Baskin, Pitts honored by Arts Council

Two North Little Rock residents, Jeff Baskin and Christen Burke Pitts, will receive Governor’s Arts Awards from the Arkansas Arts Council.

The actual ceremony will be this fall.

Baskin, who is the director at North Little Rock’s William F. Laman Library, will receive the Arts Community Development Award. Baskin has taken a leadership role in the growing arts community in downtown North Little Rock. Personally and through his library, Baskin also has been heavily involved in bringing and promoting the arts in North Little Rock and elsewhere in central Arkansas.

Burke Pitts is a dance teacher at North Little Rock High School and will receive the Arts in Education Award.

She learned to dance at an early age from the late Sally Riggs Insalaco and has continued in dance in a teaching role. She serves on the board of the Argenta Community Theater, which she helped found, along with Vince Insalaco, Judy Tenenbaum and others. Burke Pitts is also very involved in the Arkansas Dance Network.

The recipients were nominated by the public and then selected by an independent panel of arts professionals from around the state. Each recipient will receive an original work of art created by glass artists Charles and Michael Riley of Hot Springs, owners of Riley Art Glass Studio in Hot Springs.



ARTS IN EDUCATION AWARD: Christen Burke Pitts, North Little Rock and Clayton Scott, Fayetteville


FOLKLIFE AWARD: Marty Phillips, Crossett


PATRON AWARD: Drs. Mack and Vern Ann Shotts, Paragould


Heat relief center opens

The North Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department is again running a heat relief center for this insanely hot summer.

On days when the heat index reaches 105 degrees, people can go to the North Little Rock Heat Relief Center, located at the North Little Rock Community Center, 2700 Willow St. The center will operate from noon to 5 p.m. You can call the Heat Relief Hotline at 340-5454 to determine if the heat relief center will be open for the day. The community center can be reached at 791-8541.

For more information, call 791-8543.

Business after Hours on Thursday

The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce will have its Business After Hours at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel.

The event is scheduled to last two hours and will have a tropical theme.

Cost to attend is $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

For more information, or to buy a ticket, call 372-5959.

Health Fair will be Saturday

The Morning Star Baptist Church in North Little Rock will host a community health fair and picnic at 10 a.m. Saturday at 105 N. Smother Street.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 501-246-0968.

Church shows free movies

Starting Thursday, Christ Church at 100 Gateway Drive in Cabot is launching More than a Movie Thursdays from 2-3:30 p.m. and again at the same times on July 19.

The church will show-family friendly films and provide healthy snacks for the children who attend.

For more information, call the Church at (501) 843-2302 or Colleen at (501) 529-0604.

Four-hour defensive driving class set

A defensive driving class is scheduled from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. July 26 at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 163 Mount Carmel Road in Cabot.

All who are 55 and older who take the class will receive a reduction on their automobile insurance premiums. Young drivers also are urged to attend this class.

To register for the class, call Don McKenzie at (501) 940-3404 or (870) 238-8095.

Realtor organizes supply drive

Crye-Leike Realtors in July and August is conducting a School Supply Drive benefiting CASA Foster Children in Pulaski County. Donors can bring school supplies by the Crye-Leike office at 123 Audubon in Maumelle. For more information, call 851-2000.

ACT to premier its "Cabaret"

Argenta Community Theater has announced "Cabaret" — its "first community theatre production" — will run July 25-28.

Bob Hupp of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre (The Rep) is directing. Vincent Insalaco from ACT is producing. Christen Burke Pitts of North Little Rock High School and the Arkansas Dance Network and Marisa Kirby of The Rep are choreographing. Kurt Kennedy of the United Methodist Church and River City Men’s Chorus is music director; Sara Cooke of North Pulaski High School is technical director. Ross Penn of UALR is stage manager.

Tickets available at or by calling (501) 353-1443.

Sales tax holiday Aug. 4-5

Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 4 and ending at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 5.

State and local sales tax will not be collected during this 48-hour period on the sale of clothing and footwear, if the sales price is less $10 per item; clothing accessories and equipment, if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies and school instructional materials.

Veterans Affairs hosts women’s summit

The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs invites all women who have served in the military to attend a free summit from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Pulaski Technical College Campus Center in North Little Rock.

The event will offer speakers and workshops that provide information on state and federal benefits entitled to women veterans following their honorable military service, women’s health and wellness updates, legal issues, finding employment as well as self defense. In addition, there will be free health screenings, informational booths and giveaways available to attendees.

The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming with Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System, Veterans Affairs Regional Office, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and Pulaski Technical College to make the summit possible.

A free lunch will be provided by Golden Corral for pre-registrants.

Women veterans interested in attending are encouraged to register early as space is limited. Go to or call (501) 370-3820 for more information.

Maumelle Library hosts reading club

The Maumelle Library, a branch of the Central Arkansas Library System, is having a summer-long reading club that is free.

Activities will be held Monday through Thursday at the library. The tentative schedule is:

• Ages 9-12: Mondays at 10:30 a.m.

• Ages 6-8: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m.

• Ages 3-5: Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m.

• Ages 0-36 months: Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

The library is at 10 Lake Pointe Drive. For more information, call 851-2551.

Laman Library Announces Fay Jones exhibition

North Little Rock’s William F. Laman Library announces its next exhibition, "Outside the Pale: The Architecture of Fay Jones." On loan from the Old State House Museum in Little Rock and with additional artifacts and objects from Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Libraries in Fayetteville, "Outside the Pale" will be on display in the exhibit hall July 27-Aug. 25.

"Fay Jones architecture begins in order and ends in mystery," Robert Adams Ivy Jr. stated in his essay for the exhibit. "His role can perhaps best be understood as a mediator, a human consciousness that has arisen from the Arkansas soil and scoured the cosmos, then spoken through the voices of stone and wood, glass and steel. Art, philosophy, craft, and human aspiration coalesce in his masterworks, transformed from acts of will into harmonies: Jones lets space sing."

The exhibit is a retrospective of the life and work of Jones — a disciple of another acclaimed American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

"We chose to bring this exhibit to North Little Rock to help showcase our plaza gazebo that was designed by Jones in the early 70s," said Jeff Baskin, Laman Library executive director, said. "Most know of the significant contributions Jones made to architecture, but few know that we have a fine example of his work right here in our own community."