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story.lead_photo.caption Bill Bowers goes "All Over the Map," Sept. 19-20 at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre Annex on Little Rock's Main Street.

The sixth annual Acansa Arts Festival of the South gets underway with an opening reception Friday night, kicking off 15 days -- most of it on three weekends -- of fine and performing arts ranging from Texas swing to stand-up comedy and dance.

"We've changed the format from five or six consecutive days through a weekend into three straight weekends with a lot of stuff built in around that," says Executive Director Dillon Hupp.

"Our crowds are better on the weekends, so changing it to this format has allowed us to schedule a lot more than we ever have previously. And it has allowed us to compete with ourselves less -- more nights where everyone can see one thing, as opposed to, 'There's three things, and you have to choose.' You can see everything this year if you want to."

Acansa has also gone back to creating partnerships with local arts organizations, including season openers for the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock to bring in the Eroica Trio and the Arkansas Symphony, which is featuring string trio Time for Three and internationally known conductor JoAnn Falletta.

The deals allow for cost-sharing on artist fees and cross-promotion to increase audiences, resulting in "a cooler performance than one organization might be able to do [itself]." A co-production arrangement with Argenta Community Theatre on Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, meanwhile, allows Acansa to present a theatrical show without the burden of either producing one itself or bringing in a touring show.

"This is a way to grow our organization, a next step to the kind of things we want to do in the future," Hupp says. "These partnerships are a big part of what we're striving to do going forward."

The lineup follows; for tickets and more information, call (501) 663-2287 or visit

Opening reception, 6 p.m. Friday, Central Arkansas Library System Roberts Library (formerly the Arkansas Studies Institute building), 401 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock. It includes an exhibit featuring artists participating in the Little Rock Arts & Culture Commission's Open Studios; Ballet Arkansas' professional company performs "Art with a Twist," creating with their bodies four pieces of outdoor visual art.

Hot Club of Cowtown, 8 p.m. Friday, Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock. The Austin, Texas-based group explores the meeting place of early jazz and Texas swing. Tickets, if any remain, are $25.

Stewart Fullerton's "Homecoming Queen: A Night of Intimate Storytelling and Standup," 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Arkansas Repertory Theatre Annex, 518 Main St., Little Rock. Fullerton, a native Arkansan, is a comedian and actress who moonlights as a waitress in New York City. Tickets: $20.

• More than 30 artist studios and cultural institutions across the city (13 artists will showcase their work at the Alternative Space at Cranford Co., 512 Main St.) open to the public during the third annual Open Studios, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Hosted by Little Rock Arts & Culture Commission; download a map at

Latin pop singer Gina Chavez, 8 p.m. Saturday, The Rail Yard, 1212 E. Sixth St., Little Rock. $30

Bill Bowers: "All Over the Map," 7 p.m. Sept. 19-20, Rep Annex. $30. Bowers' show covers "50 states, 30 years on the road, 25 countries, 2 hookers, 1 bunny and a mime."

Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17-22, Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St., North Little Rock. $15 to $30. In conjunction with the production: Community Conversation with Virginia O. Craighill, faculty member at Sewanee, The University of the South, noon--1 p.m. Sept. 18, Clinton School for Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. $20.

Eroica Trio -- Sara Parkins, violin; Erika Nickrenz, piano; and Sara Sant'Ambrogio, cello -- 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Ron Robinson Theater. In conjunction with the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock. $25, free for children, students of all ages and Easterseals clients and caregivers.

Guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Joint Theater and Coffeehouse, 301 Main St, North Little Rock, in partnership with Argenta Acoustic Music Series. Sold out.

Tenors Unlimited, 8 p.m. Sept. 20, Ron Robinson Theater. Dubbed "The Rat Pack of Opera," Scott Ciscon (tenor), Paul Martin (bass-baritone) and Jem Sharples (tenor) provide their own take on popular/classical music. $40.

Children's Art Day, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 21, Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library, 4800 W. 10th St., Little Rock. In partnership with the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Health & Wellness and Pulaski County Youth Services. Arts and crafts activities, coloring led by Jane Hankins, story time led by Craig O'Neill. Free.

Bodytraffic, a Los Angeles contemporary dance company, performs Sept. 21 at University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock.
Bodytraffic, a Los Angeles contemporary dance company, performs Sept. 21 at University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock.

BodyTraffic, Los Angeles contemporary dance company, 8 p.m. Sept. 21, Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock. $40

Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies, one-woman show written by and starring Jessica Sherr, an up-close-and-personal "conversation" with the two-time Oscar-winning and 10-time Oscar-nominated actress, 7 p.m. Sept. 26, Argenta Community Theater. $30

Tatiana R. Mann and Friends -- pianist Mann and violinist Ivan Stefanovic -- 7 p.m. Sept. 26, New Deal Salon, 2003 Louisiana St., Little Rock. $30.

Jessica B. Harris, author and food historian, 7 p.m. Sept. 26, Joint Theater and Coffeehouse. $35

Dallas String Quartet -- "Where Bach Meets Bon Jovi," 8 p.m. Sept. 27, CHARTS, UA-Pulaski Tech. $40

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, with Time for Three and conductor JoAnn Falletta, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28, Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3, Maurice Ravel's La Valse. A second concert, 3 p.m. Sept. 29, is not part of the festival. $16-$70.

Style on 09/10/2019

Print Headline: Celebrate the South with Acansa over 3 weekends


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