University of Central Arkansas

UCA celebrates ‘Arkansongs’ 25th anniversary

Conway Institute of Music

CONWAY – The University of Central Arkansas Public Appearances will host “Arkansongs” in celebration of 25 years of broadcasting on Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

The main event will start at 3 p.m., but visitors are also invited to an exhibit in the Windgate Gallery starting at 2 p.m.

Culled from the UCA Archives and the Old State House Museum, the exhibition will feature artifacts such as Louis Jordan’s saxophone; a Levon Helm bust by famed Arkansas sculptor, Kevin Kresse; Jimmy Driftwood’s guitar; the RCA Dog and more.

The event will feature co-founder Stephen Koch, who will entertain and educate the audience on the history of trailblazing Arkansas artists such as Levon Helm, Almeda Riddle, Jimmy Driftwood, Black Oak Arkansas, Sippie Wallace, Rosetta Tharpe and more.

“Arkansongs” highlights the legends as well as the forgotten heroes in every musical genre. The show first aired in 1998 with cofounders and journalists Stephen Koch and Keith Merckx. The radio program has continued to air for 25 years and focuses on showcasing Arkansas’ people, places, and music. Each week, “Arkansongs” examines another facet of Arkansas music, exploring the people and events that have influenced the state and the world. It is a respected staple of the state’s media fabric and is home to Red River Radio, a network of stations boasting one of the largest public radio coverage areas in the nation.

Patricia Poulter, UCA provost and executive vice president said, “We are looking forward to hosting ‘Arkansongs’ co-creator Stephen Koch on the UCA campus. The afternoon offers us the opportunity to take a deep dive into the richness that is Arkansas music through a combination of conversation, multimedia and archival artifacts. It will be a truly unique experience for all in attendance.”

Amanda Horton, UCA Public Appearances executive director, said, “We are excited to have Stephen, who is an award-winning journalist in both broadcast and print and an expert in Arkansas music. He will tell us the beloved stories of these talented state treasures and will perform an acoustic set so that the audience can get a taste of the music that originated from our state.”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children/students. Tickets may be purchased at the Reynolds or Windgate box offices Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., online at uca.edu/reynolds or by calling UCA Ticket Central at (501) 450-3265 or toll-free at (866) 810-0012.

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