From chamber milestones to museum cornerstones, November is packed with a lot of history and several opportunities to celebrate.
UAFS to host Grammy winner
The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith will welcome Grammy and Tony-winning singer Audra McDonald for a one-night performance on Nov. 1.The singer/actress will take the stage at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center in Fort Smith where she will sing selections from her new album, Go Back Home.
McDonald has performed around the world, and is recognized as one of the most talented sopranos in music today. She has won a record-tying five Tony awards and two Grammy awards, and has shared the stage with the some of the world's most elite ensembles including the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic.
In addition to her award-winning singing and stage career, McDonald is also known for her portrayal of Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC's hit-show Private Practice, which ran for four seasons. McDonald currently hosts PBS's Live from Lincoln Center.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the University Box Office or by calling 788-7300.
Fort Smith Chamber celebrates 125th Anniversary
The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce turns 125 this year and to commemorate its quasquicentennial anniversary, the organization is hosting a celebration on Nov. 5 at the Fort Smith Convention Center. The event will feature Gov. Mike Beebe, who will serve as the keynote speaker.
Historical items, including newspaper clippings, photographs and other artifacts, will be on display showcasing the chamber's role in transforming Fort Smith from "A Fort to a Corporate City." Doors will open at 11 a.m., with lunch and Gov. Beebe's presentation to follow at 11:30 a.m.
Individual tickets are $50. Sponsorships and corporate tables are also available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the chamber at 783-3111.
RAM debuts Winslow Homer Exhibit
The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum will host an opening reception on Nov. 7 for its highly anticipated exhibit, "Winslow Homer and the American Pictorial Press in America." The exhibition highlights the emerging celebrity of Winslow Homer (1836-1910) through engraved images produced for the American pictorial press.
Homer is one of the most iconic figures in American art history. He began his career as an illustrator in 1857 and continued that work until 1875, when he dedicated himself solely to painting. During his tenure with such publications as Ballou's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly, Homer created more than 200 illustrations. Approximately 50 prints on display are selected from the original newspaper editions.
In addition to the illustrations, this exhibit also showcases the technology and processes used to create the publications of that time period. Also included in the exhibition are works by Thomas Nast, Alfred Waud, Theodore Davis and Charles Parsons.
"Winslow Homer and the American Pictorial Press in America" will remain on display through Jan. 5.
The reception will be held at the Fort Smith Regional Art Musuem from 5-7 p.m. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. For more information, call 784-2787.
Marshals Museum sets cornerstone
The U.S. Marshals Museum and the U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation will host "The Hall of Honor Cornerstone Dedication Ceremony" on Nov. 9, to celebrate the upcoming construction of the national museum in Fort Smith. The dedication will take place on the future grounds of the museum, located at 121 Riverfront Drive.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. During the program, organizers will honor the more than 250 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout the Marshals Service's 224-year history. Special guests will include former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, and Howard Safir, former NYC Police Commissioner and Past Associate Director of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Following the dedication, the Clayton House will host a "Lunch and Story with Deputy Bass Reeves" beginning at noon. For only $2.50, guests will enjoy hot dogs on the Clayton House lawn while listening to music by Herschel Parker and chatting with the legendary marshal. At 1 p.m., Dr. Janie Weber will give a special reading and slideshow of the book “Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal.”
Numerous other special events will be held throughout the weekend to help commemorate the Cornerstone Dedication. A complete schedule of events is available on the Marshals Museum Facebook page.
Tent seating for the Cornerstone Dedication is limited. To RSVP, contact the Marshals Museum at 709-3766.
Chaffee Crossing honors veterans
Chaffee Crossing will honor service men and women of all military branches with its second annual Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 9. Participants will include local veterans groups, law enforcement, fire departments, schools, and several other public organizations.
The theme for this year's parade is "Women in the Military." The event will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 188th Air National Guard Fighter Wing.
Staging for entries will begin at 11:30 a.m., with the parade to begin at 1:30 p.m. There is no fee to enter. Participants can walk on foot, ride on floats, or drive motorcycles, cars or other automobiles. Prizes will be awarded to the top three floats.
Following the parade, musical entertainment will provided at the Chaffee Barbershop Museum. Information booths will also be set-up for visitors to browse.
Admission to the parade is free and the event is open to the public. Participants may register online through Oct. 31. For more information, visit the parade's Facebook page or contact Joey Chasteen at 629-2942.
Black-tie Bingo benefits Library Endowment
The Fort Smith Public Library will host its annual "Black-tie Bingo" gala on Nov. 9 beginning at 7 p.m. The evening will include fine dining, high-end auction items, and bingo games featuring local celebrity callers.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the Don Bailey Jazz Ensemble and the group Sweet and Lowdown. News Anchor Daren Bobb and Chief Meteorologist Garrett Lewis will serve as the evening's Masters of Ceremonies. The gala will be held at the Fort Smith Public Library's Main Branch located at 3201 Rogers Ave.
Proceeds will benefit the Fort Smith Public Library Endowment which was established to "ensure the future strength and vitality of the Fort Smith Public Library." The trust also funds special projects that are beyond the capacity of the normal operating budget provided by tax dollars.
Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by calling 783-0229.