Ballet Arkansas Performs "Peter and the Wolf"

The Saturday matinee performance of "Peter and the Wolf" by Ballet Arkansas was the first in the company's new, interactive youth series. With a narrator helping the audience through the story and stage crew members holding up hilarious prompts for crowd participation, the show was perfect for the young audience—which was all giggles.

You'll want to arrive early for the hands-on crafting opportunity! Before the show, kids gathered around crafting tables to create their own wolf masks. Supplies were arranged and the kids got right to work building their own creative versions of the wolf, and getting excited for the show.

The set was sparse, but the dancers were the main attraction with beautiful, creative and colorful costumes. The duck waddled, the cat slinked gracefully and the dominating wolf prowled ferociously.

The performance was a little longer than a half-hour (just perfect for little ones) and audience participation sound effects kept everyone tweeting, howling, clapping and laughing. After the show, kids were invited up to meet the dancers, explore the set and get photographs. 

Don't miss Ballet Arkansas's next production in the Children's Series, "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at Charts Theater Pulaski Tech. This interactive production will introduce children of all ages to the joys of music education, and the beauty of classical dance. balletarkansas.org.

 

 

LRSD Magnet School Fair at Park Plaza Mall
Oct.28

From pre-K through 12th grade, LRSD offers a variety of educational options to meet the individual needs of students.  LRSD elementary programs offer parents the choice of magnet programs or specialized academies, in addition to neighborhood schools.   Magnet schools provide dynamic, engaging, interest-based programs for talented students from across the district.  The LRSD magnet program provides thematic, rigorous, school-wide academic offerings with innovative, hands-on curriculum, and authentic community support, creating a unique educational environment to ensure student success.    Additionally, magnet programming is offered across a continuum of feeder schools to enable students to participate in magnet curriculum from the time they enter elementary school through high school graduation. 

LRSD’s secondary schools offer pre-AP, AP, college prep, and classes that include concurrent credit opportunities with local colleges/universities.  Thanks to enhanced partnerships with the business community, middle school students and EXCEL students, LRSD’s newest program, are allowed to align their interests will real-world career pathways.

Families will have an opportunity to hear firsthand about these options from students, staff, and administrators at the Magnet Fair, which will take place on all three levels of Park Plaza Mall.  Students’ creative talents will also be showcased as part of the continuous entertainment on the second level of the mall.

Participating schools:

Elementary Campuses  -      Booker · Carver · Gibbs · Forest Park STEM Academy · Williams

Middle School Campuses -  Dunbar · Forest Heights STEM Academy ·  Mann

High School Campuses -      Central · Parkview

 

See Works by Arkansas Children's Hospital Patients at Thea Foundation

Arkansas Children's Hospital Kids art

Through the month of October, Thea Foundation will exhibit works by patients at Arkansas Children’s
Hospital in our newly renovated gallery space located at 401 Main Street in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
A reception will held from 5-8 p.m. Friday, October 19, during Argenta Art Walk. During the reception,
Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s artists-in-residence will be present to share about the works and their
program at the hospital.
Arkansas Children's has two artists-in-residence. Hamid Ebrahimifar and Elizabeth Weber are funded by
an In-School-Residency (ISR) Grant from the Arkansas Arts Council and Child Life and Education
donors. The ISR artists facilitate art projects that support the core curriculum, both in the classroom
setting and at the bedside. Elizabeth and Hamid educate patients and families about the process of art,
while at the same time teaching them that, despite an injury, illness, or disability, they can be successful
at art. theafoundation.org or call (501) 379-9512.

 

Review of "Kinky Boots"

By Anthony Freyaldenhoven

Kinky Boots at Robinson Center Review

"Kinky Boots," the 2013 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein, has a lot of worldly advice and life lessons to offer. This could be a little off-putting if most of these lessons weren’t coming from a 6’2” drag queen named Lola, who lives in a world “where glamour is extreme” (“Land of Lola”). The play, based on the 2005 movie of the same name, tells the story of a young man, Charlie Price, who inherits a failing shoe factory in Northampton, England, upon the death of his father. While searching for a way to save his company in London, he stumbles upon Lola, who is tired of stumbling in boots made for women that don’t support the weight of, well, so much glamour.

 For fans of Cyndi Lauper, you will be delighted with every song here. You recognize the essence of her music resonating throughout almost like an anthology of her career. And fans of musical theatre will be doubly satisfied. The music, staging, performances and costumes do not disappoint. Clever use of conveyor belt choreography and an infectious company romp of a performance (“Everybody Say Yeah”) makes one of the most joyous first act closes I have seen. The shows closing number ("Raise You Up/Just Be") is just as satisfying, and, of course, features some exquisite costuming that I won’t spoil here that you will be dreaming of for days. There are some serious tear-jerkers in there, too. Be warned.

Luckily, Fierstein’s book does not disappoint either, and his quick wit shines here with great comedic moments throughout. And through all of the music, frivolity and tears, you will walk away with a real understanding of the one lesson Lola wants you to learn the most: "Accept someone for who they are." Yet again, Celebrity Attractions has provided another great show for us here at Robinson Center. They never disappoint, and I for one am grateful we have the opportunity to see great Broadway productions like this one here in this great, revitalized venue.

 

Savvy's Amazing Toddlers

Every year, Savvy highlights the accomplishments of talented local teens in our Amazing Teens feature. Now, we are opening it up to the little ones, too! Nominate your toddler (under the age of 5) to be featured in "Amazing Toddlers" in the July issue of Savvy. All we need is a little info about what makes your rugrat so amazing, a current picture and a little info.

Submissions can be serious or silly. Does your child sleep through the night? Is your trophy case bursting at the seams? Is he/she super kind and talented? Tell us what makes your kids exceptional! Deadline to submit to Amazing Toddlers is June 10. Must be available to attend a photo shoot in Little Rock on June 15. To enter email savvy@arktimes.com and include: 

  • Parent(s) name
  • Child's name
  • Child's age
  • City
  • 200-300 words on what makes your kid amazing
  • Current picture

*Incomplete submissions will not be considered

Inside XTreme Bugs

 

Bugs are taking over the Clinton Presidential Center at the exhibit "Xtreme Bugs," so we headed to the Clinton Center this weekend to see what all the buzz was about.

My stepkids both run screaming from a room at the sight of a bug no matter how small and harmless, so tensions were a little high on the beautiful walk up to the museum. Questions like "Are the giant bugs real? Are they going to grab us? Will they be able to step on us?" were mostly answered before we caught sight of the giant critters moving around the front fountains, and everyone was all smiles. 

The exhibit features 20 larger-than-life animatronic insects to help visitors get an up-close perspective on a few favorite creepy-crawlers. Kids can learn some cool facts about the extreme nature of bugs by exploring why bugs look and behave as they do.  Informational signs throughout offer insight to fun and interesting facts about bugs (did you know cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes?!). The detailed, moving bugs were great, but one of our kids' favorite elements of the exhibit was an interactive touch-screen board, that quizzed them on the bugs, and let them listen in on some of the noises they make in the wild.

The exhibit will be up through July 23. We recommend you check it out if you're not too squeamish! clintonfoundation.org.

 
 

Monster Jam

By Amy Gordy

 

If you're looking for something fun and different to do tonight, check out Monster Jam at Verizon arena. Enormous trucks go head-to-head competing for arena-fame and glory. My stepson, who I had no idea was a fan until I told him about the tickets, informed me that Gravedigger is the best—"he always wins." Gravedigger was actually pretty impressive. The larger than life truck ramped up a miniature mud mountain, balanced on two wheels and then roared backward. The crowd (including us) obviously went wild. The drivers hopped out to do ATV races, a donut competition and more until the grand finale where everyone got what they came for—big cars crushing little cars.

 
Monster Jam
 

Highlights included:

  • Funnel cake
  • Two female drivers!
  • The truck painted up like a zombie—brains and everything!
  • The audience doing "zombie arms"
  • Getting some quality time with my stepson, and him kind of thinking I'm cool, even if only for 2 hours.
Those are brains on top!

Those are brains on top!

The last show is tonight, and tickets start at $17. Check it out and don't forget earplugs or noise canceling headphones for kids and adults. 

 
 

Becoming Gifted

By Dr. Christine Deitz

 
Dr. Christine Deitz

Today’s public schools do more than a respectable job of identifying children of advanced ability for gifted and talented programs and services. Gifted services are typically decided on a case-by-case basis, and on a child’s need for creative and critical learning experiences beyond the traditional classroom. In short, gifted children require special services and supported opportunities to fully develop their potential.

Beyond a Number

Traditional thought suggests giftedness begins with an IQ of 130. In the past, high IQ scores were an indication that a child required acceleration or enrichment options. Giftedness today is assessed differently—not by the speed at which blocks are rearranged into specific patterns, but by documenting the way children create and solve problems, and by the rate in which they master content. For adults, however, there is no committee of GT professionals to decide they have an advanced ability for baking, creating spreadsheets, or selling used cars.

We know talents and gifts develop over time. Is it possible to for adults to become gifted?

As adults mature and experience life, skills sharpen and attitudes deepen to the extent that individuals gain expertise in creative problem solving. As an adult, you may feel smarter, quicker and wiser than you did as an adolescent or young adult. Even decades after you have completed your formal education, your mental capabilities continue to grow. Perhaps you feel a heightened sense of awareness. Perhaps you are more funny or clever than you ever were as a teenager! What parent cannot re-engineer a jacket zipper or help a child produce a science fair project over night? Is it possible you are becoming gifted?

The answer is, “Yes!” Having a propensity to be truly good at something, a fascination in a particular area of interest, or a passionate focus on a topic is more than likely an indication of some advanced ability. As adults, we definitely benefit from having the time and opportunity to develop expertise in an area that may or may not be work related. As our mature selves, we also have more resources available that allow us to follow through with an area of interest. So, yes, you may be becoming gifted!

Growing Giftedness

How can adults develop their area of potential? Find a mentor and engage in projects with other adults who have sharper skills than you. Whether it is on the tennis court, at work or at the card table learn from someone who challenges you and helps you sharpen your edge. It is important to know that you do not have to be accomplished in everything in order to be gifted. People often excel in one particular area like math, writing, sports, communication or technology.

You may not have been identified as an advanced student in school, but as an adult, you can set your own agenda to develop your specific talents and abilities. I do not recommend online surveys or quizzes that indicate if you are gifted, smart or otherwise advanced. These surveys are designed for entertainment purposes and do not offer meaningful insight regarding your capabilities. Rather, trust yourself. Appreciate how you’ve grown and developed over the years. What are your passion areas? Are you a budding or accomplished artist, orator or people person? Recognizing your area(s) of strength(s) is a good indication of where your gifts and talents lie.

Daily Think Tasks

Because your brain behaves like a muscle, it requires lots of water and frequent exercise. Increasing an awareness of your daily creative and critical thinking time will grow those dendrites! I recommend the following:

  • Solve puzzles (crossword, Sudoku, logic, etc.)
  • Practice your passion
  • Discover how something works
  • Learn something new (many universities offer courses online!)
  • Ask “what” and “how” questions; figure out the “why”
  • Create something
  • Fix something
  • Improve something
  • Read for pleasure and for information
  • When faced with a problem, create more than one solution
  • And… Be forever curious

I hope you will continue to think about your potential and your giftedness. Advanced and talented individuals play an incredibly critical role in today’s society. Please continue your exploration of gifted issues by visiting these awesome resources:

Authors’ Note:
Christine Deitz, Ed.D. is the Associate Director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Prior to this position, she was the specialist for gifted secondary programs for the Little Rock School District and a consultant for College Board in social sciences. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, author, speaker, consultant and gifted child advocate. She has received numerous recognitions from the National Association for Gifted Children and is a regular presenter at state and national conferences on curriculum, teacher effectiveness, and needs of gifted children. Email Christine at mcdeitz@ualr.edu.