rss icon

InArkansas Blog

Eat, Play, Shop, Live, Visit, Work. Your daily stop for the latest on all things Arkansas, including your comments. Send blog tips and feedback to Associate Editor Lauren James here.
Search the blog

Kevin Delaney Dazzles Museum of Discovery Visitors with Science Demonstrations

Image by Dean Wheeler

Kevin Delaney of the Museum of Discovery

If you’ve been to the Museum of Discovery since the renovated space reopened in 2012, you’ve probably seen Kevin Delaney, Visitor Experience Director. He’s the guy who takes scientific principles and makes them explosively fun (literally explosive, sometimes). Delaney is such a science superstar that he’s even appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” where he has made vortex cannons from trashcans, as well as a giant cloud that enveloped the entire studio. Learn more about Delaney below and visit the Museum of Discovery to watch his science demonstrations!

What was your background before arriving at the Museum of Discovery? Following college, I entered the field of science communication at a zoo in the education department—writing programs about animals and conservation. I learned a lot about informal education by working with the zookeepers and vet staff, thus starting my passion for science education.

Explain your job at MOD. I make sure our visitors have a great time at the museum. I oversee floor shows and programming, such as our adults-only event, Science After Dark. I also handle media appearances on behalf of the museum.

How do you come up with new demonstrations? I’m always reading and researching and keeping an eye out for something fascinating to share. A lot of the demonstrations we do are commonly seen in classrooms and science museums all over the world. We all share techniques and tips—it’s a really supportive community. I also work with our exhibits staff, scientists and educators from local and not so local universities, and other museums to develop new and different ways to demonstrate science.

What is your favorite part of the job? I love the opportunity to learn and to share what I’ve learned in fun and creative ways. I also get to do a good amount of traveling which is a lot of fun, especially around Arkansas which happens to be one of the most beautiful states.

Which science demonstration is your favorite? And which is an audience favorite? Gallium is a favorite element of mine to demonstrate. Gallium is a metal that has a very low melting point. Scientists used to mold it into spoons so that when their colleagues would take a spoon from the drawer, it would disappear as soon as it was submerged into hot liquid. It was hilarious as it sounds. The audience favorite is definitely freeze-frying Cheetos Puffs in liquid nitrogen and then eating them.

Do you have any new demonstrations planned for spring break week (March 23-27)? We will have multiple demos each day. Check out the museum’s Facebook page to see the schedule. We are also excited to partner with our friends at AETN to host Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat the Monday of spring break and Peg + Cat on Tuesday. They’ll meet and take pictures with museum visitors.

Now that you’ve been on national TV, do you get specific requests from museum visitors? I get asked to take a lot of pictures with visitors which is always fun.

What’s the funniest question you’ve ever been asked by a museum visitor? How about an answer? When discussing electricity, I asked a group of students to give me some examples of good conductors. One young man answered Beethoven. He was not wrong.

When you were a kid, what was your dream job? Did anyone inspire you? I wanted to write ghost stories. Specifically, I wanted to live at the beach in a haunted lighthouse and write horrifying stories about all of my ghost roommates. I still hope to do that someday. I’ve been inspired by lots of people—my uncle was a geologist and palynologist, and is certainly to blame for my early love of science.

You’re a New Jersey transplant—what’s the biggest change about living in Arkansas? Being so far away from the ocean.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Little Rock? I love to visit Pinnacle Mountain.

What neighborhood do you live in; what do you like about living there? I live in the Hillcrest area—it’s a great neighborhood with lots of trees and friendly people and dogs. There are lots of great places, but Hillcrest Artisan Meats is definitely a favorite.

Here's Kevin in Action!

Editor’s Note:  Do you remember Sesame Street’s “The People in Your Neighborhood” songs, which highlighted all of the various men and women that make up a community—firefighters, teachers and postal workers? We were inspired by those classic segments for our new feature, “The Neighborhood.” Each month, we’ll answer the question “who are the people in your neighborhood?” by interviewing the diverse, interesting characters that make up the vibrant central Arkansas community.

Greetings From Little Rock: Spend Spring Break As A Tourist in Your Own Town


You don't have to make big travel plans for big spring break fun! See how the rest of the world looks at your home town when you spend spring break acting like a tourist right here in central Arkansas. Here are 10 local destinations, from museums to mini golf.

Looking for spring break camps? Click here for our full list of day camps and classes during the week of spring break for central Arkansas students, March 23-27.

Destination #1 - Mid-America Science Museum

Day trip down to Hot Springs and ogle the impressive renovations at Mid-America Science Museum, which reopens March 7. Kids can get moving as soon as they walk in the door: A spacious new entryway contains the Marvelous Motion exhibit full of hands-on interactives. Downstairs, families will find the museum’s popular cave maze, along with an expanded exhibit all about the Natural State’s underground. The Arkansas Underfoot exhibit explores 13 types of rocks and minerals and where to find them in our state. Kids can also sort microfossils under a microscope, spend time inside the giant tree reading nook, and discover “yucky” science like bacteria and decomposition.

In the main gallery, step into the Digital Dome Theater for a telescopic journey through space and the simulated universe. You’ll also find The Workshops and tons of interactive fun: Make a stop-motion animated film; keep a beat on the electronic drums; power a hairdryer by turning a wheel and more. Two major pieces are sure to be kiddie hotspots: the modern jungle gym called the Gyroid Climber and the two-story water tower. Kids can splash around in the water feature, tossing colorful balls into streams that jet them high into the air—up to the second story, in fact. Cannons on the second level allow kids to propel the balls even higher and into a funnel that drops them back down into the fountain’s central feature—a water vortex.

The museum’s upgrades extend to the outdoors, as well. Highlighting the museum’s wooded location, the Science Skywalk juts into the forest canopy 30 feet above the ground. Visitors safely view the trees from a bird’s-eye-view and explore small exhibits in the tree house. Adventurous youngsters can even climb around a cargo net suspended in the center of the walkway! The museum’s grand reopening is March 7. For more info:

Destination #2 - Big Rock Fun Park

What’s more “family vacation” than playing a round of mini golf with your crew? At Big Rock Fun Park, you can putt the greens without leaving town. The fun doesn’t stop after scores are tallied: Speed around the go-kart track; battle it out in bumper boats; and rack up tickets in the arcade to win prizes. Don’t miss the arcade’s newest attraction called Lazer Frenzy—a laser maze that players must navigate carefully to complete their mission. During spring break (March 23-27), visitors can take advantage of a buy one, get one free offer just for the brand-new attraction (regularly $3 per play). For info: 455-3750,

Destination #3 - Garvan Woodland Gardens

Garvan Woodland Gardens will put the “spring” in spring break with its annual Daffodil Days and Tulip Extravaganza. From mid-March to early April, the gardens will be blooming with daffodils, azaleas, dogwoods, tulips and more. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for up-to-date photos and blooming schedule. For info: 262-9300,

Destination #4 - Clinton Presidential Center

We’re guessing that your kids are going to be Clinton scholars by the time they grow up, but who can resist multiple visits to the Clinton Presidential Center? In addition to permanent historical exhibits on the Clinton administration policies and the family life of the Arkansas-born president, the center hosts free activities for spring break (10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 23-27). Grade-school students can engage in musical activities with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, playing different types of instruments and meeting musicians. Plus, they’ll enjoy activities inspired by exhibits that celebrate Snoopy, Charlie Brown the “Peanuts” crew. The two temporary exhibits highlight different themes in Charles M. Schulz’s iconic comic strips—football and love—and will feature reproductions of the original comic strips, life-size sculptures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and themed ephemera. Spring break activities are free; however, admission fees to tour the Museum apply. For info: 374-4242,

Destination #5 - Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

North Little Rock’s Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum may just convince your family that you’re spending spring break exploring the open seas. Visitors can step into the USS Razorback, a historic submarine floating in the Arkansas River along North Shore Riverwalk Park. The vessel conducted five combat patrols in World War II and was one of 12 submarines present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed. An exhibit illuminates the history of the Razorback’s service. Plus, two new exhibits open March 20, including a display on submarine lifeguard duty and an exhibit on Arkansans who served in the Navy during World War II. For info: 371-8320,

You can’t play tourist in Little Rock without hopping on the yellow River Rail Streetcars which connect downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Hop on for just $1 (50 cents for ages 5-11, and free for ages 4 and younger) and ride the 3.4-mile loop to see the sights. For schedules and a map, visit

Destination #6 - Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

Rainy day? Kids sitting inside bored and miserable? Well, you’re in luck. The Cat in the Hat will come to the rescue! The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre brings Dr. Seuss’ iconic picture book to life—and that curious cat will banish all boredom with his mischievous fun. “Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat” plays March 6-29, with special spring break performances at 2 p.m. March 24-27. During your visit, don’t forget to head upstairs and peruse the free art exhibitions in the Arkansas Arts Center galleries. For info: 372-4000,

Destination #7 - Museum of Discovery

A tourist trip to downtown Little Rock isn’t complete until you visit the Museum of Discovery. Beginning March 7, families can discover a new exhibit called “Mindbender Mansion”—which will be a huge hit with puzzle- and brainteaser-fans. You won’t want to miss the “Dinosaurs: Fossils Exposed” exhibit either—kids can dig in a fossil pit, gawk at life-size dinosaur skulls and more. And, especially for spring break week, the museum has invited a few special friends to celebrate science. AETN days are March 23-24; Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat will visit Monday and both characters from Peg + Cat will greet guests on Tuesday. For info: 396-7050,

Destination #8 - Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Spring break is going to be “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with help from the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of “Mary Poppins.” Based on the classic 1964 film about a magical nanny, this Broadway musical includes all of the favorite tunes: “Step in time,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim-Chim Cher-ee” and more. Attend a performance during your own “Jolly Holiday”—there are showings all week long. While you’re at the show, be sure to pick up a serving of the special “Mary Poppins”-inspired ice cream—sweet cream with brownie pieces—made by Loblolly Creamery. For info: 378-0405,

Destination #9 - Heifer Village 

At Heifer Village, your child will get a global perspective of issues and problems that affect families around the world. More than 80 interactive and hands-on exhibits focus on ending hunger and poverty across the globe. During the week of spring break, visitors will be treated to even more fun—free activities all week long. Each day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 23-28, families can take part in activities like a “fishing” game, relay activities and scavenger hunts. For info: (855) 343-4337,

Destination #10 - Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center

Arkansans are proud to bear the name “Natural State,” so your touristy romp through Little Rock must include a stop at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. Located downtown, the completely free center showcases Arkansas’ geographic regions—from the Ozark Plateau to the Mississippi Delta—through a series of living habitat exhibits that house real fish from the regions. Over spring break (March 24-27), families can learn even more at special fishing clinics, wetland hikes, geocaching, nature games, reptile meet and greets, archery workshops and more. For info: 907-0636,

Hollywood Producer Courtney Pledger Brings Film Talent to Arkansas Motion Picture Institute

Image by Jason Masters

As director of the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute, Courtney Pledger is in charge of growing and promoting the state’s film festivals, including the Little Rock Film Festival, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and the numerous others cropping up all over the state. | Tuxedo from Paul Morrell Formalwear; hair and makeup by Angela Alexander.

Courtney Pledger has spent close to 30 years getting original film projects to the screen.

Now she is doing her part to get people to the screenings.

Pledger brought a Hollywood pedigree and resume to Little Rock when in 2012 she left Los Angeles to take the executive director post at the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute, the umbrella organization for the state’s growing number of film festivals.

A veteran actor and successful producer, Pledger’s work for AMPI the past two-plus years has included continuing to grow and promote the Little Rock Film Festival, doing her part to save the troubled Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and throwing AMPI’s weight and resources behind the state’s other film festivals springing up from Bentonville to Texarkana.

“Festivals are just fantastic cultural and community events,” Pledger says.

The nonprofit AMPI, founded by noted Little Rock filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud in 2011, works cooperatively with the Arkansas Film Commission and commissioner Christopher Crane. But while the commission works primarily to draw film projects to Arkansas and nurtures the work of the state’s filmmakers, the AMPI promotes completed works by such filmmakers, or films with Arkansas-related subjects, through the film festivals.

“The concept being there’s so much going on in the state culturally in film in addition to what Christopher Crane is doing at the film office,” Pledger says.

Her position brought Pledger from Los Angeles, where from 2009-2011 she worked for the publishing and film entity Relativity Media, which developed properties into film projects like “Oblivion,” starring Tom Cruise, and “Hercules,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

With a twin son and daughter still in high school at the time, Pledger was happy to relocate to Little Rock and lend her expertise to the AMPI.

“It made sense,” she says.

Festivals under the AMPI umbrella include Little Rock and Hot Springs, in their ninth and 24th years respectively, as well as festivals — either in their first or second year — in Eureka Springs, Texarkana, Jonesboro and El Dorado. There are also offshoot events offered by the Little Rock Film Festival: The Little Rock Horror Picture Show and the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival.

Pledger wants to see the festivals take their place in each city’s arts community — alongside the theater, galleries and symphonies — to promote film culture and encourage tourism.

“It’s another spoke in that cultural wheel,” she says.

Stage To Screen

Pledger was born in Little Rock but grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, returning to the Arkansas capital frequently to visit family as she grew up. She pursued an acting career that took her to New York, where she performed in commercials and plays, then followed her muse to the West Coast.

She appeared in the NBC-TV series “Walking Tall” and had had a number of guest roles, then opportunities to produce came her way.

Producing, Pledger says, is not something people are born knowing how to do.

“Nobody does. Just do it,” she says.

Pledger first worked in television production and among her projects was the 1990 TV movie “A Killing in a Small Town,” based on the book “Evidence of Love,” which won an Emmy for Barbara Hershey.

“How about those buzz words?” says Pledger, in full producer mode, pointing out how the title change opted for target words like “killing” and “small town,” designed to draw attention while appealing to middle American demographics.

Pledger also produced the 1990, ABC-TV movie “Challenger” about the 1986 space shuttle disaster. Pulling back the Hollywood curtain, Pledger explains that the movie was intended to be about the NASA whistleblower who revealed the technical oversight that caused the explosion, only to wind up, thanks to studio tinkering, being much more about the doomed astronauts.

Pledger produced pilots and worked as an executive for people like the late Ray Stark (who produced “Annie,” “Steel Magnolias” and “Funny Girl”) and the late Dan Melnick (“Altered States,” “Straw Dogs” and “All That Jazz”) who in 1982 co-wrote an expose titled “Indecent Exposure: A True Story of Hollywood and Wall Street.”

Pledger gravitated to London in the early 2000s, spending five years overseas and working with producer Sarah Radclyffe, who co-founded the production company Working Title Films in the mid-1980s. It is one of the UK’s most significant production companies, but Radclyffe wanted to strike out on her own and proposed that Pledger work with her on projects rooted in UK children’s literature.

That resulted in the 2009 film “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” and “B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations,” an animated film awaiting a release date and featuring the voice work of actors Bill Murray, Seth Rogen and Melissa McCarthy.

Stopping off in Little Rock, before her most recent Los Angeles gig, Pledger had conversations with people like Crane and Gary Newton (Little Rock Film Commission chairman) and the discussions may have at least held ideas for an entity like AMPI, which the Renaud brothers — who created the Little Rock Film Festival — then founded in 2011.

“I think it was a great idea and several people were thinking along those lines and Craig Renaud and Brent Renaud said ‘Let’s name it’ and that was the first step,” says Pledger, who was announced as AMPI executive director in August, 2012.

Hot Property

Not long after its formation and not long after Pledger arrived from California, AMPI naturally took an interest in the struggling Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the oldest documentary film festival in North America.

The event’s chairman of the board Susan Altrui, who moved into the post after serving as the festival’s marketing director, brought Pledger on board as interim director shortly after Pledger’s arrival in 2012.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it,’ ” Pledger says.

If she ever regretted those words Pledger doesn’t let on, but at the time the festival had sprung more leaks than James Cameron’s “Titanic.”

Arvest Bank filed a foreclosure suit on more than $300,000 in loans on the Malco Theater, the festival board owed close to $20,000 in taxes, there were an additional two years worth of unpaid bills to local vendors, many longtime backers had dropped their support and then, with the event scheduled for its usual October dates, an August micro storm severely damaged the Malco and rendered it useless.

“It was really us against the world in those early days,” Pledger says.

Thanks to AMPI and its inventory of state-of-the-art screening and projection equipment, the festival was able to relocate to the Arlington Hotel, turning the ballroom and other large spaces into theaters.

“We would not have been able to rescue Hot Springs without that AMPI equipment,” Pledger says.

With Altrui working on relieving the debt and Pledger working on creative ideas and logistics, the festival is back on track and is designated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Oscar-qualifying festival in the category of documentary short subjects. It is a distinction that puts the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival among only 32 such designated festivals in the world, allowing it to take its place alongside New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance, Canada’s Hot Docs Film Festival and the American Film Institute’s AFIDOCS.

“It’s exciting,” Pledger says. “The Academy just awarded Hot Springs a grant for an Academy-sponsored sidebar which is ‘Women Behind the Lens.’ ”

Pledger points out the money comes at a time when the Academy has been cutting back on grants and that the sidebar’s theme dovetails with the women and minorities theme planned for the new Bentonville Film Festival, launched by actor and advocate Geena Davis.

“So we’re glad to be promoting women in two festivals here in Arkansas,” Pledger says.

Sneak Previews

With her oldest daughter Miranda apprenticing with a Shakespeare group in Atlanta and her twins India and Liam now out of school after graduating Pulaski Academy, Pledger plans to continue to produce, but her heart is definitely in her AMPI work.

“Once you put your heart and soul into saving something it’s not a light commitment,” Pledger says.

While Hot Springs is known for being solely focused on documentaries and Little Rock has the glamor and prestige of being the state’s foremost multi-genre event, Pledger is excited about all the state’s fledgling festivals.

Some will have a technological wrinkle, like the event in Jonesboro, she says, some lean toward independent films, as in Eureka Springs and some, like the Charles B. Pierce Film Festival in Texarkana or the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival in Little Rock have history as well as name recognition behind them.

Pierce, the Texarkana event’s late, namesake filmmaker (“Legend of Boggy Creek,” “The Town That Dreaded Sundown”) claimed to have been related to famous, Arkansas-born football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Hence Pierce’s middle initial “B.”

The Reel Civil Rights Film Festival is presented each September close to the dates Little Rock Central High was desegregated in 1957.

“Some lean to narrative, and have a few documentaries and some are still defining themselves,” Pledger says of the festivals.

In addition to working with the festivals and related events, AMPI generates its own unique happenings. In 2012 it launched the STAR awards to honor Arkansans with outstanding entertainment careers. The first honorees were Glen Campbell, for his work in music, film and television and ESPN broadcaster and producer Jerry McKinnis for his global outdoor programming.

Up next for AMPI is its first fundraising gala planned for later this year, with longtime local television personality Craig O’Neill being honored for his contributions to media. The organization will be forming an advisory board intended to include significant filmmakers with Arkansas ties — Pledger mentioned director Jeff Nichols and actor/director Joey Lauren Adams.

Promotionally, Pledger wants to reach out to sports media outlets because, while she can’t give much away yet, the Hot Springs festival will have a sports-related world premiere.

Meanwhile she praises the Little Rock Film Festival — and its creators the Renaud brothers — as it continues to grow and prosper.

Last year named the Little Rock Film Festival, held in May, among its “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

“It’s one of the few festivals founded and run by filmmakers,” Pledger says.

The Renauds, who grew up in Little Rock, founded the festival on the claim they felt it was “unacceptable” a city of Little Rock’s size not have a film event of its own. The duo, with multiple awards that include Emmy and Director’s Guild nominations, culled the best parts of the many festivals in which their work has appeared and Little Rock has welcomed others whose work has been screened at events like Cannes, Sundance and Tribeca.

Attendance doubled almost every year since the first Little Rock Film Festival, and over time it expanded from three days to a week-long event while also earning national notice and appearing in a number of national rankings.

Helping to make the Little Rock Film Festival unique is the opportunity for audiences to interact with the filmmakers. Many screenings are followed by Q&As with the on-screen talent and creators, while the festival’s scope and Little Rock’s cozy size bring the filmmakers and viewers closer together than at some of the more media-saturated events.

Pledger notes with some pride, the two oldest film events in the state, Little Rock and Hot Springs, both are run by professionals who work outside the state.

“Tribeca has their Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal and we have our Renaud brothers,” she says.

She avoids mentioning herself by name, but then, Pledger is used to working behind the scenes.

Arkansas Motion Picture Institute film festivals

  • Delta Flix Film and Media Festival - (Jonesboro) April 7-11
  • Eureka Springs Indie Film Festival - April 23-25
  • Little Rock Film Festival - May 11-17
  • Charles B. Pierce Film Festival* - (Texarkana) June
  • Little Rock Horror Picture Show# - Aug. 6-9
  • Reel Civil Rights Film Festival*# - September
  • El Dorado Film Festival - Sept. 17-19
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival - Oct. 9-18

*Exact dates TBA
#Offshoots of Little Rock Film Festival

The Arkansas Film Commission — A state office whose purpose is to support projects by Arkansas artists and to attract and promote film production within the state. Also the parent organization for the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute and Arkansas Production Alliance.

Arkansas Motion Picture Institute — The nonprofit, umbrella organization for the state’s growing number of film festivals, including mainstays like the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and the Little Rock Film Festival. AMPI promotes and celebrates completed bodies of work, often by Arkansas filmmakers or pertaining to Arkansas-related subjects.

Arkansas Production Alliance — In partnership with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Film Commission and the Northwest Arkansas Council, the APA is a conglomerate of stakeholders interested in film as an economic development tool and means to promote the creative economy. The APA provides producers with single-contact access to all the state has to offer a production — from on-camera talent to technical know-how to incentives.

Pinterest Friday: The Greatest Escapes

Image by Christopher Nolan Photography


It’s Friday and that means we are in full getaway mode! 

Don’t get us wrong, the wedding world is a great one to work in, but sometimes you just need to kick back and relax. 

We KNOW you feel us. 

And because we can’t think of much else, we’ve been over on the Arkansas Bride Pinterest page, gathering some of the most luxurious, adorable and creative wedding exits we’ve seen. And many of them are from real Arkansas brides!

So join us, won’t you? 

Click here to start your weekend early.


The Dish: Shiitake Mushroom Burger at The Root Café

Image by Kevin Shalin


We’ve all been there when that intense craving for a good, meaty burger hits us like a ton of bricks. But for vegetarians or folks trying to watch their waistline, a traditional burger just isn’t an option.

Fortunately, we have some excellent alternatives here in Little Rock—none better than the shiitake mushroom burger at The Root Café. As expected, this burger is comprised of several local ingredients, an aspect the restaurant prides itself in delivering to a loyal and adoring fan base of customers.

A beautiful, signature Arkansas Fresh Bakery bun is loaded down with a gourmet spring mix from Arkansas Natural Produce, house-made vinaigrette, and a marinated, then grilled Sweden Creek shiitake mushroom. If mayonnaise is your thing, even that is made in-house, using fresh egg yolks from Barnhill Orchards.

“It was Jack's (co-owner) idea. But we always knew we'd use the shiitake mushroom as our veggie burger rather than a veggie patty or a portobello because Sweden Creek always has their shiitakes available. And they're really big and delicious,” says co-owner Corri Sundell.

Using the shiitake as the featured ingredient on the burger is a brilliant, albeit uncommon move, but one that works quite well. It soaks up the marinade and bursts with flavor with each bite, while delivering a slightly different texture than the portobello. Granted, The Root’s traditional burger is one of the most popular in town, but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, the shiitake mushroom burger will not disappoint.


Innovation Hub's Saturday Raspberry Pi BakeOff is Not What You Think


Calling all innovative, technological, ready-to-learn gurus! It’s the moment our nerdy selves have all been waiting for — The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub’s third annual Raspberry Pi BakeOff is right around the corner. Now clear your schedule for Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. because you have big plans.

If you have no clue what we’re talking about or think Raspberry Pi has something to do with yummy dessert or the number 3.14, please let us explain.

Raspberry Pi is a $35 credit card-size computer that is designed for teaching students to program and for hobbyists who just simply love technology. All Raspberry Pi needs in order to operate is a SIM card and a USB cord that is plugged into your computer or television. 

Now, we know you’re wondering what in the world you can actually do with a computer that is the size of a credit card. The beauty of the Raspberry Pi though is that it’s used for anything from programming robots and electricity all the way to rocking out to your favorite tunes.

The event is completely free and workshops will be available for those who want to learn more about Raspberry Pi. If you want in on some good competition though, bring your Raspberry Pi creations to the event for a chance to win prizes. 

If you have any questions, visit the Innovation Hub’s website for more information.

Let the programming begin!


The Little Rock Soirée Design Guide: JBP Architects

JACKSON BROWN PALCULICT ARCHITECTS | 12921 Cantrell Road | 501.664.8700

JBP Architects is a collaborate studio of designers with a wide range of skill sets. Every project is led by a Project Architect with assistance from the rest of the team. Most importantly, projects are seen through from beginning to end by the same Project Architect, ensuring greater continuity and passion to see the project completed on time and in budget.



Soiree: Tell us about the Little Rock Fire Station #23 project:

JBP: The Little Rock Fire Station #23 was designed to be a high efficient and environmentally friendly building and is the first LEED certified station in Arkansas. The construction project not only focused on the building but also several hundred feet of a creek bed that runs through the site. The design restored the natural habitat and employed low impact strategies across the rest of the site.

The Station’s design takes special care to fit into the design aesthetic of the neighborhood, both in scale and materiality. The landscaping was designed to screen day to day activities from the residential neighborhood.


Soiree: Dr. Kitchens’ office. This had to be a fun project to work on. Tell us a little about it.

JBP: The Kitchens Pediatric Dental Clinic is a family business with a specialized staff focused on addressing the dental needs of children. The challenge was to create a facility comfortable to younger, apprehensive children, some experiencing their first visit to the dentist, while not being too childish for the teen patients.

Upon entering, the children find a whimsical and welcoming waiting space with trees, sculpted caves and integrated video games. Once invited to the back, the patient experiences open, naturally lit treatment spaces with views to an exterior garden with waterfalls and landscaping designed to set their minds at ease.

Soiree: Tell us about the type of work your architecture firm specializes in.

JBP: Jackson Brown Palculict Architects are located in Central Arkansas, but we work around the state and beyond. We specialize in creating successful projects that impact local communities. After decades spent helping school districts and colleges make smart and sustainable building decisions for their campuses, we consider ourselves among the leaders in educational facility design for the State of Arkansas.

We also specializes in emergency response and health care facilities. Having recently completed the first LEED fire station in Arkansas and a 100,000 sq ft allied health and nursing school, JBP is constantly breaking new ground.

Soiree: Do you have any awards that you would like our readers to know about?

JBP: Absolutely!

• Pulaski Heights Methodist Church Christian Life Center: Arkansas Times Interior First Place

• Golden Eagle Distributor: Arkansas Times Interior Honorable Mention

• Bentonville Fire Station No. 1: Fire Chief Magazine 2008 Station Style Design Award, Gold-Career

• Bethel Middle School: 2008 Education Design Showcase: Honorable Mention

• Hurricane Creek Elementary: Learning By Design ’10 Outstanding Project & Top Ten Finalist for the 2009 UC Berkeley Livable Building Award

• Wooster Elementary: Learning By Design ’10 Outstanding Project & Top Ten Finalist for the 2010 UC Berkeley Livable Building Award

• Greenbrier High School Auditorium: School Planning & Management Education Design ‘12 Showcase Honorable Mention

• Ouachita FEMA Shelter: Arkansas Concrete Institute, Arkansas Chapter, Best Under $6 million

Soiree: What else do you want our readers to know about JBP?

JBP: Being chosen among the top ten finalists in the U.S. by the U.C. Berkeley Center for the Built Environment, Livable Buildings Awards, two years in a row, attests to the JBP model of exceptional service we offer our clients. The work created by JBP Architects has been published more than 20 times nationally, highlighted on the cover of a nationally circulated publication, work chosen as the “best in the U.S.” by one profession, and presented at national conferences. We work hard to make sure each client is totally satisfied. The public and our clients have reassured us that we are achieving their goals and our desires.

(Soirée Special Section)

The Eagles are Landing in Little Rock This Summer

Image by Verizon Arena


After news of the Fleetwood Mac rescheduling (April 19, by the way), we were in definite need for a pick-me-up.

Well, we sure got it. The Verizon Arena just announced that The Eagles are coming to North Little Rock on Monday, July 27, as part of their summer History of The Eagles tour. And yes, we're losing it.

The tour kicked off back in 2013 following the release of their documentary of the same name. We’re talking all the classics, all the hits, all your favorite windows-down-radio-up songs. There are even some songs that, until this tour, had never before been performed live.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 20 through Ticketmaster. American Express Card members get access to advanced tickets from 10 a.m. March 16 until 10 p.m. March 19.

And yes, we're losing it.

enews signup
Get our free Daily Recommends e-newsletter for the latest buzz on Arkansas products, events and services. Add your e-mail address below to begin!
About The Author
What’s new in shopping, the arts, music, travel, fun parties and delicious food in Arkansas? Let Lauren James of be your guide. An avid shopper, traveler and lover of everything-arts-related, she will show you the best of what Arkansas has to offer. Make your go-to spot every day to learn the latest in entertainment, dining, attractions, activities and more.
Featured Post
Instead of simply showcasing the editorial team's favorite bridal portraits and couple shots, we added décor, ideas and more into this mix. We hope these inspire you to create something fresh, unique or simply gorgeous for your weddings.

Arkansas Business Publishing Group

RSS FeedRSS Feeds
114 Scott Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
(888)322-6397 / toll free
(501)372-1443 / main line

About This Site your guide for all things Arkansas, including where to Eat, Live, Shop, Play, Visit and Work in the Natural State. Here, find exactly what you're looking for in restaurants and shopping directories; plan weddings and events; and stay abreast of the most fashionable parties and fundraisers. See videos, photos and blogs. Use our Highly Recommended voting system to share your favorite businesses and events. And get our free Daily Recommends e-news for editors' picks of the best in Arkansas dining, gifts, events and more.

Today's Most Read

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/admin/public_html/inark/public/snippets/footer.php on line 38