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On art in Arkansas
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Eat My Catfish, which has locations in Benton and Conway, held its grand opening Tuesday in a jazzy new spot at 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road.
Drinks of the roaring ’20s will be bottoms up as Preserve Arkansas hosts its second annual Preservation Libations Master Mix-Off starting at 6 p.m. Friday, July 22, in the Albert Pike Masonic Temple. Set in the auditorium of the grand 1924 structure, guests will imbibe and vote on competing bartenders’ twists on historic cocktails, all of them delightfully quirky and plenty stiff.
Like sailors? Like 'em liquored up? Boy, have we got a holiday for you. And Big Orange: Midtown is the place to be.
At historic Central High School, two former presidents and a former British prime minister /more/
Among the thousand bizarre aspects of the presidential campaign has been the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin /more/
A screw-up that's disenfranchised untold numbers of eligible voters, a funding change proposed for higher education and Hillary Clinton and the wrap-up of the Democratic National Convention — all covered on this week's podcast.
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As anticipated, the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board today approved Gov. Hutchinson's proposal to transform Arkansas's method of funding colleges and universities from a formula based largely on student enrollment to one based on student performance metrics (such as completion of degrees).
The legislature will take up the subject in the 2017 session.
Hutchinson wants schools to be held accountable for delivering results. That sounds great, especially when you consider the shockingly low graduation rates that are the norm in higher ed (especially two-year schools) and the debt often accrued by students that leave college without a degree. But as we noted earlier in the week, there's also concern an "outcomes-based" approach like the governor wants could create perverse incentives for schools to shy away from recruiting students who are a riskier gamble, so to speak — among low-income and nontraditional students, to name two groups. Hutchinson and Republicans in the state legislature refuse to boost overall funding for higher ed to keep pace with inflation, meanwhile.
The University of Arkansas is supporting the change. UA System President Donald R. Bobbitt and UA Fayetteville Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz both released statements the shift in funding. (Their full statements are at the bottom of this post.)
An editorial in the Democrat-Gazette today raised another legitimate area of concern about an "outcomes-based" funding model: standards.
"In college, grade inflation already is a problem, according to those in the know. If the state starts tying college funding to the number of degrees coming out of them, whats to keep those institutions from becoming diploma mills?This is interesting, considering the D-G's editorial page is the state's top promoter of "school reform" at the K-12 level, including merit pay and standards-based accountability. As the paper notes, though, one big difference between K-12 and higher ed is standardized tests, which (theoretically) provide a common, quantitative metric used to gauge school performance.
Besides experimenting with different sizes and shapes, Stilley also invented a mostly unseen but intriguing instrument within the instrument. This interior metallic skeleton is made up of an odd assortment of hardware including screen door springs, saw blades, pot lids, and old medicine bottles. These unlikely combinations work collectively to create an unusual framework of oscillating tonality. The listener will recognize a distinct timbre with harmonic overtones, some dissonance, and a haunting sort of reverb.You can't buy one of Stilley's instruments — they are not for sale — but if, like me, I am ashamed to say, you didn't know about Stilley, the books will allow you to catch up.
Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
All I ever wanted was to grow up to be Hayley Mills. Remember her? As a little girl I could imagine no one more beautiful (that hair! that porcelain-doll face!), more clever (remember her pranks in The Parent Trap?), or more good-hearted (um, Polly-friggin-Anna) than Hayley Mills, and I hunted down all of her films and then read all of the books they were based on.
The best, by far, was "In Search of the Castaways," based on a Jules Verne novel, in which Hayley and a motley crew go searching for her lost mariner father in the Andes and astoundingly shortly after, New Zealand. Along for the ride are her little brother, their professorial old French caretaker (one of those amazing characters who is totally hilarious to little kids but turns out to be kind of creepy when you’re a grown-up), a grumpy sea captain, and even a shiny-shoed young English gent as Hayley’s love interest. Most of their struggles result from extravagant acts of nature like earthquakes and floods, though at one point they are taken hostage by an indigenous tribe. Whether you’re an adult or a kid, "In Search of the Castaways" is lots of fun, if a little geographically and culturally sensitively suspect. Hayley will win you right over, just as she does her young paramour in this scene.
When it is too hot to think, turn to another brain. So here’s my offering, from Ogden Nash:
When the thunder stalks the sky,
When tickle-footed walks the fly,
When shirt is wet and throat is dry,
Look, my darling, that’s July.
Through the grassy lawn be leather,
And prickly temper tug the tether,
Shall we postpone our love for weather
If we must melt, let's melt together!
Leslie picked a poem, so I'll pick a poem too. We're a long ways away from both fall and the coast, I realize, but my mood is better summed up by this buzzkill from Robert Frost:
Where had I heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
What would it take my standing there for,
Holding open a restive door,
Looking down hill to a frothy shore?
Summer was past and the day was past.
Sombre clouds in the west were massed.
Out on the porch's sagging floor,
Leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
Blindly struck at my knee and missed.
Something sinister in the tone
Told me my secret must be known:
Word I was in the house alone
Somehow must have gotten abroad,
Word I was in my life alone,
Word I had no one left but God.
In May 1984, a slightly out-of-control version of myself and a much less adventurous friend split the cost of a pair of Clash tickets at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis. The seats were in the balcony at the rail, and if there was any air-conditioning on in the auditorium, it was completely isolated to the lower levels. (My friend found himself sitting next to a self-proclaimed pimp and several of his…..associates, a fact he complained endlessly about at the time and brags about to this day.)
The only Clash song he was familiar with was “Rock the Casbah,” which was probably the only song this newer version of the Clash (minus Mick Jones and Topper Headon) did not play in an evening filled with much of their older work. He would later describe as “one long song.” But, in a sweat-filled smoky room (smoking was not yet prohibited at concert halls) in what is still—for me—one of the peaks of my exploration beyond anthem rock, Strummer croaked in a thick London accent, “and now we’re in the pouring, pouring mother fucking rain, you fucking assholes.”
The Arkansas Arts Center was closed today, due to a power outage in MacArthur Park, and the MacArthur Museum of Military History was likely closed as well. Phones at the latter were being answered by machines.
Through strategic planning initiatives, staff and board retreats, and community sessions with stakeholders and the public, it became clear that the state of the current facility was an obstacle to the AAC’s ability to fulfill its mission and vision and prepare for the future. It was also recognized that the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2011 raised the bar for museum architecture in the state and increased awareness of the transformative possibilities of inspiring architecture.Gallery space, according to the preliminaries put forth in the RFQ, would expand by 3,200 square feet, educational space by 9,053 square feet; the Chilldren's Theatre by 5,700 square feet; collections management by 10,555 square feet and administrative offices by 5,053 square feet.
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