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.

Every
2nd
Mon.

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.

Apr

11

Aug

23

2014

on view now

Drawn In: New Art from WWII Camps at Rohwer and Jerome

This show features artwork created by people held in the Japanese American internment camps in Arkansas during World War II. The exhibition was inspired by the Butler Center's remarkable collection of art work from the camp at Rohwer, donated by Rosalie Santine Gould of McGehee, and by the extraordinary generosity of people who lived in the camps or had loved ones who did and wanted the Butler Center to have more art created at the camps at Rohwer and Jerome.

Concordia Gallery

June

13

Aug

30

2014

on view now

State Youth Art Show 2014: An Exhibition by the Arkansas Art Educators

This show features dynamic works of art by talented students across Arkansas, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The works featured are the Best of Show winners from seven regions of the state. The Arkansas Art Educators is a group of art teachers from around the state who work with the Arkansas Department of Education to provide high quality in-service training and to promote student art.

West Gallery

Jul

11

Sep

27

2014

on view now

Arkansas Homemakers: Home Demonstration and Extension Clubs

This exhibition celebrates 100 years of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Clubs with photographs from the Arkansas History Commission and paintings by Katherine Strause. The exhibition is inspired by A Splendid Piece of Work, by Elizabeth Griffin Hill; excerpts of this book are presented as well.

Underground Gallery

Aug

6

2014

Legacies & Lunch: Frank Sata

As a young boy, Frank Sata was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who spent time in Arkansas during World War II, imprisoned by their own country merely because of their ancestry. Mr. Sata's father, J.T. Sata, was an accomplished artist who documented his family's time in camps in Arkansas and Arizona in a series of remarkable oil paintings and charcoal drawings. Some of that art is currently displayed in Concordia Hall of Butler Center Galleries, as part of Drawn In: New Art from WWII Camps at Rohwer and Jerome. At Legacies & Lunch, Mr. Sata will discuss his internment experience, his father's art, and the ways his work as an architect reflects his memories of his years in Arkansas. This special program will be held in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater and is co-hosted by the Clinton School of Public Service. More »

CALS Ron Robinson Theater
noon - 1:00 p.m.

Aug

8

Nov

1

2014

Quapaw Quarter: Where Little Rock's History Lives

Drawings, blueprints, and photographs of buildings in Little Rock's historic Quapaw Quarter.

Butler Center Loft Gallery

Aug

29

2014

Ben Nichols, an Arkansas Sounds Concert

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ben Nichols is the front man for the Memphis-based alt-country band Lucero, which has earned critical praise for its gritty, rootsy, and almost punk approach to country rock and for Nichols’ emotive, whiskey-soaked vocals. During breaks from Lucero, Nichols has recorded acoustic-based material, including an EP featuring Nichols on acoustic guitar, Rick Steff (of Cat Power) on accordion and piano, and Todd Been (of Glossary) on pedal steel and electric guitar. This EP, titled The Last Pale Light in the West, comprises songs based on characters and situations from Cormac McCarthy's novel, Blood Meridian. Nichols has been described as "a blistering diesel train of a singer and a songwriter of rare versatility" by The Austinist.

Tickets are $20, general admission, and are available online, and from Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Avenue.

CALS Ron Robinson Theater
7:00 p.m.

Sep

12

Dec

27

2014

An Exhibition by the Arkansas League of Artists (ALA)

An annual juried exhibition of works by ALA members in a variety of media.

Butler Center West Gallery

Sep

12

2015

Mar

15

2015

Echoes of the Ancestors: Native American Objects from the University of Arkansas Museum

An artistic display of objects created by Native Americans in ceramics, wood, grass, cane, and shell materials.

Butler Center Concordia Hall

Oct

10

Jan

24

2015

Johnny Cash: Arkansas Icon

An exhibition of posters and other resources by the UALR Center for Arkansas History & Culture.

Butler Center Underground Gallery

Arkansas Home Demonstration Clubs: A Legacy of Self Sufficient Women

Arkansas Home Demonstration Clubs have been an outlet for strong, self-sufficient women in our state for over one hundred years. This history is detailed in A Splendid Piece of Work by Elizabeth Griffin Hill, who will speak at Legacies & Lunch on Wednesday, July 2, at noon, in the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Main Library's Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. Copies of the book will be available for sale, and Hill will sign books after her talk. More info »

posted June 16, 2014

Genealogy Conference Looks at Land Records

When studying a family tree, it might help to think about where it grows. Using land records in genealogical research will be discussed in depth at the Butler Center's Genealogy Conference 2014, featuring Billie M. Fogarty, M. Ed., on Saturday, July 19, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater. The conference is free and open to the public; registration is required. More info »

posted June 16, 2014

Arkansas Sounds Presents Dave Rosen Big Band

Jazz lovers may jump at a chance to hear a 17-piece big band in July. Arkansas Sounds' concert series will host the Dave Rosen Big Band on Saturday, July 26, at 8:00 p.m., in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater. Tickets are $10, general admission, and will be available beginning Monday, June 23, at www.arkansassounds.org and Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Avenue. More info »

posted June 16, 2014

Legacies & Lunch: Mark Christ

Iris DeMent, born in Paragould, Arkansas, and the last of 14 children, is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter country legend Merle Haggard calls "the best singer I’ve ever heard." She will be in concert, sponsored by Arkansas Sounds, at the Ron Robinson Theater Saturday, May 10, at 7:00 p.m. Buy tickets or more info »

posted March 22, 2014

Iris DeMent, an Arkansas Sounds Concert

Mark Christ, outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program at the Department of Arkansas Heritage and winner of the 2013 Booker Worthen prize, will discuss This Day We Marched Again: A Union Soldier’s Account of War in Arkansas and the Trans-Mississippi, a new release from Butler Center Books which Christ edited. More info »

posted March 22, 2014

Salty Old Editor: A Conversation with Charlotte Schexnayder

At Legacies & Lunch, David Stricklin, manager of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, will interview Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder – a well known and influential voice in the life and politics of the Delta, member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, and pioneer among women in the professions of politics and journalism – about her legacy of public service. More info »

posted March 13, 2014

Explore Women's History in Arkansas

"Well-behaved women seldom make history." March is Women's History Month and an excellent time to explore the Butler Center's resources about Arkansan women. Some of the best collections to look at are those of the Arkansas Hadassah Chapter, a women's Zionist organization; the Arkansas Women's Christian Temperance Union; Brownie Ledbetter, a Little Rock social and political advocate; Laura Cornelius Conner, a courageous woman who worked in the early 20th century to reform the state's penitentiary system; and Willie Oates, "Arkansas's Hat Lady" who was involved with over fifty organizations. Anyone can research these collections, and Butler Center staff are pleased to assist and answer questions at any time.

To learn more, contact 320-5700 or visit the research room on the second floor of the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) building, 401 President Clinton Ave, Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS).

posted February 26, 2014

Legacies & Lunch: Dr. Ann Early

The University of Arkansas Museum Collections may contain prehistoric collections, but they are far from ancient history. Dr. Ann Early, State Archeologist, will discuss a sample of recent and ongoing research projects that use old collections, some nearly a century old, kept safe here in Arkansas. The results include major advances in Arkansas studies and contributions to studies of human history on a national and international scale. More info »

posted February 26, 2014

See New Prints and Art Quilts at Second Friday Art Night

Exhibitions of the Studio Art Quilts Association and the Arkansas Society of Printmakers will open at Second Friday Art Night, March 14, 5-8 p.m. in the Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Ave. Second Friday Art Night is a free, once-a-month opportunity to visit downtown Little Rock's galleries, museums, and businesses after hours. More info »

posted February 26, 2014

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

2011 Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemorative Calendar

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 »

posted October 1, 2009