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The Discovering Our Delta Celebration

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Explore Pine Bluff's fast approaching "Discover Our Delta'' cultural tourism celebration is not one you want to miss as it will celebrate the talents of Arkansas artists like comedienne extraordinaire, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Blues legends Bobby Rush and Tail Dragger Jones, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Byron Vaughns, and a variety of other local artists, entertainers, and authors.

On Friday, September 9th, and Saturday, September 10th Explore Pine Bluff will be hosting a cultural celebration to honor, recognize, and celebrate some of Arkansas' biggest talents in media and entertainment. Featured artists include Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Bobby Rush, Tail Dragger Jones, and Byron Vaughns.

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney is an actress, comedian, poet, playwright, and producer. She is best known for her appearance in films like New Jack City, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, What’s Love Got to Do with It, The Inkwell, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Having honed her talents in theater and comedy at the University of the Streets Theater and the Apollo, having taught dramas and performed in them, and having starred in her own one-woman shows as well as the films, television shows, and plays of others, Stickney is the definition of a true renaissance woman.

On Friday at 7:00 PM, Stickney will wow audiences with her one-woman show Nothing But the Truth...Confessions of a Black Female Icon. Stickney’s unique blend of comedy and spoken word laced with insider tales acquired during her illustrious Hollywood career is sure to both captivate and enliven every listener present.

On Saturday at 10:00 AM the Discover Our Authors Exhibit will showcase award-winning local authors who have made incredible contributions to the literary world. These author include Julius Lester, Laura Castoro, Paul Greenberg, the WPA Slave Narratives, and many others. As you check out the exhibits, get a free caricature drawing done by Jared Hogue, THE caricature artist for Arkansas! Later that day, you can enjoy the showing of an animated film, a Blues performance, and the first showing of a musical documentary.

Byron Vaughns is an Emmy award-winning illustrator with a massive animated film catalog with work on shows ranging from Steven Spielberg's Tiny Toons to Tom and Jerry to the Berenstain Bears. After getting his start developing his Pine Bluff Paradise comic strip for the Pine Bluff Commercial and creating news and weather graphics for KATV, Vaughns moved to Hollywood, where he learned and animated with the best. Though Vaughns started as a storyboard artist, he moved on to directing and producing animated films of his own including the 2006 animated comedy, The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, featuring the voices of Nick Cannon, Wanda Sykes, D.L. Hughley and Danny Glover. The showing of this film will take place Saturday morning at 11:00 AM at the Black Box Theater at ART WORKS on Main Street. You do not want to miss this film, inspired by the African American Brer Rabbit stories and popularized by Joel Chandler Harris.

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Blues ambassador and “King of the Chitlin’ Circuit,” Bobby Rush has spent over seventy years entertaining the masses as a world-renowned Blues musician. Having released more than seventy-five songs, won two Grammy awards for the Best Traditional Blues Album, and performed at shows from Mississippi to the Great Wall of China, Rush is one of the last remaining blues legends of his era. Still a vibrant and gifted storyteller full of quick wit and Southern charm, Rush is ready to dazzle audiences Saturday afternoon at 12:00 PM at the Freedom & Blues Exhibit inside the UAPB Incubator.

Tail Dragger Jones was born in Altheimer, Arkansas on September 30, 1940. As a young child, he fell in love with the blues and hasn’t quit loving her since. He became a full-time blues singer in the early 1970s after moving to Chicago. He has been backed by esteemed musicians like Willie Kent, Hubert Sumlin, Carey Bell, Kansas City Red, Big Leon Brooks, Eddie Shaw, and Little Mack Simmons. In a class all his own, Tail Dragger is an acclaimed Chicago Blues musician known for his magnetic performances and his decorated career as a true Blues musician. On Saturday at 2:00 PM, come watch the premiere screening of the documentary Tail Dragger about this veteran Arkansas Blues performer and witness the national and international performances that made him such a big success.

Join us in discovering our artists, our folklore, and our music at Explore Pine Bluff’s Discover Our Delta Celebration. All activities are free to the public.


For more information about Discovering Our Delta Celebration itinerary visit:

Written by: Ninfa O. Barnard

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