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Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas

Cannabiz

Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Dining Review

Las Delicias is

September 13, 2018
Las Delicias is
Humble hole-in-the-wall has authentic Mexican food. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

Big Piph takes 'The Glow' to ACANSA

September 13, 2018
Big Piph takes 'The Glow' to ACANSA
Inspired by Hasan Minhaj and Michael Jordan. /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Throw the bums in the legislature out

Jon Woods, the former state senator, got a whopping 18-year federal prison sentence last week from Judge Timothy Brooks, who described Woods' criminality as "grotesque" and "depraved." /more/

Ernest Dumas

High crime

Since President Trump has been terrifying us about a huge national crime epidemic, it's time to mention that we have a doozy in Arkansas. There's been nothing like it in at least a hundred years. /more/

Gene Lyons

Dishonor

Unless you're a serious tennis fan, you probably don't know that exactly one player was expelled from the 2017 U.S. Open: Fabio Fognini, for calling a chair umpire a "whore" and worse in Italian during a losing match. He was also fined $96,000 and threatened with banishment from Grand Slam events if he didn't quit acting like a punk on the court. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Worst ever

September 17, 2018
Worst ever
Let’s get this out of the way: Arkansas hasn’t had two consecutive weeks of football this torturous ever. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas

Cannabiz

Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 15:10:00

Jared Henderson outlines health goals

click to enlarge jared.jpg
Jared Henderson, the Democratic candidate for governor, has released a list of ideas to improve access to health care and reduce costs, leading with an end to the computer-only work reporting requirement for participation in the expanded Medicaid program. "Our focus needs to be ensuring that Medicaid funds are spent appropriately and effectively, not making it harder for citizens that need coverage to get it," he said.

/more/  

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 14:35:00

Tuesday's open line and the daily news roundup


The open line and the day's news and comment.

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 13:15:00

Bryant High School band withdraws from French Hill campaign rally

click to enlarge MIKE PENCE: Band canceled for Friday event.
  • MIKE PENCE: Band canceled for Friday event.

The Bryant High School Band has withdrawn from a planned appearance at a campaign rally Friday for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill after learning it was a political event.

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Rock Candy

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 09:23:00

Ben Dickey gets Talk of the Town treatment in the New Yorker


click to enlarge RETT PEEK
  • Rett Peek
Little Rock's Ben Dickey, continuing to ride the wave of good press from his starring role in "Blaze," gets a Talk of the Town piece in the New Yorker this week, including a killer illustration of him. In the piece, he and writer Sarah Larson visit Chelsea Guitars in New York and Dickey tells stories about talking music with Bill Clinton and working with Ethan Hawke (his friend and the director of "Blaze"). He also does some guitar work:

Dickey began to play Skip James’s lively “Crow Jane.” The fingernails on his strumming hand were long and glossy—strengthened with acrylic polish at an airport nail salon. (He learned this trick from Sexton: “He’s got his acrylic nails goin’, too.”) Next, he played “The Candy Man Blues,” by Mississippi John Hurt, and then, on a Martin D-28 Brazilian, Big Bill Broonzy’s “Mule Ridin’ Blues” and the Leadbelly version of “House of the Rising Sun,” jollier and folkier than the Animals’ hit. Courtenay was impressed. “It’s usually Japanese kids who come here and know that stuff, or some guy from Denmark,” he said. Dickey played “Freight Train,” by Elizabeth Cotten. “She learned how to play thisaway,” he said. He flipped the guitar’s neck to his other side, and played it upside down.
"Blaze" opens in Little Rock on Sept. 28 at Riverdale 10. 

 

Friday, September 14, 2018 - 12:56:00

No Small Talk, Ep. 28: Fosse's "All That Jazz"

click to enlarge nosmalltalk.png

If you missed last month's sold-out screening of "The Red Shoes," you're in luck; Consider this month's Arkansas Times Film Series screening of Bob Fosse's gritty, glitzy 1979 fantasy "All That Jazz" the B-side, and join us Tuesday, September 18 at Riverdale 10 Cinema to find out why.

First, though, we mark the passing of Cliff Fannin Baker, founder and longtime creative engine behind the Arkansas Repertory Theater.

click to enlarge cliff_baker.jpg
Cliff Fannin Baker, the heart and soul of Little Rock’s theater community for more than a half-century, died Thursday morning, Sept. 6, in New York City after suffering a brain hemorrhage. His husband, Guy Couch, was by his side. Baker was 70.
A native of Gasconcade, Mo., Baker studied theater at the University of Missouri. Baker founded the Arkansas Repertory Theatre in 1976, and “The Rep,” as it came to be known, has been a downtown cultural anchor. He stepped down as its producing artistic director in 1999, but never cut ties with The Rep, often serving as guest director.
In 2008, Baker joined Wildwood Park For the Arts in West Little Rock. While there, he not only transformed Wildwood’s Cabe Theatre but also Wildwood's grounds into a creative center, much as he did for the city’s theater scene as a whole. He directed countless productions and dozens of world premieres not only in Little Rock, but around the world. He also spent years in corporate "coaching," working with executives on internal communications and public presentations.
This spring, with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre he’d founded more than four decades earlier experiencing financial difficulty, Baker stepped in as artistic advisor and interim artistic director for the company, and was involved in planning for its 2019 season. That season is still on track, according to The Rep. Known for his engaging smile, enthusiasm and artistic excellence, Baker reached hundreds of thousands of people through the stage.

-Stephen Koch

/more/  

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 12:30:00

'The White House Collection of American Crafts': Coming to the Clinton Center

Twenty-five years ago, first lady Hillary Clinton and Smithsonian curator Michael Monroe chose 73 works by top America artisans for exhibition in the White House. Congress and the George H.W. Bush administration had proclaimed 1993 as “The Year of American Craft: A Celebration of the Creative Works of the Hand.” It must have been, in that day and time, that Congress wasn't worried about offending people who believe art is elitist and that honoring work by a previous administration, rather than demeaning it, was possible.

After the work graced the rooms of the White House, an exhibition of "The White House Collection of American Crafts" traveled the country for display at national venues, including the Arkansas Arts Center's Decorative Arts Museum in the Terry Mansion. On Monday, Sept. 17, the Clinton Presidential Center will exhibit the collection, the first time it's been shown in 18 years.

Here's what Secretary Clinton says in a press release from the Clinton Center about assembling the collection:
“When President Clinton, Chelsea and I moved into the White House more than 25 years ago, we realized that we were temporary residents of a 200-year-old museum that belonged, and still belongs, to the American people. We thought it was fitting that the ‘people’s house’ become a showcase for one of the nation’s oldest cultural forms. And we wanted to make sure the White House continued to reflect the vital role that art and culture have played in our democracy for more than two centuries.”

In advance of the show, the Clinton Museum Store will host a pop-up shop on Saturday and Sunday featuring fine contemporary craft, most by Arkansas artists. Participating artists include Gwen Bennett of Eureka Springs; Merideth Boswell of Fayetteville; Stephen Driver and Louise Halsey of Ozark; James Hayes of Pine Bluff; Sage Holland of Fox; Lewis Lloyd and Jerry Lovenstein of Mountain View; Thomas Mann of New Orleans; Korto Momolu, Jennifer Perren and Bryant Phelan of Little Rock; Leon Niehues of Huntsville; Julie Powell of Boulder, Colo.; and Erica Rosenfeld of Brooklyn, N.Y. Each works in a different medium: metal, ceramics, blown glass and glass jewelry, beads and beadwork, dresses, leatherwork, basketry, feather creations and brooms.

Store hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

 

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Fall Arts 2018

September 13, 2018
Fall Arts 2018
The cultural preview for the season. /more/

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Slideshows

  • Remember "chick tracts?" They were a staple of my childhood growing up as an evangelical Christian in Hempstead County. My brothers and cousins and I handed them out at the bowling alley and left them in bathroom stalls in hopes of seeing new faces in the pews – rows of folding metal chairs in our case – on Sunday. We got a lot of weird looks.

    For those of you out of the loop, chick tracts are tiny black and white comic strips typically showing a downtrodden protagonist's path towards salvation. Evangelical fan fiction.

    In a perfect example of how nationally embarrassing our state legislature can be, we recently received an unprompted shipment of faux chick tracts put together by Satanic San Francisco entitled "Constitutional Rites." Produced by Black Mass Appeal and illustrated by Tabitha Slander, the tracts were part of a Kickstarter campaign that earned over $3,000 with 122 backers. They're for sale in the Black Mass Appeal shop.

    From their website:
    In “Constitutional Rites,” evangelical politician Jason Stanley wants to put a monument to the Ten Commandments at the state capitol. Can some friendly local Satanists teach him about the value of separating church and state instead?
    We've scanned, cropped, and slideshow-ified the first few pages. A statement from the tract's creators:
    Although we're not residents of Arkansas, we feel the precedents being set by the conflict around the Ten Commandments monument in Little Rock are important for every American in every state.

    "In Constitutional Rites," we state that we believe everyone should subscribe to whatever personal religious beliefs they feel are best suited for them, but public grounds and government institutions must avoid explicit expression of favoritism for any one religion over others, so that we can all feel confident that elected officials will safeguard everyone's rights fairly and equally.

    A local group called Friends of the Satanic Temple Arkansas plans to distribute dozens of tracts ahead of the Satanic Temple's August 16 rally.

    As the tract's disclaimer points out, Satanic SF is not an official chapter of the Satanic Temple, and for that matter neither is Friends of TST Arkansas. But "Constitutional Rites" is in part an expression of our sincere opinion that the Temple is correct in its allegation that state legislators are playing fast and loose with the rules in an ongoing campaign to promote one religion in particular for personal reasons.
    I thought it'd be a good opportunity to take the time to digitize this as Rapert is having a fit on Twitter over a recent Times column by Lucien Greaves, the spokesman and co-founder of The Satanic Temple.

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