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Contact(s):Scott Carter
501-371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

LITTLE ROCK MAYOR ANNOUNCES CURRAN HALL TASK FORCE

Body will Study Long-Term Future Use of Historic Structure

Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey today announced the members of the task force to study the long-term future use of Curran Hall. That historic structure, located at 615 East Capitol Avenue, currently serves as a visitor information center operated by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau (LRCVB).

The Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission, which oversees the operations of the LRCVB, expressed concerns earlier this year over the costs of operating Curran Hall as a visitor information center. It opened in May 2002 following a $1.4 million renovation. The house, built in 1842, was in disrepair when it was purchased in 1996 and restored through funds from the City, LRCVB, and private fundraising efforts. Late last month, in order to balance the concerns of the Commission and a foundation which raised much of the private dollars for the restoration, the Mayor announced his intention to create the task force.

In announcing the task force members, Mayor Dailey commented, “People have very strong feelings about Curran Hall. We all want to do what is right for that wonderful historic building, as well as for the people who donated money to restore it. At the same time, it appears that the current function should be examined and other possible options in conjunction with a visitor center be explored.”

“I look forward to the dialogue over the next several weeks,” said the Mayor. “I expect it will be frank, open, and very productive. I am bringing together a dynamic and creative group of individuals with a great deal of experience. I am confident that we will find the best solution for Curran Hall which will balance the concerns of the various involved parties.” 

Mayor Dailey will serve as the chairman of the task force. Other members are:
*Annie Abrams, community leader
*John P. Gill, chair of the Little Rock Visitor Center Foundation board
*Mollie Irvin, community leader
*Bob Lanford, member of the Little Rock Visitor Center Foundation board
*Clarice Miller, community leader
*Carolyn Newbern, chair of the Little Rock Historic District Commission and a Master Gardener
*Cheri Nichols, historic preservation expert
*Joe David Rice, tourism director for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
*Mary Beth Ringgold, chair of the Advertising and Promotion Commission
*Dr. Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System
*Sharon Welch-Blair, Downtown Neighborhood Association
*Roger Williams, executive director of the Quapaw Quarter Association
*Stacy Williams, member of the MacArthur Military History Museum Commission
*Bill Worthen, executive director of Historic Arkansas Museum

The Task Force will hold its first meeting within the next two weeks. According to the Mayor, “My intention is that we will meet on a weekly basis. Our work should be concluded in the next 30 to 45 days.”

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