A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
The story of the 1957 integration of Central High School is familiar to everyone in Central Arkansas, but not as many people know what happened afterward: the so-called “lost year” of 1958-59, when the Little Rock School District closed both its white and black high schools. Most white students found other schools to attend, but half of the district’s black students did not.
A new documentary called “The Lost Year” has collected the history of that time, including interviews with students, teachers and parents of both races, and explores the effect the school closure had on a community already divided by the integration crisis. The one-hour film will be screened for the first time in its completed form at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas.
“The Lost Year” was produced and directed by Sandra Hubbard of Morning Star Studio in cooperation with UCA history professor Sondra Gordy.
Admission is free. For more information, call 501-450-3158.
Folk duo returns to Trinity
Husband-and-wife folk singers Neal and Leandra make their third appearance in the “Trinity Presents…” series at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1101 N. Mississippi. They’ll perform some of their folk favorites as well as holiday music.
Neal Hagberg and Leandra Park, married since 1989, have performed in nearly all 50 states. Their live show combines their simple and direct songwriting with funny stories. Their vocal mix has been described as “sensuous,” and Hagberg’s songwriting as “inspired.”
It’s the 20th year for the “Trinity Presents…” series, which brings regionally and nationally known performers to the church for free concerts that are open to the community.
Free tickets are required; call 377-1161. Childcare is also available; for a reservation, contact the church at 666-2813.
No place like home
Get a look inside beautiful homes dressed up for Christmas this weekend at the Junior League of North Little Rock’s fifth annual Home for the Holidays Home Tour. This year’s event will be held in the Calico Creek neighborhood, off North Hills Boulevard in North Little Rock, with a “bonus home” belonging to Charles and Debbie Foster on Lakewood Park Drive.
The event kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, with a luncheon at Pulaski Technical College. A wine and cheese party follows from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Fosters’ home. Regular tour hours are noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. Tickets are $10 for a one-day admission, and $25 each for the luncheon and wine and cheese party. All proceeds benefit community programs and activities sponsored by the Junior League of North Little Rock. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 372-1436 or visit www.jlnlr.org.
Rockin’ opera comes to Fayetteville
Most people think of the Who’s “Tommy” when they hear the phrase “rock opera,” but the East Village Opera Company wears the label a bit differently. The 11-member group — a five-piece rock band, a string quartet and two vocalists — performs arias from well-known operas like “Turandot” and “Rigoletto” in their original languages but with a rock sound. The group made their stage debut in New York in 2004.
East Village Opera Company performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Tickets are $16-$26 and are available at the box office, 479-443-5600, or online at www.waltonartscenter.org.
Final performances of ‘Take Me Out’ this weekend
The Weekend Theater closes its run of the Tony-Award-winning play “Take Me Out” with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18.
The drama/comedy explores the fallout that results from a star professional baseball player’s decision to go public with the fact that he is gay. It’s directed by Ralph Hyman, and stars Jason Willey as baseball player Darren Lemming. Tickets are $14 ($10 for students and seniors over 65). For reservations, call 374-3761.
Living history at the Old State House
Re-enactors will tell the story of the “Rackensackers’ Return” Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18, at the Old State House Museum, in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit “Try Us: Arkansas and the U.S.-Mexican War.” The Rackensackers were soldiers from Arkansas who served in the U.S.-Mexican War. The event will recreate the ceremonies and celebrations that marked their return home in 1847 after a year of fighting, including music, food and etiquette, funeral practices and mourning rituals, weapons demonstrations and other aspects of military and civilian life.
The body of Col. Archibald Yell, former governor and congressman, will lie in state at the Old House, as it did after he died in battle in 1847. The event will be open to school groups from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and the general public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 324-9685.
Rockefeller Quartet performs Haydn, Crumb
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Rockefeller Quartet will perform an eclectic program at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the Clinton Library. “Sonic Experience: Black Angels” features Haydn’s well-known “String Quartet No. 5, Op. 64,” called “The Lark”; George Crumb’s “Black Angels,” which tells the story of a battle between God and the Black Angels with the help of electric strings, tuned crystal goblets, whispers and shouts; and Brahms’ “Horn Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40,” a romantic piece for violin, horn and piano. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by phone at 666-1761 extension 21; online at www.arkansassymphony.org; or, if the performance is not sold out, at the door.