Little Rock is no stranger to the changing tides of history and its power to shape a community. When most people think of Little Rock, they think of Central High School and the integration crisis of 1957, and they do so for good reason. The story of the Little Rock Nine is one of courage in the face of fear and righteousness in the wake of hate; a story that still, to this day, guides our city on the path to justice.
But our history didn’t begin in 1957, nor did our progress stop there. As Little Rock celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2021, we reflect on the ways our Black residents have helped shape our community into the modern and thriving city it is.
Today, Little Rock’s historic Civil Rights sites are a backbone of the community. Six sites, including Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, are included on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. They dot the city, offering tangible lessons of the past. Little Rock’s dining scene, widely acclaimed as one of the best in the South, is pillared by a bevy of Black-owned restaurants that can trace their history of service back not just decades but generations. Most notable of these is the Lassis Inn, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant where guests can sit in the same booths as those who planned the integration of Central High School.
In 2010, Little Rock became a majority-minority city, a trend that is reflected at all levels of city leadership. Little Rock now has a more diverse slate of elected leaders than at any time. From the first residents in 1821 to today, Little Rock is a city built on the intersection of our shared histories, and together those histories form the foundation of our community – a community that is the perfect place to host your next meeting.
Convenience is the keyword when talking about your meeting logistics within our city limits. The Statehouse Convention Center is centrally located in the heart of Little Rock and is only moments away from your next pedestrian adventure. You can walk across the Riverfront Park, North America's largest pedestrian-intended bridge or stroll the sprawling halls of the Clinton Presidential Center - which contains a full-size replica of the Oval Office during President Clinton's time in office.
That's not all, everyone should experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the River Market Entertainment District — where art, music, and food come together in harmony. Or head on down to SoMa (that's South Main Street) where you can the Grains to Glass Tour at Rock Town Distillery and learn the origins of whiskey and other fine spirits.