Saturday, September 22, 2012

Festival update — big salads, tiny houses, sharp knives

Posted By on Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

DOWNSIZED: A small house on display outside the Historic Arkansas Museum.
  • DOWNSIZED: A small house on display outside the Historic Arkansas Museum.

SLEEP UPSTAIRS: In cabins loft.
  • SLEEP UPSTAIRS: In cabin's loft.
Every knife in the drawer is sharp at the Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas, underway through 4 p.m. at the Old State House, Historic Arkansas Museum, Downtown Library and Clinton School.

So far: Full house for state Education Board member and Latina activist Mireya Reith's talk on the immigrant's impact on Arkansas. The same for UA System President Donald Bobbitt, whose well-crafted talk on the changes in higher education, from on-line instruction to maybe a semester system that restarts as often as every six weeks, is a tonic for those looking for different ways to view things. I left before CALS Director Bobby Roberts started talking about the library of the 21st century (and he has a few ideas outside those walls, too, about great cities and states). I had to get over to HAM, where a big crowd had just finished the first of two presentations by blade artisan Jerry Fisk. I don't have any cuttings in mind, but I had to give my wife some lunch money. Turned out she didn't need it. Restaurateur/chef Scott McGehee was planning to feed his audience a well-crafted salad and burgers.

I'm heading over to the Old State House to talk to lawyer/state rep./civil rights symbol John Walker. But I thought I'd post these iPhone shots of a late addition to the program, a 192-foot tiny cabin. My interior shot was taken from the kitchen, with the bathroom behind me. It's a fit with Scott Stewart's 3 p.m. talk at Historic Arkansas Museum on the small house movement.

Lindsey Millar and Alan Leveritt, I think it's safe to proclaim already, have come up with a winner with our first festival. Good crowds. Good speakers. Good questions. Nice day. All the activity downtown lends a real metropolitan air to the events. Still time to check it out.

Program here.

UPDATE: another full room for John Walker. He reiterated his interest in suing to overturn the city government form

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