News & Events
Welcome to the Butler Center’s News & Events page. From here, you can view upcoming events, review our news archive, and find back copies of our newsletter, the Butler Banner.
Finding Family Facts
The Butler Center offers a beginner's genealogy class the second Monday of every month, taught by Rhonda Stewart, the Butler Center's local history and genealogy expert. Participants will learn how to use online databases and city directories, as well as how to archive family documents. Jump-start your genealogy research with this fun and creative way to learn about the past. For more information, contact the Butler Center at 501-320-5700.
Room 204, 401 President Clinton Avenue
3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
The Photography of Barney Sellers
Barney Sellers , a native of Walnut Ridge, AR, won awards for news photography while working at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, TN and was well known for his images of Arkansas barns and rural landscapes.
Butler Center Loft Gallery
Native Arkansas will take visitors on a tour of the state at a time when Euro-Americans began to explore the territory that eventually became Arkansas. Visitors will experience early Arkansas through the eyes of some of the first Euro-Americans to write about the state and will encounter some of the native flora, fauna, and geology of the state's five geological regions.
"Reflections in Pastel"
Arkansas Pastel Society's National Juried Exhibition
Pastel paintings from artists around the country will be on view during the Arkansas Pastel Society's 5th National Exhibition, "Reflections in Pastel". The Arkansas Pastel Society is a regional art organization founded in February of 2004 to promote the use of pastels as an art medium.
Butler Center West Gallery
Legacies & Lunch
Ruth D. Shepherd: The Stories Behind The Company We Keep
Hear the stories behind the stories when Ruth D. Shepherd talks about her book, The Company We Keep: 50 Years of Arkansans Creating Just Communities. Shepherd, executive director of Just Communities of Arkansas (JCA), has written and compiled the biographies of 133 Arkansan humanitarians. These stories are heart-warming, humorous, and most of all, inspiring. At Legacies & Lunch, Shepherd will discuss her process in creating the book and funny things that happened along the way.
Main Library, Darragh Center
noon - 1:00 p.m.
Arkansas Women to Watch 2013
Arkansas Women to Watch 2013 is an exhibition of inventive textile-based art featuring works by Louise M. Halsey, Little Rock; Barbara Cade, Hot Springs; Jennifer Libby Fay, formerly of Rogers; Jane Hartfield, Fort Smith; and Deborah Kuster, Conway. The exhibition includes woven tapestries, felted and mixed media works, "textile paintings," and hand-dyed and painted quilts.
Butler Center Underground Gallery
New Works by Michael Warrick and David O'Brien
Unusual Portraits: New Works by Michael Warrick and David O'Brien features explorations in portraiture using wood, wax, bronze, and other materials by two accomplished Little Rock artists.
Butler Center Loft Gallery
Legacies & Lunch: Kay Goss
Kay C. Goss, an educator and long-time aide to President Clinton in the Governor's Office and at the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, will discuss her biography of Arkansas's longest-serving congressman, Mr. Chairman: The Life and Legacy of Wilbur D. Mills. More info »
posted October 23, 2013
Theater Named for Robinson, Who Donated Arkansas Music and Film History Collection
If Arkansas was included in a piece of music or a film, Ron Robinson wanted it represented in his collection. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) will house and begin to catalog Robinson's vast collection of sheet music, film posters, and other memorabilia connecting those industries with Arkansas's history and culture. More info »
posted October 10, 2013
CALS Tailgate Party Celebrates New Butler Center Book
Fans aren't the only ones who call the Hogs. Voices of the Razorbacks, which has just been released by Butler Center Books, traces the history of the Razorback broadcasters who many fans grew up hearing. Celebrate the launch of this book at a free book signing and tailgate party in the Main Library's garden and Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 5. More info »
posted August 23, 2013
Butler Center Reveals Secrets of Historic Cemetery, Family Research Tips
Uncovering family secrets can be thrilling, no matter whose family holds them. In August, Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) patrons may learn about long-buried local mysteries as well as their own family history. Legacies & Lunch, a free program offered by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies on the first Wednesday of each month, will feature Jan Davenport, historian of the Oakland-Fraternal Cemetery, on Wednesday, August 7, noon - 1 p.m. in the Main Library's Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. More info »
posted July 24, 2013
History of Razorback Voices Offered in New Butler Center Book
Established more than sixty years ago, the Razorback broadcasting network was a pioneering effort in collegiate sports. With announcers such as Bud Campbell and Paul Eells at the microphone, it has become an enduring feature of life in Arkansas. The Razorback network, from its modest beginning to its growth into a major force in sports broadcasting, is the basis of Voices of the Razorbacks, by Hoyt Purvis and Stanley Sharp, which has just been released by Butler Center Books. More info »
posted July 19, 2013
Encyclopedia of Arkansas Mobile Site Wins Award of Merit
Fans of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies' Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (EOA) have appreciated the site's mobile version since it launched in January 2013. They aren't the only ones. The EOA mobile site has received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. More info »
posted July 9, 2013
Legacies & Lunch Looks at Arkansas's Controversial Early Banks
Stereotypes hold that rural people in early Arkansas kept their money under their mattresses. Maybe they had the right idea back then. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies will host "The High Costs of Arkansas's Early Banks," a free talk by Dr. Scott Lien. Lien will discuss Arkansas's experiences with the state's first two chartered banks, from the days before the Civil War. More info»
posted June 21, 2013
Legacies & Lunch Hosts Music Industry Legend Bill Carter
Who did the Rolling Stones call when they were arrested in Arkansas? Who represented Reba McEntire when she launched her career? Arkansas native Bill Carter will discuss his exciting, wildly varied career as an attorney, agent, and more at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies' Legacies & Lunch on Wednesday, June 5, at noon in the Main Library's Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. More info»
posted May 24, 2013
Butler Center Books Feature Humanitarians and Gangsters
What does a retired gangster who can't quit the crime scene have to do with a civic leader who strives to support the common good? They are both highlighted in the latest publications by Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Butler Center Books.
For more information, click here »
posted May 10, 2013
Local Author Receives Library's Prize for Work on Civil War in Arkansas
As one of the most fertile regions in the South, the Arkansas River Valley was highly contested territory during the Civil War. While the Siege on Vicksburg raged, equally important battles were fought here in Arkansas. This struggle is the topic of Mark Christ's nonfiction work, Civil War Arkansas 1863, which has been selected to receive the 2013 Booker Worthen Literary Prize, awarded by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS).
For more information, click here »
posted May 8, 2013
Butler Center Galleries to Host Creative Expressions Exhibition
O'Keefe, van Gough, and Pollock may have distinct artistic styles, yet they share a similarity – they all dealt with mental illness throughout their lives and artistic careers. "Creative Expressions," a new art exhibition featuring the work of artists engaged in the Creative Expressions Program at the Arkansas State Hospital, will open at the Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Ave., on Friday, May 10, at 5 p.m., as part of Second Friday Art Night.
For more information, click here »
posted May 6, 2013
Teens Have Opportunity to Look Back on Brinkley Academy's History
Modern day teens can see how a school in rural eastern Arkansas served the needs of African American students who received direction and inspiration for nearly six decades through an exhibit of photographs. "Old School: Remembering the Brinkley Academy" will be on display at the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Level 4 Teen Center, 100 Rock Street from Monday, April 8 through Saturday, June 29.
For more information, click here »
posted April 10, 2013
Professor to Discuss Southern Rock's Influence in 1970s Britain
Arkansas Sounds, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and the UALR History Department's Mabel W. Formica and Santo D. Formica Endowment Speaker Series will present "Don't Believe in Taxes or Policemen: The Strange Career of Jim Dandy and Southern Rock in 1970s Britain", at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, at the Main Library's Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. For more information, click here »
posted October 12, 2012
Nixon Library Sculpture Request for Proposal
The Central Arkansas Library System ("CALS") and the City of Jacksonville wish to commission an artist educated in or currently residing in Arkansas to create a permanent outdoor artwork to be exhibited on the campus of the Nixon Library in downtown Jacksonville.
The theme for the artwork needs to address the importance of transportation – especially flight – to the City of Jacksonville. Both objective and non-objective styles are encouraged. Interested artists should submit for review and consideration a proposal for the finished artwork with a proposed budget, a resume, and a portfolio of images of completed artworks. For the official RFP, click here »
posted October 12, 2012
Concert to Benefit Arkansas Sounds Music Festival
Adam Faucett, a widely known folk rocker, and Ben Nichols, the lead singer of Lucero-both Arkansas natives-will perform at a concert on Saturday, September 15 at 9 p.m. at the Revolution Room (300 President Clinton Ave.) to benefit the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival. For more information, click here »
posted August 22, 2012
Lucero to Headline Arkansas Sounds Music Festival
Headliners for the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival will be Lucero, a country-punk rock band fronted by Little Rock native Ben Nichols; southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas; and rock and roll pioneers Sleepy LaBeef and Sonny Burgess (appearing with his band the Legendary Pacers). For more information, click here »
posted July 24, 2012
Butler Center Books to Publish New Charles Portis Collection
Charles Portis, author of the classic American novel True Grit and other works of comic fiction, will soon release his first new book in more than 20 years. Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany will be published this fall by Butler Center Books, a division of the Central Arkansas Library System. For more information, click here »
posted June 24, 2012
Remembering Governor Sidney Sanders McMath
Community organizations and the McMath family are working together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Governor Sidney Sanders McMath with activities on June 14-15 at Central Arkansas Library System venues. For more information, click here »
posted May 22, 2012
The Butler Center Receives National Park Service Grant
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), has received a grant from the National Park Service to preserve and interpret documents, photographs, and works of art from the Rohwer Relocation Center, which was located in Desha County during World War II. For more information, click here »
posted June 29, 2011
Hello Folly! A Brief History of the Farkleberry Follies
The Butler Center will celebrate the opening of the Leroy Donald Collection with a screening of Hello Folly! A Brief History of the Farkleberry Follies and a panel discussion with Farkleberry Follies skit creators Craig Douglass and Bill Lancaster. The Farkleberry Follies was a program of political satire produced in alternating years by the Society of Professional Journalists. Leroy Donald was the creative genius behind the program. For more information, click here »
posted May 13, 2011
Encyclopedia of Arkansas Celebrates Five Years
The online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (EOA) celebrates its five-year anniversary on May 2. Since its launch five years ago, the EOA has surpassed all initial goals for number of text/media entries. A project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System, the EOA is the only state encyclopedia in the nation developed by a library system. For more information, click here »
posted May 2, 2011
Butler Center Creates Fellowship in memory of Mahlon A. Martin
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System, has created a new fellowship in memory of Mahlon A. Martin, former Little Rock city manager, state finance director, and Rockefeller Foundation executive director. The Mahlon Martin Fellowship will support research and programming on public policy in Arkansas and will be funded through gifts in memory of Mahlon Martin, along with endowments. For more information, click here »
posted February 7, 2011
The Butler Center Receives Rohwer Japanese American Internment Camp Collection
Rosalie Gould of McGehee has donated her remarkable collection of artwork and other materials from the World War II-era Japanese American internment camp at Rohwer to the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System. There were 10 such camps around the country, most in the western U.S. Two were in Arkansas, at Jerome and Rohwer. The collection includes several hundred paintings and other works of art produced by U.S. citizens of Japanese descent who were interned during World War II. For more information, click here »
posted January 19, 2011
2011: The Butler Center Commemorates the Civil War Sesquicentennial
As part of the Butler Center's Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration, the Encyclopedia of Arkansas has published a Civil War-themed calendar featuring twelve months of fascinating pictures and important dates.
To order by mail, download the order form and return according to the printed mailing instructions.
posted October 18, 2010
The Genealogist's Camera
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, in conjunction with the Arkansas Genealogical Society, will host the ninth annual genealogy workshop on Saturday, July 17, 2010. The featured speaker will be Desmond Walls Allen, author of First Steps in Genealogy: A Beginner's Guide to Researching Your Family History (1998). For more information, click here »
posted June 19, 2010
Lecture Series To Focus on Arkansas Korean War Veterans
The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch series will host Brian Robertson as he discusses "FORGOTTEN: The Arkansas Korean War Project," on May 5 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Darragh Center at the Main Library. For more information, click here »
posted April 20, 2010
Tom Dillard to Discuss Latest Book
The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch series will host Tom W. Dillard, head of Special Collections for the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, who will discuss his new book "Statesmen, Scoundrels, and Eccentrics: A Gallery of Amazing Arkansans." Join us for Legacies & Lunch on April 7 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Darragh Center at the Main Library. Read more »
posted March 30, 2010
African American Cemetery Preservation
The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch series will host Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis, co-founder and president of Preserving African American Cemeteries Inc.(PAAC), as she presents "Preserving the Black Family through Oral History, Death Records, Obituaries, and Tombstone Inscriptions." on Wednesday, February 3, 2010, noon to 1 p.m. in the Darragh Center at the Main Library (100 S. Rock St.). Read more »
posted January 25, 2010
War on the Homefront
The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch series will host Encyclopedia of Arkansas staff member Steven Teske as he discusses the ways Arkansans contributed to the national effort in both the Spanish-American War and World War I on Wednesday, January 6, 2010, noon to 1 p.m. in the Darragh Center at the Main Library (100 S. Rock St.). Read more »
posted January 1, 2010
Two of Arkansas's Oldest Structures to be Restored
The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch program will present Project REACH (Restoring Early Arkansas Culture and History), a project of Black River Technical College on November 4, from noon to 1pm at the Main Library in the Darragh Center (100 S. Rock St.). Read more »
posted October 22, 2009
Author Billy D. Higgins Appearing with Baseball Legend Hal Smith
The Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch lecture series presents Billy D. Higgins, author of The Barling Darling: Hal Smith in American Baseball. Higgins, accompanied by baseball legend Hal Smith, will discuss Smith's career on October 7, from noon to 1pm at the Main Library in the Darragh Center (100 S. Rock St.). Read more »
posted October 1, 2009
Materials on the 40th Anniversary of the Women's Emergency Committee Donated to the Butler Center
The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and its Butler Center for Arkansas Studies have received a donation of materials related to three momentous occasions in Arkansas history: the 40th anniversary of the Women's Emergency Committee (WEC), the 40th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School and the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. The collection was given by Skip Rutherford, Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and his son Blake Rutherford, Director of Public Communications at Stone Ward, a Little Rock advertising agency. The donated materials include sets of planning notes and publicity materials from the three events. Read more »
posted October 1, 2009
The Butler Center Discusses Arkansas black baseball teams and their contributions to society and the civil rights movement
Join us at the Butler Center's Legacies & Lunch, Monday, August 3, when Bob Kendrick of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City discusses the history of Arkansas black baseball teams, the national leagues, and their contributions to society and the civil rights movement. Read more »