Mar 10
Young Talents
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Texarkana usually has a few youth whose artistic talents shine in the “Young Arkansas Artists” exhibition organized by the Arkansas Arts Center each year.

This year three Arkansas High School students get the honors as honorable mentions in the exhibition, according to an Arkansas Arts Center press release out today. They are ninth grader Brandon Edwards for the piece “Sarah,” tenth grader Carli Hemperly for art titled “Behind the Mask,” and twelfth grader José Diaz for the work “Wisdom with Age.”

All three were selected as one of two statewide “honorable mention” winners for their grade level by judge Blaine Caldwell (a University of the Ozarks art professor), which is quite an honor.

Works are on display at the “Young Arkansas Artists 50th Annual Exhibition” starting Tuesday. The exhibit, which features art from youngsters from kindergarten through twelfth grade, runs through April 17 at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. Typically a selection of works, including local art pieces, comes to the Regional Arts Center as part of a state tour.

Texarkana should be proud of its young artists. Kudos to Brandon, Carli and José.

- Aaron Brand

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Mar 3
Tunes: local and live
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Friday night’s big headliner at Shooters Sports Bar is none other than Arkansas country musician Justin Moore (he is from itty bitty Poyen), who has a new song out (“If Heaven Wasn’t so Far Away”) and an album due to arrive later this year.

Hopkins Icehouse has Josh McGee of Nacogdoches, Texas, playing his folk and roots-inspired tunes Friday night, then Dean Agus on Saturday night. For Fat Tuesday next week, celebrate letting loose for Mardi Gras with those terrific troubadours Dave Almond and Trey Johnson.

Trey Johnson plays with the Droppers Saturday night at Timothy’s Grill. Friday night at Skyward Jazz Lounge there’s a BYOB, old school house party for the 25 and up set. Just a few door down on Sunday night it’s live blues and R&B at The Big Easy.

Fat Jack’s has L.A. Outlaw Friday night and Synergistic Saturday night. For Fat Tuesday it’s Strangelove playing those ’80s hits.

Marissa Dodge and George Buckner play at the Blues Iguana Friday night starting at 8 p.m. Later this month (March 25, to be exact), that downtown venue hosts Jasper McAdams, Nude Beach and locals Mark Meadows and his band Ida Myrtis.

The Wooden Indian has the glam outfit Butt Roxx on Saturday night. The Inside plays at The Road Map the same night for a Mardi Gras gig.

Dave’s Skatepark has an all-ages show coming up on Friday, March 18, headed up by a band (Arabrot) who come here all the way from Oslo, Norway. On their Facebook page, they list their genre as “hard noiserock.” Interesting. They’ll be joined by Wizard Rifle from Portland, OR, and our very own Giganto.

Check Best Bets on Fridays to see what’s happening in music.

Music: local and alive.

Got some live music to recommend? Let us know here.

- Aaron Brand

Popularity: 1% [?]

Mar 3

A few more odds and ends to get out on the blog:

Museum of the Red River in Idabel, Okla., wants to celebrate something big this Saturday. It’s Acrocanthosaurus, the State Dinosaur of Oklahoma. It’s a party at the 6th Annual ACRO Fest, a free event, and kids (with their adults) are invited to come enjoy the company of various dinosaur experts. More info: 580-286-3616. This annual celebration honors the dinosaur gallery at the museum. Here’s a link to more info on “ACRO”: McCurtain County’s Dinosaur.

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has sanctioned various events this month in the continued commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Check them out at this link: Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Calendar of Events. Among them are a March 25 talk at Historic Washington State Park about archeological discoveries at the restoration village, which served at one time as the Arkansas Confederate capital.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife is judging something fishy. Entries are coming in for the Texas division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest. Students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to submit their drawing of an “officially recognized state fish,” according to the news release sent to us. Entries must be postmarked by the last day of March. More info: TPWD Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Education. Good luck, kids!

- Aaron Brand

Photo courtesy TPWD. Donald Austin Wilder, an eighth-grader at Del Rio Middle School in Del Rio, submitted this entry in the Texas division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest. Wilder is taught by Allyn Germany. Deadline for contest entries is March 31.

Popularity: 3% [?]

Mar 3

March is Archeology Month in the great “Natural State” called Arkansas. The theme of “Archeology of Conflict” connects to the Civil War sesquicentennial, which is also being honored with various activities this month. The archeological action is cosponsored by the Arkansas Archeological Survey and the Arkansas Archeological Society.

Among the interesting activities are a few tied to Southwest Arkansas. On March 8 in Magnolia at Southern Arkansas University’s Reynolds Center (7 p.m.)  is a talk about recent archeological research at Historic Washington State Park. At the University of Arkansas Community College of Hope campus on March 16 (noon), you can learn about the work of an archeologist and upcoming digs in the area. On March 19 at Lamar Bathhouse in Hot Springs (2:30 p.m.) is a slide show and discussion titled “Revelations in the Woods: Undocumented Cemeteries in Hot Springs National Park.”

More info on Archeology Month activities: 479-575-3556. Also check the Arkansas Archeological Society Website.

- Aaron Brand

Popularity: 1% [?]

Mar 2

Here’s the early word on two upcoming benefit events including live music.

First, Harvest Texarkana’s Wine and Jazz 2011 on Saturday, April 2, has local favorites Ms. Mac and the Groovetones sharing their good vibes and great tunes. On the menu it’s fare from the Texarkana College Department of Culinary Arts and Vincent’s Fine Wines. The party’s happening at Special Events on the Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. Harvest Texarkana works to fight hunger in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas.

CASA’s “Songwriters on the Edge of Texas” tournament kickoff concert for its annual golf tournament arrives on Sunday, April 10, with blacktopGypsy headlining the event. Also appearing is Buster Ellisor.

The Edge of Texas concerts have brought some fantastic musicians to Texarkana over the years—Ray Wylie Hubbard, South Austin Jug Band and Cory Morrow, to name three acts. This year’s Texas-based headlining band features the Americana and country tunes of Andie Kay Joyner (she’s on lead vocals) and Heather Stalling (she’s vocals and fiddle), the two women who write the material. From Buster Ellisor it’s classic country tunes. The kickoff show is held at Northridge Country Club, 6 p.m. start.

Looks like the spring parties arrive soon.

- Aaron Brand

Popularity: 1% [?]

Mar 2

Performances of William Shakespeare’s plays can go anywhere, even a 19th century restoration village gymnasium in the early 21st century. Shakespeare’s stories and characters truly speak across generations, as fresh now as they ever were.

And as they say in the Shakespeare monologue, “All the world’s a stage.”

The Texarkana area gets a rare chance to see some Shakespeare performed this week. The touring group of the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse comes to Washington, Ark., for a Friday performance of a delightful Shakespeare comedy: “As You Like It.”

Funny things happen in the famed Forest of Arden in this classic pastoral tale, and the American Shakespeare Center on Tour, seen below in a submitted promo photo, performs it as part of the troupe’s 2010/2011 Restless Ecstasy Tour. The players take the stage at Historic Washington State Park’s 1940 WPA Gym at 7:30 p.m. A pre-show performance takes place at 7 p.m.

Friday’s events include 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. acting workshop activities for visitors. Workshops are $5 and reservations are required.

Performance tickets are $5 for adults, $1 for students with ID and for kids. Get necessary reservations by calling 870-983-2684.

- Aaron Brand

Popularity: 1% [?]

Mar 2
Art! Spring!
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While it’s not quite spring (it is oh so close, though), there’s always time for spring break and that’s as great a time as any for some art.

During the week of March 14 to 18, TRAHC is hosting art activities for kids 6 to 10 at its downtown Arts on Main building right across from the Perot Theatre. “Art Springs: Marching into Art” is a celebration of African drums, dancing and Jamaican music. Kids will make fun stuff like drums, masks, rainsticks and maracas. Get those beats and rhythms rolling.

“Art Springs” goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday of that week and from 10 a.m. to noon that Friday. The cost is $125 and scholarships are available. For more info, get in touch with Mary Armstrong at the Regional Arts Center: 903-792-8681 or

- Aaron Brand

Popularity: 1% [?]

Mar 2

Details are taking shape about the brand-new, mid-May Railfest being organized by the Arkansas-side’s Front Street committee.

The group’s Website and Facebook pages have been updated with names of performers lined up so far for the May 14 festival downtown on Front Street between Walnut and Olive streets at what’s billed as the Front Street Festival Plaza.

Lined up so far is the headliner Satisfaction, a popular Rolling Stones tribute show. Butch Dicus, an Elvis impersonator called “The King of Hearts,” also performs that evening. On tap in the afternoon are magician Roger Sheppard, indie musician and songwriter Cameron Meshell (a Shreveport native) and the folk rock and alt country of Amelia Blake (also from Louisiana).

The Big Jake’s Bar-B-Q Championship Rib Cook-Off starts at 10 a.m. that day with a $500 top prize. People can enjoy a skating demonstration (from Dave’s Skatepark) as well, in addition to face painting, “Pigment on the Pavement” and other kids-oriented action. The Four States Auto Museum holds its Sixth Annual Spring Car Show just a couple blocks away that day.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. Admission is listed as $5 and free for kids 12 and under.

As reported Dec. 30 in the Gazette by staff writer Greg Bischof, the Historic District board of commissioners allowed the Front Street committee use of $12,000 in Arkansas Advertising & Promotions funds to install flagpoles, trees, red-tinted scored sidewalks and other structures for the plaza, which, according to plaza project coordinator Mark Shoptaw’s quote in the story, will have “a railroad, train and history theme.”

“We are looking at holding events in this plaza area that will help bring people back to downtown Texarkana,” Shoptaw said in December.

The committee also hopes to lease property from Union Pacific to expand the plaza space.

Check it out at RailFest’s Website: Look for more coverage soon on the Gazette’s Accent page.

- Aaron Brand

Popularity: 7% [?]

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