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AE Feature

Meet Barbara Hendricks — lyric soprano, Swedish citizen and refugee advocate from Ouachita County, Arkansas

How Barbara Hendricks sang her way out of rural Arkansas, onto the world’s biggest opera stages and into the lives of refugees across the globe.

'Nature always wins': Robbie Brindley talks kudzu and chaos

The images in Robbie Brindley's new book, "Kudzu and the Usual Erosion" were shot on 120 film on a Mamiya RB 67 camera — big enough to require a tripod and using a process that's "a lot more like fishing," Brindley told me. "You have to be very calm and patient.” 
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'Put some beef on it': Five Questions with Joe Yoder of Joe and The Feels

"Beef" and the rest of the tracks on "Unsupervised," like Yoder's music with Little Rock outfit The See, are the sort of melody-driven pop rock anthems made for howling along to in a sweaty circle of friends at a concert — were they not concocted in a concertless era.

A nod to Raye Montague, the Little Rock native who the U.S. Navy calls their "hidden figure"

On Raye Montague, a Little Rock native whose accomplishments as an engineer are highlighted in "Overnight Code: The Life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering.”

Curtains Up: Studio Theatre, The Rep, Murry's and TheatreSquared announce modified 2021 show lineups

Live theatre returns to Arkansas this month and, while there’s not a full contingent of performances in the offing, it is a start. Here's how a few of the city's theatre companies are tackling a virus that’s turned their worlds upside down. 

Invisible, In Plain Sight: The art and music of Michael Jukes

Jukes has been a creative dynamo since he escaped from the clutches of North Little Rock’s Northeast High School in the early 1970s, and he’s been making compelling music and comics ever since, all without achieving what famous Arkansas recluse Charles Portis called “escape velocity” from Arkansas. That is not to say Jukes didn’t try.

Yale Drama Prize-winning author Rachel Lynett explains their theater company’s 'laugh first' ethos, what it means to write 'historical heresy' and why all their plays are love stories

The very word “play,” Lynett points out, is one we should learn to take more literally; theater exists to surprise, and one way to do that is to upend expectations or to get the audience to “laugh first” — two words which serve as a hallmark for Lynett’s eponymous theater company.

Arkansas soul gold, rescued from must and mold: Check out William Stuckey’s “Love Of Mine"

The 1979 record, laid down on tape for an Arkansas label called Symplex Records, was re-released in late January on Athens of the North, an Edinburgh, Scotland-based record label that specializes, its website reads, “in reissuing and officially licensing long lost, rare — and, above all, amazing — soul, disco, funk records.”

Helltown, born and raised: A Q&A with Bankroll Freddie

Bankroll Freddie on skirting death, homemade banana pudding and Megan Thee Stallion.

Scores from the Little Rock estate sale scene

Finders, keepers.
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UA Fayetteville music professor Jeffrey Murdock on his Grammy win, the pandemic and singing the things you can’t say at the Thanksgiving table

We caught up with 2021 Grammy winner and UA Fayetteville professor Murdock to learn more about his trajectory as a teacher, the importance of representation and about what he’s blasting on his car stereo right now.

Jo McDougall on Arkansas Youth Poetry Day, working during the wee hours and why eliminating arts in school is ‘courting shallow thinking’

Ahead of Arkansas Youth Poetry Day, we talked with state poet laureate Jo McDougall about her work and about her drive to foster new young poets.

Take me to Tiny Town

There is a Tiny Town of my dreams. Tiny Town is a real place, of course, in my hometown of Hot Springs. It is a unique tourist destination on Whittington Avenue, just northwest of downtown. I visited once as a child, and I remember it as this odd place, created as a labor of love, which is exactly the kind of thing I value now that I am older.

'Daddy's Country Gold': Melissa Carper on her new record, Nashville's love affair with jazz and being gay in traditional country music

“Daddy’s Country Gold" is real deal country music, the kind that dabbles freely in blues and jazz and swing, and it funnels every ounce of charm and honeysuckle that Carper lends to outfits Sad Daddy and Buffalo Gals and amplifies it exponentially.
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Big Piph on a mettle-testing pandemic, amusement park rides and being 'far from finished'

We talked with educator/performer Big Piph earlier this year about the pandemic and his new project "Far From Finished," during which he graciously indulged us in a set of extemporaneous “lightning round” questions. 

Hot Springs producer-songwriter Henry Glover wasn't just behind the scenes, he was inventing the scenes

Hot Springs National Park turns 100 years old this year, as would have one of its most groundbreaking natives, songwriter and producer Henry Glover.

MacArthur Park reboot: A Q&A with Victoria Ramirez of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts

The Arkansas Arts Center has a new name to go with its $142 million new building in MacArthur Park. We talked with Executive Director Victoria Ramirez about the renovation and what it means for art in Arkansas. 

Jason Weinheimer of The Libras on pandemic-era collaboration, being a reluctant frontman and "that Little Rock thing"

Weinheimer, along with bassist Chris Michaels and guitarist Charles Wyrick, will play a set on the front porch of Control Records in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 4 for the neighborhood’s monthly Shop and Sip happy hour hang.

Blackness, whiteness, art and anti-democracy: A Q&A with Dr. Nell Irvin Painter

We talk with scholar and artist Dr. Nell Irvin Painter ahead of her discussion tonight as part of CALS' Six Bridges Book Festival.

'Minari' director Lee Isaac Chung talks Korean pears, growing up in rural Arkansas and reimagining the protagonist

We reached Chung in South Pasadena, Calif., via Zoom to compare notes on Ozarks living (“I don’t miss the ticks”), to discuss the merits of a family as a protagonist and to jinx him by invoking the work of noted Oscar hoarder Bong Joon-ho.
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