You don’t need a lot of money to have a good time in Arkansas. There are ample thinks to see and do that don’t cost a cent. Each Friday I’ll focus on something fun that is free. Be sure and check each week for a new attraction.
Recording industry legend and Arkansas native Al Bell headlines the free Juneteenth Celebration June 19 at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Bell’s topic of discussion is the power of music as a unifier of all people.
Morning activities include music and film workshops from 10 a.m. until noon. Movie screenings follow at noon and continue to 5 p.m. in the MTCC auditorium. Wattxtax, the documentary about the 1972 Los Angeles music festival labeled the “black Woodstock” is the centerpiece of the afternoon. Family friendly short and full-length films show throughout the day and there are special activities for children.
Born in Brinkley as Alvertis Bell, Bell has been a disc jockey, a record producer and songwriter executive at Stax Records, the label that make Memphis a major name in pop music circles in the 1960s. From 1965-1976, he was involved in the careers of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T and the MGs, Johnnie Taylor, Sam and Dave, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Billy Eckstein, Rufus Thomas and his daughter Carla. Some of his songwriting hits include: “I’ll Take You There,” a #1 hit in 1972 for The Staple Singers; “Comfort Me” for Carla Thomas, “Hard to Handle” for Otis Redding plus songs for Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd and others.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is located at Ninth and Broadway in downtown Little Rock.