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Friends of Dreamland Starts its First Fundraising Campaign “Pave The Way!"

Posted on: January 21, 2010

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"January 20, 2010 Little Rock, AR ‚ The Friends of Dreamland Ballroom, the non-profit group dedicated to the restoration of the historic Dreamland Ballroom is excited to announce their first fundraising campaign - Pave the Way.

They will be selling custom engraved bricks that will be placed at the entrance of the ballroom. They have two sizes available; a 4x8 inch brick that holds 65 characters and an 8x8 that holds 120 characters. A $100 donation gets the smaller brick and the larger can be had for a donation of $250.

Kerry McCoy, President of the Friends of Dreamland says, ‚“We think the ‚Pave the Way‚ campaign is a great way to get the local community involved in this great project. We would love to see the names of people that have a connection to the history of this building lining the sidewalk up to the front door.

More about the Friends of Dreamland

The Friends of Dreamland is a newly formed non-profit group dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the historic landmark, Taborian Hall and its famous Dreamland Ballroom located at 800 West Ninth Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. Concurrent goals include the collection, conservation, and celebration of Taborian's unique history relating to Arkansas‚ African American heritage.

Friends of Dreamland incorporated in the State of Arkansas July 31, 2009. We plan to do most of our fundraising in 2010, and begin renovations 2011, our projected Grand Opening 2012.

For information: http://www.dreamlandballroom.com
Contact: friends@dreamlandballroom.com
Contact Person: Kerry McCoy
Phone: 501-255-5700

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Want to Know Where Cab Callaway Played in Little Rock?

Posted on: February 3, 2010

"Come hear more at Barnes and Noble on Sunday, February 14th 2010 February 3, 2010

Little Rock, AR ‚ The Friends of Dreamland Ballroom, the non-profit group dedicated to the restoration of the historic Dreamland Ballroom is telling their story at the Barnes and Noble on Financial Center Parkway on Valentine‚s Day, Sunday, February 14, 2010, from 1-5 pm. There will be period music, reading by local author Berna Love from her soon to be released book about the historic Dreamland Ballroom, and some original story telling by local history buffs. Kerry McCoy, Chairman of the Friends of Dreamland says, ‚“Barnes and Noble is gracious enough to let us come out and tell the story of the Dreamland Ballroom and 10% of all purchases made by folks who mention the Dreamland Ballroom at checkout will go to the Friends of Dreamland Ballroom‚s restoration project. More about the Friends of Dreamland Ballroom- The Friends of Dreamland is a newly formed non-profit group dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the historic landmark, Taborian Hall and its famous Dreamland Ballroom located at 800 West Ninth Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. Concurrent goals include the collection, conservation, and celebration of Taborian's unique history relating to Arkansas‚ African American heritage. Friends of Dreamland incorporated in the State of Arkansas July 31, 2009. We plan to do most of our fundraising in 2010, and begin renovations 2011, our projected Grand Opening 2012.

For information: http://www.dreamlandballroom.com
Contact: friends@dreamlandballroom.com
Contact Person: Kerry McCoy
Phone: 501-255-5700

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Arkansas‚ FlagandBanner.com has a presence at the Vancouver Olympics

Posted on: February 9, 2010

olympicpoles2_1.jpgLittle Rock, AR ‚ February 9, 2010 ‚ The Winter Olympics is bringing money to Arkansas. Arkansas‚ FlagandBanner.com in Little Rock provided 65 flag poles for use around several of the event‚s locations. Kerry McCoy, owner of Arkansas‚ FlagandBanner.com says‚ “My husband, Grady, worked with the Vancouver Olympic committee to buy the flagpoles. Look for them at the alpine course, the freestyle skiing course, and throughout the snowboarding events. The flagpoles Arkansas‚ FlagandBanner.com provided were custom made for the Olympics. The mounting brackets and other hardware were also custom made. Kerry McCoy says, ‚“It‚s always fun to see your products on TV and it‚s nice that we could make their short delivery time and custom specifications. There aren't a lot of companies with our expertise. Arkansas Flag and Banner was established in 1975. Its headquarters are in Little Rock, AR with 25 employees.

For more information about the many products Arkansas‚ FlagandBanner.com provides, log on to FlagandBanner.com, become a fan of FlagandBanner.com on Facebook, or call one of their experts at 1-800-445-0653.

Contact: kerry@flagandbanner.com
Contact Person: Kerry McCoy
Phone: 501-255-5700

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Buying in to the Dream

Posted on: February 18, 2010

logo_weather.jpgKARK4 did a nice piece on the Dreamland Ballroom's book fair last Sunday at Barnes and Noble. Here is the article and click on the link below to see the TV footage! A group of Arkansans, set on restoring an old performance hall to its former glory, got a big boost over the weekend. The Barnes and Noble on Financial Center donated 10% of its proceeds today to ""Friends of Dreamland Ballroom."" The Dreamland Ballroom was a premier venue in Little Rock for soul, R and B, and jazz musicians. This group wants to rehab it and preserve it as a place to hold events and performances. ""I've had offers to turn it into a restaurant, a school, apartments. But it just needs to stay what it is, an events center which is not necessarily a real prosperous business, it almost has to be a non-profit, says Kerry McCoy with Friends of Dreamland Ballroom. The group hopes to fund raise this year, start construction next year and re-open the venue in 2012.

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AFB's Kerry McCoy interviewed on NPR

Posted on: February 22, 2010

olympicpoles2.jpgFM 98.1 KUAR (NPR) interviewed Kerry about the flag poles we custom made for the Vancouver Olympics! Be sure to listen this week for the interview. The poles are in the back ground of the picture above. There were a total of 85 flag poles throughout the Olympic venues."

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LR fundraiser among steps to revive historic ballroom

Posted on: March 1, 2010

ballroom2_t600.JPGBy L. Lamor Williams, Arkansas Democrat Gazette LITTLE ROCK, A fundraiser for the Dreamland Ballroom didn't go so well Saturday, but that didn't dampen the spirit of a group working to raise $50,000 to restore the historic venue that‚s hosted such icons as Duke Ellington, Etta James, Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald. ‚“I forgot about the Razorbacks game, Kerry McCoy said, laughing and slapping her forehead with her palm. ‚“We‚re going to swap out our PowerPoint presentation on Dreamland for the game. McCoy owns Arkansas Flag and Banner, which takes up the first two floors of 800 W. Ninth St. in Little Rock. She bought the historic building in 1992 and has been trying to restore the Dreamland Ballroom on the building‚s third and top floor. The ballroom was a social hub in segregated Little Rock when Ninth Street was home to a thriving black business district. Then, McCoy‚s building was known as Taborian Hall. McCoy said she‚d hoped to have the ballroom reopened by 2000 but realized that she‚d never be able to afford it on her own. Now, the nonprofit Friends of Dreamland board is working to raise money and restore the facility. She said the $50,000 is to install sturdy hardwood flooring so that fund raising events can be held in the space. Saturday‚s event was to feature paid tours of the historic venue, but only a handful of people stopped by between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the tours were offered. ‚“The reason I love the Dreamland Ballroom is because it‚s the only building like it in Little Rock. I've had offers to turn it into apartments, a club, a school, but it really needs to stay an event center open to the public. There‚s been times when I thought ‚boy I wish I‚d gone ahead and turned it into apartments‚ because I know events centers aren't real profitable. But I've got a lot of energy, and I‚m willing to put all that energy into making it work. Ann McCoy, Kerry‚s mother-in-law said, while standing in the front hallway near the store, that the building has already come a long way. ‚“There used to be a big hole all the way through, she said, noting that a person could see from the third floor down to the first through the opening. 

ballroom1_t600.JPG“My favorite thing now is the views from the big windows. You can see the Capitol building, Philander Smith [College], it just has a beautiful view. Today, the floor is covered with plywood panels, some not completely secured. The walls have peeling paint and exposed brick, and some of the 1930's-style architecture is still evident along the box seats and molding above the stage in the 8,000-square-foot space. Kerry McCoy said she mailed 1,000 invitations to the event and invited another 400 people via the online networking Web site Facebook. She said several people pledged donations but didn't attend. Information on how to donate or schedule a tour, and receive a history of the facility, is available at www.dreamlandballroom.org. Among the opportunities is purchasing a brick for $100 that will be engraved with the donor‚s name and used to pave the walkway to the ballroom. ‚“We just need 500 people to buy bricks, Kerry McCoy said. “But, hey, we‚ll take what we can get. There‚s not a single person that doesn't come up here and see the Dreamland and fall in love with it. And I hope we can get some really community-minded people behind it. I love to tour it. I never get tired of showing the Dreamland Ballroom to people. This article was published February 28, 2010 at 6:04 a.m. Arkansas, Pages 1 & 5 on 02/28/2010

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Old ballroom to get new life

Posted on: March 4, 2010

genthumb.jpgBy: Melissa Dunbar-Gates, Today's THV A famous old ballroom on top of the Arkansas Flag and Banner building in downtown Little Rock will soon be renovated. THV's Melissa Dunbar-Gates took a tour and spoke with building owner Kerry McCoy. A non-profit group has been established to revive the facility; but they have a long way to go. The room has incredible history. Can't you just see a packed house, a full dance floor, and hear the trumpets of Luis Armstrong blaring. This room has been all kinds of things. Originally built in the late 1800's, it served as an African American USO club in both world wars; according to building owner McCoy a black fraternity used it to house women and children here in the great depression. McCoy says, "I've had offers to turn it into a restaurant, turn it into apartments, to make a school out of it, but I've refused them all because I think it needs to stay exactly like it is be an event center for the community to use." According to McCoy the whole 9th Street corridor, where her building sits, used to be known as Little Rock's "Little Harlem." she said the street was lined with African America owned businesses on one side, and homes on the other side; and it is inside that old ballroom that African America entertainers came to play. McCoy says, "A lot of the entertainers would perform at Robinson hall for the white people then stay in the hotel right next door and come up here to the ballroom and jam all night long." McCoy says, "I don't want to do one single thing to it except make it safe and get an elevator up here. I want it to look exactly how it does." McCoy's non-profit group needs more than a million dollars for the renovation. For a price you can have your name put on one of the box seats above the stage, or can have your name put on the stage, or the balcony in the back; and be a part of bringing the music and dancing back to the dreamland ballroom. You can help make the Dreamland Ballroom renovation a reality by logging onto its website. There you can buy a brick for the new front sidewalk. Your name will be engraved in your brick. Click Here to see the Video!"

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Drive-In Movies are Back in Little Rock

Posted on: May 5, 2010

dreamlandballroom.jpgDrive-In Movies are Back in Little Rock May 5, 2010 12:00 AM Kerry Kraus NaturalStateBlogger@gmail.com http://www.visitmyarkansas.com/kerry-kraus/default.aspx?id=573 How long has it been since you‚ve been to a drive-in movie? For some people, the question is, have you ever been to a drive-in movie? Experience the nostalgia of the drive-in movie while helping a good cause this Saturday as the Friends of Dreamland Ballroom hosts the first of six showings.

 

dreamlandballroom_charade_poster.jpgThe May 8 showing of Charade begins at sundown, approximately 8:30 p.m. The 1963 romantic thriller stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Concessions selling hot dogs, soft drinks, bottled water, Yarnell's ice cream and Diamond Bear Brewery beer are on-site. The screenings are projected on the back of the historic Arkansas Flag and Banner building, also known as Taborian Hall, with the audio broadcast through your car radio, courtesy of AV Arkansas. Viewers should find their spot in the rear parking lot behind Arkansas Flag and Banner. The subsequent movies are going to be shown every second and fourth Saturday from May through September. According to Friends of Dreamland Ballroom, the movies to be shown cover a broad spectrum in hopes of having something for everyone. Taborian Hall is one of Little Rock‚s most important historic structures. During its heyday, the ballroom played host to Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, Arkansas-native Al Hibbler, Nat King Cole and his Trio, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzie Gillespie, and Arkansas‚s-own Louis Jordan. Admission is $20 per car or $5 for walk-ups, who should bring their own lawn chairs. Arkansas Flag and Banner is located at 800 West 9th Street in downtown Little Rock. More information on the ongoing work on the ballroom, visit www.dreamlandballroom.org. Proceeds from the movie series go toward restoration of the ballroom. Other scheduled showings are: May 22: Reefer Madness/Sex Madness (1936/1938 ‚ two exploitation films) June 12: Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero‚s 1968 cult favorite) June 26: The Outlaw (1943 Howard Hughes-directed film starring Jane Russell) July 10: The Little Princess (1939 classic starring Shirley Temple) July 24: The Fast and The Furious (1955 starring John Ireland)

dreamlandballroom_reefer.jpgdreamlandballroom_night.jpgdreamlandballroom_outlaw.jpgdreamlandballroom_princess.jpgdreamlandballroom_fast.jpg

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Prom Pictures at Dreamland Ballroom

Posted on: May 10, 2010

sara-eldred-099-copy-2.JPGAnother perk of buying a brick for the Dreamland Ballroom is you have access to the Dreamland for photo shoots! Take your prom pictures, wedding pictures, fashion show photo shoots, theater and arts photos, and so much more. Unfortunately we can not do car shows in the dreamland, but you could try and drive a motorcycle up there (We want pics of that!!!)

Here are some recent shots of Chase Reid and his girlfriend, Sara Eldred for prom. Chase is a junior at Parkview High School and Sara is a senior at North Little Rock High School. These photos were taken April 23, 2010 the same day as the prom. So buy a brick today and support the Dreamland Ballroom! We want you to enjoy it as much as we do. Help us bring the party back!

 To book your photo shoot please call 1-501-255-5700. Buy a brick here.

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A Night of Blues with the Unseen Eye

Posted on: May 13, 2010

handbill_single.jpgLittle Rock, AR-May 11th, 2010- Want to hear some blues from local musicians and an old timer that actually played the Dreamland Ballroom? The Friends of Dreamland Ballroom (a non-profit working to restore the ballroom at the top of Taborian Hall) presents ‚“A Night of Blues on Thursday, May 13 in Doc‚s Pool Hall at 800 W Ninth St. (Arkansas Flag and Banner building). The featured performers include: blues singer Gil Franklin; the Unseen Eye, with band members Chad Carter, Jobe Kara, and “Chicken"James Dorris, who performed in the Dreamland Ballroom during its glory days. “Not only will this event be fun," says Dreamland Chairman Kerry McCoy,“but we're also hoping that we can educate people about the musical significance that Dreamland once played in Little Rock's Jazz and Blues community. Doors open at 8 pm and bands will go on at 9 pm. It's $7 at the door (and maybe bring a little extra cash for the donation bar!). All proceeds will go toward the Dreamland Ballroom renovation efforts. Take a look at our Facebook Event For information: https://www.dreamlandballroom.org or Contact: friends@dreamlandballroom.org Phone: 501-255-5700

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PAPER TRAILS: Retro fun rolling into Little Rock

Posted on: May 13, 2010

BY LINDA CAILLOUET - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

LITTLE ROCK ‚ DATE WITH A DRIVE-IN: Back in the late ‚80s, this columnist, then a young reporter, embarked on a quest to find a mystic relic from the past her generation had missed - the then-nearly extinct drive-in theater. Success was found at the Galaxy Drive-In in Hammond, La. Pity the younger generations who've never experienced one!

But the folks at Arkansas Flag and Banner and nonprofit preservation group Friends of Dreamland Ballroom, in their thinking-outside the-box quest to restore the historic ballroom atop the business‚ downtown building, Taborian Hall, are reviving this American icon.

Beginning last Saturday and running through July 24, at 8:30 p.m. every other Saturday night, the parking lot behind the building at 800 W. Ninth St. will be transformed into an old time drive-in. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and concessions of beer, soft drinks, hot dogs and more will be sold.

$20 a car or $5 a person for walk-ups. May 22, Reefer Madness/Sex Madness; June 12, Night of the Living Dead; June 26, The Outlaw; July 10, The Little Princess (Family Night); and July 24, The Fast and the Furious.

Paper Trails appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Contact Linda Caillouet at (501) 399-3636 or at lcaillouet@arkansasonline.com.

This article was published May 12, 2010 at 4:28 a.m.

Arkansas, Pages 9 on 05/12/2010

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The Climate of the Flag Industry? Its HOT!

Posted on: July 1, 2010

Little Rock, AR  July 1, 2010  The 4th of July marks the un-official end of the flag season and this one has been a great one. Arkansas Flag and Banner, based in Little Rock, has experienced the best flag season in a number of years.

Kerry McCoy, owner of Arkansas FlagandBanner.com says, …This is the best flag season we've had in several years.  Considering we ship all over the country, our increased sales lead us to believe that the economy is improving.

We do a large portion of our business in the months leading up to the 4th of July, what we call the flag season‚ that's Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, and then Independence Day on the 4th. The last few years have been off; we have not seen the type of growth we have become accustomed too.  This year is different, we have seen a significant up-tick in sales. says Kerry.

Arkansas Flag and Banner was established in 1975, is headquartered in Little Rock, AR, and has 25 employees.

Want to find out more, come down to Arkansas Flag and Banner this Saturday, July 3rd to visit with Kerry McCoy; she will be in the showroom personally helping customers with their last minute decorating needs.  Kerry says, "I am expecting a banner day on Saturday!"

Their store is located at 800 W Ninth Street in downtown Little Rock.

For information: https://www.flagandbanner.com or Contact: kerry@flagandbanner.com

Phone: 1-800-445-0653

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AFB on Fox16 News

Posted on: July 7, 2010

"Fox16 News came out on last Saturday and did a nice story about Arkansas' FlagandBanner.com and the current state of the flag business. You can see it HERE!"

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Have you Noticed all the Flags at Half-Staff? New State Law Requires Flags to be lowered more often.

Posted on: July 21, 2010

Little Rock, AR ‚ July 16, 2010 ‚ As your driving around our wonderful state this summer you might have noticed how often the flags, both the US and Arkansas are at Half-Staff.  A new law on the books requires that the Arkansas flag be lowered upon the death of a soldier killed in action.

Arkansas Code Annotated, Section 1-4-128, states The State of Arkansas shall honor and pay tribute to a member of the armed services who is killed in action by lowering all state flags located on public buildings to half-mast from the time notice of the death of a member of the armed services is received and for a period of three (3) days thereafter.

So with this new law and the existing Federal flag code, requiring the US flag be flown at half staff on the day of interment for a soldier killed in action, we are seeing both flags down much more often.

Kerry McCoy, President of Arkansas FlagandBanner.com, says, "Calls about the flag being at half staff is one of the questions we get the most. I really think it is wonderful that we now have a law that honors our fallen heroes, but it is hard for people to stay informed."

Because of this law, Arkansas‚ FlagandBanner.com now offers flag alerts for Arkansas to go along with their national flag alerts.

We have offered notifications for when to fly the US flag at half staff for years and it just made sense for us to now offer the state flag notifications for Arkansans that want to honor our fallen heroes‚ says Kerry McCoy.

You can sign up for either of Arkansas Flag and Banners Half Staff Flag Alerts here

For information: https://www.flagandbanner.com or

Contact: kerry@flagandbanner.com

Phone: 1-800-445-0653

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Dreamland Ballroom Mentioned in the Arkansas Democrat - Gazette

Posted on: August 18, 2010

The AR Democrat Gazette mentioned us in the paper this morning. It can be found on the front page of the Arkansas section

PAPER TRAILS: By Linda Caillouet

LIVIN THE DREAM: Seems like a lifetime ago when, back in 1992, I wrote a feature on Kerry McCoy buying the historic Taborian Hall to house her business, Arkansas Flag and Banner.

She's since dreamed of completely restoring it, especially the third-floor Dreamland Ballroom. Renovation on the ballroom is set to begin Sept. 13. First on the list? Leveling and securing the ballroom's floor.

THANKS FOR SPREADING THE WORD!

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RAZORROCK FINALIZES WEEK OF EVENTS LEADING TO RALLY, NIGHT OF ARKANSAS MUSIC

Posted on: September 7, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Little Rock) ‚ RazorRock, which debuted in 2009 as a Central Arkansas‚ weeklong football rally. RazorRock will return in 2010 the week of September 6th through the 11th in advance of the Razorback Football Team‚s first Little Rock game of the 2010 season.

And rather than just one week during football season, RazorRock is being repositioned to celebrate every time a University of Arkansas athletic team plays in Central Arkansas.

According to Greg Nabholz (Nabholz Properties), chairman of RazorRock, Our intention is to enhance the Razorback fan experience for the residents of and visitors to Central Arkansas, with hopes of enticing our guests to spend another night or two in the region.

RazorRock organizers are encouraging businesses, organizations and governmental entities to Paint Central Arkansas Razorback Red for the week. To that end, Metropolitan National Bank will change the lights on its tower from traditional blue to red and white for the week. The Big Dam Bridge will also be lit in Razorback colors.

In an effort to enhance visiting Razorback fans‚ Central Arkansas experience, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and North Little Rock Visitors Bureau are offering special packages to guests through links at RazorRockRally.com.

To benefit the Arkansas Alumni Association ‚ Capital Chapter, RazorRock Wristbands are being sold, granting wearers discounts to participating local merchants and restaurants.

RazorRock 2010 will feature 17 associated events, culminating in a pep rally in the Riverfest Amphitheatre, followed by a Night of Arkansas Music concert, presented by The Oxford American magazine.

The rally will feature the University of Arkansas Razorback Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. Christopher Knighten, as well as the Cheerleaders and Pom Squad, coordinated by Jean Nail. Tusk III, the latest live Razorback mascot, will make his Little Rock debut, courtesy of Keith and Julie Stokes.

In addition to traditional favorites, the band will debut its new arrangement of Ring of Fire, a signature song of Arkansas‚ own Johnny Cash.

10 Horse Johnson, billed as the Ozarks-born/LA-bred/Little Rock-based country comedy band, will deliver the first live performance of their new single‚ Woo Pig Fever. The band‚s 25-minute, all-original, all-Arkansas set will transition from pep rally to The Oxford American Presents A Night of Arkansas Music.

Scheduled to perform at the concert are The Salty Dogs, Jim Mize and True Soul Revue.

While a complete and regularly updated list of offerings is available at www.RazorRockRally.com, the following 17 events were scheduled as of press time:

Monday, 9.6.10 (Labor Day)

RazorRock Kick-off
RazorRock Relay
Presented by River Trails Bike Rentals
Contact David Fike (501.374.5505, info@rivertrailrentals.com)
10:00 am ‚ 1:00 pm

Arkansas Travelers vs. Springfield Cardinals (Season Finale)
Dickey-Stephens Park
1:00 pm

RazorRock Foodie Festival
Presented by Argenta Downtown Council
Dickey-Stephens Park
Contact Drue Patton (501.517.3127, dpatton@argentadc.org)
4:00 ‚ 7:30 pm

RazorRock Movie Night
Presented by Little Rock Film Festival
Screening War Eagle Arkansas
Dickey-Stephens Park
7:45 ‚ 10:00 pm

 

Tuesday, 9.7.10

Little Rock Touchdown Club
Embassy Suites Little Rock
11:30 am ‚ 1:00 pm

Arkansas Alumni Association ‚ Capital Chapter Reception
5:00 ‚ 7:00 pm

RazorRock Ladies Night Out/Tailgate Shopping
Presented by Inviting Company/Revelry Jewels/Rubadubdub
Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack
7:00 ‚ 10:00 pm
Contact Sarah Mitchell (479.466.3416, sarahmitchell@sbcglobal.net)

Wednesday, 9.8.10

Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame
Brown Bag Lunch Featuring Former Razorbacks Kevin Scanlon, Anthony Lucas, Clint Stoerner
11:30 am ‚ 1:00 pm

Arkansas Arts Foundation‚s RazorRock Spirits: A Night of Art and Soul
Featuring Rock Town Distillery, Diamond Bear Brewery, Lombardi Liquors, Guillermo‚s Gourmet Coffee, Wiederkehr Winery. Argenta Arts District
5:00 ‚ 7:00 pm

University of Arkansas College of Engineering Alumni Reception with Dean Saxena
Courtyard by Marriott ‚ Downtown Little Rock
6:00 ‚ 8:00 pm

Thursday, 9.9.10

University of Arkansas Walton College of Business Lunch & Learn: Coaching Your Business Team to Their Full Potential
Presented by Walton College Executive Education
In Partnership with Walton College Alumni Society
Sturgis Hall, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
11:45 am ‚ 1:00 pm

Contact Rachel Burton (479.575.5425, rburton@walton.uark.edu)
RazorRock After Hours at The Little Rock Zoo
Presented by Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce
In Partnership with Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
Featuring New Red River Hog Exhibit, Pigs from Around the World
Hosted by Little Rock Zoo
5:00 ‚ 7:00 pm

Click to Save on Advance Tickets
University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Alumni & Friends Reception
Embassy Suites Little Rock
6:00 ‚ 8:00 pm
Click to Register

Friday, 9.10.10

Street Machine Nationals
Riverfront Park, Riverfest Amphitheater
All Day
Arkansas Alumni Association New Alumni Conference
All Day
Arkansas Alumni Association/Little Rock Razorback Club
Luncheon & Press Box Tour
War Memorial Stadium
11:00 ‚ 1:00 pm

RazorRock Rally
Featuring University of Arkansas Marching Razorback Band, Cheerleaders, Pom Squad, Tusk III, 10 Horse Johnson
The Oxford American Presents
A Night of Arkansas Music
Featuring
The Salty Dogs
Jim Mize
True Soul Revue
Riverfest Amphitheater, River Market
7:00 pm ‚ 11:00 pm 

Saturday, 9.11.10 (Game Day)

Tailgate
War Memorial Park
7:00 am

Street Machine Nationals
Riverfront Park, Riverfest Amphitheater
All Day

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Louisiana-Monroe
6:00 pm
War Memorial Stadium
RazorRock is presented by the Arkansas River Cities Sports Commission, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and North Little Rock Visitors Bureau.

Partner sponsors include Argenta Downtown Council, Arkansas Flag and Banner, Career Sports & Entertainment, and Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

In addition to the Arkansas River Cities Sports Commission, producing partners include Argenta Downtown Council, Arkansas Alumni Association (Capital Chapter), Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, Arkansas Travelers, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, Little Rock Film Festival, Little Rock Touchdown Club, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, Oxford American, Razorback Foundation, Razorback Navy, University of Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium.

For more information, visit www.RazorRockRally.com.

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The Governor's Mansion Host Dancing into Dreamland Gala this Thursday

Posted on: November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

The governor's mansion will host Dancing into Dreamland, a Gala Event Dance Contest presented by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, November 18, from 6-9 pm, tickets $75, followed by the After Party at the Capital Hotel Ballroom, 9 pm - 12 am, and tickets are $40. Proceeds from this event will go to the music education and cultural outreach programs of the Dreamland Ballroom.

The event will be emceed by Lawrence Hamilton with special guest Mercedes Ellington. The event, Dancing into Dreamland, is a dance contest of 8 dance teams, listed below, performing all styles of dance. 

Dance Dynamics Junior Duo - Ashton Jones and Marina Redlich
Ms. Karen‚s Dance Studio - Sterling Warren, Kennedy Sample, Raygan Sylvester, Hannah Bakalekos
David Carter and Melissa Napier
Beyond Ballroom - Wesley Crocker and Lawrie Rash
Roger McCoy and Kay Ford
Sankofa Performing Arts Dance Theater - Angela Burt, Gena Harless, Clarice Kinchen, America Jones

Kerry McCoy, founder of Friends of Dreamland Ballroom said, It is somewhat of a mix between, Dancing with the Stars‚ and So you think you can dance? The Grand Prize is a trip for four to New Orleans.

There will be a silent auction, food, cocktails, text voting, open dancing, and a performance by Lawrence Hamilton and Mercedes Ellington. Dress is party attire.

The following companies are sponsors of this Event - Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Capital Hotel, Robbi Davis Agency, Oxford American Magazine, MainStream Technologies, and Ken Rash Casual Furniture.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the event visit www.dreamlandballroom.org and click on events.

Amber Jones

Executive Director
Friends of Dreamland

www.dreamlandballroom.org
friends@dreamlandballroom.org

501-607-0954 cell

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Rex Nelson's Southern Fried Blog Story

Posted on: December 8, 2010

The Dreamland Ballroom

Historic preservation is rarely quick or easy.

Just ask Little Rock‚s Kerry McCoy. She fell in love with Taborian Hall in 1991. Bill Clinton wasn't even the president yet.

Almost two decades later, she‚s still trying to restore the old place.

Here's how she describes it at the website www.dreamlandballroom.com: I first fell in love with Taborian Hall from its outside appearance, a stately, three-story, red brick building, standing alone on Interstate 630, abandoned, with a huge hole in the roof letting in the sun and rain. I always envisioned my company, Arkansas Flag & Banner, housed in a building of such grandeur.

After driving by many times, I finally got up the courage to come inside. Stepping over debris and skirting the homeless people, I worked my way to the third floor an ‚ it was beyond love at first sight. Because the roof was missing, birds were flying around and the sun was illuminating the room. Staring across the open hole in the floor to the Dreamland stage and box seats, I had a feeling that was indescribable, a kind of euphoria. It could have been because I was pregnant with my third child and my nesting instincts were heightened, but whatever it was, it sent me on a chain reaction that I have never regretted.

I love this old building and have had many offers from people wanting to purchase it, renovate it, make a club of it or some apartments and even a school. But I keep to my original vision. Maybe it's not the best business decision, but it's a decision of the heart to renovate the Dreamland Ballroom into an event center to be shared with the whole community. If you are ever lucky enough to go upstairs and see the Dreamland, I think you will feel its magic too.

McCoy created the Friends of Dreamland, a nonprofit organization to raise money for the restoration. Additional information can be found at the website. Those wishing to donate also can call (501) 255-5700 or send an e-mail to friends@dreamlandballroom.com.

Taborian Hall, at the corner of Ninth and State streets in downtown Little Rock, was part of the Ninth Street business corridor. For years that corridor was, in essence, the Main Street for blacks in Arkansas. Earlier known as Taborian Temple, it was built for the fraternal insurance organization known as the Knights and Daughters of the Tabor. A black contractor named Simeon Johnson went to work on the building in 1916 and completed construction two years later.

More than 1,500 people were in attendance for the 1918 dedication of Taborian Temple.

In August 1918, the Negro Soldiers Club opened on the first floor to provide a recreational outlet for black soldiers stationed at Camp Pike. The building also would house the offices of black doctors and dentists, along with a pharmacy, through the years.

The website picks up the story in the 1930s: By 1937, the Dreamland Ballroom was firmly established on Taborian's third floor. The popular dance hall with its famous ‚swing floor‚ was a hotbed for big bands, jazz and blues and the scene for dances, socials and basketball games. It was a regular stop for the Chittlin‚ Circuit, a national touring company of professional black entertainers, revues and stage shows.

With the advent of World War II, the USO bought the building and turned the first to the third floors into a club that served thousands of black soldiers from Camp Robinson and the Stuttgart Air Base. The Dreamland ripped and rollicked during those war years and beyond with legendary musical artists including‚ Fatha‚ Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, and comedians Redd Foxx and Sammie Davis. Local stars cut their musical teeth in the Dreamland too.

The Taborian Temple became known as Taborian Hall in the early 1950s and soon housed the Twin City Club in the basement, the Waiters Club on the second floor and the Club Morocco where the Dreamland had been. B.B. King and Ray Charles were among those who performed on Ninth Street in those days.

By the early 1970s, though, what was known as urban renewal (but was actually the massive destruction of city neighborhoods across the country) had laid waste to the Ninth Street corridor. Taborian Hall stood empty until McCoy purchased it in 1991.

She estimates the cost of fully restoring the upstairs ballroom to be $1 million. She had hoped to finish the third-floor restoration work in 2012, though the Great Recession has slowed fundraising efforts considerably.

The Friends of Dreamland‚s new executive director is Amber Jones. The native Arkansan is an Arkansas Tech graduate who earlier had worked at Curran Hall. An initial $50,000 will be used to install hardwood flooring on the third floor so fundraising events can be held there.

Ann McCoy, Kerry‚s mother-in-law, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette earlier this year: My favorite thing now is the view from the big windows. You can see the Capitol building, Philander Smith. It just has a beautiful view.

A recent story by Becca Bona in The Daily Record described Kerry McCoy this way: It‚s important to note that McCoy is one dynamic individual. She has always been a go-getter, apparent from her hard work of starting a business when she was 20 years old with a mere $400. When the lively entrepreneur fell in love with the crumbling building, she knew that a project would ensue. She didn't know about the inside of the building until later. ‚¦ She said she had planned to restore the third-floor ballroom and make it open to the public by 2000. Unfortunately, the price range for renovation was always a hair out of her reach.

McCoy told Bona: I love this project, but it's overwhelming. I can‚t stand lost opportunities.

Let‚s hope Little Rock‚s business leadership, which has failed to capitalize on so many opportunities through the years (note the impending destruction of historic Ray Winder Field by UAMS), will step up to help Kerry McCoy achieve her dream while preserving an important part of this state's largest city.

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Dancing into Dreamland photos in Sync Weekly

Posted on: December 8, 2010

"Sync came out for Dancing into Dreamland at the Governor's mansion and took some nice pictures of folks at the event - Sync Weekly Photos Thanks Lauren Clark of Sync!"

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A DREAMY NIGHT Dance teams step up Competitors, celebrity judges aid Friends of Dreamland Ballroom

Posted on: December 8, 2010

From Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Sunday, November 28, 2010

By Cary Jenkins

LITTLE ROCK, AR: Eight dance teams twirled, shimmied, leapt and spun their way across the dance floor Nov. 18 at Dancing Into Dreamland at the Governor‚s Mansion.

The fundraiser for Friends of the Dreamland Ballroom featured a dance competition, celebrity judges and audience participation with guests texting their vote for a favorite dance team.

Amber Jones, the nonprofit's executive director, explained that Dancing Into Dreamland was an evening about sharing the universal language of music and dance just as it was celebrated almost a century ago in the Dreamland Ballroom.

The program began with Lawrence Hamilton serenading his friend Mercedes Ellington, who was one of the judges. The pair have worked together on Broadway.

Ellington is the granddaughter of Duke Ellington, one of many stars who performed at the Dreamland Ballroom in the 1930s. A graduate of the Juilliard School of music, Mercedes Ellington was a June Taylor Dancer and the first black woman on The Jackie Gleason Show. She serves on the Tony awards nominating committee.

Other celebrity guests were David Miller, who has a weekly big band radio program Swingin' Down the Lane, which is broadcast on more than 40 national public radio stations including KUAR; Leslie Harper, a former professional dancer and singer at Opryland and musical director for the Summer Musical Theater Intensive at theArkansas Repertory Theatre; and Arkansas native Steve Buckley, who was vice president of artist and repertoire at Motown and served as a talent judge on Star Search.

When votes were tabulated, dancers Allison Stodola Wilson and Jonathan Bostick won for their disco dancing routine. Wesley Crocker and Lawrie Rash received the people's choice award.

The Friends of Dreamland Ballroom focuses on sharing the musical, cultural and architectural history of the Dreamland Ballroom and historic Taborian Hall on West Ninth Street. The building was constructed in 1918 by a black fraternal organization, the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, in what was then a thriving black business district, according to the group's website.

This article was published November 28, 2010 at 4:29 a.m.
High Profile, Pages 46 on 11/28/2010

ArkansasOnline Photo Gallery

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AR Flag & Banner Christmas 2010

Posted on: December 8, 2010

Check out our 2010 Christmas commercial that will be running on KATV.

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2010 Christmas Commercial - KATV Channel 7

Posted on: December 8, 2010

Check out our new 2010 Christmas commercial that will be running on KATV the next couple weeks - 2010 Christmas Commercial

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