Little Rock Press Release


New Lights Brighten SoMa After Dark

Oct 9, 2019, 10:19 AM by Nate Kennedy

Little Rock, Ark. - The SoMa nightlife just got a little bit brighter.  The iconic cornbread mural on the side of the ESSE Purse Museum and next to The Root Cafe will now be lit at night thanks to a donation from the Arkansas Cornbread Festival. The lights will be in action during the next SoMa After Dark event on Friday, October 4th at dusk.  

The mural depicts anthropomorphized vegetables and fruits parading and singing the song “Yes We Can Can” behind “Cosmo” the cornbread skillet.  The mural is entitled “Yes We Can,” and was painted in 2012 by Steven Otis and Shannon Wallace. This is the first time lights have been installed for the mural.  

“We’re excited to partner with the Arkansas Cornbread Festival to activate this mural as part of our nighttime streetscape,” said Nate Kennedy, Executive Director of SoMa 501.  “The new lights add a warm, inviting glow that really make the ‘Yes We Can’ mural pop like never before.”

In addition to the new lighting, the festival committee is also installing doggy bag dispensers along South Main Street.

The Arkansas Cornbread Festival ( ACF) raises money by selling ballots to the annual cornbread cooking competition held in SoMa every October.  The ACF board donates surplus funds to SoMa 501 Little Rock, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit and Main Street Arkansas organization that improves economic development and community engagement along South Main Street.  The festival will occur later this month on Saturday, October 26th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The Arkansas Cornbread Festival is an award winning community festival named by Forbes as one of the “Five Fall Festivals for Food Lovers” this year.* The cornbread competition puts culinary skills to the test for home cooks and professional chefs alike.  In addition to the competition, festival-goers can enjoy live music, local beer, food trucks, crafts from local artisans, and the kids and family zone. Admission is free, but voting ballots are $8 in advance and $10 the day of the festival.

SoMa After Dark is a monthly late-night experience on South Main Street.  On the first Friday of every month, SoMa patrons will find retail stores open until 8:00 PM or later, restaurants and bars running specials and debuting new menus, new exhibits at the galleries, and live performances at music venues and on the street.  There’s always something dynamic and eclectic happening in SoMa.

SoMa 501 Little Rock Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing economic development, public relations, historic integrity and quality of life for the citizens of the neighborhood.  As an accredited Main Street America program, SoMa 501 works with local businesses, government partners, and other stakeholders to deliver events, improvement projects, and programming for the benefit of everyone that visits South Main between 12th and 29th Streets.



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