Just another reminder that the first Arkansas Times Festival of Ideas is this weekend.
It will feature the people we wrote about Sept. 5 in our issue on influential Arkansans.
First up: A benefit gala FRIDAY NIGHT, SEPT. 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Old State House to honor the 50 people we named influential Arkansas in our Sept. 5 issue. It costs $25. BUT, in addition to support for the museum in the old capitol, you get cocktails, substantial food fare and a chance to meet our honorees and even a few of us. More details here.
The festival itself is FREE and happens Saturday afternoon at the Old Statehouse, Historic Arkansas Museum, the Clinton School and the Downtown Library.
A one-hour session is scheduled for about 20 people, but the sessions won’t run quite that long, to allow people to get from place to place to hear multiple speakers. Maybe you can ride the trolley. Look for me eating lunch downtown somewhere beforehand and say hello. Capital Bar maybe?
We’ve been having registration for those who want to be sure to have a seat, but I think the venues will prove roomy enough for plenty of drop-ins. The full program is right here.
I’m happy to report advance interest in all our speakers, who range from deep thinkers to master craftespeople.
NEW INFO: Jamie Hestekin, a UA chemistry professor who’s working on alternative fuels, is going to motor down to Little Rock in his algae-powered car. It’s a noisy thing, he says. I’m curious how the smell compares to those cars powered by leftover fry oil. He’ll talk at 3 p.m. at the downtown library.
Speakers include master knifemaker Jerry Fisk; a quilting expert, Irma Gail Hatcher; a cooking demonstration by chef/restaurateur Scott McGehee; architect Reese Rowland; filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud, UA President Donald Bobbitt; civil rights lawyer John Walker (have questions for him? I’ll be moderating that session); Oxford American publisher Warwick Sabin; Chris Bouldin, a smart alecky T-shirt entrepreneur; fashion designer Korto Momolu; organic farmers Sue and Rusty Nuffer; concert impresario Michael Marion (how did he land Jimmy Buffett?); library boss Bobby Roberts, and more.
Remember. You can register to be on the safe side, but reservations are not required and you can roam freely among the events. My talk with John Walker at 1 p.m. at the Old State House might be interesting. Mr. Walker, the civil rights lion, is invariably a courtly provocateur. But I hope to ask him Saturday about the latest racial controversy in the Little Rock School District, complaints about Latino treatment by black students and school employees, reported in our cover story this week.