Archives on the web of Dreamland Ballroom:
Here you will find links to stories, editorials, photos, photographers who have worked in the ballroom, videos taken in Dreamland along with news footage and every link we can find that discusses Dreamland Ballroom. Every one, individual, group, school, organization, business, photographer, bride…whomever you have our deepest gratitude for posting such wonderful things on the internet to show the world about Taborian Hall and her Dreamland Ballroom.
Students impress with MLK Day Challenge at Dreamland Ballroom
Little Rock, Ark., – Yesterday as part of Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, the Mosaic Templars brought a group of student volunteers to the Dreamland Ballroom (MLK Day Challenge at Dreamland Ballroom), located at 800 West 9th Street on the third floor of the Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com building.
The group of students brought great attitudes and terrific work ethic along with them, they not only painted the ballroom floor they also cleaned inside and around the outdoor area of the 800 block of 9th Street. Everyone employed at Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com was greatly impressed by the young people who turned out. These students gave up a day out of school to be a part of the Mosaic Templars MLK Day Challenge at Dreamland Ballroom, though none of them seemed to feel that they were giving up anything. (more…)
Dreamland Ballroom on TV: Below are 3 videos that feature Amber Jones, our Executive Director, promoting Dreamland and Drive-In events from Summer 2011. Enjoy!
Dreamland Ballroom: History & Drive-In:
Dreamland Ballroom: Tuskegee Airmen and Drive-In
Dreamland Ballroom: Drive-In and This Place Matters
Also, you can check us out on our new YouTube® Channel for the latest videos all about the Dream!
By Katherina-Marie Yancy
(KATV) In its heyday, the Dreamland Ballroom was the place for African Americans to hang out during segregation. Decades later, organizers with Friends of Dreamland are focused on preserving and celebrating the building and its rich history.
Starting Thursday, they’re hosting drive in movies that highlight its history.
It’s the last building of its kind still standing. A place that during so much heartache people of color were able to let loose and forget about the thin line they couldn’t cross when out in society.
Many people enjoying the drive in movie on the side of the historic Arkansas Flag and Banner building have never even been to one. Its small things like this, Friends of Dreamland want to highlight.
Just a few floors up history lives. Built nearly a century ago by the black community, it’s preservation at its finest. The ballroom hasn’t been restored since the days when musicians like Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Nate King Cole sang and people put all their worries aside and danced the night away.
Rychy St Vincent found out he was related to music legends after he became a jazz singer. He says, “My first opportunity to go on that stage, I talked about being on the wood, standing on the original wood of that stage where people like Count Basie, Nate King Cole and Billy Holiday and all these other greats. All these jazz greats stood on that stage, played and sang on that stage, the same exact wood I had an opportunity to come to and I’m jazzed about it.”
Amber Jones heads the Friends of Dreamland. They received a 1.3 million dollar estimate to restore the ballroom, but maintain its integrity. She says, “Too difficult to put into words, but it’s just a touchstone for the community and for it to be here and be in use and be used just as it was in the last 90-years, it’s the perfect use for this space and we’d like to see people come back to it and new people come to it.”
It’s not just about the building; they’re also compiling interviews from people who attended those dances.
Jones says they’re applying for grants because renting out the facility isn’t a significant money maker. They hope to have enough money to get started in about 2- years.
Drive in Movie Schedule 8:30 p.m.:
June 16: Goonies
June 23: The Tuskegee Airmen
June 30: The Blues Brothers (R)
By: Melissa Dunbar-Gates, Today’s THV
THV’s Melissa Dunbar-Gates took a tour and spoke with building owner Kerry McCoy.
A non-profit group has been established to revive the facility; but they have a long way to go.
The room has incredible history. Can’t you just see a packed house, a full dance floor, and hear the trumpets of Luis Armstrong blaring. This room has been all kinds of things.
Originally built in the late 1800’s, it served as an African American USO club in both world wars; according to building owner McCoy a black fraternity used it to house women and children here in the great depression.
McCoy says, “I’ve had offers to turn it into a restaurant, turn it into apartments, to make a school out of it, but I’ve refused them all because I think it needs to stay exactly like it is be an event center for the community to use.”
According to McCoy the whole 9th Street corridor, where her building sits, used to be known as Little Rock’s “Little Harlem.” she said the street was lined with African America owned businesses on one side, and homes on the other side; and it is inside that old ballroom that African America entertainers came to play.
McCoy says, “A lot of the entertainers would perform at Robinson hall for the white people then stay in the hotel right next door and come up here to the ballroom and jam all night long.”
McCoy says, “I don’t want to do one single thing to it except make it safe and get an elevator up here. I want it to look exactly how it does.”
McCoy’s non-profit group needs more than a million dollars for the renovation. For a price you can have your name put on one of the box seats above the stage, or can have your name put on the stage, or the balcony in the back; and be a part of bringing the music and dancing back to the dreamland ballroom.
You can help make the Dreamland Ballroom renovation a reality by logging onto its website. There you can buy a brick for the new front sidewalk. Your name will be engraved in your brick.
Click Here to see the Video!
A group of Arkansans, set on restoring an old performance hall to its former glory, got a big boost over the weekend.
The Barnes and Noble on Financial Center donated 10% of its proceeds today to “Friends of Dreamland Ballroom.”
The Dreamland Ballroom was a premier venue in Little Rock for soul, R and B, and jazz musicians.
This group wants to rehab it and preserve it as a place to hold events and performances.
“I’ve had offers to turn it into a restaurant, a school, apartments. But it just needs to stay what it is, an events center which is not necessarily a real prosperous business, it almost has to be a non-profit,” says Kerry McCoy with Friends of Dreamland Ballroom.
The group hopes to fund raise this year, start construction next year and re-open the venue in 2012.
For more information on how you can get involved, click here.