Posted 28 Jan 2019
The Arkansas Educational Television Network in partnership with Arkansas Sounds will celebrate Art Porter Sr. Friday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock.
This special event will feature the 1996 film "Art Porter Sr.: A Musical Treasure," as well as a panel discussion, honoring the continued legacy and 85th birthday of Arkansas pianist, composer, conductor and music teacher Art Porter Sr.
The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Tickets are available at cals.org/ron-robinson-theater.
Porter, the Arkansas Jazz Statesman, was born in Little Rock February 8, 1934. He never officially worked as a touring musician, choosing instead to perform, teach and contribute to his church and other charitable causes in his hometown and state.
A 1950 graduate of Dunbar High School, Porter attended AM&N College in Pine Bluff, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in music education in 1954. He went on to earn a Master of Science in music education from Henderson State University in 1975. He taught at Mississippi Valley College, Horace Mann High School, Parkview High School and Philander Smith College. He also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Shorter College and was pianist/organist/choral director at Bethel AME Church in Little Rock.
Porter produced two groundbreaking programs on AETN: "The Minor Key," a weekly series portraying black culture in Arkansas, and "Porterhouse Cuts," a series of 10 shows that were aired throughout the southeastern region covering 14 states. He produced several albums including "Little Rock A.M." and "Something Else." His last recording, "Portrait of Art," was released after his death on February 8, 1994 (his birthday), with proceeds going to help promising young musicians realize their musical dreams.
Porter appeared on stage with Pharoah Sanders, Steve Allen, O. C. Smith, James Leary, Al Hibbler, the Northwest Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Little Rock Jazz Machine and many others. He was the first recipient of the Arkansas Jazz and Heritage Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.
"Art Porter Sr.: A Musical Treasure" will also air on AETN Monday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m.
Arkansas Sounds is a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System. Focused on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present, Arkansas Sounds presents concerts, workshops and other events to showcase Arkansas's musical culture.
The Central Arkansas Library System includes 14 branch libraries located in Little Rock, Perryville and throughout Pulaski County, and offers the largest research collection in Central Arkansas. CALS's downtown Little Rock campus includes the Ron Robinson Theater, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Cox Creative Center.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. Audiences can also watch on several digital platforms, and members with AETN Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).