Thursday, June 09, 2011

Switching Channels

What a week so far and it ain't ova! My keyboards have been smoking like a freight train blowing through town. I've tapped out so much copy for this forum while working on other matters that it seemed that I would have to get out the Bengay while throwing back couple of Celebrex. But what's blogger to do when there's so much fresh meat to be grilled and folks waiting to see just what will we say about it all? Well, let's not keep them waiting...

Local GLBTQ community Featured on KUAR

KUAR's "Gay in Arkansas" series began May 23 and will run through June 27 featuring area advocates, activist, educators, clergy and other members from the GLBTQ community including myself addressing the multi-racial, multi-cultural aspect of living in Arkansas.
The series was made possible by a grant from the Darragh Foundation, which supports social justice initiatives in honor of the late businessman Fred Darragh.
The grant enabled KUAR to give the subject an in-depth treatment, speaking to many different gay and lesbian people in the state about the challenges they face and how their lives have changed over the years.
Issues like gay marriage continue to be hot-button issues, but KUAR is seeking to give more context to those stories.
"I think that all Arkansas residents, no matter what their opinion of homosexuality, will benefit from hearing the stories of gay Arkansans and the people close to them," says KUAR assignment editor Kelly MacNeil, who applied for the grant.
This series is a far cry from the response from AETN which when approached about programming the "Out In America" gay documentary stated that it was not utilizing "new PBS programming" for its pledge week but rather using previously aired content. But in a programming twist, AETN and KUAR will partner together to show "Two Spirits," as part of Community Cinema Monday, June 27, at 6 p.m. at Roosevelt Thompson Library in Little Rock.

The Roosevelt Thompson Library is at 38 Rahling Circle off Chenal Parkway. A community discussion will be held following the screening, led by Sarah Beth Estes, a Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Admission is Free. You can watch the trailer on this forum in an earlier post.   KUAR is the local affiliate for National Public Radio which is among my favorite listening outfits with its progressive show such as the Diane Rheem Show, Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air which host a variety of topics from today's news makers to the best selling authors. If you haven't had a chance to check out this bastion of news and infotainment then you should at FM89.  In another one of those degrees of separation thoughts, my father was a 30 year employee and retired from the Darragh Company. I have fond memories of being on the plant grounds, the guys who loaded and unloaded the trucks and being amazed at the toughness of the delivery vehicles as he made drops both locally and statewide. On occasion I actually met Mr. Darragh when visiting the office and who knew that decades later I would be apart of a social justice project as a result of his generosity. The Fred K. Darragh Foundation threw its substantial funds against 2008's ACT 1 the co-habiting and adoption mash-up that has been derided by Arkansas' Supreme Court.  
The series is produced by reporter Eric Francis, a freelance reporter from North Little Rock's Argenta neighborhood. His work has appeared in publications as diverse as The North Little Rock Times, Arkansas Times, Arkansas Business, Spectrum Weekly, Talk Business Quarterly, and Arkansas Life.

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