Verizon Arena, 8 p.m. $45-$125.

OCT. 7-8: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: “The Magical Music of Harry Potter.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. $15-$65.

SEPT. 23: Good Time Ramblers. Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m.

NOV. 16: Sounds in the Stacks: Jeff Coleman. Sanders Library, 6:30 p.m. Free.

SEPT. 30: Arkansauce. Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. OCT. 3: River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series: Jennifer Frautschi. Clinton Presidential Center, 7 p.m. $10-$23.

SEPT. 23: Wilsen. Stickyz, 9 p.m. $10.

NOV. 15: The Platypus Players: “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” UAMS Hospital Lobby, 4:30 p.m. Free.

SEPT. 30: Sad Daddy. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m.

SEPT. 22: Raekwon. Revolution, 9 p.m. $20$25.

SEPT. 23: “No Tears Suite.” Central High School, 6 p.m. Free.

NOV. 10: Colter Wall. Stickyz, 9 p.m. $10-$12.

OCT. 15: Coin. Revolution, 8 p.m. $15-$20. OCT. 19: Sounds in the Stacks: Brenda & Ellis. Terry Library, 6:30 p.m. Free.

OCT. 27: Wick-It the Instigator. Revolution, 9 p.m. $15. OCT. 28: Arkansas Black Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration. Pharoah Sanders, Morris Hayes, Luenell, Haki Madhubuti.

NOV. 7: River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series: “Spanish Dance.” Clinton Presidential Center, 7 p.m. $10-$23.

DEC. 15-17: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: “Home for the Holidays.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. $15-$35. DEC. 26: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. Robinson Center Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. $38$78.

COMEDY THROUGH NOV. 18: “Dork Reunion.” A comedy from The Main Thing. The Joint, 8 p.m. Fri-Sat. $24. SEPT. 20-23: Tim Gaither. The Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $8-$12. SEPT. 27-30: Aaron Kleiber. The Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $8-$12. OCT. 3: The Veterans of Comedy. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. OCT 4-7: Janet Williams. Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


2017 FALL ARTS GUIDE Wed.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $8-$12. OCT. 5: “The Game.” Hosted by Brett Ihler. The Joint, 8 p.m. OCT. 7: “Katt Williams: Great America Tour.” Verizon Arena, 8 p.m. $52-$78. OCT. 11-14: Sam Norton. The Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $8-$12. OCT. 12: Comedy Cage Match. Hosted by Jay Jackson. The Joint, 8 p.m. $5. OCT. 19-21: The Sandman. The Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $10-$15. OCT. 25-28: Richie Holiday. The Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $8-$12. NOV. 8-11: Julie Scoggins. The Loony Bin. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $8-$12.

FILM SEPT. 21: “Dreamland: Little Rock’s West 9th Street.” Arkansas Arts Center, 6 p.m. SEPT. 23: “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m. $5. SEPT. 24: Art House Theater Day. Riverdale 10 Cinema. SEPT. 26: “Turn It Around: The Story of East Bay Punk.” Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $11. OCT. 3: “Let’s Play Two.” Pearl Jam Live at Wrigley Field. Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $11. OCT. 10: “Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History.” MacArthur Museum of Military History, 6:30 p.m. Free. OCT. 10: “Young Frankenstein.” Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $8.50.


OCT. 17: “Ratcatcher.” Arkansas Times Film Series. Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $8.50.

SEPT. 23: Complexions Contemporary Ballet. UA Little Rock University Theatre, 8 p.m. $15-$35. SEPT. 24: Core Performance Company. Central High School Commemorative Garden. Free. OCT. 26-29: “Cirque de Soleil: Crystal.” Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 3:30 p.m. Sat., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sun. $33-$84. NOV. 10-12: “Ballet Arkansas: Big Bands & Ballet.” UA Pulaski Technical College Center for the Humanities and Arts. DEC. 8-10: “Ballet Arkansas: The Nutcracker.” Robinson Center Music Hall. DEC. 21: Moscow Ballet’s “The Great Russian Nutcracker.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. $28-$139.

OCT. 24: “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.” Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $8.50. NOV. 14: “The Address.” MacArthur Museum of Military History, 6:30 p.m. Free. NOV. 14: “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $8.50. DEC. 5: “Miracle on 34th Street.” Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $8.50. DEC. 19: “Out of Sight.” Riverdale 10 Cinema, 7 p.m. $8.50.

THEATER THROUGH SEPT. 24: “Fun Home.” The Studio Theatre. THROUGH SEPT. 30: “Little Brother.” The

Weekend Theater. SEPT. 21-22: “Not About Heroes.” Arkansas Repertory Theater Annex, 7 p.m. $30. SEPT. 21-22: Impro Theatre. Argenta Community Theater, 8 p.m. $15-$30. SEPT. 26-OCT. 21: “The Savannah Sipping Society.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse. OCT. 11-29: “The School of Lies.” Arkansas Repertory Theatre. OCT. 13-15: “Kinky Boots.” Robinson Center Music Hall. OCT. 20-NOV. 5: “Rocky Horror Show.” The Weekend Theater. OCT. 27-29: “Annie.” Wildwood Park for the Arts, 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. $15-$30. OCT. 31-NOV. 25: “Baskerville.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse. NOV. 2-12: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” The Studio Theatre. NOV. 18: “Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science.” Robinson Center Music Hall, 7 p.m. $39-$70. NOV. 28-DEC. 31: “Harvey.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse. NOV. 29-DEC. 3: “Les Miserables.” Robinson Center Music Hall.

OCT. 20: Adam Faucett. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. OCT. 27: Arkansauce. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. OCT. 28: Mountain Sprout, Ashley Taylor. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. NOV. 4: Good Time Ramblers. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. NOV. 11: The Squarshers, David Goodier. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. NOV. 18: Freeverse. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. NOV. 24: Little Buffalo River Band. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. NOV. 25: American Lions. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. DEC. 22: Billy Jonez Blues Band. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5.

THEATER NOV. 12: “The Wizard of Oz.” Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 3 p.m. $27-$40. NOV. 16: “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m. $27-$40.

NOV. 29-DEC. 24: “The Gift of the Magi.” Arkansas Repertory Theater. DEC. 1-16: “Almost, Maine.” The Weekend Theater. DEC. 1-17: “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The Studio Theatre.


DEC. 6-24: “Santaland Diaries.” Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Education Annex.

SEPT. 29: ZZ Top, X Ambassadors, Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Murphy Arts District Amphitheater, 6 p.m. $35.

DEC. 13-23: “A Christmas Carol.” Argenta Community Theater.

SEPT. 29: Arkansas Times Bus to El Dorado. Office Depot Parking Lot, 2 p.m. $99. SEPT. 29: Ludacris. Murphy Arts District, Griffin Music Hall, 11 p.m. $25.

CONWAY MUSIC SEPT. 22: Chinese Connection Dub Embassy. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. SEPT. 23: Cosmocean. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. SEPT. 29: Sad Daddy. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. SEPT. 30: Humphrey McKeown. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. OCT. 6: Trey Johnson. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5. OCT. 13: Airpark, Cosmic Farmer. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5.



SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


OCT. 14: Akeem Kemp Band. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m. $5.

SEPT. 30: Brad Paisley, Hunter Hayes, Chase Bryant, Ashley McBryde. Murphy Arts District Amphitheater, 4:30 p.m. $35. SEPT. 30: Migos. Murphy Arts District, Griffin Music Hall, 11 p.m. $25. OCT. 1: Smokey Robinson, South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Murphy Arts District Amphitheater, 4 p.m. Free. OCT. 5: Selah, Jason Crabb. Murphy Arts District, Griffin Music Hall, 7 p.m. $15-$20. OCT. 20: Earls of Leicester. Murphy Arts District, Griffin Music Hall, 7 p.m., $15-$20. OCT. 21: South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Jeans & Classics: “Abbey Road.” Murphy Arts District. $15-$35. OCT. 28: Zapp, Dazz & Brie. Murphy Arts District, 8 p.m. $15. NOV. 1: The Beach Boys. Murphy Arts District. $40-$60.

2017 FALL ARTS GUIDE DEC. 2: John Two-Hawks. The Aud, 7 p.m. $15-$55. DEC. 9: The Ozarks Chorale. The Aud, 7:30 p.m. $10.


FAYETTEVILLE MUSIC SEPT. 22: Sad Palomino, The Coax, High Waisted. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. Free.


SEPT. 27: Drive By Truckers. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $25-$30.


SEPT. 28: Zoogma. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $15-$18. SEPT. 29: Randy Rogers Band. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9:30 p.m. $20-$30.

NOV. 4: The Molly Ringwalds. Murphy Arts District. $25.

SEPT. 29: Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. Free.

NOV. 9: Barrett Baber. Murphy Arts District.

SEPT. 30: Shawn James & The Shapeshifters. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $10.

NOV. 10: The Legendary Pacers. Murphy Arts District. $10. NOV. 11: Dennis Quaid & The Sharks. Murphy Arts District. $17-$25. NOV. 18: Fuel, Dishwalla, Marcy Playground. Murphy Arts District, Griffin Music Hall, 7 p.m. $30.

SEPT. 30: Vore, Fetal Autopsy, Twisted Ritual. Nomad’s, 7:30 p.m. Free.




OCT. 6: Irie Lions. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $10-$12.

Music ✦ Food ✦ Vendors ✦ Crafts ✦ Auction ✦ Children’s Activities ✦ Rock N ’ ’ Roll Highway 67 Museum ✦

OCT. 7: Day After Mourning, Solid Ground, Arjuna. Nomad’s, 7:30 p.m. Free.

DEC. 17: Home Free. Murphy Arts District, Griffin Music Hall, 7 p.m. $20-$79.

OCT. 7: Papadosio & Phutureprimitive. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $20-$30.

DEC. 31: Windstorm. Murphy Arts District.

OCT. 7: Count Tutu. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. $5.

NOV. 9-12: El Dorado Film Festival. Murphy Arts District and South Arkansas Arts Center.


OCT. 5: Whethan. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $15-$18.

DEC. 9: Phil Vassar, Kellie Pickler. Murphy Arts District. $35-$55.



OCT. 11: Kiel Grove. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. Free. OCT. 12: Space Jesus, Digital Ethos, Esseks. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $18-$20. OCT. 13: Beats Antique. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9:30 p.m. $25-$28.

THEATER OCT. 19-25: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” South Arkansas Arts Center.

OCT. 13: Jesse Aycock. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. Free. OCT. 14: “Masterworks: Tchaikovsky V.” Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7:30 p.m.


OCT. 14: Huntertones. Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater, 8 p.m.

NOV. 11: “Acrobats of China: Shanghai Circus.” Murphy Arts District.

OCT. 14: Lion Heights. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. Free.

EUREKA SPRINGS MUSIC NOV. 3: Lucinda Williams. The Aud, 7:30 p.m. $35-$45.

OCT. 18: Jake Shimabukuro. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7 p.m. OCT. 19: Blue October. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8:30 p.m. $26-$31. OCT. 20: Dylan Earl. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. Free. OCT. 22: Blackalicious. George’s Majestic SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


2017 FALL ARTS GUIDE DEC. 17: “The Snowman: A Family Concert.” Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 2 p.m.

DANCE OCT. 13: Ballet Arkansas: “Emergence.” Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 8 p.m. OCT. 26: “Cas Public: Symphonie Dramatique.” Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7:30 p.m. DEC. 7-8: Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People’s Republic of China. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7:30 p.m.


Lounge, 9 p.m. $20-$25. OCT. 23: Har Mar Superstar. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $10-$12. OCT. 24: Caleb Ryan Martin. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8 p.m. $8-$10. OCT. 27: American Lions. Smoke & Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m. $5. OCT. 28: Andy Frasco & The U.N. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $12-$15. OCT. 30: Hippo Campus. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $16-$18. OCT. 31: Bleep Bloop. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $18-$20. NOV. 2-3: Lucero. George’s Majestic Lounge, 9 p.m. $22-$25. NOV. 8: Perpetual Groove. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8:30 p.m. $15-$20. NOV. 9: Susan Werner Trio. Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater, 7:30 p.m. NOV. 10: Bria Skonberg. Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater, 7:30 p.m. NOV. 16: Old Crow Medicine Show. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7 p.m. NOV. 16: Brandy Clark. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8 p.m. $15. NOV. 30: Joe Bonamassa. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 8 p.m. DEC. 3: Voces8. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7 p.m. DEC. 3: Snails, Boogie T, Squinto. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8 p.m. $23-$25.


THEATER NOV. 8: Cirque Pedal Punk. Fort Smith Convention Center, 7:30 p.m.


OCT. 11-NOV. 5: “The Champion.” Walton Arts Center, Studio Theater.

OCT. 7: Arkansas Times Blues Bus to King Biscuit. 9 a.m. $109.

NOV. 7-12: “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical.” Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall. NOV. 29-DEC. 31: “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.” Walton Arts Center, Studio Theater. DEC. 1-2: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.” Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall. DEC. 19-23: “Finding Neverland.” Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall.

COMEDY OCT. 13: Southtown Comedy: Michael Brown & Seth Dees. Nomad’s, 8 p.m. OCT. 24: David Sedaris. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7 p.m. OCT. 27: Comedians NWA Presents: Nick Alexander. Nomad’s, 8 p.m. NOV. 10: Southtown Comedy: Josh Cocks. Nomad’s, 8 p.m. DEC. 8: Southtown Comedy: Derek Smith. Nomad’s, 8 p.m. DEC. 9: Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.


DEC. 12: LeAnn Rimes. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7 p.m.

OCT. 19: Cole Swindell. Fort Smith Convention Center, 7 p.m.

DEC. 13: Robert Earl Keen. Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, 7 p.m.

OCT. 21: Dee Daniels: “The Great Ladies of Swing.” Fort Smith Convention Center, 7:30 p.m.



OCT. 3-8: “The King and I.” Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall.

OCT. 30-31: “The Rocky Horror Show.” Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater, 8 p.m.

Festival. Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa. $10$300.

NOV. 26: Martina McBride. Fort Smith Convention Center, 7:30 p.m.

OCT. 4-7: King Biscuit Blues Festival. Featuring Tab Benoit, JJ Grey & Mofro, Government Mule and more. Downtown, $40-$80.

DEC. 8: Latin Jazz All-Stars. Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater, 8 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017

OCT. 30: Gentri: The Gentlemen Trio. Fort Smith Convention Center, 7:30 p.m.


SEPT. 22, 29, OCT. 6, 13, 20, 27, NOV. 3, 10, 17: “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s.” The Five Star Dinner Theatre. SEPT. 30, OCT. 7, 14, 21, 28: “Steel Magnolias.” Five Star Dinner Theatre. OCT. 6-15: “Little Shop of Horrors.” Pocket Community Theatre. OCT. 30, NOV. 4, 11, 18: “Driving Miss Daisy.” Five Star Dinner Theatre. DEC. 1-10: “Miracle on 34th Street.” Pocket Community Theatre.

JONESBORO MUSIC OCT. 19-21: Johnny Cash Heritage Festival. Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson and more. Dyess Colony Circle. Free-$75.

SEPT. 22: The Federalis, DeFrance, Stephen Neeper. Maxine’s, 9 p.m., $5.

OCT. 21: Arkansas Times Bus to Johnny Cash Heritage Festival. 9 a.m., $109.

SEPT. 23: Couch Jackets, Brother Bera. Maxine’s, 9 p.m. $5.

NOV. 3: Barrage 8. Fowler Center, Arkansas State University, 7:30 p.m.

SEPT. 28: Bruiser Queen. Maxine’s, 9 p.m. Free. SEPT. 29: Froggy Fresh. Low Key Arts, 7 p.m. $15-$50. SEPT. 29: Ronnie Heart. Maxine’s, 9 p.m. $5. SEPT. 29-30: Arkansas Wine & Opera Experience. Springs Hotel, Second Floor Balcony.

THEATER SEPT. 22: Artrageous. Fowler Center, Arkansas State University, 7:30 p.m.


SEPT. 30: The Glenn Miller Orchestra. Hot Springs Convention Center, Horner Hall. $25-$35.


SEPT. 30: Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe. Maxine’s, 9 p.m. $7.

SEPT. 21: Aaron Kamm & The One Drops. The Meteor, 8 p.m. $8-$15.

OCT. 1: Stardust Big Band Tea Dance. Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, Crystal Ballroom, 3 p.m. Free-$10.

SEPT. 28: KISS. Walmart AMP, 7:30 p.m. $56.

OCT. 6-7: Hot Water Hills Festival. Featuring Itchy-O, Dazz & Brie, Claire Morales, Vodi, Walker Lukens and more. Hill Wheatley Plaza. $10-$15. OCT. 13: Dead Rider, Ghost Bones, Or. Low Key Arts, 9 p.m. $7-$10.

OCT. 7: “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: In Concert.” Walmart AMP, 7 p.m. $20-$75. OCT. 14: AMP Fest: John Paul White, Adam Faucett, Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings. Walmart AMP, 4 p.m., $45. OCT. 21: Night Train, The Pool Boys. The Meteor, 8 p.m. $10-$15.

FILM SEPT. 21-24: Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival. Central Theater. SEPT. 22-24: Spa-Con. Hot Springs Convention Center. $25-$35. OCT. 6-15: Hot Springs Documentary Film

OCT. 28: Reeves Brothers Honky Tonkin Halloween Party. The Meteor, 9 p.m. $10-$20. NOV. 6: T.O.N.E.z. of Gangstagrass. The Meteor, 8 p.m. $13-$20. DEC. 2: Route 358. The Meteor, 9 p.m. $8-$15.


While skipping school and playing an alternate reality game, San Francisco teenager Marcus Yallow ends up in the middle of a terrorist attack and on the wrong side of the Department of Homeland Security. This play asks “What is the right thing to do when authorities become oppressors?

September 15-30, 2017 $16-Adults $12-Students & Seniors Thursday, Friday and Saturday night curtain time is 7:30 pm. Sunday afternoon curtain time is 2:30 pm. The Box Office and the theater open one (1) hour prior to curtain. The House opens 30 minutes prior to curtain.



Arkansas Arts Center “Will Counts: The Central High School Photographs,” through Oct. 22; “Robert Bean: Personal Spaces,” through Oct. 1; “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, Sept. 29-Dec. 31. Butler Center Galleries “Modern Ink,” group show, through Oct. 28; “Jim Nelson: Abstraction and Color,” through Nov. 25; “The Art of Injustice: Paul Faris’ Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration,” through Dec. 30. Clinton Presidential Center “Art of Africa: One Continent, Limitless Vision,” through Feb. 12. Historic Arkansas Museum “No-Type. Identity of Us,” photographs, through Oct. 8; Danny Campbell and Winston Taylor, through Nov. 5; “Hidden Treasures: Selected Gala Fund Purchases,” through Jan. 8; “Gordon and Wenonah Fay Holl: Collecting a Legacy,” through Feb. 4, 2018; “All of Arkansas: Arkansas Made, County by County,” through March 11, 2018; Old State House Museum. “True Faith, True Spirit: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley,” through 2017; “Cabinet of Curiosities,” from UA Museum, through 2017. University of Arkansas at Little Rock Fine Arts Center “Heidi Hogden: Uncertain Terrain,” through Oct. 1; “Layet Johnson: August-September,” through Oct. 1; “Peri Schwartz: The Artist’s Studio,” through Oct. 17.


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art “Animal Meet Human,” through Oct. 30; “Not to Scale: Highlights from the Fly’s

Eye Dome Archive,” through March 2018; “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing,” Sept. 16-Jan. 1.


University of Central Arkansas Baum Gallery “Vertebrates: An Installation by Ben Butler,” through Oct. 19; “Equivocal Exposures: Alternative Photographic Processes,” through Oct.19.

Please arrive promptly. There will be no late admission.

For more information contact us at 501.374.3761 or

Our 25th Season Is Sponsored By Piano Kraft to purchase tickets and flex passes.

1001 W. 7th St. Little Rock, AR 72201


Walton Arts Center “Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives,” paintings and photographs by Diane Burko, through September; “Charting Terrain: A Confluence of Light and Form,” group show, Oct. 5-Dec. 23.


Regional Art Museum “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project from the National Archives,” through Oct. 29; “Momoyo Torimitsu: Somehow, I Don’t Feel Comfortable,” vinyl inflatable bunnies, Oct. 6-Dec. 31; “Bonfire: Barbara Cade,” felted work, Nov. 3-Feb. 8.


Arkansas State University “2017 Faculty Biennial,” “Vivid Life,” “The Catastrophe of the Present,” “Wild Things,” work by Roger Carlisle, Shelley Gipson, Claudia Salamanca and Cara Sullivan, through Sept. 29; “A Shared Vision,” from the RudolphBlume Collection, Oct. 18-Dec. 8; “inspired,” work by high school students, Nov. 28-Dec. 8.


Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas “Pine Bluff Art League Annual Juried Exhibition,” through Nov. 11; 2017 “Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition,” Sept. 21-Jan. 6, 2018; “How People Make Things,” Nov. 11-April 21, 2018.

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Arts Entertainment AND

AN ORIGINAL: Sherilyn Fenn, in the original production of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” She’ll appear at Spa-Con in Hot Springs Sept. 22-24.

and made 18 new hour-long episodes available for streaming, sending fans into a frenzy to find out exactly what happened to Audrey. Spoiler alert: Although the new episodes don’t enlighten us much about the 25 years that have passed, Audrey is indeed alive. Ahead of her appearance at this year’s Spa-Con, to take place Sept. 22-24 in Hot Springs, we had a chance to talk to Fenn about working with Lynch, what it feels like to be a part of a world that has inspired such a cult following, and about those trademark saddle shoes, which are one of a kind.

‘No accidents’

raised by seemingly perfect upper middle class parents. A character named Audrey Horne, daughter to a father more obsessed with running his resort, A Q&A with Sherilyn Fenn of ‘Twin Peaks.’ the Great Northern, than paying her attention, wasn’t even in the script BY KATY HENRIKSEN when a 24-year-old Sherilyn Fenn hen the cult art-soap- straightforward whodunit question auditioned. Audrey Horne went on noir series “Twin Peaks” “Who killed Laura Palmer?” grew to to become a central force in the world debuted on ABC in spring of create a subculture of die-hard fans. of “Twin Peaks,” with fans heartbro1990, television was forever changed. Teenage women marked the center- ken over a cliffhanger that left everyDirector David Lynch, known then for piece. Beyond tragically murdered one wondering whether she was dead art house cinema classics of the 1980s prom queen Laura Palmer, there or alive in the abrupt final episode of such as “Elephant Man,” “Eraserhead” was Shelley, a high school drop-out- the original series, which lasted only and “Blue Velvet,” broke all the rules of turned-waitress in an abusive mar- two seasons. network television. The darkly uncon- riage, and Laura’s best friend, Donna Showtime made headlines when it ventional show that began with the Hayward, a straight-A student being announced “Twin Peaks: The Return,”


Your character, Audrey, was not part of the original script, but David Lynch decided he needed you in “Twin Peaks” after your audition, so he wrote a part in just for you. How did that unfold? I’d just found a manager who had encouraged me when I went to auditions to be myself, to not be who I thought they wanted me to be, to really connect, whether I’m shy or sarcastic, you know — really show who I really truly am. She literally gave me permission to be myself. And I’m kind of shy when I first meet people, especially at that age. CONTINUED ON PAGE 47

A&E NEWS THE CULTURE SHOCK Arkansas Art Collective, founded by women artists in 2013 to expand exhibition opportunities, is exhibiting sculptural installations that explore the need for shelter and refuge. The show at the William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock, “Shelter in Place,” includes work by some of Arkansas’s best known women artists working today: Dawn Holder, whose “Grass Variation (Mown Path)” installation of ceramic grass won the Grand Award at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Delta Exhibition this year; videographer and collage artist Melissa Cowper-Smith; printmaker and Hendrix College art professor Melissa Gill; adjunct professor at UA Little Rock

Sofia Gonzalez; weaver and Arkansas Living Treasure Louise Halsey; printmaker and University of the Ozarks professor Tammy Harrington; sculptor and University of Central Arkansas professor Holly Laws; installation artist and UCA professor Sandra Luckett; and art instructor, painter and embroid(her) project creator Rachel Trusty. An opening reception will be held in conjunction with Argenta Art Walk, 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. ALSO ON ARGENTA’S Art Walk palette: It will be Community Art Night at the Arkansas Innovation Hub (201 E. Broadway St.) with artist Dominique Simmons, so bring along your art supplies and create. Greg Thompson Fine

Art (429 Main St.) continues its “Southern Landscapes” exhibition; the Laman Library Argenta Branch (420 Main St.) opens the “Mid-Southern Watercolorists Exhibition”; Mugs Cafe (515 Main St.) opens a show of woodcuts by Daniel Adams; and the Thea Foundation (401 Main St.) shows off its renovated gallery and office space. COMING TO SPRINGDALE: the unveiling of the fivestory “Kaleidoscope,” a public art installation on the Springdale Municipal Airport control tower meant to celebrate the Monarch butterfly. Ink Dwell art studio, which has been creating installations meant to educate and conserve wildlife along migration corridors since CONTINUED ON PAGE 51


SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


ROCK CANDY Check out the Times’ A&E blog


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Miles, who led North Little Rock’s all-black Scipio Jones High School to four straight championships in the 1950s, and Altheimer’s Jackie Ridgle, who led his high school team to a title in 1966. Demirel provides some evidence that each deserves 6 p.m. Sturgis Hall, Clinton School of to be included in the Arkansas AcPublic Service. Free. tivies Association record book’s top 10 for season scoring average, but, Evin Demirel, a former Arkan- as newspapers did not often cover sas Democrat-Gazette reporter and all-black sporting events during the occasional contributor to the Arkan- days of segregation, documentation sas Times, returns to his hometown of the feats of mid-century players to talk at the Clinton School about can be hard to come by. Demirel his first book, “African-American does further and fascinating yeoAthletes in Arkansas: Muhammad man work, digging up stories on the Ali’s Tour, Black Razorbacks & Oth- all-black Fort Smith Eagles baseball er Forgotten Stories.” The anthology team taking on Satchel Paige and the collects historical essays, some pre- Kansas City Monarchs, NBA Hall of viously published in the likes of Slate, Famer and Lonoke County native Arkansas Life and the Times, on little Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Muremembered sports stories involv- hammad Ali’s 1969 speaking tour ing black Arkansans. It’s a noble ef- through Arkansas. Buy the book and fort, evinced early in the pages of the learn more at book as Demirel reports on Eddie LM



9 p.m. Maxine’s, Hot Springs. Free.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires are Southern rockers, no doubt, hailing from Alabama and writing songs, as The New York Times put it, “steeped in history, local color, memories, everyday life, expectations and paradoxes.” But, their comparisons to other Southern rock bands — most notably the Drive-By Truckers — always feels a bit off, mainly because the band’s songs drift into a Southern version of Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady. Bains’ music shares The Hold Steady’s propensity for intricate, driving guitars that cannot give up a punk past and lyrics so specific (and yelled so quickly) you forget they’re beautifully etching a cultural geography. Take “Breaking It Down!” on Bains’ new album “Youth Detention,” which is 100 percent what I imagine Hold Steady lead singer Craig Finn would create if he were from Alabama: 42

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


“Inside a vine-eaten warehouse, under rust-soured towers/ Distorted truth buzzing through a busted P.A./Sons and daughters of bankers and farmers, miners and lawyers/Eyes shut and hollering, hips all asway.” Yet, while The Hold Steady chronicled the glory of waylaid pseudo-druggie nights of a Jersey suburb kid in New York, Bains is coming to terms with a torn South and making that process of reckoning into an anthem, somehow, not losing the joy. You can even hear Bains confronting his desire to make rocking music about such difficult topics. His song “Whitewash” edges more toward the Jason Isbell influence of the original Drive-By Truckers lineup, telling a story of not wanting the “power” or the guilt or to hurt anybody, but ultimately knowing, “… you belong to the Free State of Winston. Her pines creak in your words, high and lonesome: ‘I’ve got a people, and a history and a place bearing down on me.’ ” Lee Bains & The Glory Fires are Southern rockers, no doubt, and they know

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‘DRAM SHOP GAL’: Carson McHone, who’s made cameos on tunes for Ray Wylie Hubbard and Shinyribs, brings her solo set to the White Water Tavern Thursday night.



9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

When Rolling Stone features you as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” I’m going to go ahead and assume your time has come. It must be Carson McHone’s time. McHone, visually a cross between Olivia Wilde and Kate Hudson, is one of those rare “unicorns” who actually hails from Austin, Texas, and isn’t just a transplant to that coolest-of-cool towns. McHone began singing in local bars at the age of 16, and was selected in 2014 to represent Austin in Project ATX6, a music documentary project that each year selects six musicians to showcase at international music festivals. With ATX6, McHone toured as far as Germany, experiencing a sold-out showcase at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. Her vocals are featured on 2015’s “Okra Candy” by Shinyribs and on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s song “Chick Singer Badass Rockin,” which, I believe, is an apt description of her pipes. Rolling Stone describes her sound as “the bridge between Texas tawny and Tennessee country,” but when I viewed her “Dram Shop Gal” on YouTube, I just heard a heartfelt, winsome voice and witnessed a presence that so transcended the screen I wanted to instantly buy a ticket to her nearest show, even though I don’t consider myself a country music fan. McHone once wanted to be George Jones. Based on what I’ve seen, I think she’s surpassed her goal by a country mile. HS

their music has to reflect that. This is protest music that sounds like a protest — frenetic and exciting and contemplative. Bains has been doing it for a long bit, well before President Trump made protest music popular again (but, at times, a bit overwrought). Go check out his well-placed anger in “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” from 2014, in

which he flipped the Alabama state motto to call out the state’s racist policies in policing of immigrants. Also, one last thing: How in the world is this show free? You could easily pay $15 to $20 for a show like this in other cities. Maxine’s is doing everyone in Central Arkansas a favor, so please go and buy drinks. JR




FROM THE TREES OF STONE COUNTY: Paul Gillam Jr. and Paul Gillam Sr. at Blue Mountain Woodworks are among the artists featured in the Off the Beaten Path studio tour around Mountain View.

Lucie’s Place Turns Five! celebration is at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Terry House Community Center, 5:30 p.m., $5-$10. Johnny Gill and Robin Givens star in Priest Tyaire’s comedy “Momma’s Boy,” one night only at Robinson Center Music Hall, 8 p.m., $30-$60. Turnpike Troubadours bring songs of “Gin, Smoke, Lies” to Revolution, 8:30 p.m., $25. Michael Brown hosts a Comedy Cage Match, 8 p.m., The Joint, $8. Canvas entertains at Cajun’s Wharf for happy hour, 5:30 p.m., free, and Rustenhaven takes the stage at 9 p.m., $5. Jamaicaborn comedian Drew Thomas begins a run on The Loony Bin stage, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12.




9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. Mountain View and surrounding areas.

Here’s how to make a weekend of art: Get in your car and head to the Ozarks, where 30 artists from Fox on the southwest to Pineville on the northeast — hence the “Off the Beaten Path” name for this 16th annual event — will open their studios to visitors. You’ll see some of the state’s best artisanal creations, from weaving to jewelry, beads to baskets. Some of the participating artists are old hands, like master bead-makers Tom and Sage Holland, potters Joe Bruhin and Dave and Becki Dahlstedt, and jeweler JP Rosenquist. New this year is storyteller Blant Hurt, an author and former newspaper columnist. Pick up a free guide that provides directions to the studios at the Arkansas Craft School, the Arkansas Craft Gallery and the Chamber of Commerce office in Mountain View, or go to All studios are within 30 miles of Mountain View. LNP



7 p.m. The Undercroft, Christ Episcopal Church, 509 Scott St. $10.

You know that fiddle player from Sad Daddy? The one who takes the jug band vibe of songs like “Weed Smoker’s Blues” and “Don’t Be Messin’ With My Mojo”

and makes them sound damned near erudite? That’s Rebecca Patek. She’s a three-time Wisconsin State Fiddle Champion, and she’s got a new solo album out, “Come Up and Meet Me,” a sweet collection of 12 romantic bluegrass tunes made for hearing outdoors in the fall — or in this case, in a cozy basement-slashbrewery. SS



cians, she says, became a support system. “I realized more 9 p.m. South on Main. $15. than anything after she passed that music was sustaining me,” she told us; “It was my heartbeat.” Perez, under a new collabGenine Latrice Perez, the polished neo-soul singer who orative called Purple Palace Productions, has been booking fronts the bands Lagniappe and The Sound, spent the sum- and promoting singers like Samarra Samone and Jasmine mer of 2016 in what she calls a “rebirth mode,” reacquainting Janae, and this Friday she takes the stage with her own set herself with a music scene bubbling with new talent, one that of jazz and R&B-infused tunes for an “End of Summer Soiher schedule of private concerts and corporate engagements ree.” For a primer to Perez’s style, and the ways in which had kept mostly in the background. Then, her daughter Ol- she brings her daughter’s memory to the stage, check out the ivia died unexpectedly, and that newfound network of musi- video for “Free Your Dreams” at SS

Ian Moore’s latest album, “Strange Days,” is a dark, layered departure from its predecessors; the songwriter returns with it in hand to the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $10. The Little Rock String Quartet teams up with Bonnie Montgomery and Geoff Robson to entertain for the Little Rock Violin Shop’s 10th Anniversary Party, 6 p.m., 316 E. 11th St.; donations benefit the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock and Faulkner Chamber Music Festival. The Cons of Formant band brings its stringforward sound to Kings Live Music in Conway, 8:30 p.m., $5, with an opening set from Tyler Grady. Must-hear soul singer Ramona Smith takes the stage at Cajun’s, 9 p.m., $5. Sabine Valley and Grammar Candy take the stage at Vino’s, 7:30 p.m., $7. Mother Hubbard & The Regulators perform at West End Smokehouse, 10 p.m., $7. Wade Bowen brings red-dirt country from Waco, Texas, to the Rev Room, 9 p.m., $16-$18. Mayday by Midnight performs at Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $8. Pinko, Little Beards and New Primals share a bill at Maxine’s in Hot Springs, 9 p.m., $5. The John Calvin Brewer Band entertains at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming’s Silks Bar & Grill in Hot Springs, 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., free.

SATURDAY 9/16 Gallery 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., opens an exhibition of work by Katherine Strause and Phillip Rex Huddleston with a reception at 7 p.m. The Turkish Food Fest begins at 11 a.m. at the Turkish Raindrop House, 1501 Market St. The Jericho Way Resource Center invites the public to raise funds with its “Sleep Out in the Rock” overnight CONTINUED ON PAGE 45

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Jackson’s vocal technique, placing it among the best records of 2015 A year after postponing her in the opinion of several publica“Unbreakable” tour to have her tions. With sales of over 160 milfirst and only child, 50-year-old lion records worldwide, Jackson Janet Jackson resumes the trek, stands as one of the best-selling scheduling 56 shows across 101 artists of all time, which, we hope, days. The tour, renamed “State of she’ll showcase by performing the World,” is “not about politics,” some oldie-but-goodies. Who according to Jackson. “It’s about would want to miss a live perforpeople, the world, relationships mance of “What Have You Done and just love.” Her 11th studio For Me Lately” or “Because of album, “Unbreakable,” reunited Love” or anything — and everyJackson (after a decade apart) thing! — from 1989’s “Rhythm Nawith songwriting/production duo tion” album? Does the new quinJimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the quagenarian have the same energy masterminds behind such Jack- that earned her six Grammys, two son hits as 1986’s “When I Think Emmys, a Golden Globe, a nomiof You” and 1993’s “That’s The nation for an Oscar and dozens Way Love Goes.” The record also of American Music Awards, MTV included cameos from rappers Video Music Awards and BillJ. Cole and Missy Elliott and de- board Music Awards? Our guess buted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. is she does, and if you think oth“Unbreakable” was well received erwise, you can call her Miss Jackfor its diversity of sound and for son. Because you’re nasty. HS 8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $30-$110.

UNBREAKABLE: Janet Jackson makes a stop at Verizon Arena on her “State of the World” Tour.





headline, with trumpet king Rodney Block, funk-flecked genre-benders Dazz & Brie and rootsy Brian Nahlen Band rounding out the Now in its fifth year, Legends of Arkansas ticket. Then again, if you don’t come for the is an all-Arkansas, family-friendly music and music, come for the community. The mission craft festival held on the North Shore River- of Legends of Arkansas is to build community walk in North Little Rock. A true annual cel- while tackling the problem of homelessness in ebration of music, art and independent busi- Arkansas, and the measly $5 cover charge goes ness in Arkansas, the festival features art/craft to one of its three fantastic programs: The Van vendors, interactive art, performing artists, (a mobile program that serves the homeless), breweries and food trucks from around the The Field (an urban farm created to provide state. If you don’t come for the goods, come produce as well as a day’s wage) and Kathfor the music. This year, indie-rock band ryn’s House (a temporary respite for homeless Knox Hamilton — fronted by brothers and women). Legends of Arkansas will take place, pastor’s sons Boots and Cobo Copeland — will come rain or come shine. HS

2 p.m. North Shore Riverwalk. $5.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


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Noon. Sturgis Hall, Clinton School of Public Service. Free.

America is, in many ways, exceptional in terms of how it imprisons: home to 5 percent of the world population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, having four to eight times the incarceration rate of other comparable nations and consisting of a complicated patchwork of state, local and federal jails and prisons, all distinct in their policies from each other and also distinct from an entirely separate juvenile justice system. To understand the American system — even simple things like the vast difference between a jail and a prison — takes effort. Dr. Baz Dreisinger, author of “Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World,” will give a talk at the Clinton



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ments are not from the aloof professor, but from someone who wants to see change for prisoners and is trying to figure out how to create it. She is an activist and the founder of the Prison-to-College Pipeline, a project aimed at getting the formerly incarcerated college degrees by providing classes in prison. Whether you’re new to learning about what happens in prisons around the world or have a long time interest in criminal justice, you’ll likely get something from Dreisinger’s stories. JR

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School that may shed some light on how the world deals with incarceration. She toured prisons from Singapore to Uganda to study the best methods for rehabilitation. Dreisinger is a professor of English, and she writes in a first-person narrative style, which means she discusses criminal justice reform with specifics and anecdotes, but without too much statistical analysis of the big picture (if you’re interested in that sort of thing, though, check out “Locked In,” by John F. Pfaff). Dreisinger’s argu-




at Murray Park; see for details. Odie Lindsey reads from his PRINT short story collection, “We Come to Our Senses,” for the Argenta Reading Series, 7 p.m., 421 Main St., North Little Rock, donations. Attagirl releases a new record with a show at the White Water Tavern, and Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth and Shoplift also appear, 9 p.m. TV Mike and The Scarecrows bring their “twang stomp” to Maxine’s, 9 p.m., $5. Shannon Boshears takes her blues rock to the stage at Cajun’s, 9 p.m., $5. Pokey LaFarge brings his early jazz-inspired set to George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, 9 p.m., $20-$22. Club Sway hosts a “Miss Jackson”-themed afterparty following Janet’s concert at Verizon Arena, 9 p.m., with drag performances at 10:30 p.m. and midnight from Envy S. Hart and Symone Ebony Enchantress. Franz Lehar’s operetta “The Merry Widow” gets a performance at The Muses Cultural Center, 428 Orange St., Hot Springs, 6 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., $35. Freeverse lands at Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. Barrett Baber, former star of “The Voice,” returns for a performance at Hot Springs National Park College, 5 p.m., free. CMT favorite Corey Smith brings his country songs to the Rev Room, 8 p.m., $20-$25. Cosmocean takes the stage at Stickyz, 9:30 p.m., $5. Groovement grooves at Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m., $5.

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ARKANSAS MADE: Mark Thiedeman’s “Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls” (pictured), Alison Boland’s “Night Shift” and Michael Carpenter’s “Spoonin’ the Devil” are next up in the Arkansas Times Film Series.



7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.50.

For the next feature in the Arkansas Times Film Series, Film Quotes Film and Riverdale 10 Cinema are partnering to bring you some rarely screened films that showcase homegrown talent from the Natural State. “Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls” tells the story of a boy in Catholic school who’s struggling with the tension between who he is and what his religion tells him is wrong. The film is fiction, but is based on director ’s experiences at Little Rock Catholic High School. The second short film comes from Alison Boland, an Arkansas native whose 2014 short film “Night Shift” follows a university’s night cleaning crew, made up of immigrants from Vietnam, Egypt and Mexico. The film, which won Best Documentary Short at the Austin Asian American Film Festival, is a humane portrait of people who often go unseen, doing work that the people around them take for granted. The third film, “ Spoonin’ the Devil,” Arkansas native Michael Carpenter’s University of Central Arkansas master’s thesis film, follows a woman on a journey with her niece to dispose of the ashes of her recently deceased husband. Natalie Canerday (“Walk the Line,” “Shotgun Stories,” “Quarry”) plays the widow. OJ

The formidable Tedeschi Trucks Band lands at Robinson Center Music Hall, 7 p.m., $26-$134. Head out early to catch a concert from the U.S. Air Force’s MidAmerica’s Concert Band at the First Security Amphitheater, 3 p.m., free. Emery, a quintet that blends aggressive guitars and biblical scripture, lands at the Rev Room, 7 p.m., $10-$20. The River City Men’s Chorus rings in its 15th season with “From Sea to Shining Sea: A Musical Road Trip,” Second Presbyterian Church, 3 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Mon. and 7 p.m. Thu., Sept. 21, free. The UA Little Rock Trojans women’s soccer team takes on the Louisiana Tech Ragin’ Cajuns at Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex, 1 p.m. In Russellville, The Cavern hosts a show from Fiscal Spliff, Spirit Cuntz and Sassy Squatch, 8 p.m., $3-$5.

TUESDAY 9/19 Photographer Nancy Nolan’s exhibit, “Park’s Pants,” kicks off the ACANSA Arts Festival, 6 p.m., Argenta Gallery, 413 Main St. Members of Decarcerate, a group focused on reducing the prison


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It’s the Party to the Party! On October 7th Ride the Arkansas Times Blues Bus to the King Biscuit Blues Festival! It’s the Biscuit, Baby! And we can’t wait! King Biscuit turns 32 and we are going to see Government Mule!


INCLUDES: Transportation provided by Cline Tours (let’s go in style y’all), Entrance to the Blues Festival, Lunch at the Hollywood Café, Live Music on board the bus by Bill “Bluesboy” Jagitsch, and adult beverages.



SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


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A&E CONTINUED I came in, as most people my age the Great Northern as she jumps into did, for either Shelly or Donna Hay- a car. The shot zooms in on her shoes ward. I was myself and kind of quiet. before she’s pulled into the car and [Lynch] was asking lots of questions. the door slams. He knows all these I was thrilled. I had seen “Blue Vel- things. In his being, he just sees them. vet,” and one of my favorite movies at the time was “Elephant Man.” Why do you think the saddle To date, he was the biggest director shoes were so integral to him? I’d met. I was really impressed with I think it’s because he comes from him. He was such a mystery. We met the ’50s. His daughter Jen, who I’ve for 20 minutes and then the casting become best friends with, said that director chastised my agent and said I reminded David of his first love in I should have been more positive. A the third grade. It’s very personal, the week later they called and said he’d things that inspire all of us. It’s rarely written a role for me. Little Audrey random things. I think it has to with was born. It was amazing. that — and with this idea of purity. I like to think that there are no She’s a virgin. It’s very sweet, isn’t it? accidents in a funny way, and that it was supposed to happen. It would Then, 25 years later, the show have been a very different show with- magically returns. What was that out her. It’s so flattering, and I’m so like, to go back to the universe of grateful to have been a part of it — “Twin Peaks?” and that people love her, oh, my gosh. It was a pure delight. Everyone If you get one of those roles, that’s was sad the way it ended and had really the best thing you can ask for some regrets. I don’t think [co-creas an actress. ator] Mark [Frost] and David thought I try to do really honest work. it was going to turn into such a huge That’s the way I was taught. It’s not show at all, and, when it did, it ended pretending, so maybe it resonated too quickly. To be able to come back with them. TV was really awful back it’s been a dream. I think David is then, so they were really starved for more in his essence than he’s ever something new. And David, he just been. I love that the show feels like gets under your skin, doesn’t he? He so many different aspects of David in makes you think. It’s not like an epi- his work. His daughter said it best; sode of “Friends,” you know? she was so happy [because], she said, “I can just tell he’s having so much Let’s talk wardrobe. You were fun. He’s in his element and he’s not absolutely the best dressed. And having to kowtow to anybody, he’s that baby pink cashmere sweater doing it the way he thought.” Some was your very own? And then people don’t like it, of course, and David Lynch decided the outfit are trying to understand, as if there’s needed saddle shoes? some ultimate one way of understandPatricia Norris, for many years, ing what’s happening, like most filmwas a close collaborator as costume making and television shows tell you. designer and set designer for “Twin That’s not what David does. Peaks.” They had a specific palette. Like, all of us were in plaid skirts. You’re about to appear at SpaSince Audrey wasn’t considered an Con in Hot Springs. What’s it like important character, they didn’t focus to interact with fans? as much on her, which worked to my For me, it ends up being this famadvantage. ily of people who really love it. SomeThey put the girls in very big times people come up and cry and sweaters, and when they put me in then I cry, and we’re both crying and that I said, “Oh, Patricia, I have this we don’t even know why we’re crying. really great baby pink cashmere retro My job is to see humanity. My gift is sweater, can I bring it?” David loved that I got to be a part of something it, and had the idea to pair it with sad- that touched people. That’s all that I dle shoes, which they couldn’t find. would have wanted to do. He was really angry. Back then there wasn’t Amazon; it was harder. … So, Spa-Con, a multi-genre entertainment they took a pair of white Oxfords and and comic convention, takes place at they Sharpied them or painted them. the Hot Springs Convention Center, If you look at them, they were nontra- 134 Convention Blvd., Sept. 22-24. A ditional, made on the set for Audrey. full schedule and tickets are available Little Audrey. One of the first shots at with Audrey was her coming out of


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Don’t Miss the Arkansas times Cash Bus!

Johnny Cash Heritage Festival October 21st Featuring: Buddy Jewell Joanne Cash & Tommy Cash Roseanne Cash Kris Kristofferson


Ticket includes: Round-trip transportation General admission ticket Adult beverages & Box Lunch provided by Boulevard Along for the ride.... Jason Lee Hale provides tunes & fun! Bus departs at 9 a.m. Meet at Old Ray Winder Field/UAMS Parking lot

by d e id v o r p es tion SEPTEMBER 14, 2017



DUMPLING AND NOODLE maven Lisa Zhang said last week that her Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. will open at its new location at 615 Main St. on Monday, Sept. 25, and will offer something new: breakfast, featuring bao, steamed and filled buns. Residents of the AR Democrat Lofts, with which the restaurant shares the building, along with Three Fold’s many fans, should be thrilled. Three Fold will also grow 1.5-fold, from 80 seats at its 215 Center St. location to 120 on Main. Zhang said she’s doubling her staff and still taking applications. The simple menu — which includes steamed dumpling and noodle bowls (choose chicken, pork or vegetables), steamed buns, taro chips and sesame balls — will stay the same; the beer will now be on draft. Three Fold also is making a minor change in serving: You’ll still order, by number, at a cash register, but the food will be brought to the table, which Zhang said should be quicker and mean fresher, better-tasting food. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (breakfast) and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. VIVA VEGAN is now serving its tacos, nachos and Strawberry Cheezecake from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fridays from an order window at the in-the-works brick and mortar restaurant it will lease at 4601 W. 12th St., on the corner of 12th and Adams streets. Chef and owner Maria Larios said progress on the renovation of the restaurant, which will seat 40, has been “slow but steady” and she hopes to open for business in a month or two. Larios, who came to Little Rock from Los Angeles with partner Keith Shaw to “focus on the things we’re passionate about,” creates her tacos with jackfruit “carnitas” and her Korean barbecue with a meat-textured vegetable protein, served with kimchee. Her nachos (gluten-free) are served with both jackfruit and the Korean barbecue makings. Larios has been catering for about a year and also distributes vegan burritos to people living on the streets as part of the Burrito Project, which originated in Los Angeles. Larios said she chose her 12th Street location to bring healthy food to the neighborhood where she lives. “Everyone that lives nearby is really excited about it,” and that was important to her, Larios said. THE DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCK PARTNERSHIP will host its first Alley Party of the fall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at 409 Main St., in the open space north of the Little Rock Technology Park. Arkansas Rice Depot and the tech park are sponsors; the Buh Jones band will perform and Stone’s Throw Brewing will serve craft beer and wine. Things will wrap up around 8:30 p.m. The Alley Parties are a project of the partnership to promote life downtown. 48

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


BRAVE NEW BURRATA: The cheese is a tasty accompaniment to heirloom tomatoes.

Tastes right But Brave New needs a tune-up.


here are some restaurant experiences that, for us, mark the passage of time. As cooler weather creeps in and the mosquitos take a break, we like to venture from our air-conditioned caves out to the patios and porches of some of the old standbys to take in the early September scenery, look upon lovely downtown views, and enjoy a culinary experience worthy of the price. Brave New Restaurant has always been that place for us. It’s a place preceded by its reputation, but our trips lately make us feel as though we’re missing out on whatever it is that warrants its standing among the top restaurants in Little Rock. On a recent Friday night, the patio at Brave New hosted some of Little Rock’s upper crust. Older men sat relaxed in their sport coats and loafers, nursing brown cocktails. Their wives sipped on chilled Chardonnay.

Follow Eat Arkansas on Twitter: @EatArkansas

Peter Brave, the restaurant’s owner and namesake, made frequent appearances to socialize and schmooze. He looked confident and comfortable, as if he was responsible not only for the food, but for the surprisingly great weather. When asked by Brave how everything had been, a patron at a nearby table joked that the cucumber soup was exceptional, although monochromatic. Brave responded ably, complimenting his competent line cooks for their execution. The seafood and ancho chile soup ($6.50) was unexceptional, bereft as it was of seafood. That’s not entirely true; we did manage to dredge up one piece of shrimp that was quite good, but lonely. There was however, quite a bit of chicken, shishito peppers and broth. It left us wondering if we should have opted for the less colorful cucum-

ber variety. The heirloom tomato salad ($14) was an absolute pleasure. Fresh and meaty Arkansas heirloom tomatoes were sliced and served with a sumptuous and creamy burrata cheese, corn and jalapeno relish, and beautiful micro greens. A bit of balsamic drizzle offered a tangy touch. This dish was at once light and rich, the perfect appetizer. For dinner, we gave the Mushroom Wellington ($17) a chance. The dish is described as a “mushroom duxelle made from fresh mushrooms, onions, garlic and pecans, wrapped in puff pastry, baked and served on a bed of fresh tomato sauce.” We expected a petite pastry pouch, delicately presented. But the dish was unappetizingly big and a bit clumsy. It amounted to a mushroom turnover, consumed by puff pastry and sitting atop not a sauce, really, but more of a tomato ratatouille. The taste is there. The mushroom mix is flavorful and rich. The tomato sauce


Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas

Brave New Restaurant 2300 Cottondale Lane, No. 105 663-2677 Quick bite

We made no mistakes with special dishes. The heirloom tomatoes and the scallops dinner special were absolutely the highlights. Brave New has a variety of dinner salads. If our side house and Caesar salads are any indication, greens might be a good way to go.


11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday.

Other info

Patio seating. Full bar. Credit cards accepted.

DOE’S KNOWS LUNCH & DINNER Lunch: Mon- Fri 11am-2pm Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30-9:30pm • Fri & Sat 5:30-10pm FULL BAR & PRIVATE PARTY ROOM 1023 West Markham • Downtown Little Rock 501-376-1195 •


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COLORFUL: The seafood and ancho chile soup.

is chunky and fresh. But the massive square of pastry is too much. We fared better with the scallops dinner special ($32). Four goodly sized scallops came in a rich saffron beurre blanc sauce. It was served with roasted potatoes, glazed carrots and grilled zucchini. The scallops were one of the highlights of the night: perfectly cooked, complemented nicely by the rich sauce, and overall satisfying. All that’s missing here was a little finesse in the presentation, which we really don’t believe is too much to ask at more than $30 a plate. Brave New is nothing if not consistent. In general, you’ll get good food and a pretty place to sit. The scallops are always a sure thing. But recent trips to similarly priced culinary gems in Memphis and Dallas have got us thinking a bit more broadly about our food scene. Is Brave New worth the ticket price? And would it hold up in other markets — and increasingly, this one — where a $25 plate gets you inventive dishes with interesting flavors and tasteful presentation? It’s a question worth asking. In the meantime, we’ll remember our experience as one diner did the cucumber soup: tasty but otherwise lacking. SEPTEMBER 14, 2017



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Fear ‘It’self Like its monstrous villain, King’s ‘It’ returns after 27 years. BY SAM EIFLING



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THREE SHORT FILMS FROM ARKANSAS FILMMAKERS! Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls by Mark Thiedeman

Night Shift

by Alison Boland

Spoonin’ the Devil


SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


e first encounter Pennywise — a shape-shifting, homicidal monster in clown form — during the opening minutes of “It.” Bill Skarsgård plays Stephen King’s most iconic villain in whiteface, with a daub of red on his nose and two tendrils of red that rise from the corners of his mouth past the center of his eyes like a pair of slinky devil horns. It’s a good look, and touched up with some CGI that lets his eyes wander (float, really). It’s a new take on the clown, who doesn’t seem to be in control of his mind or his body. As he stands in a storm drain, oblivious to the water gushing in, he seduces a little boy — Georgie, brother to Bill, central hero of the story — to reach in for a paper boat that has outpaced him. Georgie, of course, reaches down. The clown takes off his arm, then drags the child into the sewer. “It” has to do a lot of things, having sprung from King’s 1,100-page 1986 epic about an unnamed, widely ignored presence in the small town of Derry, Maine. The story pulls together seven friends who as young teens stood up to the monster; then, as the thing recedes and returns on a longstanding 27-yearcycle, they return as adults to fight it again. The first “It” adaptation ran in 1990 (yep, 27 years ago) as a twoparter on ABC, where the effects and the language were a mite constrained.

This go-round, set in 1989 and directed by Andy Muschietti (“Mama”), also has to be a coming-of-age tale, to set up a sequel for the adults’ return, and to satisfy the range of notes that fans of an 1,100-page doorstop of a novel expect to see. But, mostly, the film needs to scare the hell out of you. The monster in “It” likes to wait until kids are alone and then present as real their greatest fear, or something close. With seven protagonists and a handful of bullies to torment, the movie has to run through scares at a savage pace, without time for so much as a psych-out along the way. Gentle, heavy Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) sees a headless kid who died in 1908. Smartass Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard, of “Stranger Things” fame) just worries about clowns, poor thing. Stanley Uris (Wyatt Oleff) is haunted by a creeptastic painting at his synagogue. Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs) keeps seeing replays of his family dying in a fire. Asthmatic neatnik Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer) sees a lurching, melting leper. Fierce, kind Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis, in a star turn) gets a bathroom full of blood. And brave, stuttering Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher, the “Midnight Special” kid) keeps seeing his dead, rainslickered little brother. They’re all gutlevel frights, visceral and barbed. You will writhe in your seat.

A&E NEWS CONT. IT: Andy Muschietti’s silver screen remake leans toward the early chronology of King’s 1986 novel.

Where the movie stumbles is keeping the balance between the raw, we’reall-gonna-die, “Stand By Me” tone and a sort of “Goonies”-esque kids against the crooks sense of stakes. Pennywise is admittedly a strange character to build around: He’s a psychotic monster from an unexplained dimension (we see you, “Turtle” references) who still seems to get his jollies by psychologically tormenting children. Does he always want to kill you? Can he always? The mechanism isn’t clear, which muddles the tone. At times, things veer corny, and not in a good way. Complaining that “It” should’ve been darker (there are some really ugly, dark moments in this 2-plus-hours) seems masochistic, yes. But in waters this grim, where children are dragged into sewers to be maimed and eaten, you don’t want a cheap way out. For the good, though? If you grew up scaring yourself into insomnia by reading King’s nightmare fuel, this feels true enough to the spirit of the book. If anything, it veers darker, in at least one sense. The adults in this depiction of Derry are, with rare exception, utter heels. They’re oblivious to their own kids’ fear and pain, and they paper over missing child posters with … more missing child posters. This is a tour through the worst sort of childhood, where grownups are deaf to your pleas – if they’re not outright predators themselves. Monsters seem real when you’re young, and to the extent they are, they grow and flourish when adults are as thoroughly, willfully checked-out as the townsfolk of Derry. They are the opposite of woke – all the scarier because they, not the kids, are us.

2012, worked with the Downtown Springdale Alliance and The Nature Conservancy on the “Migrating Mural” project, the first in a series to be created over the next three years in Florida, California, Utah and other places. The artist for the work was Jane Kim, who has created works for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Aquarium, the de Young Museum, the Smithsonian Institutes and Yosemite National Park. The three-dimensional artwork’s unveiling on Saturday, Sept. 30, will also mark the opening of a new Monarch way station, a habitat of wildflowers and milkweed, the plant the Monarch feeds on and lays eggs on. SHIRIN EBADI, THE first Iranian and first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, gives a talk titled “The Role of Women in World Peace,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Fayetteville Town Center. IN OTHER PEACE-FOCUSED initiatives, Arkansas Peace Week kicks off Sunday, Sept. 17. Events include: a screening of the film “Red Lines” with Syrian activist Mouaz Moustafa, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, Student Services Center Room 104.; “Community Story Circle: Fear, Courage and Resilience,” a conversation moderated by CORE Performance Company, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center; and an art exhibit from grades 6-12 called “Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future,” at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center through Sept. 30. See for more information. A KICKOFF FOR “Imagine If Buildings Could Talk,” a series of events highlighting the history of Central High School on the 60th anniversary of the 1957 integration crisis, launches with a reception at University of Central Arkansas’s McAlister Hall, 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18. A “CHALK THE SIDEWALK” collaborative public art project from the THEA Foundation, THEA Paves the Way, takes place on the lawn of the Clinton Presidential Library from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 16. Register your group at, and organizers recommend bringing along chalk, water and paper towels. ALL THINGS FAB FOUR will be celebrated with the fifth annual “Beatles at the Ridge,” Sept. 15-16 in downtown Walnut Ridge. See beatlesattheridge. com for a full schedule.

SA CAN A e th al! t of Festiv r a P Arts


Andrew York Thursday September 21 7:30 p.m. The Joint

A GRAMMY winner and one of today’s best loved composers for classical 301 Main Street guitar, York has inspired a North Little Rock worldwide following as an international performer. Tickets $25 Available at the door or online at or

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& After Benefiting

“Building strength, stability and self-reliance since 1989”

Thursday, September 21, 2017 | 6 - 9 p.m. Embassy Suites Hotel - Little Rock Sponsored by: Member FDIC

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Arkansas Arts Center Terry House Community Gallery

Lucie’s Place Turns Five!

The Studio Theatre Presents “Fun Home” The Weekend Theater

Little Brother


North Shore River Walk

16 SEP


Legends of Arkansas 5th Annual “All-Arkansas Music and Art Festival” The Joint

AAMS presents Andrew York Embassy Suites Hotel



Heifer Urban Farm Pavilion


Statehouse Convention Center


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Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas ReStore & After 2017

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Pig & Swig Pork & Bourbon Event

140th Anniversary President’s Scholarship Gala Arkansas Times Bus Trips

Arkansas Times “MAD” Bus to ZZ Top! Arkansas Times Bus Trips

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

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“Fun Home.” The Studio Theater’s production of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, adapted as a musical by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. through Sept. 24. $20-$25. 320 W. Seventh St. 501-410-2283. “Little Brother.” The Weekend Theater’s staged adaptation of a novel by Cory Doctorow. 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. through Sept. 30, also 2:30 p.m. Sun., Sept. 24, and 7:30 p.m. Thu., Sept. 28. $16-$20. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. “Fun Home.” TheaterSquared’s production of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, adapted as a musical by Lisa Kron and

Jeanine Tesori. 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Sept. 17. $10-$47. Walton Arts Center’s Studio Theater, 495 W. Dickson St. 479-443-5600. “The Sunshine Boys.” Murry’s Dinner Playhouse presents Neil Simon’s Vaudevillian comedy. 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 Sept. 23. $15-$37. 6323 Colonel Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. “Dork Reunion.” The Main Thing’s fall musical comedy, a flashback to the Fertle Family’s high school days. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through Nov. 18. $24. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. 301 Main St., NLR. 501-372-0205.


MAJOR VENUES ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th St.,” film screening 6 p.m., wine reception 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21, lecture hall; “Will Counts: The Central High Photographs,” marking the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central, through Oct. 22; “Drawing on History: National Drawing Invitational Retrospective,” works from the permanent collection, through Sept. 24. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000.

s i v Ma s e l ap St

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P r o c e e d sb e n e fi t t h eL i t t l eR o c kN i n eF o u n d a t i o n

P U R C H A S ET I C K E T SA TC E NT R A L H I G H 6 0 T H . O R G 54

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, Jonesboro: “2017 Faculty Biennial”; “Vivid Life,” memorial exhibition of works by Roger Carlisle; “World Upside Down,” works by Shelley Gipson; “The Catastrophe of the Present,” works by Claudia Salamanca; “Wild Things,” works by Cara Sullivan, Bradbury Art Museum, through Sept. 29. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.; 2-5 p.m. Sun. 870-972-2567. ARTS & SCIENCE CENTER FOR SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff: “2017 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition,” opens with reception 5-7 p.m. Sept. 21; “Pine Bluff Art League Annual Juried Exhibition,” through

The Metropolitan Housing Alliance (MHA) Board of Commissioners is proud to announce the start of the redevelopment of its public housing units. This effort known as “The Redevelopment in the Rock Initiative” will merge commitments from public, private and local industries to redevelop over 800 units of public housing estimated to inject over $100 million into the Little Rock economy. The redevelopment initiative is being made possible in part by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, City of Little Rock, Arkansas Development Finance Agency, U.S. Department of Interior and the Department of Arkansas Heritage State Historic Preservation. MHA, through its subsidiaries Central Arkansas Housing Corporation and Little Rock Towers, LLC, and its development partner, Gorman and Company, Inc., will host its initial prebid information session on September 19, 2017 for construction trade professionals. This kickoff meeting is for the purpose of informing industry representatives of the upcoming construction activity associated with the redevelopment of 597 public housing units at the Towers (Jesse Powell, Fred Parris and Cumberland). MHA and Gorman are committed to attracting as much local participation as possible to these construction and service opportunities. The session will provide an overview of the redevelopments and information regarding the bid and contracting registration. MHA will be seeking the following service providers, vendors and contractors, as well as others: demolition, abatement, cabinetry, flooring, plumbing, electrical, roofing, HVAC installers, painting, carpentry, pipefitting, sheet metal workers, masonry, landscaping, movers, boilermakers, drywall finishers/tapers, insulators, sprinkler fitters and general laborers, etc. MHA is a Section 3 participant. This initial meeting will be held Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 12:00 noon – 1:00p.m. (CST) at Fred Parris Towers located at 1800 Broadway, Little Rock, AR 72206. All interested parties are invited to create a vendor login by visiting the Metropolitan Housing Alliance website at, click on the tab “Business with MHA”. For additional options for vendor and contractor registration or questions about the RAD program direct all phone inquiries to our 24 hour RAD Hotline at (501) 373-8222. Please see key dates for this initiative below: • Invitation/ Announcement Meeting - September 19, 2017 (12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.) • Construction Bidding Starts – October 3, 2017 • Construction Bids Due – October 31, 2017 MHA develops, owns and operates quality affordable and accessible housing that provides assistance to citizens of Little Rock, Arkansas utilizing various federal, state and local programs. Currently, MHA owns 902 public housing units, 200 affordable housing units, 158 market-rate units, administers 2083 Housing Choice Vouchers and operates two homeownership programs.

PUBLIC REVIEW AND ROCK REGION COMMENT METRO TENDRA Rock Region METRO (METRO) invites TRES REUNIONS the public to review and submit INFORMATIVAS comments on the proposed EN Program of Projects (POP) for the FY17 Section JULIO

5307 Rock Federal RegionTransit METROAdministration está (FTA) grant funds. has been presentando tresMETRO reuionés awarded $2,032,104 in FTA FY17 informativas en Little Rock y North Section 5307elfunds. Little Rock próximo mes.

Estos eventosPOP permitirán que los The proposed may be viewed online miembros de las comunidades at lo Apropuesto sobre losPOP more/facts/. physical copy of the servicios anuales, incluyendo can be obtained at the River CitieslaTravel propuestra cambios deLittle rutas Center (RCTC)de in downtown Rock. de seis a 26. Para más información A Spanish version of the POP is also visite: online and at the RCTC. service-enhancements.

The public comment period is from Día y horaSept. de reunions: Wednesday, 13, 2017 through 12 p.m. on Tuesday,19Sept. 2017. MIÉRCOLES, DE 19, JULIO, 5:30-7 p.m., Laman Library, 216, Please submit your commentsRoom or request Orange St.,byNorth Little a2801 public hearing 12 p.m. on Rock Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 via email (javery@ MARTES, 25TheDEpublic JULIO, may also 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Central Arkansas submit written comments to Assistant Library System Main Branch, 100 S. Director of Finance, METRO, 901 Maple Rock St., Little Rock St., North Little Rock, AR 72114. If there are no comments26orDE request for a public MIÉRCOLES, JULIO, hearing, this proposed ProgramLibrary of 5:30-7 p.m., Central Arkansas Projects will become Program System Main Branch,the 100final S. Rock St., of Projects, Little Rock unless amended.

September 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 2017 $20 Adults $16 Students & Seniors Thursday, Friday and Saturday night curtain time is 7:30 pm. Sunday afternoon curtain time is 2:30 pm. For more information contact us at 501.374.3761 or

Our 25th Season Is Sponsored By Piano Kraft

1001 W. 7th St. Little Rock, AR 72201

DREaM Study Have you or someone you know been recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia or begin having hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behaviors? The UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute is seeking participants for a clinical research study. To be eligible you must meet the following criteria: · Females & Males, ages 18-35 · Have had your first symptoms of psychosis within the past 2 years · Have a responsible person who will assist with telling the study staff how you are doing · Have a stable place to live The study will last around 20 months and all study medication and procedures are provided at no cost to you. Participants will also be compensated for their time. Find out more by contacting us at: (501) 526-8525. SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


Sean didn’t have to fight his rare blood cancer alone. Our experts were right there beside him. When Sean was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, he didn’t have to travel the globe to find world-class care. He found it at UAMS. As the state’s only comprehensive academic medical center, UAMS is also one of the largest centers in the world for myeloma and cancer research and care. After a clinical trial involving chemotherapy and two stem cell transplants, Sean has been in remission for years. We fought Sean’s cancer together, and won.

we here with breakthroughs in cancer care Get Sean’s full story at

Sean | Kimberling City, MO 56

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017


Arkansas Times - September 14, 2017  

Boom! It's fall, and art is bubbling up in El Dorado and across the state.

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