Kerry hosted 2 guests on her radio show “Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy”. Kerry says, “Originally we just had Rett schedule but when his daughter Kathryn called Arkansas Flag and Banner to purchase some custom street pole banners for her up-coming Cinematic event, I thought, hmmmmm like father like daughter and invited her to join him on todays’ show. They are both self-starters and devoted to Arkansas. I look forward to speaking with the both of them.”
A fifth-generation Arkansan and Little Rock native, Everett "Rett" Tucker carries on a family tradition of business and civic leadership. He has an impressive track record in commercial brokerage and development over the past 33 years with his company, Moses Tucker Real Estate. Tucker has helped Little Rock develop a mix of commercial space and residential condos over the course of his career, earning him several awards. The list of properties includes the seven-story Capital Commerce Center, 14-story First Security Center, 18-story 300 Third Tower and 10-story River Market Tower. Tucker, a Certified Public Accountant, has a B.S. in Commerce from Washington & Lee University and an M.B.A. from the University of Arkansas.
Tucker has been a great proponent of both the streetcar system in downtown Little Rock and the revitalization of Main Street. "Little Rock is big enough to have the energy to be a dynamic city, but small enough that individuals can make a difference," Tucker said in a 2013 interview with the Arkansas Times. Little Rock could use more of those individuals, he said; the success of downtown isn't assured despite all the activity on Main. Tucker and his business partner, Jimmy Moses, want to see the city truly thrive into the new millennium.
Tucker will also be joined by his daughter in this episode. Like her father, Kathryn Francis Tucker is a proud Little Rock native, having graduated from Little Rock Central High in 1996. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 with a BFA in Photography. Her resume in film is extensive, beginning with her work for Miramax before her foray into acclaimed independent films. She has worked on many popular televisions shows such as Bones and Glee, and has returned to Little Rock to work on a documentary about former Governor Mike Beebe for AETN.
Kathryn Tucker is carrying on the family tradition of economic development in Little Rock. As the director of the Arkansas Cinema Society, she seeks to bring in world-class writers, directors, and actors, including big names like Adam Driver and Jeff Nichols. Nichols and Tucker are planning to host 3 seminars within the first year on a variety of Arkansas subjects in a format similar to the Bentonville Film Festival.
Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com
[0:00:03.2] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the show to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.
Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
[0:00:17.6] KM: I’m Kerry McCoy, and it’s time for me to get up in your business. For the next hour my guest, Rett Tucker, from Moses Tucker Real Estate and his daughter Kathryn, award-winning film maker, and I will be getting up in the business of economic development and industry opportunities in Arkansas.
We hope through our storytelling of how we maneuvered the path of independence and leadership in pursuit of our dreams that you will learn something, want to get involved, or be inspired to take action in your own life. For me, it began 40 years ago when I founded Arkansas Flag & Banner. During the last four decades Arkansas Flag & Banner has grown and morphed from door-to-door sales, to telemarketing, to mail order and catalog sales and now relies heavily on the internet.
Each change in sales strategy required a change in company thinking and procedures. My confidence, leadership knowledge and my company grew. My initial $400 investment now produces nearly four million in annual sales.
Each week on this show you’ll hear candid conversations between me and my guest about real world experiences on a variety of businesses and topics that I hope you’ll find interesting. Starting and running a business or organization is like so many things. It takes persistence, perseverance and patience.
I worked part-time jobs for nine years before Arkansas Flag & Banner grew enough to support just me. It’s now grown so much that to operate efficiently we require 10 departments and 25 people to maintain them. Thus, reminding us all again that small businesses are the fuel of our economic engine.
Before we start I want to introduce my technician, Tim Bowen. Say Hello, Tim.
[0:01:55.0] TB: Hello, Tim.
[0:01:55.7] KM: My guests today are fifth and sixth generation Arkansans, Rett and Kathryn Tucker. Kathryn do you go by Tucker Mayhem?
[0:02:04.0] KT: Kathryn Tucker.
[0:02:05.0] KM: Just Kathryn Tucker.
[0:02:06.3] KT: My son is Tucker Mayhem, but Tucker is his first name.
[0:02:09.5] KM: Oh, so that’s his name?
[0:02:10.7] KT: Yeah.
[0:02:12.7] KM: That’s his real name.
[0:02:13.3] KT: That’s how we solved that problem.
[0:02:14.5] KM: Okay. Good. Rett is a certified public accountant, has a BS in commerce from Washington and Lee University in Virginia, an MBA from the University of Arkansas. For over three decades Rett has been a powerhouse in commercial real estate, brokering deals for both commercial and residential development in Arkansas.
You would be hard-pressed not to find his company name, Moses Tucker Real Estate, on any number of construction sites in downtown Little Rock. His economic achievements and revitalization to downtown has won him numerous awards both professionally and civilly. In addition, I’m excited to have joining us today his lovely daughter, Kathryn Tucker.
The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Kathryn has proved to be successful and civic-minded in her own right. She is a high school graduate from the Historic Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BFA in photography. Her resume after college continues to impress by having worked on TV films such as — I was impressed with this, and this is only a few; Bones, Glee, Antiquities. That hasn’t been released yet, hasn’t it?
[0:03:29.9] KT: No, it hasn’t.
[0:03:31.1] KM: And now you’re working on a documentary for the former governor, Mike Beebe.
[0:03:35.7] KT: That's right.
[0:03:36.6] KM: I love that. If that is not enough, you recently signed on as the executive director for the startup Arkansas Cinema Society whose mission is to build a film community in Arkansas where film lovers can watch film, share ideas, connect with each other and nurture the new and existing film talent within our state.
It is a pleasure to welcome to the table this community-minded powerhouse, father-daughter team, Rett and Kathryn Tucker.
[0:03:36.6] RT: Thanks, Kerry. Good to be here.
[0:04:02.5] KT: Good to be here.
[0:04:03.6] KM: When I read, you’re both longtime Arkansans. Rett, I read a little bit about your father. Tell me about being a fifth generation Arkansan.
[0:04:17.3] RT: We love Arkansas. Kathryn and I both went out of state to college, but I always wanted to come back and particularly help Little Rock become a greater city. My family has been involved — My grandfather was in the state legislature. My dad was on a school board in Little Rock. My son is in the state legislature, and so it’s just kind of in our DNA to try to make the place a better place for people to live.
[0:04:45.9] KM: I forgot about Clark. Oh, yeah. Clark Tucker. He could be our governor one day. He’s got the make up to do that. He’s got the drive to do that.
[0:04:56.9] RT: It will come. Yeah.
[0:05:01.4] KM: Your grandfather was in the legislature.
[0:05:03.9] RT: Yes. My great grandfather was governor and a U.S. senator, and that was on the mom’s side, and my grandfather on my father side was in the state legislature.
[0:05:15.5] KM: What was your mother’s maiden name?
[0:05:17.4] RT: Williams.
[0:05:19.0] KM: He was the governor?
[0:05:20.2] RT: No. My mom’s grandfather was a governor, James P. Clark, and was U.S. senator around the turn of the century.
[0:05:31.8] KM: Wow! Have they written a history book about your family and how you got here? Did they come down the Arkansas River?
[0:05:38.8] RT: Not history book that I know of, and they are probably some few horse thieves in there too that I’m not telling you about.
[0:05:46.4] KM: Kathryn, did you feel any pressure when you were in Central High School and you were going to graduate and you thought, “Oh my gosh! I’m a sixth generation family of these successful people.” Did you feel the pressure?
[0:05:58.9] KT: I felt the pressure to get out of here for a little bit and then come back and sort of bring the whole hero’s journey, go out and learn something new and bring it home to your community. That I felt not necessarily pressure, but I just feel an obligation to do that.
[0:06:16.5] KM: Did you always want to be in film?
[0:06:18.3] KT: I wanted to be a photographer, but I think part of the reason I formed the Arkansas Cinema Society with Jeff is I think I would have known I wanted to do film if I had been exposed to it earlier. Photography was what I was exposed to, was able to be exposed to here. So that’s what I got into and that’s what I went to school for. Then the second I found film, I knew instantly that’s what I wanted to do. The first time I went to a film set I knew that’s where I needed to be.
[0:06:49.9] KM: What year did you graduate from high school?
[0:06:51.2] KT: ’96.
[0:06:52.2] KM: So in ’96 there was not any film opportunities in Little Rock.
[0:06:57.4] KT: Non that I knew off. Yeah. Jeff and I both have commented on that.
[0:07:00.8] KM: Who’s Jeff?
[0:07:01.7] KT: Jeff Nichols is the cofounder of the Arkansas Cinema Society with me, and he was the writer-director of Loving and Mud, and he was a year behind me in high school. We were in place together at Second Presbyterian and the Arkansas Art Center. We sort of got into theater and then I kind of got into photography, and if you combine those two that’s film.
I just didn’t feel any outlet for film when I was living here, and the opportunities are so much better than they used to be, but we want to make them even better for young people.
[0:07:33.1] KM: Hasn’t somebody else already tried to start an organization like this? Didn’t they try to start this not too long ago and get some tax credits by the legislature and it kind of fell through?
[0:07:43.6] KT: I don’t know.
[0:07:44.7] KM: Didn’t Kerry, a producer —
[0:07:48.7] KT: Kerry Elder?
[0:07:49.4] KM: Yeah. Didn’t she try to do something?
[0:07:50.5] KT: I’m not sure if there was anything exactly like this.
[0:07:53.3] KM: You’ll have to explain to me what the difference is.
[0:07:55.3] KT: Yeah. I’m not 100% sure what she did. She had a production company, which I have also, but this nonprofit right now is really more about educating youth, exposing the community to film makers from outside the state and giving Arkansan filmmakers a place to screen their films and a way to meet one another.
[0:08:20.6] KM: And you want it to be a statewide. That’s why it’s called the Arkansas Cinema.
[0:08:22.6] KT: That’s right.
[0:08:23.2] KM: You don’t want it to just be the Little Rock, because there’s the Little Rock Film Festival.
[0:08:26.1] KT: Right.
[0:08:26.9] KM: But that doesn’t really —
[0:08:28.1] RT: Little Rock Film Festival had a really nice run for 10 years, but the organizations of it a couple of years ago kind of let it go. They were busy elsewhere in their career and they could not continue it.
[0:08:42.4] KM: And you need make money in their life.
[0:08:43.4] RT: Yeah, probably so, and they’re doing a great job. A group of people started meeting after the demise of the Little Rock Film Festival to see how that void could be filled, and it has evolved into the Arkansas Cinema Society, really taking on a different mission entirely from what the Little Rock Film Festival had largely because of Jeff Nichols’ direction and inspiration.
[0:09:10.2] KM: Because the Little Rock Film Festival wasn’t really about making films. It was about reviewing films, right?
[0:09:15.6] KT: It’s really just about screening films.
[0:09:17.4] KM: Watching them.
[0:09:18.3] KT: Yeah, and the difference between what a traditional film festival does and what we’re doing is their submissions. For a traditional festival, there’s thousands of submissions. There’s people watching those films and accepting them into screen at their festival.
We are a curated festival, much like Ebertfest, which is sort of our design, but we’re also year-round, so we’re going to do programming and screenings year-round not just —
[0:09:49.2] KM: You got your work cut out for you.
[0:09:50.1] KT: Yeah.
[0:09:50.8] KM: Okay, Rett. You and Jimmy Moses have been a huge part of the success of the revitalization of downtown Little Rock. How in the world did you get kahonas to start this huge project 25 years ago?
[0:10:06.5] RT: Easy answer. Many, many, many partners. A whole lot of people have been involved in this, from lenders, to investors, to people who bought homes, to restaurateurs, to retailers, to city government, a lot of partners have made —
[0:10:24.6] KM: But not in the beginning. In the beginning, somebody had to go — How did all began? Did you go to the city and say —
[0:10:32.6] RT: Well, let me take you back. Most of the 20th century Little Rock turns it back on the river. When I was growing up in Little Rock in the 50s and 60s, what we had on the river was the county jail and the Tenenbaum scrap metal dealers, and then Chris and Schaffer Gravel Operation. That was your riverfront.
We actually started talking about a riverfront park in the late 70s and 80s and then in the early 90s they put together a long range planning process for the city.
[0:11:07.3] KM: Who’s they?
[0:11:08.7] RT: I guess the city leaders did.
[0:11:12.9] KM: Mayor Dailey or somebody?
[0:11:13.0] RT: Mayor Dailey. There were about 300 people involved and 12 task forces to look at the city’s future. One of the primary goals to come out of that was to reclaim the riverfront, and so that was kind of the beginning of the River Market District. We had to have the requisite expert from Philadelphia to come in and give us some good ideas, and one of the best things he told us was, “Take everything you can find that works and is movable and put it in the same area so that you begin to build some critical mass and some synergy.”
We had a pretty good farmers market in the base of the parking deck at 6th and Scott. You had an old history museum in McArthur Park, and once you’d seen the soul mummy they had there, that was probably about how you needed to go for.
That was moved then into the River Market Districts and now the Museum of Discovery —
[0:12:11.3] KM: Wait. There’s a mummy in the River Market?
[0:12:14.2] RT: That was a mummy — I’m sure it’s in their archive somewhere if they had a mummy.
[0:12:17.9] KM: I’d like to see that.
[0:12:19.8] RT: Now, Kelley Bass runs the Museum of Discovery, and he’s just done a fantastic job with that. We also persuaded Bobby Roberts to move the main branch with the public library into what was the old Phones Brothers Warehouse and it’s now their flagship and now part of a three or four building campus down there. So they’re a major anchor.
About that time we had a president elected from the State of Arkansas, and he had a decision to make about where to put his presidential library. Georgetown wanted it. Yale wanted it. Hope wanted it. Hot Springs wanted it. Little Rock wanted it. We told him, “President Clinton, you need to come to Little Rock, be part of something bigger.” Many of the existing presidential libraries are in either isolated or remote areas that are really not part of anything else. Even Kennedys’ in Boston, which is a major metropolitan area, you have to take the subway and then get on a bus to get out to that point that it’s on. They say cab drivers in Atlanta really don’t even know where the [inaudible 0:13:24.9] is.
President Clinton said, “I agree. I want to put it in Little Rock.” About 50 different sites all over Central Arkansas was submitted. We said, “Come be part of what we’re trying to do down here.” As a result, it’s only the second presidential library that’s an interstate exit, and it’s the only one that’s within walking distance to the city’s major hotels and convention centers.
In November of 1997 he committed to put the library down here, and that was a huge commitment for us, because it ultimately brought the Heifer Headquarters adjacent to it. It has spawned a lot of other developments.
When I talk about there being many partners, I’m telling the truth, all the way from the president of the United States to Mary Beth Ringgold who put the Copper Grill in the 303rd tower 10 years ago. She’d had great success with Capers and Cajun’s Wharf. She said, “I want to do something downtown.” That’s just an example.
I know you’ve had the Bruno’s Brothers on here too, a 65-year-old business, bringing three or four locations in Little Rock. Shutdown in West Little Rock and really just down for about two years, and both Bio and Vinny told me we cannot go to the grocery store without somebody saying, “When are you going to reopen?” They were kind of the first ones to jump and say, “Well go on Maine Street.”
It takes some other visionary people who buy into the dream and now they’ve got — You can’t get in there.
[0:14:57.8] KM: You cannot get in there.
[0:14:59.1] RT: Just like Yogi Bear said, “Nobody goes there. It’s too crowded.” They’re another good example of people that —
[0:15:07.1] KM: All of that came after you guys did the planning in the 70s and decided to start making changes.
[0:15:13.5] RT: The big plans really started in the 90s after that future Little Rock planning process.
[0:15:18.7] KM: How did you get involved, you personally? Was it because you were in real estate already?
[0:15:22.3] RT: I was already in real estate and I believed and love Little Rock and I thought that’s where maybe a private sector could make the biggest difference.
[0:15:31.3] KM: In 1990, I was looking for a property to put Arkansas Flag & Banner downtown and everywhere I went, Jimmy Moses, and I guess you too, Rett, had just made a bet on the property. That’s how I ended up where I am now, because every one of those on 2nd Street, I’d go, “This is a good one for a flag store,” and I go in there and go, “Jimmy Moses just made a big on this.” I was like, “Golly! Who is this guy, Jimmy Moses?”
[0:15:51.4] RT: Good for you and good for him.
[0:15:53.1] KM: Yeah, it worked out perfect.
[0:15:54.4] RT: Yeah. It worked out for everybody.
[0:15:55.4] KM: Because the building I bought was inexpensive and beautiful. I can’t even imagine that.
[0:16:02.2] RT: Yeah. You had a documentary made by Dave Mayhen about your building.
[0:16:05.1] KM: By Kathryn’s husband.
[0:16:06.6] RT: Yeah. Nominated for four regional Emmy’s. I’m like —
[0:16:09.8] KM: Dave just told me that this week. I’ve got to go online and find out how that is.
[0:16:15.0] KT: We keep it in the family.
[0:16:16.6] KM: You really do. Did you use low income housing tax credits? I just watched the thing on TV about this.
[0:16:23.7] RT: We have not done that. We have extensively used historic tax credits when we can take a building and it’s on the historic register, and we can rehabilitate it and bring it back to its original grandeur, then we use historic tax credits.
[0:16:39.8] KM: Do you sell them?
[0:16:41.2] RT: Yes and no. I’ll tell you about our biggest project where we combined historic tax credits, and another federal program called new market tax credits. It’s the project we did at 4th at Maine called the Mann that is a typical of us. It’s a mix use project. It included Samantha’s restaurant and Bruno’s state office buildings in the old blast parking store. The architect was Woodrow Mann and he’s also the architect for the State Capital, so we called the project The Mann Project. Then above Bruno’s are 19 loft apartments, and we built a parking deck in the back to kind of accommodate everybody.
[0:17:23.4] KM: Are they full?
[0:17:23.8] RT: Absolutely. Been full since the day they opened.
[0:17:26.8] KM: When did they opened?
[0:17:27.7] RT: Four years ago in June.
[0:17:30.5] KM: Wow!
[0:17:31.4] RT: Mann Lofts, and so now you see Maine Street is coming alive. Soulfish has been opened a year, and now across the street, that’s the 300 block on Maine, Tommy Lassiter and his team are going to put two restaurants in what’s called the old Rose Building, ornate two story building that’s in the —
[0:17:52.9] KM: Not the Rose Law Firm.
[0:17:53.4] RT: No, not Rose Law Firm. It’s called the Rose Building. Then at long last, really, the K-Loft Project, which is 30 loft apartments literally across the street from Bruno’s is being completed and the leasing will start there in September.
[0:18:08.1] KM: Are there enough people that want all these housing?
[0:18:11.2] RT: That’s a great question, because when you see a developer to Maumelle or Chenal or Bowman Road, they’re putting up 300 apartments in 18 buildings. We’ve done 36 here, 19 there, our first project was the [inaudible 0:18:26.3] lofts in 1999. It was 23 apartments. We’ve not really flooded the market. We’re getting ready to open the Clayton on Scott, which is between 9th and 10th. It’s 47 units. Occupancy will take place in September. We’ve already leased a bunch of that. Because it’s the way we’ve rolled out the supply, we’ve not oversupplied the market.
[0:18:50.0] KM: What’s the one down across from the bus station? Is that yours?
[0:18:54.5] RT: Yes. We’ve got two across from the bus station. One is called McArthur’s Commons —
[0:19:01.1] KM: How many is that?
[0:19:02.3] RT: That is 59. It’s been open about three years.
[0:19:04.2] KM: I was going to say that seems like your biggest one.
[0:19:06.6] RT: So far it is, and then Legion Row, which is across Capital Avenue from the bus station. Behind where the new bowling alley is going that we’re doing, called Dust Bowl, eight-lane bowling alley with a full bar and restaurant. Then across the alley from it we’ll be Fassler Hall, a German beer hall.
[0:19:27.6] KM: Are you scared to death you’re going to go bankrupt with one bad step?
[0:19:31.0] RT: We’ve gone too far now. We can’t worry about that anymore.
[0:19:35.0] KM: You are rolling the bowling alley. You are rolling the bones on these. A bowling alley downtown. Of course, everybody loves to bowl.
[0:19:35.0] RT: Hey!
[0:19:43.3] KM: I love to bowl.
[0:19:43.9] RT: I’m much more cautious than my partner. This bowling alley is going to be huge.
[0:19:48.7] KM: I think I read something else you’re putting in downtown, a theater, a movie theater. Did I read you’re putting in a movie theater?
[0:19:53.9] RT: That’s her.
[0:19:55.5] KM: That’s you, Kathryn?
[0:19:56.3] KT: Not yet, but in the future.
[0:19:58.3] KM: I think your dad will be helping with that.
[0:20:00.8] KT: I know a real estate guy.
[0:20:02.3] RT: Three Fold Noodles is going to open next month in the 600 block up Maine.
[0:20:07.1] KM: Do they make a gluten-free noddle in there?
[0:20:08.6] RT: Yeah, they’re outstanding.
[0:20:09.7] KM: I’ve heard that.
[0:20:11.5] RT: We put eight loft departments in that old building. Did a historic tax credit solely at it.
[0:20:15.5] KM: It sounds to me like you got more than just a few apartments downtown. It sounds like you’ve got hundreds. Don’t you have some condos that you sell — Didn’t you sell a bunch of condos also, upper-end?
[0:20:26.7] RT: From a developer and we have 11 condos left to sell. We are looking to sell those at. Yeah, we built about 300 condos. There are 300 home owners in the River Market District.
[0:20:39.4] KM: That makes a difference too.
[0:20:40.5] RT: Yeah. Big difference.
[0:20:42.1] KM: Do you ever see an end?
[0:20:43.1] RT: Not in the near future.
[0:20:45.0] KM: What do you see for the future of downtown?
[0:20:47.9] RT: I love the Tech Park and I think Little Rock is kind of getting on the tech train, and the job growth is just so important to any city as is leadership. The cities that do well have dynamic leadership both business and elected and they have dynamic growing business, and so I think the Little Rock Technology Park is a great addition. I think they’re doing good things.
Charles Morgan has got two high tech companies in the museum center. One, Inuvo, the other called Privacy Star, and they have about 100 employees —
[0:21:23.1] KM: What is your day consist of, Rett? What time do you go to work?
[0:21:27.2] RT: I’m not an early raiser, but I’ll stay as late as I need to.
[0:21:31.2] KM: Your wife stays up late too.
[0:21:32.9] RT: Yeah, we’re not morning people.
[0:21:36.3] KM: Go to work, and what do you do? Meetings all day long, putting people together all day long?
[0:21:41.3] RT: I’d really rather be doing things than sitting in meetings. Meetings are necessary. In the mindset, there’s never been any meeting longer than an hour. I’d probably cut that back. In any event, every day is a little different.
[0:21:54.8] KM: What do you think the key factor is to your success downtown? There’s got to be something.
[0:22:00.0] RT: We try to build quality projects and we think the mix use is very important, what they call the 24-hour community used to be the old joke downtown, was the last guy out at 5 p.m., would you flip out the light? Now, we have people coming home at 5 p.m. and —
[0:22:15.9] KM: Do you live downtown?
[0:22:17.4] RT: I do not.
[0:22:17.9] KM: Interesting.
[0:22:19.2] RT: I’ve owned a condo downtown. I’m currently been living in the same house for 31 years.
[0:22:24.7] KM: Can’t prime out with a crowbar.
[0:22:26.0] RT: No. We’re dynamites. So.
[0:22:28.2] KM: Yeah.
[0:22:29.5] RT: I do have some investments downtown.
[0:22:32.0] KM: Yeah, and you shop downtown.
[0:22:33.6] RT: I shop downtown. I eat downtown all the time, lunch and dinner.
[0:22:36.0] KM: Work downtown.
[0:22:36.5] RT: Work downtown.
[0:22:38.8] KM: You’ve opened in Fayetteville, why?
[0:22:42.2] RT: Dynamic part of the state and we had a real opportunity to open an office up there and it’s been about 18 months ago. It’s going on very well. As you know, the very dynamic economy up there growing like crazy and just probably a good place to have a real estate office.
[0:22:58.5] KM: Yeah. Are you building condos or apartments up there?
[0:23:01.6] RT: We manage a quite a bit of property and then we bought an older building just off the square Fayetteville that we’re completely renovating and leasing yet and excited about that.
[0:23:11.8] KM: Do they have any rules about how high these buildings can go, because it seems like there’re starting to be a lot of really tall apartments and condos in —
[0:23:22.8] RT: I think it depends on where it is. You’ve really got 4, 5 communities that comprise Northwest Arkansas and they all have their different regulations.
[0:23:31.5] KM: Around the square in Fayetteville, it seems like we’re getting a lot of tall buildings around there. Is there any limitations to that?
[0:23:36.5] RT: I think you got to get through the zoning process to get that accomplished.
[0:23:42.1] KM: It does seem like a great opportunity. If I had any money I’d be up there buying up a property and building apartments too.
[0:23:49.6] RT: Yeah. There are a lot of apartments in Fayetteville.
[0:23:51.4] KM: Well, the Arkansas Lottery has really put a lot of money into all the communities that have colleges right now, and they’re all growing.
Kathryn, my child, you have a very impressive resume. We talked about it when we first came on. You’re a film maker, you’re a magna cum laude from your Pennsylvania School. Was it Pennsylvania I said?
[0:24:11.9] KT: Yeah, University of Pennsylvania.
[0:24:13.4] KM: Yeah. You have worked for TV, Bones and Glee. You have worked on films, Kill Bill, Gangs of New York, Frida. I love Frida. Chicago, and independent film; Loggerhead. In Arkansas, you’ve worked on — I think you were the producer, or co-producer of All the Birds Have Flown South, and Antiquities, which is yet to be released. I haven’t seen all the birds flown south, because it’s a serious drama.
[0:24:43.4] KT: It’s a serious drama. It’s a psychological thriller, is what we’re calling it.
[0:24:47.7] RT: Draft of humor.
[0:24:50.3] KM: Yes, very. Even Joy Lauren, Adam’s sister, told me it was hard to watch.
[0:24:55.6] KT: It’s hard to watch, but everybody should see it.
[0:24:58.6] KM: That’s what everybody says.
[0:25:01.0] KT: It’s a really well-done film.
[0:25:02.3] KM: And Joy deserves an Oscar.
[0:25:04.8] KT: Oh my God! Her performance was tremendous.
[0:25:08.9] KM: That’s what I’ve heard.
[0:25:09.1] KT: All of the performances were so great. Everything was really well-done.
[0:25:13.8] KM: Yeah. Y’all should be proud of yourselves. Antiquities, who’s the start in that?
[0:25:19.3] KT: Andrew West is the leading male, and Ashley Green is the leading lead, and Arkansan, Mary Steenburgen has a guest appearance.
[0:25:31.3] KM: That’s awesome.
[0:25:32.0] KT: Kind of a cameo role. She was gracious enough to come do that for us.
[0:25:36.7] KM: You know, we called her Mary Nell in high school. Whenever I see her, I just put the little dig in, “Mary Nell.”
Then the other person that was on the radio with me was Rick St. Vincent. He’s also on the board of the Dreamland Ballroom and he was in it and he said it was going to be a great film. When are you going to release that one?
[0:25:57.7] KT: We are currently submitting to festivals, waiting to hear back from Toronto and Sun Dance and then possibly South by Southwest and, of course, you hope to get distribution at the festivals. If and when you get distribution, then it will go into theaters and you’ll be able to see it.
[0:26:14.0] KM: That’s a long process. I don’t understand that business at all. It takes forever.
[0:26:17.1] KT: It does take forever.
[0:26:18.1] KM: It seems like a joke that you would tell in a film would be no good five years later when it finally makes it to the people. You’re like, “That’s old news.
[0:26:26.9] KT: Yeah.
[0:26:26.6] RT: Yeah, delayed punch line.
[0:26:26.6] KM: Very delayed. You’re doing a documentary on the former Governor Mike Beebe. I bet his fun.
[0:26:34.8] KT: It’s been a really, really fun documentary. We’re almost finished. We’re just doing the score and the sound design and as soon as it’s ready it will be on AATM.
[0:26:44.6] KM: I’m going to have him on the radio.
[0:26:47.0] KT: Yeah. He is a great subject. The documentary was very easy, because he is incredible on camera.
[0:26:55.3] KM: Oh, I bet.
[0:26:56.9] KT: Yeah.
[0:26:58.3] KM: Now, on top of all these stuff you do, you are the executive director for the Arkansas Cinema Society, with Jeff Nichols.
[0:27:06.2] KT: Yes.
[0:27:07.3] KM: Adam Driver.
[0:27:08.0] KT: Adam Driver is going to be one of our first guests on August 25th. He’ll be here. He’s going to screen Patterson and the Force Awakens. Patterson at 2 p.m. on Friday, and the Force Awakens at 7 p.m. on Friday.
[0:27:24.9] KM: Can people get tickets still?
[0:27:27.1] KT: Those two screenings are currently sold out to the public. We have a hold on a few tickets that we’re hoping to be able to release to the public mid next week. Tickets are still available for Patti Cake$ which is screening at 6:30 on Thursday, August 24th, and it was sort of the Sun Dance sensation this year and it’s kind of a coo to be getting it at this time because it’s going to open nationally either the week before or the week right after our festival. The producer of it is coming.
Also, on Saturday, David Lowery is going to be here. He’s the writer-director, and he’s going to screen Pete’s Dragon, which is he wrote and director, at 2:00 on Saturday and have a conversation with Jeff afterwards. Then at 7:00 on Saturday, he’s screening A Ghost Story, which opened the summer and it had rave reviews across the country. He’s also signed on to direct the next Disney movie, Peter Pan. He is —
[0:28:30.3] KM: How many times they can make Peter Pan?
[0:28:32.5] KT: Not enough. It’s my favorite.
[0:28:33.3] KM: Oh. Well, okay. There you go.
[0:28:37.0] KT: Yeah. We’ve got a really, really fantastic line up for this first event.
[0:28:40.8] KM: I think I’m going to become a writer and come up with a new storyline.
[0:28:44.2] KT: Fairytale.
[0:28:46.7] KM: Yeah.
[0:28:48.3] KT: It’s a good idea.
[0:28:49.6] KM: I know. They keep just remaking everything.
[0:28:51.4] RT: Go for it.
[0:28:55.1] KM: Kathryn, the mission statement of the Arkansas Cinema Society is to build a film community in Arkansas where film lovers can watch films, share ideas, connect with each other and nurture the new and existing film talent within our state through increased exposure to film makers and their art.
At the beginning of the show you talked a little bit about why you and Jeff thinks this is important. Can you tell that story about photography in high school one more time?
[0:29:24.6] KT: Sure. My own personal story is that I was interested in photography and theater growing up in Arkansas and I think if I had been exposed to film sooner I would have had a better idea sooner that that’s what I wanted to do. I went to college for photography and minored in communications and took marketing and all of those things. It’s just all life film making if you just put them in a blender.
Then I worked for a celebrity photographer one night, moved to New York for the first year and I threw him. I met some Miramax, which was that’s the place to be at that time, and then went to work at Miramax and got on my first film set and just knew instantly that’s what I wanted to do.
Jeff has a different journey, but similar in that. He was also kind of deprived of being exposed to the film making world here in Arkansas and both of us just really want to help increase the film community and build it not just the industry of it, but the interest in it and sort of bring cinema as an art form more into the community.
[0:30:48.0] KM: I’ve learned this since I started the show a year ago, that behind every great leader is a teacher, and she just, again, validated again. I hear that over and over and over.
You and Jeff somehow tied up, met up with each other and started talking about this. How did it come to be?
[0:31:08.1] KT: When the Little Rock Film Festival shut its doors, there is so many disappointed people, myself included, because much of my film making career in Little Rock is a result either primary or secondary or the Little Rock Film Festival and people that met there. My husband, Dave Mayhen, met Joshua Miles Miller and Daniel Campbell and they’ve all been collaborators ever since.
There’s a real need for that kind of organization here, and so when it closed its doors, there’s 30 of us kind of got together and said, “What do we do and how do we replace this?” We kind of met over a year or so and then Jeff did his screening of Loving in November of last year and I ran into him there and he kind of asked what I was up to and I said, “We’re trying to get a festival going again here.” He said, “Let’s not do a festival. Let’s do what the Austin Film Society has done in Austin.”
It all happened really quickly —
[0:32:18.2] KM: What is that? What has the Austin Society done?
[0:32:22.5] KT: The Austin Film Society has been around for 30 years, and Richard Linklater originally founded it. It was kind of a bunch of filmmaker friends in their basement sharing movies and then it kind of grew out of that into what it is today, which is a huge organization. It’s a nonprofit that participates in all the different festivals. Really, it will definitely in Austin, but also in the state that they offer grant programs. They have a studio. They have their own theater. They do screenings weekly, monthly. They have host filmmakers. It’s tremendous what they’re doing.
[0:32:59.9] KM: I wish you do all of that in the Dreamland Ballroom. Wouldn’t that be fun that it’ll have a stage that helps kids? I love kids, and helps kids in the Dreamland Ballroom. Of course, my stage is not very big.
[0:33:12.4] KT: Yeah. I love the Dreamland Ballroom. It’d be great to do something there.
[0:33:16.0] KM: I’d love for you to, but we don’t have an elevator.
[0:33:19.3] KT: We could put one then.
[0:33:20.2] KM: There you go. Where are you thinking about housing your organization?
[0:33:27.5] KT: Right now, we’re roving from coffee shop to coffee shop on a daily basis saving quite a bit on the office space. We hope to house ourselves downtown Little Rock somewhere.
[0:33:42.7] KM: I bet your dad knows a vacant place.
[0:33:46.3] RT: I can help with that.
[0:33:48.6] KT: As we grow, we announce dour formation on March 23rd, and so it’s been a steep uphill climb to just be ready for this first event in August and, really, it’s just kind of a taste of what we’re planning on doing year round.
[0:34:05.3] KM: How did the even in August come to be?
[0:34:08.2] KT: Well, a bunch of us kind of went out and did research and figured out that there’s not a lot going on in August and it’d be a great time to have —
[0:34:16.3] KM: That’s because it’s so hot.
[0:34:16.9] KT: You’re right, but it’s a great time to be in a movie theater.
[0:34:19.9] KM: Oh, yeah! Right on! Okay.
[0:34:23.0] KT: It fits in well with the International Film Festival schedule. Although it’s not a festival, what we’re planning on doing, it’s doing these monthly screenings where we bring in a film maker and they screen a couple of films and talk about them after each of the film. We have a guest, a host kind of. If we bring in a cinematographer, then maybe a cinematographer ask the questions.
We really want there to be a conversation about the film.
[0:34:53.5] RT: Let me throw something in too. When the Cinema Society was announced and then when this program that’s coming up in two weeks was announced it got extensive coverage in L.A. and even nationwide, and Little Rock can always use some good PR. Maybe particularly most recently with our crime and shootings, it’s good to get some good PR for change. That’s one of the program was picked up by the Washington Post and Naomi Herald, really, newspapers all over the country.
[0:35:25.0] KM: Why? What made it special?
[0:35:26.8] KT: Jeff Nichols. Yeah. Mary Steenburgen’s on our board. Governor Mike Beebe is on our board. Kathy Webb, vice mayor, is on our board. We’ve got some really heavy hitters on our board that are wanting this to succeed and happen.
[0:35:44.0] KM: Do we get tax credits for it, for films that come to town? Do we ever get tax credits to the legislature?
[0:35:50.0] KT: We do have tax credits. Yeah.
[0:35:51.1] KM: Good, because we had it for a while. They took it away and I didn’t know if we ever got it back.
[0:35:56.2] KT: Got to have them.
[0:35:56.6] KM: You’ve got to have them. Everybody else has got them. You got to have them .
[0:35:59.8] KT: Yeah. It’s an $80-billion business in Georgia now.
[0:36:03.3] KM: If we turn the Maine Street downtown Little Rock into the — What it’s called? The Creative Corridor?
[0:36:11.5] KT: Yeah. The Tech Park, for me, seems like a very natural place for us to be around, because so much of film making is technical. I’ve said this before, but there’s not just actors and directors on movies. Depending on the size of the film, usually around 250 people that touch it, and a lot of those people make really good living. It’s an industry and it’s one of the only art industries — The only art forms that is also an industry. I think it’s tremendously important for economic development. Also, just to build up the art’s culture in the city is really the heart of the city.
[0:37:00.2] KM: It’s a whole another industry.
[0:37:01.2] KT: Yeah.
[0:37:02.6] KM: You’re bringing a whole another industry to Arkansas. Like you said, it’s going to be statewide. What goes on up in Bentonville? Isn’t there something different in Bentonville?
[0:37:11.5] KT: Yeah. There’s the Bentonville Film Festival, and ACS has met with them several times, were friendly and they want to host events down here with us and we want to host up events up there with them. It’s a festival, so it’s a little bit different than what we’re doing.
[0:37:32.4] KM: It’s not really competitive.
[0:37:34.1] KT: No.
[0:37:34.3] KM: Very complementary to each other.
[0:37:35.4] KT: Yes.
[0:37:36.2] KM: What happened to the Hot Springs Film Festival?
[0:37:37.3] KT: It’s still going strong. It’s doing really well.
[0:37:40.1] KM: We’ve got the Little Rock Film Festival though, you said, is actually what you are left over from. It’s debunked and you’ve created this new cinema, Arkansas Cinema Society from those people. Then we’ve got the Hot Spring Film Festival. We’ve got the Bentonville Film Festival.
[0:37:55.8] KT: There’s a film festival in El Dorado also, but and there’s the Kaleidoscope Festival. It’s actually happening next week in Little Rock. That’s a cool deal happening also. We really want to partner and support everything, connecting. In my mind, there’s not any competition with any of these other festivals.
[0:38:22.8] KM: Right. It really should build off of each other.
[0:38:25.7] KT: Exactly. All ships rise.
[0:38:29.1] KM: That’s right. If you kind of keep up with each other, you won’t be in competition picking the same dates.
[0:38:34.9] KT: Right. When you’re in communication, then you’re not overlapping. Yeah.
[0:38:38.4] KM: Do you think theater and film are at all alike?
[0:38:42.0] KT: Very similar, I think. I think very similar people get in to both.
[0:38:46.1] KM: Next, week our guest is from the Arkansas Children’s Theater at the Arkansas Art Center?
[0:38:55.1] KT: Jeff and I both did plays at the Art Center, but he could sing. I couldn’t, so I was like a log and some things, and maybe a tree in one. I think I was a rock in one. A silent fairy.
[0:39:12.6] KM: You’ve risen up now.
[0:39:15.2] KT: Behind the camera.
[0:39:17.4] KM: Kathryn and Rett, this is a question for both of you. We’re dreaming bit. It’s all I really ever did. If you could dream as big as you could dream, what would your dreams be? You have to start with economic development, Rett, first, and go first.
[0:39:29.7] RT: Jobs, jobs for everybody. Greatest social program ever created. I’d like to see Little Rock at the next level. I’d like to see unified leadership, business civic, institutional educational be on the same agenda and want the same things. Want big things for Little Rock and work together to accomplish those goals.
[0:39:52.1] KM: Well, Kathryn, I’m sorry you have to follow that.
[0:39:54.2] KT: I know.
[0:39:56.2] KM: Kathryn. If you were going to dream as big as you could dream, what would you dream?
[0:40:00.7] KT: For the ACS, what I would dream is that we have a state of the art theater in downtown Little Rock. The most comfortable seats in Arkansas, the biggest screen in Arkansas, the best sound in Arkansas, and we’d have monthly screenings much like they do at the Clinton School or even weekly screenings with filmmakers. Big filmmakers, and we would become like TED Talks but be in line and people would be like, “Did you see that talk from the ACS?”
We would have a bar restaurant adjacent to the theater and we would screen movies all weekend and it would be some place where people would come hangout and eat and go see a movie. Then I would also — Kind of partnership dream is just to build the film industry in Arkansas so that my husband doesn’t have to go out of town so much and we can both make movies in Arkansas and have Arkansas become known as a filmmaking hub much like New Orleans or Atlanta.
[0:41:13.5] KM: I do feel like Little Rock and just all of Arkansas is right on the cusp, and there’s a part of me that almost doesn’t want anybody to know about us. I understand the economic development and I know we need the jobs and I know —
[0:41:26.5] KT: I think you’re not the only one.
[0:41:27.7] KM: But I don’t want to sell out. You know what I mean? I want to have every bit of that, but I want to do it in the right way that we don’t sell ourselves out and just turn into —
[0:41:38.4] RT: We’re big enough where we’ve got all the amenities that a bigger city has; great art center, and a symphony. Everything that we have, but we’re still small enough that people can make a difference.
[0:41:51.4] KM: I read you said that in the Arkansas —
[0:41:52.7] KT: And you can afford to live here.
[0:41:54.5] KM: You can afford to live here. Is there anything you want to tell, Rett, to our listeners about how they can get involved in the downtown? I know you said earlier something about everybody can make a difference. Is there something you want to say that everybody could make a difference?
[0:42:13.0] RT: Join the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.
[0:42:14.8] KM: Are you the president of that?
[0:42:16.3] RT: I am not. I have been. I’m on the board. Gave Holmstrom is the executive director and does a great job. He’s put on the Doggie Parade and the alley parties on the weekends, and he’s very creative. In fact, he’s going to collaborate with Kathryn on some filming in the fall.
[0:42:36.6] KM: If they do, or the Downtown Partnership, does that money go to people like Kathryn who are trying to do stuff?
[0:42:42.1] RT: It really runs their programs and pays their staff.
[0:42:45.6] KM: Then to run their program and pay their stuff, what do they exactly do down there? Promote Little Rock?
[0:42:49.5] RT: Promote downtown. Promote the businesses downtown. Deal with issues like I30, the Home Taskforce just met and came up with a recommendation, things like that.
[0:43:01.6] KM: I’m having the mayor on in a couple of weeks and someone asked me to ask him what he thinks we should do about the trash in downtown Little Rock. I thought that was interesting, and it mostly comes from the homeless people just throwing their trash on the ground. I’m not sure if —
[0:43:14.7] RT: I’ll have to say I have not heard a lot of complaint about that. Pan-handling, yes, trash, no.
[0:43:20.0] KM: I agree. I haven’t either, but he said he lives close to somewhere where they sit in a parking lot and they just leave their trash everywhere, and so I guess it’s more his issue.
[0:43:30.0] RT: Probably true in every city.
[0:43:31.0] KM: It’s probably in his neighborhood, it’s more true. If people want to rent from you, how do they get in touch with you at Moses Tucker —
[0:43:40.7] RT: Mosestucker.com or 376-6555.
[0:43:44.9] KM: You don’t have all your condos listed on there, do you? All your properties listed?
[0:43:48.2] RT: Yes we do.
[0:43:48.4] KM: Every one of your properties is listed on mosestucker.com.
[0:43:51.2] RT: Yes.
[0:43:53.2] KM: All right, Kathryn. How do we but tickets, get involved with your exciting new Arkansas Cinema Society?
[0:44:00.3] KT: We have a place hold website, that’s arkansascinemasociety.org. We’re launching our real website next week. Tickets are for sale on goelevent.com and you can also go to our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Instagram page and all of the information is on those as well.
[0:44:22.1] KM: Your Facebook is Arkansas Society.
[0:44:24.9] KT: Arkansascinemasociety.org, and if you want to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org and if you have a question you can email email@example.com.
[0:44:37.5] KM: We’ll put all of that on the Arkansas Flag & Banner website, just click on radio show and you can go to this interview and you can see all of that information.
Who’s our guest next week, Tim?
[0:44:47.7] TB: Oh, next week, you already hinted at it. Rivka Cooperman from the Arkansas Children’s Theater.
[0:44:53.9] KM: Yeah! You should come back, Kathryn.
[0:44:55.6] KT: It’s like a good follow up.
[0:44:57.0] KM: It is a good follow up. Where is my gift for my guest? Here it is. Hold on. All right.
[0:45:01.3] RT: Flags. Surprise.
[0:45:02.6] KM: Imagine that. This one is — Tim, whose that?
[0:45:08.5] TB: That one is Pennsylvania.
[0:45:11.0] KM: Who went to Pennsylvania? Kathryn. That’s the Arkansas flag, the U.S. flag and the Pennsylvania flag desk set for you. Hold on, Rett.
[0:45:17.5] RT: Where is the pirate flag?
[0:45:19.8] TB: We have those. Just come by Flag and Banner.
[0:45:24.1] KM: Because you’re a pirate! This one is —
[0:45:26.4] TB: My favorite state flag.
[0:45:28.4] KM: Tim’s favorite state flag. Tell our listeners why that’s your favorite state flag.
[0:45:31.8] TB: Because it has a Roman gladiator standing over a dead body and it says death to tyrants under it. That’s awesome.
[0:45:40.0] RT: Who can argue with that?
[0:45:41.7] KT: Can we switch?
[0:45:44.2]KM: Not unless you want Virginia’s flag. That was your alma matters where y’all —
[0:45:47.3] RT: Thanks, Kerry.
[0:45:48.5] RT: Thank you.
[0:45:48.0] KM: You’re welcome. That’s really fun. To our listeners, if you have a great entrepreneurial story you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Send a brief bio or your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will be in touch.
Thank you for spending time with me. If you think this program has been about you, you’re right, but it’s also been for me. Thank you for letting me fulfill my destiny. My hope today is that you head or learned something that’s been inspiring or enlightening and that it, whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independence or your life.
I’m Kerry McCoy, and I’ll see you next time on Up In Your Business. Until then, be brave.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:46:25.3] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Want to hear today’s program again or want someone else to benefit from it? Jot this down. Next week a podcast will be available at flagandbanner.com. Click the tab labeled “Radio Show”, there you’ll find today’s segments with links to resources you heard discussed on this program. Kerry’s goal: to help you live the American Dream.