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African American Voices in the Arkansas Arts Scene







John Cain, is program director of community radio station KABF-FM 88.3 and host of KUAR's 52nd Street Jazz for more than three decades. He has been on the air in some capacity for "51 years and counting."

Cain got his start in the early 1960s working as an engineer and overnight disc jockey at Little Rock R&B station KALO-AM 1250. It was there that Cain developed his program niche. Cain said, “I featured material that you don’t hear normally. It was overnight radio that really gave me the opportunity to become a preservationist of sorts, a musicologist, a mixologist or whatever you want to call it."

Chris James, is a national award-winning poet. His plays include Dear Black People and The Odds Against US. He has been featured on the front cover of the Arkansas Times Newspaper for being one of Arkansas’ top visionaries. James is a member of Foreign Tongues poetry slam team, ranking second in the world’s second largest poetry competition in 2014. He is the founder of Arkansas’ only poetry venue and second black owned gallery, The House of Art. He hosts art integrated workshops and is a motivational speaker.

Garbo Watson Hearne owns Hearne Fine Art and Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing/Hearne Fine Art, located in the historic Dunbar neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas.

She developed Hearne Fine Art in the New York and Atlanta markets and expanded its services to include cataloging and fine art appraisals.


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