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From the web
communities stronger. In response to the Sept. 15 ArkanHere’s to another half a century sas Blog post “Walmart plans to build of success for all. new HQ in Bentonville” about the cordowhat poration’s plans to apply for a grant from the Arkansas Economic Develdowhat, we spent the night in opment Commission: Bentonville in June, having not been back there since we sold our No they don’t need state help. Any house in Pea Ridge in ’92. The Benconservative legislator who is true to tonville Square is nice. The hotels their tea party principles will crow are aplenty, and reasonably priced. on about crony capitalism. I look But Walmart HQ ? It was sad. It was forward to deafening silence. almost laughable. P ygface Sam and Bud were from Missouri. After being born in Oklahoma. Went God, I hope we can help them out!!! Maybe we can sell off the town of Waldron and give Walmart the proceeds. Arbiter of All Things AOAT Why does a corporation that is partly responsible for dismantling the Pulaski County Special School District deserve grants? Perhaps I am not being considerate of the dent building a new headquarters will have in their average $14 billion net profit every year. I feel like such a cynic. A rtificial I ntelligence Why does the world’s largest retailer need assistance from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission? Shouldn’t AEDC work on bringing in new economic opportunities? This sounds like corporate welfare. A rkanzin
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
I don’t care how much Walmart has stimulated the economy, it does not deserve taxpayer help to build on land they already own. It’s not as though it’s a gonna raise up the local property tax base. V anessa I agree with dowhat on this issue. Having lived in Northwest Arkansas for 50 years, I have witnessed how much beneficial effect Walmart has had on the economy — and the quality of life. It’s much better for the state to hand out its incentives to a homegrown business than to foreign corporations, which oftentimes default on their obligations and have no philanthropic concerns for the local area. I’m looking forward to seeing the new headquarters. I understand there was a concerted effort by some officers in the corporation several years ago to move the headquarters to a more cosmopolitan location. The Walton family stood firm. It would always be in Bentonville, they said, as long as they have the controlling interest. P lainjim
WE SPEAK SPANISH, DO YOU NEED HELP? Our sister paper El Latino is Arkansas’s only weekly – audited Spanish language newspaper. Arkansas has the second fastest growing Latino population in the country and smart businesses are targeting this market as they develop business relationships with these new consumers.
In response to the Arkansas Blog post “Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations”:
AD U N ID I S CO M T TR A m GR A S E o U s a s .c DE N
OZ rkan L A V .e ll a ti n o a
You folks might want to visit Northwest Arkansas and see what Walmart has done for Arkansas. Jobs and economic activity run amuck. As the owner of the Arkansas government, do you know who your largest customer is? [If] these guys put their new headquarters out to bid (like Amazon), and the sucking sound in Arkansas would be deafening. A broke Arkansas guy started a company and grew it into the largest company in the world. He kept the headquarters in Arkansas. And now, they are choosing to stay here for decades to come. Thank you, Walmart. Thank you for the payroll taxes we collect. Thank you for the income taxes we collect. Thank you for the contribution you make to our economy. Thank you for the intelligent people you attract. Thank you for the hundreds of millions you give away to make our
to the same high school I went to in Columbia, Mo. Sam ended up in Arkansas after his military discharge (Oklahoma, again.) He, with help from Helen’s dad, obtained a Ben Franklin store in Newport. He’s been long dead, and it’s not his Walmart any more. He was no more “broke” than Hillary Clinton. Nice try, though. Walmart HQ in Bentonville looks like a warehouse district in some godforsaken river bottoms, only it’s up on an eroded plateau and there’s no river barge traffic.
O 20 MAY
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Racial resentment runs deep here in good ole D’arkansas, especially since Trump fanned the dying embers into a roaring bonfire. Keyword “dying” may be the only longterm cure. JB
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There should be lots of studies from around the country. Seems like it would be easier for some legislators to get some of the studies and then pitch ideas that have worked elsewhere. Not a fan of studies that do nothing and then politicians taking credit for “studying.” S creen name taken
M AY O
Our legislature seems far more interested in exclusion than inclusion. Otherwise, why would they keep on introducing voter I.D. laws that are clearly meant to exclude anyone but white people? Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale), Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R-Pocahontas) et al. want us all to march
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lockstep to their white, Baptist dictates. I guess that’s what their Jesus tells them to do. Oh, and I am white. J ulie M69
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Naw, they are too busy erecting Ten Commandments and statues to be interested in too many things that will divert their attention from their worthy labor of love. C ato 1
GROW grow LOCAL
Don’t know why, but your Tech Park (that I’ve been reading about in these blogs for, what, six years?) just popped into my head. How is that coming along for ya? The best and brightest diverse young minds flocking there for those jobs, are they? N orma B ates
In response to the Sept. 14 Arkansas Blog post “State Board of Education gives final green light to three more charters in Little Rock”: Anybody who thinks this isn’t about completely charterizing Little Rock and Pine Bluff schools (the last strongholds of Democrats and democracy in Arkansas), let me know. I’ve got some prime oceanfront property in Northwest Arkansas you can have for a mere pittance. Excepting of course those poor and special needs students in Little Rock and Pine Bluff who can’t be easily turned into profit centers. S ound P olicy Charter schools are good for those children who have already been dealt a good hand. We’re resegregating the population with charter schools. On top of that, charters are not held to the same education services standard traditional public schools are. For instance, they offer limited special education services and those they do provide are typically contracted out. “At risk” children often need special assistance. When open enrollment charters do allow a certain percentage of children in this classification into their schools, they often cannot provide the services needed to ensure academic success. I agree that there may be a public/charter partnership possibility. I just don’t see the Waltons, Johnny Key or the State Board giving each its fair share. L bishop
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WEEK THAT WAS
Quote of the week “This is our last chance.” — Governor Hutchinson on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana). Republicans are trying to push it through the Senate before Sept 30. Hutchinson joined with three other Republican governors — in Mississippi, Arizona and Wisconsin — to have input on the legislation. The American Medical Association is among the groups opposing the bill because it says millions would lose health coverage.
New H.Q. for Walmart. With state help? Walmart will build a new headquarters in Bentonville, CEO Doug McMillon said last week. The project is expected to accommodate 14,00017,000 employees now spread across 20 buildings in Bentonville. It’s expected to be built in stages and take five to seven years to be completed. The retailer also said it plans to apply for a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. One of the world’s largest corporations, which has been headquartered in Bentonville for almost 50 years, needs state money to help it build a shiny new campus with, according to a Walmart statement, “improved parking, meal services, a new fitness center, and natural light”?
Won’t touch race On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state. The proposal, forwarded by Sens. Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) and Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock), would have created an eight-member panel composed equally of Republicans and Democrats “with the goal of providing recommendations on ways to address historic and current divisions within the State, including proposals for legislative and nonlegislative changes” related to racial equality, “reciprocal understanding and acceptance” and equal opportunity. Nothing produced by the proposed subcommittee would have been binding. That was still too frightening for legislators on the ALC, which is the General Assembly’s policymaking body when it’s not in session. It needed a twothirds majority to pass and fell far short, 6
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
getting nine votes from House members and needing 22. Members of the Senate did not vote.
More Little Rock charters The state Board of Education last week allowed three charter school operators to proceed with plans to open new schools in Little Rock, disregarding pleas from Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore to institute a “pause” on charter growth in the city. The three proposals were given preliminary approval in August by the Charter Authorizing Panel, but the state board has the power to review any of the authorizing panel’s decisions. The state board declined to do so for Einstein Charter Schools, ScholarMade Achievement Place and Friendship Aspire Academy in Little Rock, along with two other charters proposed for Pine Bluff. Had the state board opted to review any of the applications, another hearing would have been held next month on the merits of the proposals.
Medical marijuana, by the numbers
Monday, Sept. 18, was the deadline for applications to grow or sell medical marijuana in Arkansas. KARK/Fox 16’s Jessi Turnure rounded up some numbers at the close of the application period:
224 32 98 dispensary applications
dispensary permits to be awarded
5 cultivation permits to be awarded
182 600 3,000 approved patients
the shortest application
the longest application
Can’t afford to gut ACA
he Affordable Care Act was passed into law with the promise that it would make insurance affordable. Because of bipartisan leadership in Arkansas, we continue to strive to achieve that goal. While rhetoric abounds, it is important to understand the Arkansas experience. Arkansas has an exemplary record of bipartisan efforts to make the Affordable Care Act work for us. With Arkansas Works, there are over 300,000 Arkansans who have insurance today who wouldn’t have insurance otherwise. We have increased access to health care in our rural areas at unprecedented rates and have ensured that our local community hospitals can stay open and available to deliver quality health care. Before expanding coverage, Arkansas hospitals had to bear much of the costs associated with caring for uninsured patients. In the first year of implementation, Arkansas hospitals saw a 55 percent, or $149 million, reduction in uncompensated care losses from
treating uninsured patients. Also, emergency room LINDA visits for uninsured TYLER Guest Columnist patients decreased by almost 49 percent. This means hospitals are being paid for their services, which is great for the economy — and it means that Arkansans are getting better care without putting their families into bankruptcy. I recognize that there may be individuals who are still finding health insurance unaffordable, but overall Arkansas is leading the nation in working toward delivering on the promise of affordable, accessible health care. You may hear that premiums have skyrocketed; Arkansas’s average has been less than 10 percent. You will also hear about plans with very high deductibles. Plans with high deductibles have always been the cheapest plans, even before Obamacare. That doesn’t mean that those are the only affordable plans. The exchange in
Bad bill, again
ait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators. If it happens, this vote will be particularly meaningful for Arkansas and its two senators, because the Graham-Cassidy bill, as it is called, would be unusually destructive to Arkansas medical providers, the state government budget and, if anyone cares, more than 350,000 low-income people who depend upon Obamacare for their medical care. In the Washington climate where everyone’s motives are suspicious, you still have to assume that the Deep South senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy are serious about making their bill the law rather than just showing up President Trump again by giving him the one more chance to repeal Obamacare that he demanded after an entire spring and summer of failures. Graham has been Trump’s most acerbic critic, but, conceivably, he genuinely wants his bill to become law,
although he ridiculed similar bills before voting for them. The repeal-andreplace campaign provides history’s finest burlesque of an old legislative stratagem: Most ERNEST DUMAS lawmakers need politically to vote for a bill but do not want it to actually become law, because then they would have to live with the consequences of their act. Republicans in both the Senate and House of Representatives got numerous chances to vote against Obamacare, but despite the GOP majorities not one of the bills reached Trump’s desk, although he had endorsed every one of them. Don’t confuse Graham-Cassidy with the bona fide, but futile, effort by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and a handful of others, including Democrats, to draft a bipartisan reform of Obamacare that shores up shaky markets, assures funding of out-of-pocket costs and gives hospitals, other providers and people with pre-existing conditions some peace of
Arkansas offers a wide variety of deductibles and affordable plans. It has also been said that many families face a massive tax penalty because they can’t afford the increasing cost of care. That’s hyperbolic. It is true that penalties can be assessed, but massive is not a descriptor I would use. The penalty is established at 2.5 percent of income and, even then, many taxpayers can qualify for a health coverage exemption. The states that are experiencing the most difficulty with the Affordable Care Act are those states that have not embraced the law and have not taken steps to adopt and adapt the requirements to their own needs. Arkansas has been a leader in doing this. I implore our congressional delegation to not penalize the 300,000 Arkansans who will be hurt by the repeal of the ACA or by the Graham-Cassidy amendment to it. I ask them to use Arkansas’s experience as a roadmap to make the ACA better for all. Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman, it is important to me, and I believe to most Arkansans, that when you are faced with tough decisions that you act to benefit Arkansans first. Secondly, it is important to me, and again I believe to most Arkansans, that you are transparent with the deliberations going on in D.C. I respectfully ask
mind. They could add a sentence saying the Affordable Care Act is hereby repealed and Trump would endorse it. Graham-Cassidy does all the things that Republican senators or congressmen said made the other bills unacceptable — 15 million or more people without health insurance, higher premiums especially for people with pre-existing conditions and big reductions in federal support for medical programs run by the states. The feature that is supposed to make it popular with Republican governors and state legislators turns federal health support into block grants to the states. That is supposed to mean greater “flexibility” for the states. The problem is that you have more flexibility to spend fewer federal dollars. Many states would either have to raise their own spending sharply or else curtail medical services for some or all classes of recipients — nursing home patients, children, the severely disabled, the blind, pregnant women. Nearly 1.2 million Arkansans — 36 percent of the population — receive Medicaid services each year. Arkansas has one of the unhealthiest and poorest populations in the country and counts more on Medicaid than all but a couple of states. Graham-Cassidy targets typically Democratic states that exercised the
that before you take a vote on anything as important to all of us as our health care, that you take the time to review the bill with us back here in Arkansas and give us an opportunity to provide you with our feedback. The bottom line is that the GrahamCassidy amendment to the ACA means that over 300,000 Arkansans in the Arkansas Works program will lose access to health care. Many more Arkansans will be priced out of insurance as we revert to the bad old days. Gone will be protections against insurers holding pre-existing conditions against patients. Our rural health providers will lose the stability essential to their survival. Bankruptcies will increase for families and health providers. And the overall cost of health care will rise for almost everyone. I plan to call our senators every day to see where they stand in protecting Arkansans. Please join me and call Sen. Tom Cotton at 202-224-2353 and Sen. John Boozman at 202-224-4843. Your health and the health of your family, friends and neighbors depend on it. Linda Tyler is a former state legislator and director of human resources for Targetsmart Communications LLC.
option of extending Medicaid to poor working and childless adults and that also took steps to help low-income people navigate the complicated insurance market and choose an affordable health plan. But Arkansas is a Republican state that came up with its own plan to extend coverage to poor adults. Arkansas would get a severe strapping from Graham-Cassidy. It would take away the billions of federal dollars that has overmatched Arkansas’s puny contribution since 2013 and paid for income tax cuts and spread that money among states that did not cover poor adults. Arkansas would be back to 2013, but without billions of dollars in federal help and with more than 300,000 poor people still expecting medical assistance. So how will Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton vote? Boozman voted for the other repeal-and-replace proposals and Cotton mixed and matched his votes. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’ll make room on the empty Senate calendar for debate and a vote on GrahamCassidy if they can show him they have 50 votes, which with Vice President Pence’s vote would send it to the House of Representatives. It seems to violate the terms of at least a half-dozen GOP senators, but these are crazy times.
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Sex on campus
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ook, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated. If people actually believed that 20 percent of college girls ended up being raped or sexually assaulted — as activists claimed — then they’d quit sending their daughters. Instead, what’s happened on too many campuses has been a kind of psychosexual panic akin to the “recovered memory” episodes of the 1980s — such as the infamous McMartin preschool trial in Los Angeles, and the fantastic allegations of orgiastic rape and murder in Olympia, Wash., described in Lawrence Wright’s terrific book “Remembering Satan.” This is in no way to minimize rape, a vile crime deserving heavy prison time. Nor even boorish drunken carousing often winked at by college authorities even as Title IX administrators on the same campuses conduct Star Chamber sex investigations against students accorded none of the due process rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. It’s not a criminal matter, you see. Merely one’s educational and professional future that can be at stake. Somebody changes her mind after a one-night-stand and a young man may as well pack up and go home. That, or prepare himself for months in virtual exile, banned from anywhere on campus frequented by the “survivor” of this misbegotten tryst, while being interrogated by an administrator serving as one-size-fits-all investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury. There is no right to remain silent. Refusal to testify against oneself can result in expulsion. No cross-examining one’s accuser, either. It’s thought too traumatic. Anything an accused student does say can be used against him at a criminal trial. The standard of guilt is the “preponderance of evidence,” i.e. 51 percent. Were they alone together in his dorm room? OK, then he raped her. I’m sorry; that does not sound like America. If you think that’s too strong, check out the excellent series of investigative articles by The Atlantic’s Emily Yoffe. A careful, even scholarly, reporter, Yoffe describes an upside-down world where the weaker the evidence of sexual transgression in too many instances, the stronger the finding of guilt. Indeed, things on campus had gotten so out of hand that Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has even
taken time out from her busy schedule of attacking public schools to promise badly needed reforms to the GENE Obama-mandated LYONS Title IX system. Groups of law professors at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the American Association of Trial Lawyers and the American Association of University Professors broadly support her. Campus activists are certain to put up a fight. If nothing else, quite a few jobs could be at stake. Harvard University, for example, now has 55 Title IX investigators — full time sex sleuths, most of them. “Who Gets to Define Campus Rape?” ask Miriam Gleckman-Krut and Nicole Bedera, University of Michigan “campus sexual violence researchers” in a recent New York Times op ed. Definitely not judges and juries. “College tribunals,” we’re reminded “are not criminal courts.” Also, false rape accusations are perishingly rare — a truism among academic feminists that Yoffe shows to be based upon fallacious evidence. Gleckman-Krut and Bedera insist that bad witnesses are the best witnesses: “[T]rauma can make survivors seem disorganized to campus administrators who are untrained.” To Emily Yoffe, this is the intellectual heart of the matter. Based upon a highly influential, but highly-unscientific paper called “The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault,” Title IX investigators have been taught that trauma wrecks memory, so that the more confused a victim’s story, the truer it’s apt to be. Brain scientists Yoffe interviewed say otherwise, as does common experience. Terrible events too often can’t be forgotten. Intoxication, however, definitely makes for shaky recall. Meanwhile, as in “recovered memory” episodes of yore, overzealous inquisitors can persuade people of damn near anything. Yoffe writes that her own reporting doesn’t “typically describe campuses filled with sociopathic predators. They mostly paint a picture of students, many of them freshmen, who begin a latenight consensual sexual encounter, well lubricated by alcohol, and end up with divergent views of what happened.” In short, basic “Animal House” stuff — more John Belushi than, well, Donald Trump. Look, nothing excuses rape. Nowhere, never. But they can keep their psychological counseling. It’s legal counsel accused students need. Let judges and juries do the defining.
Your Plans. Your Progress. Your Business.
L E B R ATI
t’s undeniable that President Trump’s After he returned to the governorpublic approval has improved since ship, he brought Yell County Judge the moment Hurricane Harvey came James Lee Witt ashore in Texas the last week of August; into his adminispolls showed his popularity up by approxi- tration to manage mately 2 points. The period marks the the Arkansas Office first sustained period of improvement in of Emergency Serthe president’s public approval standing vices and response JAY since his inauguration. While correlation improved dramatiBARTH is certainly not causation, in this case there cally. When Clinis some strong evidence that the adminis- ton went to Washington several years tration’s handling of the Hurricane Harvey later, he took Witt with him to head up and Irma natural disasters helps to explain FEMA and staffed the agency with other the uptick in job approval for the president. experienced operators. Not only did the Some emphasize the bipartisan foot- president have a tremendous personal sie Trump has played with “Chuck and touch in comforting victims of disasters, Nancy,” as he referred to Schumer and but the agency learned how to prepare Pelosi, during this period as an explana- and respond to those disasters through tion of his improved job approval num- effective coordination with states and bers. However, whatever benefit that par- localities. ticular move brought is likely equaled by FEMA backtracked in George W. those in the GOP base who are troubled by Bush’s administration after it was brought the substance of the decisions emerging into the Department of Homeland Secufrom his negotiations with the Democrats. rity, continually losing funding with the The one-two punch of monster hur- primary focus on preventing future terricanes during the late summer benefited rorist attacks. While Michael Brown, the Trump in two respects. First, the stories head of the agency, became infamous for have completely dominated cable news his role during the Hurricane Katrina coverage, moving less favorable stories debacle, he had been prescient in warning to the edges of the news. Even more earlier in 2005, “The proposed organizaimportant is the solid performance of tional structure is doomed to fail.” And fail the emergency management branch of it did, with tremendous political cost for the administration in being prepared for the Bush presidency. and responding to the crises. President Obama returned to the Since its creation in 1979, the adminis- Clinton-era strategy of appointing a tration of the Federal Emergency Manage- state disaster professional to head up the ment Agency has had more bad moments agency. Craig Fugate, the former head of than good. In its first years, FEMA was disaster preparedness in Florida, served led by individuals who gained positions as head of FEMA across Obama’s presithrough political contributions rather dency. While the Obama administration’s than skill in dealing with tornadoes or response to the unique Deepwater Horiearthquakes. The culminating moment zon Oil Spill was criticized, it generally got of this challenging start for the agency high marks for the continued professionwas the insufficient response to Hur- alization of the operation under Fugate. ricane Andrew that hit Florida in 1992; Many of those key professional staff victims of that storm waited for days for members remain at the agency and, federal relief. because of the Trump administration’s While the dreadful response to slowness in filling positions, their responAndrew showed the political cost of an sibility has increased in recent months. ineffective FEMA, President Bill Clinton Trump has been applauded, moreover, for showed an understanding that FEMA the appointment of another former state working well could actually benefit an emergency response director, Brock Long administration politically. It was a les- of Alabama, to fill Fugate’s leadership role. son learned from his time as governor of That decision paid off in the responses to Arkansas. While most point to “car tags Harvey and Irma. and Cubans” as the reason for Clinton’s Trump clearly lacks Clinton’s ability defeat in 1980, in his autobiography, Clin- to “feel one’s pain.” But, the things that ton gives as much weight to the series matter most in the aftermath of a natural of tornadoes that hit the stage and the disaster — the response of governmental amazing heat wave in 1980 that lead to agencies led by FEMA — have worked as the deaths of over 100 Arkansans — and well as could be imagined in recent weeks. the insufficient response by the state to Basic competency has brought political them — in explaining his defeat. benefit to Trump.
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ast week, this column was headA&M choked its opener at UCLA in lined “Bumbling Bielema” in such a garish fashion that it seemed the wake of Arkansas’s third inevitable that all the furor over Kevin straight cringe-inducing loss to an S u m l i n ’ s f a t e FBS program, and the overtly critical would give way to tone of what was unofficially the 250th a calmer couple of Pearls that I’ve penned over six years weeks. That has didn’t go unnoticed on social media indeed transpired. or message boards. Having to watch The Aggies were BEAU that farce against TCU was hard, no lethargic against WILCOX doubt. Having to write about another lowly Nicholls Razorback football fiasco was the kind State at Kyle Field the week after, but of task that customarily carries the they survived it with a fourth-quarter advisory label, “induce vomiting im- surge, and then they shook off pesky mediately.” Louisiana-Lafayette over the weekend But fans should not abandon hope and finally demonstrated a semblance because the SEC West, not long ago of a passing attack. True freshman Kelthe apex of this cottage industry we len Mond had a horrible experience call college football, is now a rough- in Los Angeles, thanks in large part hewn collection of utterly flawed to playcalling that betrayed him, but teams. While Arkansas got the benefit he was rock-solid winging it against of a bye week, this is what went down the Cajuns, and he’s backed by excelon the Occidental half of the league: lent tailbacks. *Mississippi State, a middling team Thus, the challenge for the Hogs with an exceptional coach, throttled is not only to overcome a terrifying then-No. 12 LSU by 30 in Starkville, recent ledger in this so-called Southexerting complete dominance on both west Classic, but to also take the legs sides of the ball and showing off Nick out from beneath an Aggie team that Fitzgerald to the world; is bordering on resurgent. They won’t *Auburn, sputtering badly on be able to do it with a neutered receivoffense as usual (because Gus Mal- ing corps, immobile offensive tackles, zahn has never been anything special a kicker with the yips, or defensive at the collegiate level unless he had linemen who are incapable of fightCam Newton at his disposal), eked by ing off blocks. It seems dubious that FCS foe Mercer, 24-10, a mere week all these persistent issues can be recafter rolling up a whopping two field tified in a matter of 14 days, obviously, goals at Clemson; and but the odds at least favor Dan Enos *Ole Miss went out to Berkeley, getting back into a playcalling groove. Calif. to play in the Golden Bears’ Both Nicholls and Lafayette had some crypt, and trailing by four late, their success moving the ball, and UCLA latest annoyingly cocky signal-caller, obviously shook off a bad half of footShea Patterson, promptly tossed a ball to work over the Aggie secondary game-icing pick-six right after game exhaustively. commentators proclaimed that this What will be most critical for was going to be his moment to distin- Arkansas is starting well, which seems guish himself. cliché but is sometimes obscured The East is pretty weird too (Ken- by the atrocious finishes they have tucky and Vanderbilt are sitting 3-0!) authored of late. When the Hogs have but let’s focus on the Razorbacks’ looked their best under Bielema, it’s plight, which looks less foreboding been a function of strong starts — notanow. They go into this weekend’s tilt bly, they pushed LSU around early in with Texas A&M, in theory, angry as 2015 en route to a 17-point win and last hell about their showing against TCU year got untracked with a defensive and motivated to open conference play score on the way to routing Florida the right way for a change. Bielema has — so they can ill afford a sluggish bolt lost four straight to the Aggies, the last from the gate. Poor finishes can be renthree of which were obscenely painful dered negligible with a good opening late-game collapses, and if that didn’t bow, and Arkansas, coming off one of fuel him and his staff, then the fact its ugliest start-to-finish performances that this game could very well deter- in a while, desperately needs to catch mine their long-term futures seem- fire early or another long day will be ingly should. in the offing.
THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE
Taking one for the team
he Observer got to the doctor’s counter so the meth-mixers can’t get office the other day. We hate at them without a fight. going to the doctor. Loathe is a Recently, though, The Observer has better word. In the form of a sentence, decided to try and take better care of it would be: “The Observer hates going this lumbering skin suit, lest we wind up to the doctor with the same white hot like dear old Pa, taken from the world intensity that Trump voters would hate at just 51, seemingly with miles to go being forced to read the seminal gram- before he slept. He hated going to the mar primer, ‘The Elements of Style,’ by doctor’s office, too, and likely would William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.” Yes, have fist fought anyone who came at it’s that bad. him with a lubed finger, even though It’s the residue of our church mouse that exam might have found what laid upbringing, we’re sure. The Observer’s him low in the end. family was often so poor that trips to And so, as much as The Observer the doctor were reserved for broken didn’t like filling out forms and waiting legs, required school physicals, infec- in the waiting room and getting weighed tions lasting more than three days, and and seeing the neat jar of tongue depresany cut deep enough to require stitches sors, we got into the doctor’s office last (but not stitches REMOVAL … dear ol’ week for a whole-nine-yards physical: Pa did that himself with a pair of vodka- the peeing in the little cup and getting soaked clippers and a pair of tweezers blood drawn in a little vial, the turnsterilized with his Bic lighter). In The ing the head and coughing, finally the Observer’s household, finding your- bending over and spreading ’em while a self sitting in your tighty whiteys on guy with his finger where the sun don’t the crinkly paper, looking at the sterile shine asked about our golf game. It’s jars of cotton balls and tongue depres- been a long time coming, and should sors, meant that the shit had decidedly have been done sooner. Our last physihit the fan. cal was the season we played basketSo it is that Yours Truly carries a ball in junior high school, if that tells terror of the doctor to this day. We’ve you anything. But we got it done, and supposedly got high blood pressure, we’re glad. but we’ve been prone to wonder many The doctor found a few things, of a time if that’s actually just a side effect course. We say “of course,” given the of our heart going “Eye of the Tiger” aforementioned neglect of 40-plus years, every time we see a stethoscope. coupled with a familial medical history Because of that fear, The Observer that should probably have us hermetihas spent the past 40-odd years party- cally sealed in a padded plastic bubble. ing, medically, like it’s 1899, throwing Nothing too serious, though. Nothing whatever liniment, tincture or poul- that can’t be fixed or mitigated with diet, tice we can buy down at the drug store exercise and the aforementioned meds. at our innard and outward problems, We can hack that, as we can hack getour aches and pains, tummy troubles ting another ass-to-appetite exam next and stiff knees, kitchen burns and sinus year, and the year after that. We’ll just apocalypses. We’ve drunk enough Robi- think of England. And our Beloved. And tussin over the years to float a battle- Junior. And seeing Junior’s kids. There ship, snorted enough saltwater to drown are no guarantees in life, but if it means Smackover, ate bushels of vitamins, we get to hang around this beautiful, fizzing Alka-Seltzer, Tylenol, Pepto- confounding, torturous, joyful world Bismol tablets and the allergy meds they for a few more years or decades, what’s keep under lock and key behind the a finger between friends?
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Dreamer’s dream job at stake Parkview graduate would be deported if DACA ends. BY BENJAMIN HARDY
n Sept. 5, the Trump administra- her preferred field. (She’s given it some tion announced it would phase thought: “I was actually originally going out the Deferred Action for to do nursing, and then I decided that if Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, somebody passed away that would be the beginning in March. An Obama-era end of my career,” she said with a laugh.) executive order, DACA benefits some “I did start college, and then after I 800,000 young immigrants who were got the position that I got — well, I was brought to the U.S. as children — a going for HR anyway, so I thought ‘Wow!’ group sometimes called the “Dream- ... When they offered me the employ‘PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES’: That’s what Lourdes Delgado would ask of those who ers” — by shielding them from the threat ment, they offered me the salary amount, think DACA should be ended. of deportation and permitting them to I thought, ‘How? I can’t even believe work legally in the U.S. Some 5,000 it.’ ... So, I’m going to work there for a and saved enough money to move out of all this stuff, and they left all that, they Dreamers live, work and go to school certain amount of time, and then I go her parents’ place and buy a car at age didn’t even think about it twice, to come in Arkansas. If Congress and the pres- back to school and show them my grades, 18. “And also, I started getting a secure here — for us, so that we could have a ident act between now and March to and they do a tuition reimbursement,” loan to get my credit, because I wanted better education.” She remembers the replace DACA with legislation called she said. to be a homeowner at some point. You day her mother made the decision. “My the DREAM Act, the Dreamers will At least, that was her plan until ear- know what I mean? So that’s why I was father was [already] here, and it was a be spared major disruptions. If DACA lier this month. Then came the Trump working so much — because I wanted very hard decision for her. She had her lapses with no replacement, they’ll be administration’s announcement it was to have the money to be able to pay for college students. I remember she had just pushed into the shadows of society, rescinding DACA. all these things, and still survive.” Now, finished her last class. I didn’t want to losing the ability to work legally and Now, she is set to lose her work permit that’s all in jeopardy unless Republican come. I didn’t want to leave my cousins. becoming vulnerable to deportation. The in May, placing her among the unlucky leaders agree to allow a vote on a bill to She sat down with me and asked, ‘What political situation is fluid, however, with first cohort of young immigrants set to protect young people like Delgado. if we don’t come back?’ ” President Trump saying he wants Con- have their lives upended if the DACA Delgado came to the U.S. when she Delgado said she remembers first gress to replace DACA and indicating his program evaporates without a legislative was 6 and has little memory of her coun- hearing about DACA — which was crewillingness to work with Democrats to solution. President Trump has said he try of origin. “I have been here the major- ated by President Obama in 2012 — on the accomplish that goal. wants Congress to protect the Dream- ity of my life. I consider myself from news. “At first I thought, ‘No, no, you’re Recently, at a forum on DACA spon- ers by replacing DACA, but that will be here,” she said. Though she wants badly lying. That can’t be real. It’s too good sored by the Arkansas United Commu- easier said than done. to visit her family remaining in Gua- to be true.’ I thought, ‘There’s no way nity Coalition, Lourdes Delgado listened Recipients of DACA must renew temala, the thought of being deported that everybody came to an agreement to to a panel of attorneys talk about the every two years. Under the phase-out is terrifying after spending her life in do this for us.’ Because there’s so much wind-down of the program and won- planned by the Trump administration, Arkansas. “We’ve had family members hatred going on — ‘We want to deport dered if she’d have a job in eight months. the government will simply stop issuing there getting killed. There’s so much these people!’ — so why would you want Delgado graduated from Little Rock’s renewals after March 5. Those whose violence, and it’s only getting worse and to help the kids of these immigrants? Parkview High School in May 2016 at DACA permits expire between now and worse.” My sister heard of it, my mom heard of age 17. At the time, she was working as March still have a few weeks (until Oct. In Guatemala City, Delgado said, it, and they went on to a lawyer, tried to an assistant manager at Johnny Rockets, 5) to renew one more time. But Delgado’s her father was a lawyer and her mother see, like, is this a scam? But no, it wasn’t. a chain restaurant; she later quit to take DACA card is good until May, meaning worked first as a police officer and later He helped us out; he worked through a an assistant manager position at Dress there’s nothing she can do but watch a college professor. Delgado said her ministry and explained all the steps we Barn. She also picked up a side job at the her cutoff date approach, eight months parents decided to overstay their visas had to do.” Marriott Hotel and a temporary position from now. to the U.S. because they were seeking The news that DACA will end has at another company in Little Rock. Delgado is afraid. “Being in H.R., I opportunities for her and her older sis- hit her hard. “You start playing all these This summer, two months into the know that they check that,” she said. ter, who is now 21. “My mom always tells movies in your head, imagining what is temp gig, that company decided to hire “They’ve already called me and said me, ‘We came here so you could do bet- going to happen. My sister is 21. She’s her full time, impressed with her skills ‘Hey, what’s going to happen? We do ter.’ They are both working in factories got a little baby. Her and her husband and bilingual abilities. Delgado is now 18 support [DACA], but we still need this [in Arkansas], doing packaging and stuff are both DACA — so if they get deported, and has a salaried job in human resources, document.’” She’s worked three jobs like that. … They went to college, they did the baby’s going to be left alone. You just
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
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think about this stuff.” The Trump administration has said Dreamers as a group won’t be a priority for deportations, for whatever that is worth. That doesn’t mean it’s not a real possibility that individuals may be removed from the country. The Arkansas Times asked Delgado what she’d say to those who feel undocumented immigrants like her shouldn’t be in the U.S. “I would tell them to put themselves in my shoes,” she replied. “What if you’re born and raised in Arkansas but for whatever reason they’re making you go to this other country you don’t know anything about? You don’t know it! … You’d feel like a stranger. You don’t know anything about how life goes over there. How to survive. I don’t even know how to explain it. “I just think — if I go back [to Guatemala], well, first of all, how am I going to go to college? How am I going to get a job? I don’t know anything about this place, other than what I remember [as a child]. As an adult, I don’t know anything. I don’t know their laws. It would be like taking baby steps all over again.” She’s also frustrated by the lack of knowledge many Americans seem to have about the basics of their immigration system. Many don’t comprehend that there exists no real path for undocumented immigrants to become legal while living in the U.S. “Yesterday, I had a friend that said, ‘Why can’t you just go and get your residency? What’s holding you back?’ It’s not that easy. But you know what? I don’t blame them for asking us that type of question, because they were never informed of these things. This person is supporting us, but doesn’t know anything about it. You have to follow certain guidelines, like having a spouse. I don’t want to get married just to get my papers, you know what I mean? And I know a lot of people who are thinking of doing that. ‘Let me just get married.’ … And not to mention you can get in big trouble for doing that. “I really want people to understand. I know that they hear all these stories, and they’re tired of hearing this stuff. … Like, ‘It’s just the basic immigrant story, here we go again. It’s like repetition.’ What can I do — how can I transfer my energy to them to make them feel just a little bit of what I feel? No, no, no, seriously, what if it was you in this situation? I’m trying to find a resource to let them know. … They may think it’s important, but I want them to KNOW and FEEL how important it really is!”
Inconsequential News Quiz:
To Protect and Serve Edition Play at home, with your dapper pug!
1) People in certain parts of Northwest Arkansas recently noticed that their drinking water tastes a little funky. According to officials with their local water district, what’s the problem? A) A last, end-of-summer swim by Darla “Front Butt” Merkin. B) Craft beer fan at the water treatment plant added waaaaaay too many hops. C) Cooler water on the surface is sinking to the bottom of Beaver Lake, causing the reservoir to “turn over” and stirring up a record algae bloom. D) Giant plesiosaur that lurks in the depths of Lake Fort Smith ate a bad burrito. 2) According to a story from Fox 16 News last week, an action by recruits who went through the Little Rock Police Department’s training academy in February has LRPD officials rethinking their policies. What happened? A) Two recruits received the department’s new $5,000 “signing bonus,” then promptly quit the LRPD. B) A recruit simulated machine gun fire with his voice during a speech by the chief, forcing officials to send him back to “Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.” C) The age old Crème Filled vs. Glazed debate boiled over into violence. D) Five recruits managed to almost immediately lose the single bullet they are presented upon graduation. 3) A former Garland County administrative assistant pleaded guilty last week to six felony counts related to her making more than $162,000 in fraudulent charges on the county credit card. Which of the following was a real item she purchased with the money? A) Hooked on Phonics tapes for the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. B) 10,000 gallons of magic water. C) Tobacco-stained jock strap Ty Cobb left at Buckstaff Bathhouse in 1918. D) A tuxedo for her pug. 4) Data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed something remarkable about the citizens of Arkansas. What was it? A) Arkansans are 17 times more likely than residents of surrounding states to list “liquor” as one of the four food groups. B) We moved up from 50th to 49th in the nation for new hookworm cases. (Suck it, Alabama!) C) The number of uninsured residents in the state dropped by 50 percent between 2013 and 2016, with the number of uninsured children in the state dropping to 4 percent — a record low. D) For the first time, there is at least one shoe for every man, woman and child in the state. 5) The fizzled K-Lofts apartments, in the former 1902 Gus Blass Wholesale building at 315 Main St. in Little Rock, have been renovated and christened with a new name in anticipation of being ready for leasing in October. What will the development now be called? A) Hotel Hipsterbeard. B) GentrifiX. C) Mulberry Flats. D) Downtown Wigs South.
Answers: C, A, D, C, C
arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
WILL COUNTS COLLECTION/ INDIANA UNIVERSITY GEN. EDWARD WALKER’S TROOPS: Sent by President Eisenhower to keep the peace during the desegregation of Central High. Walker (center, on sidewalk) was captured inspecting the troops in this photograph by Will Counts.
The many meanings of Little Rock
Sixty years later, the city’s schools remain an enduring symbol. BY JOHN A. KIRK
ver the past 60 years, events surrounding the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in September 1957 have continued to make a political, economic, social and cultural impact. Scholars, journalists, commentators and others have mulled over the many
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
meanings of the Little Rock school crisis at international, national, regional and local levels. Still today, the city remains a potent symbol in America’s continuing civil rights struggle. At an international level, the Little Rock school crisis was a public relations disaster for the United States as it fought
a global cold war with the Soviet Union segregationists contend that Eisenhower to win hearts and minds, many of which only sent troops into the city as a one-off belonged to people of color. One historian emergency response and that his actions has labeled it “a crisis of such magnitude did not immediately pave the way for furfor worldwide perceptions of race and ther strong executive action in defense of American democracy that it would become civil rights. Neither did it prevent the closa reference point for the future.” Inter- ing of all the city’s high schools by Faubus national newspapers reported events in the following year. The NAACP proved Little Rock, and critics of the U.S. pointed vulnerable to attack, and its branches in to the crisis as evidence of the country’s Arkansas and across the South were decidisregard for human rights. Meanwhile, mated by the late 1950s. Under these cirfederal officials wrung their hands over cumstances, some have argued that the the damage done. Little Rock crisis may have strengthened At a national level, President Dwight D. the segregationist cause more than it aided Eisenhower’s response to the Brown deci- black advancement. sion has been viewed as one of the major Those pointing to the Little Rock crisis blights on his otherwise popular presi- as a triumph for the NAACP note that it dency. Eisenhower was reluctant to voice forced the issue of the implementation of support for Brown in public, and he was school desegregation and thereby moved disparaging of the U.S. Supreme Court’s both the president and the Supreme Court, decision in private. Only when Arkansas however reluctant, to act. Segregationists Gov. Orval E. Faubus issued a direct chal- viewed the episode as a defeat, yet failed to lenge to the president’s executive authority, unite in a common strategy of opposition. calling out the National Guard to prevent a The enduring lessons of Little Rock from federal court order from being carried out this perspective are the futility of directly by denying the entry of nine black students defying court orders, the folly of closing into Central High School, did Eisenhower public schools and the social and economic act decisively to federalize the National costs of racial turmoil. Few other goverGuard and send in federal troops. nors tried to emulate Faubus’ actions and At a regional level, the key question few other business communities stepped about the Little Rock crisis has been forward to risk the hefty economic costs whether it represented a victory for the of racial conflict that Little Rock endured. National Association for the Advance- The Brown decision may not have delivment of Colored People or for segrega- ered all that many hoped it would, but it tionists. Those pointing to a victory for did set an important legal context for the
WILL COUNTS COLLECTION/ INDIANA UNIVERSITY
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: Will Counts famed photograph capturing a student taunting Elizabeth Eckford illustrated the racist reception the Nine got.
dismantling of other areas of segregation in the South in the 1960s. Little Rock instantaneously became a reference point in popular culture. It inspired poet Gwendolyn Brooks to write “The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock” about black newspaper reporter L. Alex Wilson, who a white mob turned on and attacked during the first day of integrated classes at Central High. Wilson died prematurely in 1962 of what seems likely to have been Parkinson’s Disease, very possibly brought on by his assault at Central. Jazz musician Charles Mingus composed music for and penned lyrics to a song called “Fables of Faubus,” lambasting the Arkansas governor and labeling him, among other things, a “Nazi Fascist supremist.” Another jazz great, Louis Armstrong, abandoned a government-sponsored trip to Moscow because of events in Little Rock. Armstrong told the press, “the way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell.” Closer to home, at a local level, the city of Little Rock has continued to grapple with the meaning of the school crisis. In the decades immediately after, civic leaders looked to ignore events altogether, viewing them as an embarrassment and a RIDE TO SCHOOL: Carlotta Walls (at center) and Minnijean Brown (at right) exit a government-owned station wagon to begin classes at Central High. They were escorted by troops from the 101st Airborne Division. Counts
detriment to the city’s image and economy. In the 1970s and 1980s, tentative commemorations of the 20th and 30th anniversaries of the school crisis emerged that largely focused on pointing out how far desegregation had progressed in the city rather than forthrightly addressing the events of the past. As elsewhere in the United States, the 1970s and 1980s were when Little Rock’s schools were at their most desegregated. The 40th anniversary of the school crisis in 1997 coincided with Bill Clinton’s presidency. Clinton embraced the legacy of the Little Rock Nine and the civil rights movement, and he symbolically joined with the nine black students on the steps of Central High School and walked with them through the school doors. It was a landmark moment, the city and state
finally willing to own the school crisis as there is a very real threat that the school part of its history. Clinton later awarded district is about to go the way of many the Little Rock Nine Congressional Gold others in the United States in becoming Medals, the highest civilian award, and a even more intensely hyper-segregated. Central High Museum and Visitor Center Whites continue to flee to private schools was established. On the 50th anniversary, and, increasingly, to the growing quasi-pria new National Park Service visitor cen- vate charter schools, leaving behind pubter was dedicated and statues of the Little lic schools that seem destined to become Rock Nine were placed on the Arkansas virtually entirely composed of black and Capitol grounds. poor children. Yet, the recent self-congratulatory Little Rock remains, and will always anniversaries in the city have taken place remain, a bellwether for measuring the against a backdrop of rapidly increasing United States’ progress in education. On school resegregation. Although Little Rock the 60th anniversary of the school crisis, has promoted itself as having a successful it seems that Little Rock’s most enduring Southern school district because it has historical legacy is set to become that of managed to keep around a fifth or so of its a symbol of the nation’s failed attempts public school population white, in a city to deliver equal education for all of its that is 49 percent white and 42 percent school children. As has always been the black, as the 60th anniversary approaches, case, the power to determine how the rest of the world, and how the rest of the nation, views Little Rock and its legacy continues to rest in the hands of the people who live here.
WILL COUNTS COLLECTION/ INDIANA UNIVERSITY
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. He is an internationally recognized expert on the Little Rock school crisis and the civil rights movement, and over the past year he has spoken about the 60th anniversary to audiences from Denmark to Australia. arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Five days to celebrate Central, LR Nine
Events marking the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School by nine African-American schoolchildren started weeks ago, but here’s what’s happening in the five-day run-up to the commemoration ceremony on Sept. 25 and in days following.
‘IF BUILDINGS COULD TALK’: Scott Meadors 3D-mapped vision of Central High, to be projected on the school facade Saturday and Sunday.
KWENDECHE: To speak on the architecture of Dunbar and Central.
‘Education by Design: The History and Design of Little Rock Central High School and Dunbar Jr./Sr. High School.’
6 p.m. Dunbar Magnet Middle School, 1100 Wright Ave., preceded by 5 p.m. reception at Pyramid Art, Books and Custom Framing, 1001 Wright Ave., and 5:50 p.m. unveiling of works by Dunbar and Central High School students in the Dunbar Sculpture Garden behind the school building. Free.
The architecture of Central High School (opened in 1927) and Dunbar (1929) — both the work of Little Rock’s Wittenberg and Deloney firm — and how the designs were meant to meet educational goals will be the subject of this talk by Little Rock architect Kwendeche and architectural historian Mason Toms, design coordinator for Main Street Arkansas. The event is part of the June Freeman Lecture Series of the Architecture + Design Network and the University of Central Arkansas’s “Imagine if Buildings Could Talk: Mapping the History of Little Rock Central High School” project. (See Sept. 23 and 24 events.) 16
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Performance by the CORE Dance Company
Noon-1 p.m. Arkansas Arts Center Atrium. Free.
CORE, the Atlanta-based dance company whose “Life Interrupted” work was about the internment of Japanese Americans in Arkansas camps during World War II, returns to Arkansas for more site-specific choreographed performances. At the Arts Center, the company will perform in conjunction with the exhibit “Will Counts: The Central High School Photographs,” a collection of the famous shots taken by the photojournalist in 1957, including his world-famous picture of Elizabeth Eckford being heckled by white students. The company will perform again at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Central’s Commemorative Garden.
‘William Grant Still’s Neglected Masterpiece “Troubled Island” ’ 7 p.m. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.
Opera in the Rock will perform William Grant Still’s “Troubled Island,” an opera in three acts about the Haitian revolution, with libretto by Langston Hughes and Verna Arvey. Still completed the opera in 1939; its world premiere was March 31, 1949. It ran only three nights; Still was told by a friend that the critics voted to pan the opera because “the colored boy has gone far enough.” The composer, who was raised in Little Rock, was the first African-American to conduct a major U.S. orchestra (the Los Angeles Philharmonic). Another first: “Troubled Island” was the first grand opera by an African-American composer to be produced by a major American company, the New York City Opera. Vocalists performing this concert version of Still’s opera are Ronald JensenMcDaniel, Nisheedah Golden, Kenneth Gaddie, Satia Spencer, Candice Harris, Christopher Straw and LaSheena Gordon, with accompaniment by Janine Tiner. Earlier in the day, Arlene Biebesheimer, Opera in the Rock’s Artistic Director, will talk about Still’s work as part of a noontime “Lunch and Learn”
Central High Tigers Football Game
7 p.m. Quigley Stadium.
The Tigers take on the North Little Rock Wildcats.
March for Education
8 a.m. From the “Testament” sculpture of the Little Rock Nine on the grounds of the state Capitol to Central High.
The march, sponsored by HAD2 motivational company, is designed to highlight the connection between the Capitol and the school.
COMPLEXIONS: The contemporary ballet company (above) celebrates diversity.
session, also at Mosaic Templars, featuring a selection of recordings of Still’s compositions.
Dedication of ‘United’ Sculpture
CORE ENCORE: The dance company (right) that choreographed a work about Japanese internment at Rohwer returns to Arkansas to perform site-specific dances at the Arkansas Arts Center and in the Commemorative Garden at Central High. Students from several middle and high schools contributed work to an exhibition “Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future” (below); an award ceremony will be held at the Central High National Historic Site Visitor Center on Saturday.
Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Festival, ‘The Power of Us through Community, History and Art’
1:30 p.m. Front lawn of Central High School. Free.
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dunbar Magnet School, 1100 Wright Ave. Free.
The 2016 Sculpture at the River Market Public Monument Competition donated this sculpture to Central High to mark the 60th anniversary of its desegregation. The work, “United,” by Colorado Springs sculptor Clay Enoch, features two figures facing one another and holding incomplete rings. The unjoined rings indicate that there is still progress to be made in race relations, the artist says.
This third annual festival, sponsored by the Dunbar Historic Neighborhood Association, features a health fair, children’s activities, Zumba with Miss Lady Magazine, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Dunbar history exhibit, Dunbar garden tours, Horace Mann alumni oral histories, a poetry slam, an “Old Town Motown Social,” food and more.
‘Civil Twilight: Reflections on Fear, Courage and Resilience,’ open rehearsal
5-7 p.m. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Commemorative Garden, 2120 Daisy L. Bates Drive. Free.
The CORE Performance Company has created a dance/ spoken word event, in collaboration with local poets Leron McAdoo and Marcus Montgomery and the Central High Wrighteous Poetry Club to commemorate the desegregation of Central. This is an open rehearsal; the main performance will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 24, as part of the ACANSA Arts Festival.
‘Reflections of Progress’ symposium
9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Clinton Presidential Center Great Hall. Free.
Circuit Judge Wiley A. Branton Jr., son of the civil rights leader who led desegregation efforts in the 1940s and beyond in Arkansas, is the opening speaker in this symposium in which panels will discuss the events leading up to the 1957 crisis, the “Lost Years” of 1957-1959, and 1959 to present.
‘Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future Art Contest’ arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
Daisy and L.C. Bates to the historic Magnolia/Mobil service station across from Central High and more. Buses leave on the hour from noon to 4 p.m. for the 90-minute tours, developed by historians Dr. Kimberly Little of UCA and Mark Christ and Kylee Cole of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Repeated at the same hours Sunday, Sept. 24.
High school and college student ensemble performances
Noon-6 p.m. Magnolia/Mobil service station. Free.
‘LAYING THE FOUNDATION’: Student work at the Central High School Visitor Center exhibition “Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future.”
9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Central High Visitor Center. Free.
Juried exhibit of work by students in grades 6-12 at Bryant High School, Conway High School, Episcopal Collegiate School, Lake Hamilton High School, LISA Academy, Central High, Pulaski Heights Middle School, Southside High School (Fort Smith) and St. Joseph Catholic School (Paris), sponsored by the University of Central Arkansas’s College of Fine Arts and Communication.
‘A Day of Remembrance: The 60th Commemoration of the Desegregation Crisis at Little Rock Central High School.’ 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hampton Building, 1102 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive.
Bi-annual youth summit sponsored by the John Cain Foundation and the New Africa Alliance with presentations by poet Chris James and others.
Moncrief Institute for College and Career Readiness Forum
Noon-2 p.m. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.
Former Razorback basketball star Sidney Moncrief’s nonprofit, Moncrief Game Changer, will lead Q&A and small group discussions on banking, education, insurance, entrepreneurship and other topics with high school and college students. 18
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Lunch will be served. Registration required; email moncrief04@gmail. com.
Central High School Architectural History Bus Tours
Noon-5:30 p.m. Central High Visitor Center. Tickets free; reserve by calling 450-3451.
See and hear about important sites and their architectural styles in the Central High neighborhood, from the homes of Ernest Green and
High school and college student singers will fill the outdoor stage at the restored gas station across from Central High, a project coordinated by UCA and the Oxford American Literary Protect. Hear the UCA Dixieland Band at noon; the Mann Middle School Band, 1 p.m.; the Dunbar Middle School Band, 2 p.m.; the North Little Rock High School Band, 3 p.m.; the Parkview Jazz Band, 4 p.m.; and the Central High School Band, 5 p.m.
‘Sixty Years: Still Fighting’ 1-8 p.m., various venues.
Grassroots Arkansas, the activist successor to the Save Our Schools Campaign and Citizens Against Taxation Without Representation groups, is recognizing the 60th anniversary of the desegregation
‘NO TEARS SUITE’: Singer Kelly Hurt and composer Chris Parker will premiere a 30-minute jazz suite inspired by Melba Pattillo Beals’ memoir.
of Central High School with events marking the Little Rock School District’s slide back toward segregation. Activities will address issues facing the schools, such as the takeover by the state Department of Education, the district’s superintendent’s decision to close neighborhood schools, the State Board of Education’s approval of charter schools and legislation that allows charter schools first shot at buying schools abandoned by the school district. The event kicks off with a Hyde Park-style Speaker’s Corner from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. on the steps of the state Capitol. At 2:30, Nine members Thelma MothershedWair and Elizabeth Eckford will be recognized at Honoring the Legacy I, in the old Supreme Court Room on the second floor of the Capitol. At 3 p.m., a Movement Assembly on Education, small-group meetings with local and national school activists will discuss strategies for restoring local control of schools and protecting against charter school proliferation, also in the old Supreme Court room. Dinner at Union A.M.E. Church, 1825 Pulaski St., where civil rights activist Daisy Bates worshiped, starts at 6 p.m.; the church will be able to feed 100 people. The day concludes with Honoring the Legacy II, at which nine Central High School students will pay tribute to the Nine. There will be music as well. More information is available at email@example.com.
year, features 15 dancers from different ethnic and dance backgrounds. Founded by choreographer Dwight Rhoden and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Desmond Richardson, the company does not confine itself to any one mode of dance, but experiments with new ways to move and inspire. The dancers will meet with the audience immediately after the performance for a “talk back”; the company is also holding master classes for high school students on Sept. 22 and college students on Sept. 23.
‘Imagine if Buildings Could Talk’ video projection and music 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Central High School façade.
Imagine, if you can, a video projected on the school’s facade that uses special effects to transform the entrance with vivid color, animates the statues over the front entrance (representing ambition, personality, opportunity and preparation), and projects historic photographs from 1957 along with visions of
DR. HENRY LOUIS GATES JR.: Will make several appearances at 60th anniversary events, at Central and at UCA.
‘Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future’ award ceremony 4-5 p.m. Central High Visitor Center. Free.
While the students sing at the Magnolia/Mobil station outside, winning artworks in the exhibition, sponsored by UCA, will be announced. Show continues through 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.
Oxford American Jazz Series: ‘No Tears Suite’ 6 p.m. Magnolia/Mobil Station Station. Free.
This “pop-up” concert features pianist Little Rock Chris Parker’s 30-minute composition for jazz ensemble, inspired by Melba Pattillo
Beals’ memoir “Warriors Don’t Cry” about her experience as one of the Little Rock Nine. Local jazz artists joining Parker for the performance are: bassist Bill Huntington, drummer Brian Blade, tenor saxophonist Bobby LaVell, trumpeter Marc Franklin, alto saxophonist Chad Fowler and vocalists Kelley Hurt and I. J. Routen. Following the suite’s premiere, the ensemble will take on works by Pharoah Sanders, Charles Mingus, John Stubblefield and Sam Rivers.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet
8 p.m. UA Little Rock Center for Performing Arts. $35, $15 student, military.
This contemporary ballet company, a winner of The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award and in its 23rd arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
“NOTHING HAS CHANGED:” Said the legendary Mavis Staples in early August. “We are still in it.” Staples performs songs from her new album, “If All I Was Was Black,” at the Robinson Center Saturday night.
After the performance, the audience will make a candlelight walk to the front of Central to see Scott Meadors’ “Imagine if Buildings Could Talk,” a 3D video projection on the façade of the school.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet
8 p.m., UA Little Rock Center for Performing Arts. $35 ($15 student, military).
the future. Or better, go see Scott Meadors’ 9-minute, 3D-mapped video, which will be projected in loops over the evening, with music composed by percussionist Blake Tyson. Both are professors at UCA. (Teaser at renderwalk.wordpress. com.) Repeated at the same times on Sunday, Sept. 24.
‘Mavis Staples Live’
7-9 p.m. Robinson Center. $39-$193, available through Ticketmaster.
Since she was a child in Mississippi, Mavis Staples has been singing about civil rights, Jesus and what it means to live as an AfricanAmerican in the South. She went from singing in church to fame as part of the Staple Singers with her father, Pops Staples, and siblings, and because of that fame, her website tells us, they weren’t lynched when they were falsely accused of a robbery at a West Memphis gas station — the police chief recognized them. Staxera recordings “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself” and her moving “Down in Mississippi” bring down any house; she’s an artist you’ve got to see and, if her rousing concerts in Little Rock in 2013 and 2016 are any indication, she’s still got it in spades. Before Mavis comes on, the St. Mark Baptist Church Sanctuary 20
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Choir and the First United Methodist Church choir will set the joyful mood. The event is a fundraiser for the Little Rock Nine Foundation, a mentorship program for young people.
ACANSA gospel brunch
11 a.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road. $45.
The 100-voice-strong, awardwinning St. Mark Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir will perform; ticket price includes brunch. (See the ACANSA schedule for more information.)
‘Children of the Little Rock Nine,’ a panel discussion 3 p.m.-5 p.m., Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave.
Children of the Nine will take the spotlight as they talk about how their parents’ role in the 1957 crisis impacted their lives. The event is cosponsored by the Clinton School for Public Service and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.
5 p.m.-7 p.m. Robinson Center.
Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior
pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was baptized and ordained, and other faith leaders will lead a service featuring readings from the Bible, the Mishnah Sanhedrin and the Quran. A community choir led by Darius Nelson of St. Mark Baptist Church and Kyle Linson of First United Methodist Church will sing.
‘Civil Twilight: Reflections on Fear, Courage and Resilience’
6 p.m.-7:15 p.m. Commemorative Garden, 2120 W. Daisy Gatson Bates Drive.
CORE Performance Company, the Atlanta-based dance company that choreographed “Life Interrupted,” inspired by the experiences of Japanese Americans interned in Arkansas camps during World War II, joins with poets Ron McAdoo and Marcus Montgomery and Central High’s Wrighteous Poetry Club for a site-specific dance and spoken word performance. The work pays tribute to the Little Rock Nine and will be set amid the garden’s nine benches, nine trees and sculpture. After the performance, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Tania Leon, who are collaborating on an opera about the Little Rock Nine, will talk about the arts and social change.
Founded in 1994 by two former members of the Alvin Ailey, Complexions is a diverse, experimental company that has performed worldwide. (See the ACANSA Arts Festival schedule for more information.)
10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Central High School’s Roosevelt Thompson Auditorium. Registration required; go to the ceremony link at centralhigh60th.org.
President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker and the eight living members of the Little Rock Nine have been asked to share their thoughts at this event, held 60 years to the day that the Nine entered Central High School. The auditorium is at capacity, but will be broadcast on monitors in the school’s Matthews Gymnasium. Other participants will include Harvard professor and historian Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., who will give a lecture later in the evening; Governor Hutchinson; Cameron Sholley of the National Park Service; Mayor Mark Stodola; City Manager Bruce Moore; Central High Principal Nancy Rousseau and the student body presidents of LRSD high schools. The Philander Smith College Choir will perform. Parking will be at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, and a shuttle will be provided.
‘Mind Blazin’ ’ forum
Noon-1:30 p.m. Mosaic Templars
Cultural Center. Free, reserve at mosaictemplarscenter.com.
Luncheon and forum on educational and social disparities in Little Rock, facilitated by poet and public school advocate LeRon McAdoo and his wife, Central High communications instructor Stacy McAdoo.
‘Teach Us All’
6 p.m. Riverdale 10 VIP Theater.
The Netflix documentary “Teach Us All,” its premiere timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Central’s desegregation, examines educational inequality in Little Rock and America then and now using the crisis at Central High as a framework. The film addresses the LRSD’s takeover and asks, “60 years later, how far have we come — or not come — and where do we go from here?” The film was directed by Sonia Lowman, produced by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes and distributed by ARRAY, the film collective that heightens awareness of people of color and women directors.
‘A Conversation on Education in Arkansas with Commissioner Johnny Key and Dean Skip Rutherford’
Noon. Sturgis Hall, Clinton School for Public Service. Free
Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School, will interview state Department of Education Commissioner Key. Question No. 1: How can the state
justify the takeover of a school district with 50 schools because six were out of compliance? No. 2: When will the state return the Little Rock School District to Little Rock? No. 3: Why does he limit conversation with the public to forums like this one? Et cetera.
Jazz in the Park: Rodney Block
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. History Pavilion, Riverfront Park.
Free jazz concert by trumpeter Rodney Block, the final park concert of
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Toast and Roast of Darrin Williams Sr.
5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Metroplex Event Center. $200-$3,000.
Former Central High School student body president and state Rep. Darrin Williams of Little Rock, the CEO of Southern Bancorp, will be honored. The annual fundraiser benefits the Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ work with children in need.
PROGRESS MADE. MORE WORK TO BE DONE.
‘AN EVENING WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. AND TANIA LEON: TURNING HISTORY INTO ART’
7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall. $15, $5 students, children, UCA community.
Harvard professor, historian and “Finding Your Roots” host on PBS joins with “Little Rock Nine” opera composer Tania Leon to talk about the opera she was commissioned to compose by UCA. A preview will be performed by UCA graduates MNisheedah Devre Golden (singing Elizabeth Eckford’s aria), Candace Harris (singing Minnijean Brown’s aria) and Kendra Thomas (singing Melba Pattillo’s aria).
‘Sounds in the Stacks’
6:30 p.m. Fletcher Library, 823 N. Buchanan St. Free.
Piano and sax duo Robert “Frisbee” Coleman and son Franko Nilsson Coleman will perform as a part of the Central Arkansas Library System’s Arkansas Sounds project.
This occasion is a time for reflection and a time to honor the courage of the Little Rock Nine, who some sixty years ago were at the vanguard of our struggle for progress. The Democratic Party of Arkansas lends our voice to celebrate the historic courage of these remarkable individuals. We also stand today to recognize there is more work to be done. We recognize that the fight for high-quality public education has never been more vital to the state of Arkansas. We pledge to continue to stand with every Arkansan willing to enlist in the fight for better public schools and walk side-by-side with every champion of progress towards a brighter future for all Arkansans.
Join Our Fight For Arkansas • www.arkdems.org/takeaction arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
TURNING HISTORY INTO ART: Composer Tania León makes a visit to Arkansas to coach vocalists performing an excerpt of her opera, “Little Rock Nine.”
Help me dream
A Q&A with Tania León, composer of ‘Little Rock Nine,’ an opera in progress. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE
Debussy.” That said, the prefixes that f you ask her, Tania León will tell help tell the story of León’s work in you that she is a musician, no prefix America are many: She is 74 years old, required. In a 2015 interview with Cuban-born. She is a founding memLatino USA’s Maria Hinojosa, the com- ber of the Dance Theatre of Harlem poser clarified her reluctance to frame and was its first musical director, and her identity in terms of race as it is so she composed the opera “Scourge often: “I am not a black composer. I of Hyacinths,” an aria from which am not a woman composer. I am not a — “Oh Yemanja!” — was recorded by Caribbean composer. All those defini- world-class soprano Dawn Upshaw for tions — I never hear them expressed Upshaw’s album “The World So Wide.” when you talk about Beethoven, for León served as new music advisor example. Or when you talk about to the New York Philharmonic in the
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
’90s and founded an organization called Candice Harris and Kendra Thomas “Composers Now,” a New York-based will perform excerpts from the work at consortium of creatives and patrons 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the Uniseeking to increase visibility of living versity of Central Arkansas’s Reynolds composers and their work. Her list of Performance Hall as part of a program compositions is dizzying, with a wide called “An Evening with Henry Louis breadth of instrumentation: pieces that Gates Jr. and Tania León: Turning Hiscall for electric oboe or bata drums, tory into Art.” We talked with León in texts from Rita Dove and ancient Yor- January of this year, and a portion of uban prayers, recital works for solo that conversation follows. cello, settings of Margaret Atwood’s poetry, two pieces for “violin and inter- I saw an early picture of you sitactive computer.” Now, she’s taking on ting on a couch between Wole Soy“Little Rock Nine,” an opera funded by inka and with Henry Louis Gates the University of Central Arkansas Col- Jr., who’s been a historical research lege of Fine Arts and Communication guide for “Little Rock Nine.” You’ve (through a National Endowment for the known him for some time, and now Arts “Art Works” grant), the Darragh you’re collaborating on this opera. Foundation and the Virginia Bernthal Toulmin Foundation, about the desegWe met at The Bellagio Center in regation of Central High School in Sep- Italy. He was a fellow at the time and tember 1957. The opera’s completion is I was a fellow. It so happened that durslated for July 2018, and — with coach- ing that time, Hans Werner Henze — a ing from León herself — vocalists Ron European composer who became one of Jensen-McDaniel, Nisheedah Golden, my mentors — talked to me about writ-
ing an opera, something that had never crossed my mind. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, but to write an opera, you need a backup. Who’s going to produce the opera? It’s a big undertaking. But he convinced me. And when I met Henry Louis Gates Jr. — you know, the artists all get together specifically and have dinner — we started talking to each other and I told him how preoccupied I was. I needed to find a story, something that would compel me to write me an opera. At the time, I was looking [at] Umberto Eco, but then Umberto Eco died, and then it was a whole thing with his estate and how to approach this. I told this to Henze and to Gates, who talked to me and said, “Give me some samples of your music — I have an idea.” So I gave him my CD. I didn’t know that Gates had it in mind to send to Wole Soyinka. Wole Soyinka, as you know, is the first Nobel Prize winner from Africa. Nigerian-born. Well, Wole Soyinka liked my music, and sent me a possible story, and in that story I found links with my personal life. There was a mother with this incredible situation with her son at Yale. She was praying for him constantly. And the saint — the deity that she was praying to — was the same deity that my family used to pray to.
Well, for me, I mean, whether it’s opera or any piece, I have to live in that environment. Soyinka was easy because I knew the deity, and I have the experience since childhood about the mother or a member of the family praying to this deity every time that they had a moment of insecurity or an emotional plea. But in the case of the Little Rock Nine, it’s the same thing. For me, it’s something that I have to live through and get immersed in that environment.
With “Little Rock Nine,” what are you doing musically to help people feel what those barriers felt like? It seems like a bit of an impossible thing, to help the audience feel that. … We experience barriers because we created barriers. You and I didn’t do it. There was a group of people that based on business, based on their selfaggrandizing, they created the slave trade. They brought all those people here against their will and they made
them work for them for free. That is something that we are still carrying on today. After the emancipation of those people, we created another form of slavery. How? By not allowing them to get an education. By not giving them all their rights. By making them sit in the back of the bus. By not allowing them to use the same water fountain. I mean, what is this all about? You continue reminding them that they are slaves. In a way, this is the 21st century and we’re still having this stigma. The stigma continues. …
Yemanja! This is the same deity that my grandmother and my mother — if we were sick, then they would pray to this deity. If I had an exam, if I got to play in front of the public, everything was geared toward — all the sanctity and the blessing of this deity. Then this man has sent me something where this mother is praying to the same deity my family prayed to? This is the piece! I did the libretto myself, and the one that encouraged me also to try my libretto, took me by his hand in terms of guidance, was Hans Werner Henze, because he had a deep, big listing of operas that he has written. Of course, he died about three to four years ago, and it was a tremendous loss for me. But that is how Skip [Henry Louis Gates Jr.] and I began our friendship. So, you’re a prolific composer, but it’s been quite a while since the ’90s, when you last wrote an opera, “Scourge of Hyacinths,” for which you must have had images to build the musical story.
Explore the Crisis and Lost Year at www.ualrexhibits.org. Confronting the Crisis The Legacy of Little Rock Central High School
A Digital Exhibit of the Center of Arkansas History and Culture
arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
SARA MORTON A LIVED LIBRETTO: Dr. Thulani Davis (“Everybody’s Ruby,” “The Souls of Black Folk”), the librettist for “Little Rock Nine,” was one of five children chosen to participate in the desegregation of a Hampton, Va., school in 1959.
My family is comprised of very dark Jr. was assassinated. about Martin Luther King. … Little people and very opposite-of-dark peoIt’s a little poetic that you’re com- Rock was not on my radar. But I got ple. And on top of that, of Asian people. Absolutely. And what you have to ing back to this historical moment very interested, specifically because of So I have three different phenomena understand is that when I got here, I through the opera, the same ideas the racial connotations. That is somethat are making me possible, to make was coming from Cuba, where there that you thought about when you thing that I have perceived and felt this experiment called Tania León. was a lot of thought about segrega- first came to the U.S. are resurfac- very uncomfortable with. My grandmother said, “You are the tion and discrimination in the United ing for you 50 years later. one that’s gonna be famous.” It was States, to the point that some classIs there anything that you imagine frightening, now that I think about mates and people said, “Oh, you are These 50 years have been very hard will be a sign for you that the opera how these people talked to me, the going to the United States?” Like, “Get — the rules and regulations in the last is what you wanted it to be? assurance that my future was going to ready, because you are going to con- 50 years have been really hard to deal be spectacular. And I think what I’ve front this thing.” The day that I actually with. For example, I talked to you about Who knows? Every day, we all been able to accomplish is because of boarded the plane, there was a militia my grandmother. She died four years change, and every day, things happen their ghosts. man standing right there by the stairs after I arrived here and I could not go that make you change. I have no idea. that you had to climb in order to get to back. I was not permitted to go to my You have probably heard that the perThere, believing in you? the plane, and he actually stepped in grandmother’s funeral because of the son who is working on the libretto at front of me and asked what I was doing politics. This is what I’m trying to tell the moment is Thulani Davis. When I Exactly. And I hear this. Anytime I there, why was I going to the United you; we punish each other. For one spoke with Thulani, she told me also walk on stage, I hear my grandmother. States. And I didn’t answer. And then reason or the other. that she saw this whole thing on televiMy grandmother said to me many times, he moved, and then I was able to get to sion when she was 8. So these people “Your name is gonna be on the marquees the plane. And he was a man of color. Did you ever imagine when you are [her] contemporaries. So, I didn’t at theaters.” They helped me dream. So, I see these situations being played started working on the opera that you have to go through that, but I have the And they gave me the tools. out, and my answer has to do with the would be premiering the excerpts in empathy. upbringing that I had — a very poor such a politically divided time? It might not be clear to many people family, all of them doing their best to See uca.edu/tickets for tickets to “An what your connection is to this opera, get me shoes, for school, the uniform, I had no idea that any of this was Evening with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and so I want to ask a little bit about the books. And my grandfather tak- gonna happen to me. First of all, when and Tania León: Turning History into your own experience with barriers. ing me to the conservatory, buying me Rollin Potter called me and told me Art,” and see our Central High School You were 23 when you came to the a piano. Seeing all these people con- about this, I didn’t know what the “Lit- 60th Anniversary To-Do List for more United States as a pianist. It was 1967, structing this thing that is talking to tle Rock Nine” was, I’ll tell you the information on “Little Rock Nine,” a year before Dr. Martin Luther King you now. You see? truth. I knew about Selma, and I knew the opera.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Moses Tucker salutes Central High School and the Little Rock Nine
mosestucker.com | 501-376-6555
arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Stories that matter
The student-led Memory Project at Central takes history high tech. BY DAVID KOON
and the daughter of Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey — came in, asking West if his students would be interested in talking to several families who were visiting Central after a trip to the former Japanese internment camp at Rohwer, where some of their family members had been held during World War II. Coupled with West’s interest to get back to the student-led history collection he’d run in Hot Springs, speaking to the Rohwer families was, West said, a “lightbulb moment.” “She said, ‘Would you like to talk with these folks in your class?’ “ West recalled. “At the end of that conver-
‘I didn’t realize how far Elizabeth had to walk through that mob.’
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
ter for Arkansas Studies, a division oments in time, even the of the Central Arkansas Library Sysimportant ones, are fleet- tem. West was one of the teachers ing, and once they’re in the who conceived The Memory Project. past, it’s up to historians to decide While a young teacher at the Arkansas what is worthy of inclusion in the history books. In AmerWORKING ON THE MEMORY PROJECT: Central High students Adaja Cooper, Morgan ica, that process Hibbard-Gregg, Zaria Moore, Tristan Thompson and Zia Tollette work with Kwami Abdul-Bey and George West. has been hit-ormiss, especially when it comes to noting the historical contributions and wisdom of minorities and other marginalized groups. Since 2004, The Memory Project at Central High has been making an attempt to rectify some of the overlooked or willfully neglected history of civil rights in Arkansas. The core of the project is nearly a thousand essays, written by a succession of ninth grade civics students at School for Mathsation it sort of Central and based on collected family ematics, Sciences struck me to stories about the turbulence created and the Arts ask the students, by the struggle for equality in Cen- in Hot Springs, ‘What stories tral Arkansas. The Memory Project West and a felhave you heard is now going high tech, with students low teacher had that stick in your finishing up the process of research- started a semesmind? Go home, ing, writing and producing a walking ter-long project think about that, tour that follows in the footsteps of that required stuand write up your the Little Rock Nine as they desegre- dents to find and answer to that gated the school, including a phone app research a docuquestion.’ That that will be used by the National Park ment related to became kind Service to guide visitors to Central. their families and then write about it. of the kernel of The Memory ProjFormer Central High teacher George After taking a job at Central in 2004, ect assignment … having students ask West, who taught there from 2003 to West was working one day when Spirit questions about how they perceive the 2015, now serves as Education Out- Trickey — then a park ranger at the change [in attitudes about race]. Did it reach Coordinator for the Butler Cen- Central High National Historic Site change attitudes actions, relationships?”
Over that year, the project emerged, with all ninth grade civics students required to interview an older family member about their recollections and attitudes about Civil Rights, and then write an essay revealing what they heard and their own reactions to it. As the essays started coming in, the stories fired students’ curiosity and enthusiasm to the point that some asked West if a website could be created to catalog the essays. That original website, which West hopes to resurrect online soon, eventually archived almost 750 student essays. West has six more boxes of essays in his office at the Butler Center waiting to be catalogued. “We came up with the idea as a one-time project,” West said, “but when the essays started showing up in class and the stories started being told, it was clearly too meaningful to the students and it was just a continuing lesson for me.” As a historian who worked at a school where something monumental took place, West said the early days of the project were particularly enlightening for him. Sometimes, when walking through the school, he’d be struck by what he called the fullness of what had happened there. “It wasn’t always pretty, but suddenly it was a living history lesson that I’d walk into, around the corner,” he said. “It would either be from remembering the experiences of the Little Rock Nine as I learned more about them, or any of the other black students who came to Central in subsequent years. There were grandchildren of those students who would write about the conversation they’d had with them. So you could see things changing and not changing.” Over the years, West said, the essays revealed both the “simple truths” and the complexities of the struggle for
M avis s e l p a t S
SATURDAY, SEPT. 23 | 7 P.M. ROBINSON CENTER
Proceeds beneямБt the Little Rock Nine Foundation
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SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
civil rights, both through the choices people made and the choices they felt they couldn’t. While it’s easy to sit in 2017 and assume you would have been on the right side of history had you lived in those times, the reality is more complex. West said people often felt “held captive by social conventions” or the fear of being hurt or ostracized. “More and more, I realized these aren’t just stories from the past, or about past actions,” he said. “These are stories about choices that people were making. Every individual has those choices, and we continue to be faced with those choices. The story of Central High is not merely a story of black and white relations and the entrenched institutional racism in a white-dominated society. It’s another chapter in the ongoing story of the great American experiment in democracy in a nation of many cultures and many peoples.” Started without a singular vision, The Memory Project has evolved, West said, growing organically and taking by soldiers with the 101st Airborne. advantage of new opportunities as they In coming months, West hopes to presented themselves. Two student- get a new, updated version of The edited books have been produced from Memory Project website online, incorThe Memory Project, “Beyond Cen- porating both the essays from the older tral, Toward Acceptance,” which was website and new essays authored by released in 2010, and “Mapping the students at Central. The Butler CenRoad to Change,” which was published ter will become the permanent archive in 2013. Conversations with students for the physical artifacts associated about “how to get the stories back off with the project, including the essays the printed page and into face-to-face and what West said are “hundreds” of conversation” led to a reading circle audio and video recordings of interworkshop that students have presented views collected by students over the at national and state conferences since years. 2003. West is proud of the fact that The In 2013-14, students with the Mem- Memory Project is wholly student-proory Project assisted in writing a pro- duced, with teachers trusting students posal and securing a grant from the — many around the same age as the Nine Smithsonian Institution to write and when they integrated Central — to colperform spoken-word poetry about lect what he called “authentic experihistoric places and cultural identity. ences” that show them that what they In their latest project, students with create matters, while giving others the The Memory Project are working with sense of immersion students felt while the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub talking to their relatives. The new app to develop an app and an audio walk- and walking tour is already immersing ing tour called “Words That Matter visitors in the past. — Voices of Civil Rights: The 1st Day “One of the powerful things in this at Central High.” Launched Sept. 4 at is watching the students experience Central, the walking tour allows visi- the reactions of other people in the tors to the National Historic Site to community to the essays that they follow in the footsteps of Little Rock wrote, the spoken-word pieces that Nine member Elizabeth Eckford on they’ve created, the books that were Sept. 4, 1957, the first day the Nine published, and now this walking tour,” tried to attend classes at the school. West said. “It’s very moving. There On Sept. 25, students will release a were 75 or 80 people who did the second part of the audio walking tour, walking tour on Labor Day, includproduced by National Public Radio in ing some real veterans of Civil Rights partnership with Youth Radio, taking actions. … One person said: ‘I didn’t visitors through the events on the day realize how far Elizabeth had to walk the Nine were escorted into the school through that mob.’ ”
GOING HIGH-TECH WITH APP: The students of The Memory Project, shown here with project founder and former Central High history teacher George West, are now working with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub on an app and audio walking tour.
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ride Ride LOCAL ARKANSAS TIMES Y E A R S
Johnny Cash Heritage Festival October 21st Featuring: Buddy Jewell Joanne Cash & Tommy Cash Roseanne Cash Kris Kristofferson
AT LITTLE ROCK
Ticket includes: Round-trip transportation General admission ticket Adult beverages & Box Lunch provided by Boulevard
AND THROUGHOUT THE LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT.
Along for the ride.... Jason Lee Hale provides tunes & fun!
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Bus departs at 9 a.m. Meet at Old Ray Winder Field/UAMS Parking lot
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BRIAN CHILSON CENTRAL HIGH: Desegregated 60 years ago.
The inadequate legacy of Brown
tion, but the decision was not without its shortcomings. Most notably, Brown did not create a right for students to be free of de facto segregation or any of the conditions that reproduce segregation in our schools (e.g. poverty, ghettoization and disenfranchisement in local educational policymaking). This conspicuous omission was indicative of liberal legalism’s commitment to formal and procedural justice as opposed to substantive justice. White segregationist policymakers were quick to forcefully rebuke Brown. In 1956, over a hundred members of Congress, including the entire Arkansas delegation, signed the “Southern Manifesto” in which they pledged to “use all lawful means to bring about a
reversal of [Brown] … and to prevent the use of force in its implementation.” The story of the LRSD over the past 60 years is a testament to how segregationists have been largely successful in this endeavor. After Brown, increasingly conservative courts addressed racial discrimination claims involving school districts that had ended their policy of de jure discrimination and were found to be unitary by a court. These courts held that proof that certain policies or practices burdened students of one race more than those of another was not enough to sustain a racial discrimination claim; claimants were also required to prove that the people or institutions responsible for said policies or practices acted with discriminatory intent. In other words, literally all white students may be educated in luxurious, ultramodern buildings while all black students are educated in antebellum shacks so long as there is no proof that the forces behind this segregative situation are acting with discriminatory intent. Thus the tension between equality as a process and equality as a result remains at the fore as courts weigh the theoretical innocence of modern white policymakers more heavily than the historically rooted, destitute conditions in which students of color are disproportionately situated. Today, the entirety of the LRSD’s administrative and policy-making power is concentrated in the hands of two white men who are, in our opinion, little more than mercenaries of the profiteering Northwest Arkansas Walton elite: Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner (and de facto LRSD school board) Johnny
LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students. BY OMAVI SHUKUR AND JOHN WALKER
ixty years after National Guardsmen were called to protect nine black students from a rabid, racist white mob at Little Rock Central High School, we regret to say that racism remains a prominent trait of the
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
“Providing unequal and inadequate school resources and excluding black parents from meaningful participation in school policymaking are at least as damaging to black children as enforced separation.” — Derrick Bell, “Serving Two Masters”
power dynamics of our nation, our city and our schools. We write this piece on the heels of settling yet another lawsuit against the Little Rock School District in which black students alleged that the LRSD has exercised racially discriminatory policies and practices. In order to understand the LRSD’s discriminatory treatment of black children in the present, there has to be an understanding of the courts’ failures and missed opportunities of the past. The U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education effectively rid the nation of de jure racial segrega-
THE AUTHOR: State Rep. John Walker, with Omavi Shukur (following page).
Key and Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore. Two white men wield all of the power over a school district that has a 64 percent black student population. While Key and Poore are careful to use language of racial equality, their practices and policies do not demonstrate a commitment to racial equality, which is why several black LRSD parents and students brought a lawsuit, known as the Doe case, against the district in which they alleged, in part, that it has discriminatorily allocated top-end facilities and high-quality educational resources in an effort to privilege, recruit and retain white students. White students are dramatically underrepresented in the LRSD’s student population due to white flight out of the school district into charter schools, private schools and other school districts. Key, Poore and Poore’s predecessor, Baker Kurrus, have rewarded white flight out of the LRSD, in part, by: 1) gifting West Little Rock, and its disproportionately white student population, a brand new middle school as an inducement for white parents to stay and/or return to the district; and 2) maintaining a racially gerrymandered Central High School attendance zone designed to provide West Little Rock students greater access to the district’s most well-resourced high school. Meanwhile, the disproportionately black student populations served by McClellan High School and Cloverdale Middle School are being educated in facilities that an independent design firm concluded, well before Key and Poore rose to the helm of the LRSD, should be replaced. Several of McClellan’s classrooms constitute a fire hazard due to the gap at the bottom of several walls where they are supposed to meet the floor. Also, Cloverdale’s foundation problems are so severe that the school is coming apart at the seams. Poore has acknowledged that several families are leaving the LRSD because many of their buildings are not as high-quality, but, when provided the opportunity, the LRSD treated the disproportionately white student population of West Little Rock as a priority over and above the disproportionately black student populations served by McClellan and Cloverdale. This despite the fact that Poore believes the quality of school facilities impacts student achievement (remember both Cloverdale and McClellan were recently on the state’s academic distressed list). This despite the fact that the LRSD
has no evidence that students in West Little Rock were being educated under conditions akin to the appalling conditions of Cloverdale and McClellan. This despite the fact that the LRSD is losing more black students to charters than white students. When Key, the de facto school board, was asked if there were any efforts
Central while students in Central Lit- calling a black student a “nigger” durtle Rock, who live closer to Central, ing the 2016-17 school year. have to attend academically distressed The plaintiffs settled their case in Hall High School. This gerrymandered the face of decades of case law watering attendance zone is another scheme down Brown, one of the most conservadesigned to privilege, recruit and retain tive judicial circuit courts of appeal in white students. the nation, and a U.S. Supreme Court Meanwhile, the LRSD continues that recently struck down part of the to abdicate its responsibility to edu- Voting Rights Act. They could not afford to forego the educational benefits the settlement agreement offered BRIAN CHILSON to their community. The settlement agreement places a moratorium on new school construction until a new high school is built in Southwest Little Rock and Cloverdale is replaced (unless an existing building is damaged or destroyed). It mandates that the LRSD take affirmative steps to increase awareness of the benefits of its high-quality educational resources (e.g. gifted and talented programs and advanced placement classes). The hope is that parents equipped with knowledge of these benefits will advocate for their children to have access to all of the high-quality educational resources the district has to offer. The agreement also requires the LRSD to make several facilities improvements in predominantly impoverished black schools, improvements that should have been completed long before the district spent over $30 million dollars building a new middle school to privilege, recruit and retain the predominantly well-to-do, white students of West Little Rock. It should go without saying that this agreement is not enough to protect our students from the profiteering, racist bigotry to which they are currently subjected. We need local control and a population that is willing to hold our educational policymakers accountable. We need our best educational resources and facilities to be targeted at the impoverished, the disabled and other disadvantaged students who are in the most need. We need to treat instances of deviant behavior as opportunities to innovate and implement environmental and therapeutic solutions to issues of SHUKUR: The lawyer and his colleague John Walker say equal rights without equal behavioral health instead of convenient results “amounts to little more than empty promises.” excuses for callous misanthropes to vindictively neglect black and Latino students whom they see as unworthy to stop the declining enrollment at cate poor black students, whom the at best, and inhuman at worst. McClellan and Cloverdale, or even to LRSD treats as the underserving poor. The last 60 years has been a testalearn the cause of the declining enroll- For example, black students routinely ment to the fact that equal rights withment, he simply replied, “I don’t know.” account for over 85 percent of the dis- out equal results amounts to little more Also, neither Key nor Poore have trict’s suspensions and expulsions. than empty promises. provided an explanation as to why Cen- Poore has admitted that he cannot say tral has a noncontiguous attendance that race does not play a factor in some Omavi Shukur and Rep. John Walker zone that allows students in West LRSD disciplinary actions, citing an (D-Little Rock) are attorneys with the John Little Rock to attend well-resourced example of a Hall High School teacher W. Walker Law Firm. arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Moving the Legacy Philander Smith College celebrates 140 years of achievement and progress. From Freed to Educated THE TUMULTUOUS RECONSTRUCTION ERA following the ending of the Civil War in 1965 saw a nation grappling with trying to rebuild the South in the aftermath of war. A key question during this transition was what to do with 4 million newly freed slaves now residing in the South? Congress attempted to ﬁnd an answer to this issue in the establishment of the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (also known as The Freedmen’s Bureau). Charged with the role of helping freed slaves by providing housing, land, medical aid and access to education, the Freedmen’s Bureau led to the founding of most Historically Black College’s and Universities in the country, including Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. The Freedman’s Bureau had an impact on Arkansas when it ventured to Little Rock to found Walden Seminary on November 7, 1877. The seminary, whose purpose was to educate black ministers, was located in the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church at 8th Street and Broadway, was the forerunner to what today is known as Philander Smith College. Walden Seminary – renamed in 1882 after a donation from Adeline Smith, widow of Philander Smith –was chartered as a four-year college in 1883 and conferred its ﬁrst baccalaureate degree in 1888. In its early history, Philander Smith College not only served as an institution of higher education, but it also provided elementary and secondary education to young black children throughout the early 1900s. In its “golden age” (approx. 1936 – 1959), Philander Smith College saw its endowment grow from $200 to over $500,000. In addition to ﬁnancial growth, the institution acquired land, constructed new buildings and dormitories, opened a ﬂight instruction and maintenance program and a science program. In 1944, the college again made history by becoming a founding member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), an organization touted as one of the largest fundraising organizations in the country existing to provide educational access for minority students. Today Philander Smith remains the only Arkansas HBCU afﬁliated with the UNCF.
A group of Philander Smith College students on the steps of Budlong Hall. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES 32
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Secretaries of the Freedmen’s Aid Society, 1866-1912 Standing: W.P. Thirkield and M.C.B. Mason. Seated: J.C. Hartzell, J.M. Walden, R.S. Rust and J.W. Hamilton
PSC Football Team, (circa 1920’s - 1940’s)
PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE
FORWARD A Pivotal Role in Equality
THE STATE’S PREMIER PRIVATE INSTITUTION for the education of African Americans, Philander Smith College students and faculty played integral roles in the local desegregation movement in Little Rock throughout the 1950s and 60s. Led by Daisy Bates, then-state president of the NAACP, the “Little Rock Nine” were brought to Philander Smith College to prepare for their ﬁrst days as students at Little Rock Central High School. In the tumultuous days following the students’ denied entry to Central High, Philander Smith College once again opened its doors to the students to provide tutoring and guidance to help maintain their academics and coursework. One such tutor was Dr. Ozell Sutton. A 1950 graduate of the institution and a key player in the national civil rights struggle, Dr. Sutton not only helped advise the Little Rock Nine, but he also served alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the march at Selma, Alabama in 1965 and was present during Dr. King’s assassination on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968. Following the Central High Crisis, Philander and its students would continue to serve as integral ﬁgures in the ﬁght for civil rights. On March 10, 1960, over 50 Philander Smith College students led the ﬁrst sit-in in Little Rock following the lead of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The students marched from campus to the F.W. Woolworth store on Main Street where they were denied service at the whites-only lunch counter. Upon refusing to leave, ﬁve students were arrested and later charged with loitering. This marked the beginning of
Seniors during Comprehensive Exams
a movement led mostly by Philander students who would stage marches, sit-ins and boycotts against segregated business in the downtown and Main St. areas of Little Rock over the next two years. Through negotiations led by Philander students in 1963, downtown businesses of Woolworth, McClellan, Walgreen and Bass stores all agreed to desegregate their lunch counters. Throughout the year, much of the public and private facilities in Little Rock followed suit thanks largely in part to the work of Philander Smith College students. The sit-ins and protests of the Civil Rights Movement would prove to be a harbinger of things to come. In 2007, inspired by its United Methodist Church roots, paired with its role in Little Rock’s pivotal contributions to civil rights and its location in a “justice corridor” which sits the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the William J. Clinton Foundation and Heifer International, the 12th President of the Philander Smith, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough renewed PSC’s institutional emphasis toward social justice. The change brought with it a “Think Justice” tagline and a graphic identity that makes use of a prominent ﬂame (nods to the college’s relationships with both the United Methodist Church and the United Negro College Fund), as well as an updated mission statement : “to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better.” Additionally, Kimbrough created the Social Justice Institute and hired a PSC alum as its ﬁrst director (Dr. Joseph Jones, who is now president of Arkansas Baptist College) to oversee programing, activities and the infusion of social justice into the school’s curriculum. Continued on next page ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE
FORWARD Into the Future
UNDER THE HELM of its current leader, the college’s 14th president, Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., Philander Smith is charging ahead under its mantra of “Philander FORWARD.” As it marks 140 years of impact in the community and the state, the institution has plans to regain its reputation as a formidable force in the nation’s higher education landscape. Already, under the leadership of Dr. Smothers, the college has seen signiﬁcant enrollment growth. In 2016-2017, the college’s enrollment swelled to 765 students (and prompted a residential housing shortage). The forecast for the 2017-2018 academic year is calling for another banner increase, with 875 students currently enrolled this fall. “Some 140 years following the establishment of Philander Smith College, the institution remains energized by the same maxim of our founders: to provide access to education for all students, particularly those who are underrepresented and have been marginalized,” says PSC President Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., adding, “To do this, it is imperative that we keep Philander Smith moving forward.” To commemorate the institution’s watershed anniversary, the college has engaged in a year-long celebration which included a Founder’s Day program in March that brought three of its four living former presidents back to speak to a capacity audience of faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Additionally, the college is erecting a “Legacy Walkway,” a commemorative brick installation featuring the names of alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters who have played integral roles in the growth of the institution. The walkway, which will be unveiled during the college’s homecoming activities in early November, will be installed in front of one of the campus’s premier historic structures – the James M. Cox Administration Building. The pinnacle event of the year-long Anniversary celebration, the 140th Anniversary Banquet & Scholarship Gala, will take place on Friday, September 29th at 7:00pm in the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. The event, which is expected to garner over $300,000 in scholarship dollars for students, will feature music by the renowned Philander Smith Collegiate Choir, highlights of notable alumni and current students, and a special performance by a national recording artist, R&B crooner Raheem Devaughn. Furthermore, Philander Smith is excited to mark the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Social Justice Institute with the launch of an expanded, re-imagined initiative that is committed to tackling a host of justice matters ranging from racial, economic, environmental and health issues. Think Justice 2.0, with partners such as the Auburn Theological Seminary in New York and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, will unveil this fall at the college’s
Big Vision. Bold Steps.
Philander FORWARD. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES 34
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campus and will seek to have a regional, if not national, footing. The work and mission of PSC is as vital now as it was in 1877. A place of great promise and potential, Philander is a historic institution that for 140 years has produced not only leaders and change agents, but also healers and visionaries. With a commitment to remaining as a world pillar upholding the ideas of scholastic excellence, leadership, service and spirituality, Philander Smith College is moving the legacy FORWARD into an even brighter tomorrow.
Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) Maria Markham visits with Philander Smith College President Roderick L. Smothers, Sr to discuss the College’s new vision for the future.
The College’s journey FORWARD has led to the development of a comprehensive long-range strategic plan detailing a roadmap to the future of PSC.
Key Strategic Plan Highlights: 2016-2026
• A $100 million fundraising plan to support scholarships, faculty incentives and capital improvements • Increase student enrollment to 1,200 students by 2025-2026 • Expand online distance learning opportunities in critical career areas across the region • Complete $55 million in capital improvements including two new suite- style residence halls • Establish a regional Center for Global Social Justice • Expand manpower development initiatives to meet employment needs of Arkansas
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of the instrument provides for some delicious sonorities of authentic quality.” That does sound tasty; feast on York’s performance, part of the Argenta Acoustic Music Series.
‘NOT ABOUT HEROES’
7 p.m., Arkansas Repertory Theatre Annex (also 7 p.m. Sept. 22). $15-$30.
SINGING PRAISES: The St. Mark Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir returns to Wildwood Park.
Art you can experience.
‘WILL COUNTS: THE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHS’
ittle Rock’s annual fall arts uplift got started this week with the opening of the ACANSA festival, which is highlighting soul sounds, New Through Oct. 22. Arkansas Arts Center. Free. Orleans jazz, classical guitar, contemporary ballet, experimental dance, fine art This exhibition includes 35 photoand photographs and drama right here in graphs made during the 1957 crisis at the river cities through Sunday, Sept 24. Central High by photojournalist Counts, Wednesday’s opening featured the folk including such famous pictures as the duo Still on the Hill at the Butler Cen- shots of Little Rock Nine student Elizater for Arkansas Studies, where “Mod- beth Eckford being heckled by Hazel ern Ink” and “The Art of Injustice: Paul Bryan Massery and others, and of the Faris’ Photographs of Japanese American beating of African-American journalIncarceration, Rohwer, AR 1945” are on ist Alex Wilson by segregationists. The exhibit and where chalk muralist Craig photo of Wilson won the “News Picture R. Thomas made art in the alley. Barron of the Year Competition” of the National Ryan capped off the opener with his “Clas- Press Photographers Association, Encysic Meets Cool” performance at the Ron clopedia Britannica and the University Robinson Theater. Now, here’s what you of Missouri School of Journalism. can catch in the festival’s upcoming days; good luck deciding which of the competing events you’ll catch:
Playwright Stephen McDonald’s play is about the friendship of Britain’s greatest poets of World War I, Sigfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Rather than flowery tributes to country and sacrifice, the men, who met as patients at a hospital near Edinburgh, wrote about the horrors of the trenches; Owen was killed in action in 1918, a week before the Armistice was signed.
8 p.m., Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St., NLR. $30, $15 student/ military.
See “Shakespeare Unscripted,” a play improvised on the spot by this Los Angeles-based comic geniuses, whose members include North Little Rock native Brian Jones. The troupe returns Friday night, same time, same place, with “Twilight Zone Unscripted.”
PRINTMAKING: KATE ASKEW
Noon-1 p.m. Yellow Dog Studio, 3721 Cantrell Road.
Askew will give a studio tour and talk about the art of letterpress printing.
DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND
8 p.m., Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. $25, 10 students/military.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s legacy reaches back to 1977, when percussionist Benny Jones joined forces with members of the Tornado Brass Band to form The Original Sixth Ward Dirty Dozen, a massive party-in-waiting with tight arrangements played at dizzying decibels. The lineup has changed over the years, as have the musical tastes that brought the Dirty Dozen to prominence; initially, the band’s following was strongest in Europe, but as America’s crush on New Orleans materialized and spread, so did the popularity of Second Line brass bands. If you’ve ever held a conversation in the Innovation Hub, you’ll understand why such an acoustic is perfect for the orgiastic sounds of the Dirty Dozen; there’s nothing to muffle or dampen the effect, leaving listeners with a shot to the vein of Dionysian sousaphone, et al.
PHOTOGRAPHY: NANCY NOLAN
Through Sept. 24. Argenta Gallery, 413 Main St., NLR. Free.
Little Rock photographer Nancy Nolan, inspired by her son’s difficult entrance into the world — he was in the neonatal intensive care unit for two months, chronicled his life by posing him in his father’s pants every year from his infancy to age 19. Nolan said her goal was to “record and explore this life that Park fought so hard for.”
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Noon-1 p.m. Simmons Bank, 425 W. Capital. Free.
As part of ACANSA’s Lunch and Learn events, Nolan will talk about her photography and how to make better pictures.
ANDREW YORK (SOLD OUT)
7 p.m. The Joint, 301 Main St., NLR. $25.
This Grammy-winning classical guitarist and composer, a former member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, has been described by Soundboard Magazine as a musician of “immaculate technique” whose “intimate knowledge
GUMBO: The long-tenured Dirty Dozen Brass Band brings its New Orleans Second Line sound to the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub Friday night.
SECRET SISTERS (SOLD OUT)
8 p.m. South on Main. $25-$34
Sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers, born near Muscle Shoals, Ala., home of the famed studio that recorded Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson and other greats, harmonize their way though country, bluegrass, gospel and rock. They open the 19 Archetypes & Troubadours Series at South on Main.
8 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $35, $15 student/military.
See Sept. 22 entry.
‘TO LIFE’ WITH TATIANA ROITMAN MANN
7 p.m. New Deal Salon, 2003 Louisiana St. $20, $10 student/military.
“To Life,” set in an intimate wood-
floored, brick-walled exhibit space in SOMA, features Tatiana Roitman Mann on piano, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra co-concertmaster Kiril Laskarov on violin and Henderson State University Professor Steven Becraft on clarinet. The concert, conceived and directed by Mann, will include Shostakovich’s “Five Pieces for Two Violins,” Bartok’s “Contrasts” and Glick’s “Klezmer Wedding.”
FAMILY ART DAY
The trio — Joe Brent on acoustic and electric mandolin, Sara Caswell on violin and Andrew Ryan on bass — plays a genre-bending combination of folk art and classical music, a style that an All About Jazz reviewer called “emotive” and touching “the essence of what it is to be alive.”
‘CIVIL TWILIGHT: REFLECTIONS ON FEAR, COURAGE AND RESILIENCE’
6-7:15 p.m., Central High Commemorative Garden. Free.
GOSPEL BRUNCH AT WILDWOOD PARK
Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and “Little Rock Nine” opera composer Tania 11 a.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts, Leon will make remarks at a dance/ 20919 Denny Road. $45. spoken word event with CORE PerforThe St. Mark Baptist Church Sancmance Company (see 60th anniversary tuary Czhoir, which has sung at the schedule for more information). White House, makes an encore performance for ACANSA at Wildwood. The choir, conducted by Minister of Music Darius Nelson, won the Best Gospel Choir at the How Sweet the Sound competition in Los Angeles. Tickets include See the Central High schedule. brunch.
LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL HIGH 60TH ANNIVERSARY
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Arkansas Arts Center. Free.
Prep your children for the ACANSA festivals of the future with art and music activities for the whole family.
UA LITTLE ROCK GALLERIES
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fine Arts Center. Free.
The university welcomes ACANSA-goers to its exhibitions “Peri Schwartz: The Artist’s Studio,” paintings; “Heidi Hogden: Uncertain Terrain,” graphite drawings and sculpture; and “Layet Johnson: August-September,” drawing and sculpture, in the Fine Arts Center galleries. A reception at 5 p.m. in the galleries will precede the ACANSA presentations on campus: trio 9 Horses at 6 p.m. and the “Complexions Contemporary Ballet” at 8 p.m.
COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET
8 p.m. UA Little Rock Center for Performing Arts. $35, $15 student, military.
This contemporary ballet company, a winner of The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award and in its 23rd year, features 15 dancers from different ethnic and dance backgrounds. Founded by choreographer Dwight Rhoden and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Desmond Richardson, the company does not confine itself to any one mode of dance, but experiments with new ways to move and inspire. The dancers will meet with the audience immediately after the performance for a “talk back”; the company is also holding master classes for high school students on Sept. 22 and college students on Sept. 23.
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11 a.m. Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library, 6 p.m. Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, UA Little Rock. Free.
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arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
IT'S TONIGHT! THURSDAY THE 21ST
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
MUSIC REVIEW BRIAN CHILSON
‘FUNNY HOW TIME FLIES:’ Back from a tour delayed to give birth to her first child, Jackson performed to a crowd of 6,304 Saturday night at Verizon Arena.
Miss Jackson’s show at Verizon Arena erred on the side of nostalgia.
SEPT 29 & 30 2017 • NEWPORT, AR A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF SONNY BURGESS
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS @
MEMPHIS ALLSTARS | LARRY MCCRAY | DELTATONES
Legendary Rock N Roll
BY HEATHER STEADHAM
dissatisfied, unable to accept the ore than 23 years ago, I reality that was. Then I saw a short took a group of teenage man with a newsboy cap on backgirls from the Fort Smith ward and a lanyard around his neck. Girls Club to see Janet Jackson in So, I did what any sensible, safetyKansas City. These girls had worked minded 20-year-old would do, and all summer to earn the trip: bust- went up to the guy and started yaming their tails racking up hours in mering on about how I was from Fort everything from career development Smith, Ark., and had brought a dozen to fundraising to health and sexu- young teenagers to see Janet, and ality, and, as a result, got to go see talked about how they’d worked all one of their — and my — idols. Of summer, and how one of them hadn’t course, reality never lives up to the ever even been on an escalator before dream, right? So when we arrived at this trip, and BLAHBLAHBLAH until the Sandstone Amphitheater, it just he stopped me mid-sentence and said, made sense that the view from our “Can you get your group up on the lawn seats (the best the nonprofit hill by the bathroom in 15 minutes?” Girls Club could afford) made the I practically screamed “YES!” and ran stage appear about the size of a post- off to gather the brood. Somehow, I age stamp. Young, optimistic me was convinced my supervisor this was a
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MATTE GRAY BAND | TRAVIS WAMMACK ACE CANNON| ZYNDALL RANEY BAND W.S. HOLLAND BAND | THE LEGENDARY PACERS A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF SONNY BURGESS J.R. ROGERS AND THE ALLSTARS | THE JIMMY DUNHAM FAMILY
BRING YOUR LAWN CHAIRS AND COOLERS AND ENJOY THE SHOWS!
WWW.DEPOTDAYS.ORG • FREE ENTRY DOWNTOWN NEWPORT, AR ✦ Music ✦ Food ✦ Vendors ✦ Crafts ✦ ✦ Auction ✦ Children’s Activities ✦ ✦ Rock N ’ ’ Roll Highway 67 Museum ✦ arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
BY JACOB ROSENBERG, HEATHER STEADHAM AND STEPHANIE SMITTLE
‘HATTIE CARAWAY’S LONG SHADOW: WOMEN IN THE U.S. SENATE’ 7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. Free.
Hattie Wyatt Caraway could not vote for her husband, Thaddeus, when he ran for office in the 1912 election to the U.S. House of Representatives; women’s suffrage wasn’t codified until 1920. I imagine, though, that Thaddeus did have her support when he ran for Senate in 1921, seeing as how Hattie was reported to have said that — after women were given the right to vote — she “just added voting to cooking and sewing and other household duties.” Ten years later, Thaddeus died in office and, as was the custom of the time, Hattie was appointed to temporarily take her husband’s place. In January 1932, Hattie easily won a special election to fill the seat for the rest of the term, officially making Hattie the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Most Arkansas politicians thought that she would simply step
aside at the end of what had been her husband’s term, but she surprised folks by declaring, “The time has passed when a woman should be placed in a position and kept there only while someone else is being groomed for the job.” Backed by populist former governor and U.S. Sen. Huey Long of Louisiana (whose efforts to limit the incomes of the wealthy and increase aid to the poor Hattie had supported), Hattie went on to win the general election in November, amassing nearly twice as many votes as her nearest opponent. For the second annual Betsey Wright Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, historian emeritus of the U.S. Senate Dr. Donald A. Ritchie will discuss the influence of women on Capitol Hill since Arkansas voters elected Hattie Caraway 85 years ago. Ritchie will be introduced by former Sen. Blanche Lincoln, the most recent woman to represent Arkansas in Congress. HS
7:30 p.m. The Joint Theater and Coffeehouse. $25. (Sold out.)
Next to the standard sublinks at the top of acoustic guitar virtuosos Andrew York’s website — “store, press, gallery, videos” — there’s a tempting one: “math.” In a series of essays under that subheading, York discusses the finer points of topics like logarithmic spirals and binary switch functions, introducing one dispatch with the line: “Back in the old programming days, my favorite line of code was ‘if-then.’ If some condition is met, then do something specific: incredibly useful for making things happen exactly when you want them to happen.” That obsession with logic and predetermination is not only at the core
of York’s success as a guitarist, but also as a conductor, painter and longtime member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, which he left in 2006 to pursue his solo projects. He favors an 1888 Antonio de Torres guitar, which he seems to know well enough by feel that he plays mostly with eyes closed, only occasionally checking in with where his hands are on the 130-year-old fretboard. Check out his suite “The Equations of Beauty,” each movement of which is named after a mathematical constant. As that programming principle dictates: If you — like York’s fans all over the world — find it rapturous, then you know where to be Thursday night. Find tickets at argentaartsacousticmusic.com or at centralarkansastickets.com. SS
7 p.m. Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS), UA Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive. $25-$50.
The haunting, open-tuning style Skip James used on “Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues” made him the icon he is to so many musicians in and around the blues idiom — well, eventually, anyway. Unfortunately for him and maybe for us, James’ artistic upswing came at the onset of the Great Depression, not exactly a fortuitous time to burst onto the scene and an even worse time to be making music that reminded people of how hard times were instead of helping them escape from it. As a result, tunes like “Killin’ Floor” languished in relative obscurity while “Get Happy” and “Oodles of Noodles” flourished. James stopped recording and got a job in his dad’s church, and his music wouldn’t be appreciated much until the 1960s, when folk musical traditions became hip again. This event at Pulaski Tech is an exploration of that blues revival, and of the ways in which the lives of socalled “Bentonia bluesmen” like James and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes intersected with archivists like Alan Lomax and Richard “Dick” Waterman, thrusting rural Mississippi blues to the forefront of American musical consciousness. Holmes himself will perform and Waterman — the guy who essentially discovered Bonnie Raitt and “rediscovered” Son House — will speak and show off some of his photo collection. Then, “Two Trains Runnin’ ” will screen. Hip hop artist Common narrates the film, a part-animated, part newsreel depiction of the summer of 1964 in Mississippi, when Waterman and a fellow journalist drove South to try and find yet another largely forgotten bluesman, Son House. If blues history is your thing, this is a must. If it’s not your thing, it may very well be after you catch Sam Pollard’s film, a view of the voting rights struggle framed by two unrelated and parallel searches for obscure musicians. Tickets are at uaptc.edu/charts. SS
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
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BENTONIA BLUES: Jimmy “Duck” Holmes performs at UA Pulaski Tech’s “Blues Trifecta,” to feature a presentation by blues archivist Dick Waterman and a screening of “Two Trains Runnin,’” directed by Sam Pollard and narrated by Common.
THURSDAY 9/21 JUSTIN LEE
THE SECRET SISTERS
8 p.m. South on Main. $25-$34. (Sold out.)
What could be more classic country than a meteoric rise, a few mind-blowing years at a zenith, and a catastrophic fall that has our protagonists pondering cleaning houses as the most logical next step? Only the stealing of a truck, I suppose, the loss of a dog, and the burning of a trailer. Luckily, the last three things didn’t happen to the Muscle Shoals, Ala., duo The Secret Sisters, but the first three most certainly did. Americana singing and songwriting sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers — who’ve been compared to the likes of The Everly Brothers — burst onto the country scene in 2010, when, following an impromptu audition at the Hotel Indigo in Nashville, the girls sang so impressively together (something they hadn’t really considered pursuing for real before, even though they’d been harmonizing a cappella at their hometown church), they were flown out to Los Angeles and were assigned to Universal Republic Records. It was Laura’s first time in an airplane, and their retro aesthetic pervaded the production of their eponymous debut album, which was recorded with classic analog equipment, using vintage microphones and classic recording techniques — down to the same type of tape that would have been used 50 years earlier. The album peaked at No. 27 on the Country chart, and the girls went on to have a song featured on the soundtrack from the movie “The Hunger Games” and to tour with Nobel Prize-winning Bob Dylan. But when Republic Universal dropped them in 2015, they ended up purging their team and filing for bankruptcy. Lucky for us, the Sisters couldn’t shake their love for music and, with the help of Grammy-nominated Americana and folk rock singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, released “You Don’t Own Me Anymore,” their third CD — and the first as New West signees. Their soulful, gospel grooves will have you praising the redemption process. HS
QUARTETTSATZ: The Arianna String Quartet kicks off the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock’s season with a concert of works from Janacek, Beethoven and Schubert.
ARIANNA STRING QUARTET
7:30 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Mississippi St. $25.
The Arianna String Quartet — pretty much rock stars of the St. Louis classical scene — released a recording of Beethoven’s “middle period” quartets earlier this month, and maybe that alone lets you know what sort of repertoire they like to tackle. Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 8 in E minor,” for example, is the centerpiece of this concert, brought to us courtesy of the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock. It’s a product of the composer’s commissioned works for Count Razumovsky, the Russian ambassador to Vienna, and, boy, was Beethoven in a mood. He wrote dramatically and hyperbolically, ripping off the BandAid from his early quartets’ marriage to a slightly safer “chamber” sensibility, evoking large-as-life emotions and requiring a ridiculous degree of investment from players: so much investment, in fact, that when a violin player sought suggestions from Beethoven for fingerings for the composer’s “Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1,” Beethoven is said to have replied, “Oh, they are not for you, but for a later age!” (Sick burn, Beethoven.) The Arianna Quartet takes on that pathos and divinity for this concert, as well as Franz Schubert’s 1820 “Quartetsattz” — the first of a set that he later abandoned. They open with Leos Janacek’s “Intimate Letters,” a quartet inspired by a 67-year-old Janacek’s infatuation with a married woman 37 years younger named Kamila Stosslova, to whom he wrote over 700 passionate love letters: “Your good heart, the impetuousness of your feeling, your appearance, which fascinates me, your whole naturalness — with all this you dazzle me, captivate me!” Tickets are available at chambermusiclr.com. SS
The fifth annual Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival kicks off at the historic Central Theater, 1008 Central Ave., full schedule at hotspringshorrorfilmfestival.com. The Buh Jones Band entertains for Downtown Little Rock Partnership’s Alley Party, 5:30 p.m., 409 Main St., free. Saxophonist and vocalist Michael Eubanks plays a concert for the Live @ Laman Series, 7 p.m., Laman Public Library, free. Bikes, Blues & BBQ descends on Fayetteville, and George’s Majestic Lounge hosts a show from Arkansauce, Mountain Sprout, Vintage Pistol and Groovement, schedule at georgesmajesticlounge.com. The Studio Theatre gives its last four performances of Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home,” 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun., $20-$27. The River City Men’s Chorus gives a revuestyle concert, “Sea to Shining Sea,” at Second Presbyterian Church, 7 p.m. Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore, Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) and others form a panel discussion for “Victory Over Violence: Impact of Crime on Education,” 7 p.m., Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall, free. Comedian Tim Gaither brings his stand-up set to The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. The Brian Nahlen Band takes the stage at White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. Country singer and alum of “The Bachelorette” Luke Pell lands at Revolution, 8 p.m., $15. Brian Ramsey performs for happy hour at Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free, and at 9 p.m., Canvas takes the stage, $5. The Arkansas Arts Center screens AETN’s “Dreamland: Little Rock’s West 9th Street,” 6 p.m., $10. The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff opens the 2017 “Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition” with a reception, 5-7 p.m. The Eureka Springs School of the Arts screens documentary films about Arkansas Arts Council’s Living Treasures, 6 p.m.
FRIDAY 9/22 “Trumphouse,” the newest album from trumpeter Rodney Block, gets a release show at South on Main, featuring Bijoux, Haywood King, DJ G-Force, J-Phil and others, 9 p.m., $15. MotherFunkShip returns with its “groove-fusion” to Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. Chinese Connection Dub Embassy returns to Kings Live Music in Conway for a reggae-ish show, with an opening set from Jamie Patrick, 8:30 p.m., $5. Big Red Flag takes its accordion-fueled set to Reno’s Argenta Cafe in North Little Rock, 10 p.m. A Year and A Day performs
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arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
BY JACOB ROSENBERG, HEATHER STEADHAM AND STEPHANIE SMITTLE
9 p.m. Rev Room. $20-$25.
“It’s Raekwon.” That’s how I would convince most people to go to this show. In case that one name, though, like Madonna or Prince or Beyoncé, does not immediately bring sensory joy to your spine, let’s go down memory lane. This is Raekwon, a.k.a. the Chef, the linchpin of the Wu-Tang Clan; the author of “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … Part II,” one of the best rap albums — wait, no! — one of the best albums (period) of the last 20 years, and the writer of modern Greek epic sagas so smoothly said that you can play them at parties. Yes, with a new album, “The Wild,” Raekwon at age 47 is still innovative and listenable and moving. Or, as my colleague said in reference to this show, “Raekwon. OMG Raekwon.” So, yeah: You should go. He’s a living legend, and he’s coming to Little Rock. If it’s been awhile and you need to get reacquainted with Raekwon, “The Wild” is not a bad place to start. It’s the first of his eight solo albums not to include a member of the Wu-Tang clan. You can hear some of the maturity, and a bit of the anguish, of growing older and growing apart. The stand out is “Marvin” — which tells the life story of Marvin Gaye, who was shot by his own father — and speaks to the problems of love and music, and how fame mixes up close relationships. “Success in the palm of his hand/But unfortunate, the fame wasn’t enough/ He wanted more out of life,” Raekwon says early in the song of Gaye. That, by itself, is pretty great. But then he repeats the use of the word “palm,”
THE CHEF: Rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon performs at Revolution Friday night.
when Gaye’s father shoots him. “But the hatred is too strong,” he says of Gaye’s father, “revolver in his palm.” With that the theme of filicide and the knotty concepts of jealousy and love that come with it are brought to the modern from the historic. Moreover, he drills it all down just one moment: Who gets to hold power (wheth-
er gun or fame)? And is anyone happier for it? This heightened moment brings to light more common occurrences for musicians dealing with success and love. “Mar-vin,” CeeLo Green soars during the outro, and from a whisper almost behind the rest of the music you can hear someone say, “It’s the sound of the music.” JR
DYLAN EARL: RECORD RELEASE SHOW
9 p.m. White Water Tavern.
BIG-HAT ACT: Dylan Earl celebrates his record release at White Water Tavern.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Is Dylan Earl trying to be nostalgic? On the cover of his new album, “New Country to Be,” Earl wears a white cowboy hat and a mullet. He’s got a mustache, a five o’clock shadow, and is wearing a burnt-orange collared shirt with elaborate gold-flecked designs on each side of the front. He looks like a ’70s version of one of country’s big-hat acts. In the bottom left-hand corner of the cover it reads: STEREO. Is this ironic? As you ask that, you put the record on and … “I toooook off,” he almost speaks. It’s the first noise you hear on the opening track, “My Failing Life,” and as the drums and guitar kick into a slight gallop he goes down to grab the end of couplet, “I’m bound foooorrr the borddderrr.” Guitars slide, the drum moves in sedated, precise rhythms and the piano glides lazily; we’re in the pock-
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et. By the time Earl hits the word “town,” lilting it and wobbling his voice, it is sealed: This is not a joke. This is no false appeal to country roots to subvert them. The man from Fayetteville has brought forward the classic country sound of crooning and sorrow — of a man looking down the bar at everyone else and wondering who he is — without modernizing it and without trying to give a sense of revival. Here is just a great country record that could’ve been released in 1988 or 2017. I am convinced: Earl’s voice was too perfectly fitted for the Nashville of the past — too close to the greats like Dwight Yoakham and George Strait — to do anything but double down. The album release show should have a hefty amount of new stuff that deserves to be danced to in a slow, swaying motion. He’ll be joined by The Phlegms (rock/punk with a great song called “Parasitic Sack of Sperm”) and Willi Carlisle (folk singer). JR
IN BRIEF, CONT.
THE FAMILY MANN: Grammy winner Tamela Mann and family bring a gospel performance to Second Baptist Church Saturday evening.
TAMELA & DAVID MANN
7 p.m. Second Baptist Church, 1709 Barrow Road. $25-$75.
In the world of new gospel music, Tamela Mann is queen, and she’s had a whopper of a year. The singer, a staple of Tyler Perry movies since she took on the role of Cora Simmons in Perry’s 2000 play, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” Mann walked out of the 2017 Stellar Gospel Awards with six titles in hand, including one for Artist of the Year. Her vocal range is insane — or divinely bestowed, depending on who you ask — and she uses every bit of it in songs like “Take Me to the King” and “God Provides,” for which she scored a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Performance/Gospel Song. She joins her longtime business partner and husband, David, for a full concert at Second Baptist. Her performance is preceded by a comedy set from David and music from two of the couple’s children, Tia Mann and DJ David Mann Jr. Tickets are available at kingdomtickets.com. SS
SUNDAY 9/24 The Arkansas River Blues Society Fall Blues Fest features outdoor performances from Gil Franklin, Charlotte Taylor, Bluesboy Jag and more, 3 p.m., Thirst N’ Howl, $5.
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Calling all zine and DIY press fans and makers: the Papercuts symposium features art for sale or trade and performances by Adam Faucett & The Tall Grass, Two Nights and Bete Noire, 7 p.m., Gallery 360, $5 suggested donation. Cyclists form a caravan over the Arkansas River for The Big Dam Bridge 100, register at thebigdambridge100. com, 7 a.m. R&B singer Tank performs at the Clear Channel Metroplex, with an opening set from Sammie, 9 p.m., $25-$99. Greg Madden plays a happy hour set at Cajun’s, 5:30 p.m., free, followed by saxophonist/vocalist Pamela K. Ward, 9 p.m., $5. The Good Time Ramblers bring some seasonedand-polished rock to Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m. Psychedelic Velocity returns to Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. Wilsen, a New York-based folk trio, brings its string-laden pop arrangements to Stickyz, 9 p.m., $10. Couch Jackets, Brother Bera and To the Infinite Power make some bizarre rock at Maxine’s, 9 p.m., $5. Chimp Chimp Chimp takes the stage at Vino’s, 8:30 p.m., $7. Raising Grey takes the stage at West End Smokehouse, 10 p.m., $7. Cosmocean brings its theatrical rock tunes to Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m., $5. CALS screens “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Ron Robinson Theater, 6 p.m., $5, come in costume but without props, as the theater is selling preapproved prop bags for $2. The North Little Rock Municipal Airport hosts some sky-high tricks for the Wings Over the Rock Airshow, 10 a.m. Artist George Dombek opens his Fayetteville studio to the public, 1-6 p.m. (also Sunday).
Trim: 2.125" x 5.5" Bleed: none" Closing Date:9/25/17
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at Thirst N’ Howl Bar & Grill, 8:30 p.m., $5. Spa-Con kicks off at the Hot Springs Convention Center, 5 p.m., see spa-con.org for a full schedule. The Federalis, DeFrance and Stephen Neeper share a show at Maxine’s in Hot Springs, 9 p.m., $5. Dreams, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, performs hits at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Hwy. 124 performs at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming’s Silks Bar & Grill, 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., free. The UA Little Rock Trojans women’s volleyball team takes on the Appalachian State Mountaineers at the Jack Stephens Center, 6:30 p.m. Fri., and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 6:30 p.m. Sat., Jack Stephens Center.
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MUSIC REVIEW, CONT. great idea, and soon we had vacated Until she began to “sing.” She had our prime seats on the lawn (which a large headset mic on that covered we had claimed before the crowds most of her mouth, so I wasn’t sure at began to gather in earnest) and voy- first. But, in the first of a line of bad aged to the bathroom where Lanyard decisions, the show had large highMan was waiting. All was riding on def screens on each side of the stage, this moment; if we had to return to from which it was plainly (and painthe lawn, we would be relegated to fully) evident that Miss Jackson was the very back, where the aforemen- not, indeed, singing live. And I have tioned postage stamp would be con- to call her Miss Jackson because, sidered a wide-screen TV. unfortunately, I’m going to be nasty. It all worked out, of course. The lip sync wasn’t great. It wasn’t Lanyard Man gave us 20 second- anywhere near great. I’m pretty row seats. I got him to sign my pro- sure I knew more of the words to gram. I shook his hand. Turned out her songs than she did. Her danche was Rene Elizondo, secret hus- ing abilities had clearly diminished, band of Janet (at the time) and the as they naturally would over two man who held her breasts on the decades, especially with her havfront of a very famous Rolling Stone ing had her first child within the cover. Let me break that down last year. I mean, she’s 50. And has a for you folks: I am one degree of newborn. I get it, but it’s like they’re separation away from Janet’s right grasping at recreating 20-year-old boob (and therefore two degrees Janet instead of focusing on what from Justin Timberlake’s right makes 50-year-old Janet amazing, hand). But I digress. The concert and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terwas amazing. MC Lyte opened and ribly disappointed. My date for the we all screamed “Hey! Gotta what? evening, a girlfriend of mine who, Yo! Gotta get a ruffneck!” We mar- though was not of the group who veled when Janet came onstage, so went to see Janet the first time, was tiny, and danced and sang and held still a member of the Girls Club, just the crowd in the palm of her hand. wished she’d “take her hair down, So, she had some big shoes to fill put on some comfortable clothes, (albeit her own) when I went to sit down and just sing.” And, for see her Saturday night, almost two a hot minute there, we thought and a half decades later. And I had that wish was going to come true. some high hopes upon arrival, when Janet came out (after a notably long the opening DJ spun tunes from absence while an instrumental inold-school Prince to modern Missy terlude of “Again” played) in black Elliott to Bell Biv DeVoe’s classic and red track pants, a denim jacket, “Poison” (at which point the audi- a checked flannel shirt tied around ence rose as one and began dancing her waist (backward, for some reawith abandon). The stage was set for son), her hair tied up and a hoop a good time, with show-goers wear- earring with key dangling. She had ing everything from leather bustiers a hand-held mic in addition to her and sequin pants to top hats banded headset, and she sat down on a stool, with mirrors and tails emblazoned as if ready to get real. But did she? I with “Janet 2017” in rhinestones. couldn’t tell by watching from afar, Minutes before Janet took the and I was unconvinced by what I saw stage, three stage-to-ceiling ban- on screen. And by the time things ners lit up with a stark video con- took a turn for the better — when demning domestic terrorism, fas- she pulled out some of her newer cism and white supremacy, the stuff and let the dancers do the dancaudio track declaring, “No human ing — it was just too little, too late. being is superior to any other on Look, I’ve seen other reviews of the face of this earth.” Electricity this tour. I know I’m in the minorflowed through the crowd (6,304 ity with my distaste for Janet’s rein attendance). And Janet, dressed turn. And I might have been more in a black asymmetrical waistcoat forgiving had the choreography and leaning on a fashionable cane, been strong enough to mandate lip appeared on the scene, fully bathed syncing. Instead, I thought, I could in spotlight. The bass line thumped probably get a better version of lip from the floor, up through my shoes, syncing-Janet at just about any drag into my gut. I knew she was small, show. Acts driven by a sense of nos5-foot-4 to be exact, but her pres- talgia almost always look better in ence was large, and I felt 20 again. the rear view mirror.
FOR A COMPLETE LIST SEE WWW.SPA-CON.ORG
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
4:00 – Registration opens – Hot Springs Convention Center, Grand Lobby 6:00 – Spa-Con opening remarks and FREE screening of Harry Potters Sorcerers Stone. ‘Harry Potter’ Film to Be Screened To Mark 20th Anniversary of the Book on Which Movie Was Based.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
10:00 – EXPO HALL Opens – vendors, artists, Kid-Con, Expo Stage, Batmobile, Ecto-1 Ghostbusters car, Herbie the Love Bug. 10:30 – Virtual Reality Lab opens 11:00 – Spa-Con Laser Tag Arena opens Noon – Stranger Things Panel with Shannon Purser aka “Barb” – Room 205 1:00 – Photo ops with Shannon Purser – Room 201 2:00 – Sherilyn Fenn & Sheryl Lee autograph & photo op – Expo Hall 3:00 – Blast a Stormtrooper w/ a Nerf gun! – Expo Stage 4:00 – Harry Potter Animals, Oh My! – Expo Stage 5:00 – Cosplay medallion making working with Nightingale Vixen, Room 5:00 7:00 – The Cosplay Club Cosplay Contest – Horner Hall
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
10:00 – EXPO Hall Opens 11:00 – Don’t forget to check out the Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator” – Room 203 Noon – “Let’s Rock” a Twin Peaks Panel with Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee – Room 205 1:00 – Cosplay Q&A with all of our special cosplay guests – Room 202 2:00 – Cartooning Workshop with Pat Moriarity – Room – Rom 207 2:00 – Beyond the Man in the Rubber Suit, a Godzilla panel with Dr. Bill Tsutsui – Room 202 3:00 – Harry Potter Wand & Sorting Hat – Kid-Con 4:00 – The Spacademy Awards & Closing Ceremony – Horner Hall
MICHEL LEIDERMANN Moderator
DACA: THEN AND NOW FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 AT 6:30 PM In Spanish with English subtitles aetn.org www.aetn.org/programs/ellatino arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’
THE LONG WAIT for the opening of Kamikaito by Kiyens, 521 Main St. in North Little Rock, is over. The Asian fusion restaurant, opened by Chef Jun Kim of Kiyen’s in West Little Rock, which has been in the works for more than a year, had a soft opening Sept. 13 and is now open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. The fact that Kim himself crafted much of the woodwork may account for some of the wait. There’s no website yet, but Kim told us in a quick phone call that the menu includes 50 kinds of sushi, including alligator; a hibachi grill; and poke, a Hawaiian fish salad. Kim hopes to add yogurt in the future, and a Sunday brunch as well. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. THE 300 BLOCK of Main Street, which the ARKANSAS TIMES dubbed “restaurant row” in its February issue of downtown development, is living up to the name. Last week, Moses Tucker Real Estate announced that Brewski’s Pub and Grub will take the place of Club Level at 315 Main St. Brad McCray, owner of Club Level, is the owner of the new bar, which will occupy the ground floor and basement of the Mulberry Flats, the development previously known as those apartments that are never going to open, a.k.a. KLofts. Next door, at 305 and 307 Main St., two restaurants will share the downstairs in the historic Rose Building. Andy Lieu, owner of A.W. Lin’s Asian Cuisine, located in the Promenade in Chenal, said construction will start in October on the downtown A.W. Lin’s at 305 Main St.. Lieu said he hopes to open in January 2018. Ira Mittleman, formerly the owner of Ira’s Park Hill Grill, said Monday that construction on his new, upscale restaurant Ira’s, at 307 Main St., should start in October. He hopes to be ready to open by December. The three restaurants will join already established Soul Fish Cafe, Bruno’s Little Italy and Samantha’s Wood-Fired Grill & Taproom, on the west side of the 300 block. WALK-ON’S ENTERPRISES, the company that owns Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a Louisiana-based sports bar chain, announced Monday that five Walk-On’s (Walk-On’ses?) will open in Arkansas: three in the greater Little Rock area and two in Northwest Arkansas. The chain, which features such Louisiana favorites as boudin balls, gumbo and crawfish etoufee, along with burgers, steaks, pasta and chicken, touts the restaurant’s “gameday atmosphere” with dishes served up by “America’s Cheerleaders.” Company founders Brandon Landry and Jack Warner were walk-ons for the Louisiana State basketball team; hence the name. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is an investor. Walk-On’s has 15 locations in Louisiana and plans to open in other states besides Arkansas. 46
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
BRIAN CHILSON A STANDOUT: The lemon-blueberry cheesecake.
Right at the corner The Restaurant at the Market dishes up date-night deliciousness.
hen Terry’s Finer Foods added a restaurant, we were quick to grace the door. As Francophiles, we loved everything about it — from the classic French bistro menu to the same tables and chairs we’d settled into so many times in cafes across France. We volunteered to review the restaurant for the Arkansas Times when it opened in 2010, again when it added lunch in 2011 and yet again as a refresher in 2013. So we were sad as concepts came and went and even sadder still when the grocery that opened in the 1940s — and therefore the restaurant — closed this February. And glad when Lou Ann and Eric Herget reopened it as Heights Corner Market just a month or so later.
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We knew a restaurant was in the works, and once it was up and running we arrived on a Friday night — again to do a Times review — and learned there was a special deal going: $25 for live music and appetizers. We told the hostess we’d come back for Saturday brunch, but she told us they’d decided to switch from brunch to dinner on Saturdays. OK, we’ll be back for dinner, we announced. Well, we’re actually going to be closed all day tomorrow, we were told. Not the best first experiences, and we told our editor maybe a review was not meant to be. A couple of months passed, we heard good things about friends’ experiences at The Restaurant at the Market, and we re-volunteered.
Kind editor that ours is, he gave us the thumbs-up. And we’re so glad! This time around our Friday night experience was flawless. We started with a remarkable butternut squash soup ($6) — sweet, rich in flavor, chunky to the point of chowder. Some candied pecan pieces floating atop the gloriously thick soup added a nice touch. “Sweet” is also the first adjective that struck us when we bit into our goat cheese pastry puffs ($11) — light, almost airy, goat cheese in flaky puff pastry shells, drizzled with honey and accompanied by roasted grapes (also sweet) and almonds. The Restaurant’s menu is fairly small — four starters and eight entrees — but we had no trouble finding plenty of things that appealed. We chose the beef tenderloin ($28), a very flavorful filet, probably six or seven ounces, seared nicely and then finished in the oven until just a hint shy of medium. Our friendly waiter told us that the topping veal demiglace is what elevates the dish. The accompanying rosemary mashed potatoes were a bit chunky with plenty of butter but not as much cream as we
MEDICAL MARIJUANA PHYSICIAN CERTIFICATION
Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas arktimes.com
HEARNE FAMILY CLINIC In practice since 1983
Call 501-224-2800 1001 Wright Ave., Little Rock ARKANSAS TIMES
LOCAL FLAVORFUL FILET: The beef tenderloin had a veal demiglace.
Restaurant at the Market Heights Corner Market 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd. 663-4152 heightscornermarket.com/restaurant Quick bite
Chef Denys told us she changes the menu every couple of weeks, always with a focus on what’s available at the adjoining market. If you go for lunch — three sandwiches, a burger, soup and three salads are offered — or between 5:30 and 6 p.m., you can shop at the market as well as feast on a great meal.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Full bar, reservations taken.
add to ours. The meandering juice from on top, a blueberry compote on the side the beef helped. and a buttery graham cracker crust that Our shrimp and grits ($18) included brought it all together. six medium, cooked-just-right, not The Restaurant at the Market is a heavily spiced, tail-on shrimp atop a light and bright space. The white walls, bounteous pile of rough-cut grits that ceiling and tablecloths are warmed by were billed as “cheese grits” but weren’t wood floors and metal-and-wood cafe too cheesy. What they were was “rich.” chairs. We really like the cool accessoAnd when chef Amanda Denys stopped ries such as lamps, flameless candles by to check on it we figured out why. and books with quotes by famous people “Cooked in pork stock?” we asked. “No, on the spines. Black-and-white Herget but I use plenty of butter and heavy family photos are a nice touch. There are cream,” she replied. Hell, yeah! (The four seats at the small bar, and a highflecks of caramelized bacon spread top farm table by the bar seats at least across them didn’t hurt, either.) four. The two bar TVs were not on but The three cheesecake offerings aren’t presumably come to life when there’s made in house but are made by a local sports worth watching. We enjoyed the chef, we were told. And we’ve truly soothing background music and decided never had better — the lemon blueberry that by all measures this is a great place cheese cake was luscious, tall and rich for a date night or a quiet, delicious with lemon white chocolate shavings dinner.
serving better than bar food all night long Sept
21 - Lagunitas Hurricane Relief Party w/ The Creek Rocks (6PM free) 22 - MotherFunkShip 23 - The Good Time Ramblers 28 -Wiseacre Octoberfest Party w/ The Creek Rocks (6PM free) 29 - Dirtfootw/ The American Lions 30 - Arkansauce
Open until 2am every night! 415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 • fourquarterbar.com
Little Rock’s Most Award-Winning Restaurant 1619 REBSAMEN RD. 501.663.9734 thefadedrose.com arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
PRODIGAL HEAVYWEIGHT: ESPN’s “Tommy” takes a look at the tumultuous life of the late WBO champion and Arkansas native Tommy Morrison.
Tomcat ESPN profiles Gravette-born heavyweight Tommy Morrison. BY SAM EIFLING
responsibility for his actions, and with a knack (or a pathology, one might say) for juggling multiple longterm girlfriends. He was living a story on some hidden plane of reality since he was 15, lying to get into unlicensed 21-and-up boxing events. That he famously, and rather heartbreakingly, convinced himself late in life that he didn’t even have HIV, that the virus itself was a hoax, seems all too plausible. Yet you can see why trainers and promoters and family would gravitate to this raw, mad talent who forever promised to turn himself around. When Morrison was on, he was on. And it’s impossible to watch “Tommy” without a sense of loss for the fast-burning brute. Maybe he hasn’t cleared the same hurdles as John Daly, another Arkansas athlete anti-hero, but we should respect the walking folk tale that was Morrison. The dude’s mother, Diana, beat a murder wrap and home-tattooed boxing gloves on his arm when he was 10. He married two longtime girlfriends back-toback — one in Vegas, one in Mexico — both of whom were named Dawn. He won his first 28 fights before he ever got knocked down, by Ray Mercer. He’d pass out in bars and be driven home in the back of a pickup. He was an American badass, so damn intense, in fact, that the only thing he couldn’t survive was being Tommy Morrison. Arkansas, love your boy already.
y all rights, Arkansas ought to celebrate Tommy good looks, won instant fame at 21 as Tommy Gunn in Morrison more as one of our many prodigal sons. “Rocky V,” made what must’ve seemed to a kid from Maybe his boxing career simply wasn’t long Gravette an absolutely unspendable fortune, and was, enough; the meaningful part of it was finished by the to be perfectly fair, at least 99 percent indestructible. time he was 27. Maybe it was that, five years after he (The documentary tells of a fight in which he broke was born in Gravette, his family left Benton County and both his hands, got his jaw broken, and still finished moved 20 miles across the Oklahoma state line. Could the fight, mouth hanging open and bloody in victory.) be that the reason for his sudden retirement in 1996 was You can’t really blame a guy for turning that stereo his positive HIV blood test before a big fight in Vegas. up to 11 every day of his hard-punching life. When his Or it could be, as the new ESPN documentary HIV was revealed, health authorities in Kansas City — “Tommy” — part of the network’s “30 For 30” series” where he’d been a notorious goat — opened a public — chronicles thoroughly, he just wasn’t the most likeable switchboard for women to call if they were concerned athlete, or person. A prolific womanizer who couldn’t they might’ve caught something from him. stay out of the bars long enough to get the most out Morrison died in 2013, more than a decade after of his considerable talent as a brawler, Morrison still getting popped in Northwest Arkansas for a DWI and managed to win two heavyweight world titles, the first for being a felon in possession of a weapon, and going over George Foreman in 1993. If anything, the mind to prison for the first time. By the time he rounded reels at what the dude could’ve accomplished if he had 40, court video shows a gaunt man with wide, sunken seen just a bit further into the future and kept his head eyes, probably relaying to a judge only the untruths down. Says one trainer in the film: “All I wanted him he also told himself. Friends and family in the film to do was train and not have sex with seven women a (its co-directors, Gentry Kirby and Erin Leyden, did a “Tommy,” available for streaming on the ESPN app, will day, and not hang out at the bars every night.” fantastic job of gaining access to their sources) consis- make its broadcast premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. But Morrison was built like an ox, had country-star tently describe Morrison as a guy incapable of taking 27, on ESPN2. 48
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
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DRIVERS PLEASE BE AWARE, IT’S ARKANSAS STATE LAW: USE OF BICYCLES OR ANIMALS
Every person riding a bicycle or an animal, or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway, shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no applicability.
OVERTAKING A BICYCLE
The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a roadway shall exercise due care and pass to the left at a safe distance of not less than three feet (3’) and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.
AND CYCLISTS, PLEASE REMEMBER...
Your bike is a vehicle on the road just like any other vehicle and you must also obey traffic laws— use turning and slowing hand signals, ride on right and yield to traffic as if driving. Be sure to establish eye contact with drivers. Remain visible and predictable at all times.
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.
Please arrive promptly. There will be no late admission.
For more information contact us at 501.374.3761 or www.weekendtheater.org
Our 25th Season Is Sponsored By Piano Kraft
CentralArkansasTickets.com to purchase tickets and flex passes.
1001 W. 7th St. Little Rock, AR 72201 arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
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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!
P E H T P S E ' H T I T $109 PER TICKET O T
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.
Tickets available on centralarkansastickets.com BUS TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED BY CLINE BUS TOURS.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
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21 JOIN US FOR OUR 35TH BIRTHDAY PARTY CELEBRATION! Live Music by Rodney Block • Katmandu Local Food Truck Fare and Birthday Cake!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 • 7-10 PM $35
1015 S. Louisiana St. (outside) www.wolfestreet.org
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FOR YOUR PET’S HEALTH
SPAYING AND NEUTERING HELPS DOGS AND CATS LIVE LONGER, HEALTHIER LIVES.
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Pulaski County residents have two options to GIVE 5: use the $5 voluntary tax payment coupon when paying by check or check the “animal control” box via the online payment system. For more information on how or where to pay your personal property tax, visit http://pulaskicountytreasurer.net/.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
The Studio Theatre Presents “Fun Home” The Weekend Theater
YOUR VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION OF $5 ON YOUR PERSONAL OR BUSINESS PROPERTY TAX WILL GO TOWARD SPAY/NEUTER SERVICES IN PULASKI COUNTY COMMUNITIES.
The Studio Theatre
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Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas ReStore & After 2017
LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE
Arkansas Times presents Pig & Swig - A Premium Whiskey Tasting and Pork Event
140th Anniversary President’s Scholarship Gala Arkansas Times “MAD” Bus to ZZ Top!
Dirtfoot w/ American Lions
Arkansas Times “MAD” Bus to Brad Paisley! Whole Hog Roast King Biscuit Blues Festival
Go to CentralArkansasTickets.com 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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A&E FEATURE 2
BOOKS FROM THE ARKANSAS TIMES
THE UNIQUE NEIGHBORHOODS OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS Full of interesting voices and colorful portraits of 17 Little Rock and North Little Rock neighborhoods, this book gives an intimate, block-by-block, native’s view of the place more than 250,000 Arkansans call home. Created from interviews with residents and largely written by writers who actually live in the neighborhoods they’re writing about, the book features over 90 full color photos by Little Rock photographer Brian Chilson.
PURSER: Became a fan-favorite on ‘Stranger Things.’
Definitely a Barb
A Q&A with Shannon Purser of ‘Stranger Things.’ BY KATY HENRIKSEN
lthough Barb only appeared in four episodes of the breakout Netflix series “Stranger Things,” the role catapulted first-time TV actress Shannon Purser into immediate stardom, with memes, hashtags and GIFs proliferating on the internet. Despite her sudden demise in the nostalgia-fueled ’80s sci-fi drama as the nerdy best friend to the in-demand — and stereotypically beautiful — lead, Nancy (whose name, tellingly, I had to Google), the character of Barb resonates with fans and critics alike, even landing Purser an Emmy nomination. Ahead of Purser’s appearance at Spa-Con 2017 in Hot Springs Saturday, Sept. 23, we find out what it’s like to be thrust violently into the spotlight and why she believes she’s “definitely a Barb.”
When did you find out you got the part of Barb? Describe the setting, how you felt, what went through your mind. It was actually the same day I’d gone in and auditioned in person for [“Stranger Things” creators] the Duffer brothers. I was seeing a movie with my mom and I believe we were the only two people in the theater. I’d been obsessively checking my email since the audition, and then I received one that said I’d gotten the part. I legitimately believed I was in a dream for a few days. So, the Barb phenomenon, wow. GIFs, memes, even tattoos ... what has this all been like for you? What have been some of the more surreal fan moments that have come out of all of this? I guess I had a feeling that the show would do well, but I absolutely
Also Available: A HISTORY OF ARKANSAS A compilation of stories published in the Arkansas Times during our first twenty years. Each story examines a fragment of Arkansas’s unique history – giving a fresh insight into what makes us Arkansans. Well written and illustrated. This book will entertain and enlighten time and time again.
ALMANAC OF ARKANSAS HISTORY This unique book offers an offbeat view of the Natural State’s history that you haven’t seen before – with hundreds of colorful characters, pretty places, and distinctive novelties unique to Arkansas. Be informed, be entertained, amaze your friends with your new store of knowledge about the 25th state, the Wonder State, the Bear State, the Land of Opportunity.
Payment: CHECK OR CREDIT CARD Order by Mail: ARKANSAS TIMES BOOKS 201 EAST MARKHAM STREET, STE. 200, LITTLE ROCK, AR, 72201 Phone: 501-375-2985 Fax: 501-375-3623 Email: ANITRA@ARKTIMES.COM Send _____ book(s) of The Unique Neighborhoods of Central Arkansas @ $19.95 Send _____ book(s) of A History Of Arkansas @ $10.95 Send _____ book(s) of Almanac Of Arkansas History @ $18.95 Shipping and handling $3 per book Name _________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________ City, State, Zip ___________________________________________ Phone ________________________________________________ Visa, MC, AMEX, Disc # ________________________ Exp. Date _______ arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
A&E FEATURE 2, CONT.
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HIGH SCHOOL SUCKS: Especially, when the Upside Down is lurking. Steve (Joe Keery, middle) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer, second from right) are the cool kids. Barb (Purser, left), not so much.
never expected my character to receive any attention. When the internet rallied for Barb, I was so shocked. It feels so surreal. I’m so thankful to the fans. They encourage me all the time. It’s been a whirlwind. In a “Glamour” interview from 2016 you’re quoted saying that you’re “definitely a Barb ... totally dorky and weird” and that you don’t have a problem with that. I’d love to hear more about how you related to the character. I was absolutely the weird kid in elementary and middle school and I wasn’t very popular. I kept to myself, mostly, and was constantly reading. I had some emotional issues and didn’t relate to others well. However, I had one or two very close friends, and I’ve definitely seen them become more popular or leave me behind. I know they weren’t being malicious about it, but I know how bad it hurts. It feels like betrayal when you’re young. So I’ve definitely been a Barb. What has it felt like to be thrust so quickly into stardom and have so much resonance with fans over what was supposed to be a minor character in “Stranger Things” but turned out to be many folks’ favorite? I don’t really know how to describe it, and I guess that’s because I still haven’t really been able to process all this. Whenever I think about the total transformation my life has undergone, my mind explodes. So I kind of have to keep rolling with it, for my own sanity. Being an actor 54
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
has been my dream for so long. I’m so thankful that there are people out there who enjoy my work and who are rooting for me. What was the most challenging aspect of playing Barb? Easiest? What was the transition from stage acting to screen acting like for you? I guess the hardest part was not letting my anxiety get in the way of acting. I’ve been dealing with OCD and anxiety for several years, and, while it’s sometimes an advantage to be an over-thinker, it also made me feel very nervous and insecure in my abilities when I didn’t get things perfectly right as soon as I wanted. I like to think I’m much more confident now, but I definitely appreciate the crew for being so welcoming and encouraging. The rest came a lot more easily to me than I’d expected, which makes me think that maybe this is what I’m meant to be doing. When you attend conventions what do you enjoy and what has it been like to connect with fans? I love conventions! I’m a big nerd myself and a member of several fandoms, so it’s kind of like being reunited with my tribe. I love chatting with the fans and meeting the other guests and just sightseeing! Spa-Con begins Friday, Sept. 22, at the Hot Springs Convention Center. See spa-con.org for passes and a full schedule.
ARKANSAS TIMES MARKETPLACE
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(Little Rock, AR) Teach Math at secondary sch. Bachelors in Math, Math Edu. or Engineer.+1 yr exp as Math tchr at mid or high sch. Mail res.: Lisa Academy, 21 Corporate Hill Dr. Little Rock, AR 72205, Attn: HR, Refer to Ad#FK
Great Dane mixed puppy was rescued from a kill shelter. This adorable loving large puppy is around 10 months old. He is a bundle of joy and so funny to watch while playing with our dogs. He definitely hasn’t grown into his clumsy feet. He has beautiful sky blue eyes with a caring heart. Loves all farm animals and does well with turkeys, chickens and guineas. He needs a forever home...$60. Has had heart guard but needs to be neutered. Please call 501-607-3100
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Can ihelp you? Learn to get the most from your Apple products at home or your office. 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 www.weekendtheater.org
Our 25th Season Is Sponsored By Piano Kraft
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arktimes.com SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE THEY’RE GONE! ALL THE WHOLE HOG PORK AND SIDES YOU CAN EAT!
TICKETS: $15 ONLINE $20 AT THE DOOR
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SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
We are still accepting Amateur and Professional Team Applications. For more information contact Phyllis Britton at Phyllis@arktimes.com or call 501.492.3994.
T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E A T
Published on Sep 20, 2017
Progress? Increasing resegregation in Little Rock schools looms large on the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.