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Michael Hibblen

Celebrate a life in public radio

Long-time host of UA Little Rock Public Radio's program, Arts Scene, Ann Nicholson (1932-2020) created over 1000 episodes of her program during her 35 year career.

On this episode, we offer a rare interview with our colleague Ann where she recounts personal memories and stories from her past. With her long-time producer William Wagner by her side, we discussed her background and how she came to radio.

Credit M. E. Kubit
Interviewing Ann in the Nicholson home. (L-R) Ann Nicholson, William Wagner, and J. Bradley Minnick.
Ann in the KLRE studio in the 1990s

She was never one who liked to be interviewed; she prefered to be the one asking the questions. However, after she retired in November of 2019, we finally convinced her to sit down for an interview with J. Bradley Minnick, William Wagner, and Mary Ellen Kubit in late February of 2020. With the pandemic quickly approaching, this was her final recording.

Born in India, the daughter of a British Army Officer, and educated in India, Kashmir, Scotland, and England, Nicholson immigrated to Canada in 1958, and then to the United States in 1962. 

She received a double BA degree in music education and music history from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Nicholson continued her graduate education in musicology at the University of Kentucky.

She moved to Arkansas in 1978 when her husband Dr. David Nicholson was hired at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Ann Nicholson became public relations director for Ballet Arkansas, helping to produce a regional ballet festival. In 1984, she joined KLRE and conceived, wrote and narrated a 10-part series of 30-minute programs titled The Forgotten Oscar, based on the stories and poems of Oscar Wilde. 

Thank you UA Little Rock Public Radio for sharing the excerpts from the Arts Scene. A special thank you to current host of the Arts Scene, Daniel Breen, for also assisting with the episode. We are grateful to Geoffrey Robson of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for selecting the music and for his long-time friendship with the Arts Scene and KLRE Classic Music, a station of UA Little Rock Public Radio.

Thank you to Stickyz Rock 'N' Roll Chicken Shack for keeping music alive and well in Arkansas.

Generous funding for this episode was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Contact Arts & Letters Radio at or via phone at 501-569-8485.  Our mailing address is:  Arts & Letters Radio |  KUAR 89.1  | 5820 Asher Avenue, Suite 400  | Little Rock, AR   72204.

Executive Producer & Host: J. Bradley Minnick Producers & Story Editors: William Wagner and Mary Ellen Kubit Recorded by: William Wagner and Mary Ellen Kubit Sound Engineering/Mixing and Mastering: Simon Sound Studio

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