Sculpture at the River Market is beyond inspired after receiving the Little Rock Parks & Recreation “Above and Beyond Volunteer” Award. Jane Rogers, committee chair, and Dr. Dean Kumpuris, founder, were on hand to accept the award during the Little Rock Parks & Recreation Volunteer Luncheon on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.Pictured left to right: Truman Tolefree, Dr. Dean Kumpuris, Mayor Mark Stodola, Jane Rogers, City Manager Bruce Moore, Mrs. Arkansas International 2015 Adrienne Smith, Walden Cash (Little Rock Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman)
Following are remarks made by Truman Tolefree, Little Rock Parks & Recreation Director, as he presented the award:
“Thirty committee members make up the core group of this standout organization. But the lives they have been able to touch and teach through the arts is surely in the thousands…if not millions!
Since 2007 this nonprofit group has developed a program that show cases sculpture from all the over the country at the River Market and in Riverfront Park. They educate the public on this form of art and their handiwork is being seen in further reaches in the city. Just last month another beautiful sculpture was installed in Chenal Valley…thanks in big part to this group.
Each year the Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale draws in visitors from all over the country. There are special events throughout the weekend to attract people over to see the beautiful sculptures. But at the same time they do all they can to bring in all types and anybody who would want to come. From a semi-formal Friday night reception, to a more casual sculpture party for the younger crowd, to the FREE admission to the show on Saturday and Sunday…this organization goes “above and beyond” to make sure EVERY body can enjoy the arts and specifically these amazing sculptures.
Throughout the year, docents give tours to school groups and tourists in town and at ANY given time one can simply take a stroll through the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden free of charge to see something remarkable. Just this year, at their Spring Show and Sale, the public was invited to vote on a sculpture that would be installed in front of our Little Rock Central High School. Now, for generations to come, students and faculty there will be able to be a part of this organization who goes above and beyond. To date, the organization itself has brought more than $3,000,000 in public art to parks and public right of ways in our beautiful city. Their willingness to bring a top-notch program to the city for ALL to enjoy, their follow-through on what can be done better next time…though I think we can’t get any better.
We can’t say enough about this generous, motivated and unique non-profit. So we’ll simply say “thank you”. Thank you for going Above and Beyond.
Our Little Rock Parks & Recreation Above and Beyond Volunteer Award this year goes to Sculpture at the River Market.”