Daniel Breen

All Things Considered Host/Reporter

Daniel Breen is a Little Rock-based reporter, anchor and producer for KUAR.

A native of the Natural State, Daniel served as a reporter and editor for Little Rock Central High School’s Tiger Newspaper and later graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a B.A. in mass communication. Daniel currently serves as a reporter and news anchor at KUAR, and as the host and producer of the weekly arts and culture interview show Arts Scene.

Daniel's work has been heard on NPR as well as numerous public radio stations in the South. His report on deaths at an outpatient surgical center for Arkansas Public Media earned him 2nd place in Enterprise/Investigative Reporting in the 2018 Arkansas-Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters contest. He has also done freelance production work for numerous media outlets and podcasts, including Vox, BBC Radio 4 and Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing guitar, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and exploring the wilderness of Arkansas.

Phone: (501) 349-7108

Email: daniel@kuar.org

Judge Candidates Highlight Issues at Judicial Forum

Feb 18, 2020
Salfalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

Judge candidates for the Arkansas Supreme Court and other circuit court races discussed current issues facing the state’s judicial branch during a forum hosted by the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law on Sunday, Feb. 9.

State Supreme Court associate justice candidates Barbara Womack Webb and Judge Chip Welch shared their most pressing concerns they’d address if elected to serve on the bench. 

Welch, a current state circuit judge, said judges must work to treat those who enter the courtroom the same, whether they have legal counsel or not. 

Arkansas Rep

In her career of 60-plus years in what she calls "the show rackets," Elizabeth Ashley has learned a thing or two. 

Speaking with Ashley, perched cross-legged on a leather couch in the Arkansas Rep green room, one becomes aware of her importance to the craft of acting. 

archildrens.org

Families affected by peanut allergies— which are often severe, especially for children— now have the opportunity to receive treatment from a drug recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

The drug, Palforzia, stems from an 18-year research effort from the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute on the campus of Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Kolton Rutherford / KUAR News

The U.S. Census Bureau started a recruiting push in Little Rock on Thursday to finish hiring enumerators for the upcoming 2020 Census in Arkansas.

The recruiting push kicked off with a hiring event and press conference at the Little Rock Census Office in downtown Little Rock. Prospective workers filled out applications and learned more about the jobs offered.

The Census, held once every ten years, determines how the government distributes billions of dollars in funds over the next decade to each state.

Arkansas Secretary of State

As the nation turned its attention to New Hampshire’s primary, voters in Arkansas were perfectly split between the two candidates in a Democratic runoff election for a vacant seat in the state House of Representatives.

Unofficial results show Joy Springer and Ryan Davis each received 372 votes in Tuesday’s runoff for House District 34, which encompasses parts of east, central and west Little Rock. The seat has been vacant since the death of longtime Democratic State Rep. John Walker in October 2019.

Pulaski County Election Commissioner Joshua Price said, as far as anyone can recall, this hasn’t happened before.

The Thea Foundation has been uplifting young artists in the Natural State for nearly 20 years. 

Now, the foundation is giving the (slightly) older generations a chance to show off what they've got. 

Arkansas Arts Center

The Arkansas Arts Center is in the midst of a transformation, more than 80 years since it first opened. 

The museum in Little Rock's MacArthur Park has undergone eight additions in its lifetime, but its original core still stands. 

Youtube

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. asked residents for their continued support and cooperation in his second State of the City address Thursday night, particularly in the form of approving a one-cent sales tax increase.

Scott, who made history in 2018 as Little Rock’s first popularly-elected black mayor, told the audience at the downtown headquarters of Heifer International the tax hike would fund infrastructure and early childhood education.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR News

A campaign led by leaders in politics, faith and medicine in the state urges people not to sign two petitions currently circulating in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Members of the “Just Don’t Sign” campaign held a press conference at the state Capitol Thursday.

Republican Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers, urged supporters gathered at the State Capitol not to sign either of the two petitions currently circulating to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. Sen. Bledsoe said legalizing the drug’s recreational use would have adverse effects on the state.

Elizabeth Eckford Little Rock Nine
Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Elizabeth Eckford, who was one of nine black students to desegregate Little Rock's Central High School in 1957, recounted her experiences to a crowd Wednesday. She spoke in a lecture sponsored by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators at Little Rock’s Statehouse Convention Center.

Brought on stage in a wheelchair by a ranger with the National Park Service, the 78-year-old Eckford was greeted by silent visual applause; a stark contrast to the chaos she endured as a member of the Little Rock Nine.

crystalbridges.org

For nearly a decade, a gem of American art has been hidden in the landscape of the Ozarks.

Bentonville’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art cuts an unassuming figure at first. A squat façade sitting behind a glistening silver tree greets you as you round a circular drive, following a quick jaunt through the woods.

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Starting in the next school year, first-year students attending Little Rock’s Hall High School can choose from three coursework tracks focusing on science, technology and the arts.

Officials with the state Department of Education and the Little Rock School District on Tuesday announced plans for re-designating Hall as a magnet school focusing on STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore told the audience that students from all attendance zones are welcome to apply for the 2020- 2021 school year.

Sally Nixon

Sally Nixon is an expert at capturing the beauty of the mundane, and at times, the underappreciated. 

For being so unique and idiosyncratic, Nixon's works have a deeply personal, familiar feel to them.  You might recognize that overly-tanned grandpa from your trip to Miami Beach, or maybe you were once the little girl reading in a 1990s-era inflatable chair. 

npr.org

Businesses and nonprofits across Arkansas are working to ensure an accurate count of the state’s population in the 2020 Census. Representatives from groups raising awareness of the Census spoke at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Little Rock Tuesday.

Mireya Reith, founding executive director of immigrants’ rights group Arkansas United, said one big challenge is combating misinformation aimed at hard-to-count populations.

Arkansas Cinema Society

We’re in the midst of awards season, and movies are naturally on the mind of many. But for Kathryn Tucker, film is always at the forefront.

Tucker founded the Arkansas Cinema Society in 2017 along with Little Rock-born film director Jeff Nichols. Since then, the ACS has been uplifting filmmakers in the Natural State through grants, public programs and screenings.

Arkansas Rep

If you find yourself in Little Rock for the Holidays, you don't have to be the richest man in the world to revisit a Christmas classic. 

The story of George Bailey, his guardian angel Clarence, and all the inhabitants of Bedford Falls has become something of a holiday tradition for many. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

State regulators have voted not to increase restrictions surrounding the use of a controversial herbicide that has been blamed for widespread damage to crops and other plants.

Members of the Arkansas State Plant Board met Wednesday to discuss new proposed regulations on dicamba for the 2020 growing season. All but one member voted to not require farmers who use the chemical on genetically modified cotton and soybean fields to report spraying records and real-time GPS coordinates to an online database.

Daniel Breen

The state of the arts in Arkansas is good, and that’s been largely due to the efforts of the Arkansas Arts Council.

For more than 50 years, the council has been dedicated to supporting artists in the Natural State through grants, education and special events.

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The 2019 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival has come and gone, and if you didn't make the trip to Spa City last month, we've got just the thing. 

UA Little Rock Public Radio's resident movie buff Sarah Kellogg is our guest this week, and breaks down some of the festival's 100 plus screenings. 

Michael John Gray
Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A former U.S. Senate candidate's silence on why he dropped out is making a Democratic presence in the Arkansas race unlikely. Speaking with reporters at party headquarters Monday, state Democratic Party Chair Michael John Gray voiced his disappointment.

"There are emotions all across the range of them of the frustration that at this point it does not look like there will be a Democratic candidate on the ballot," Gray said.

Sarah Kellogg - KUAR News / KUAR

Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore says the ongoing movement for local control of the district shouldn’t overshadow students’ needs.

Speaking at a meeting of the Political Animals’ Club Wednesday, Poore said there should be a greater focus on growing academics in the city’s schools. He discussed his outings into the community where he speaks to children and parents in the LRSD. 

Instagram

The worlds Matthew Castellano creates are full of color, activity, and intrigue. 

The south Florida native taught himself to draw, and hasn't stopped since. He's since moved into making prints, but continues to draw at a prolific pace. 

David Monteith / KUAR News

A day after teachers in the Little Rock School District went on strike, members of the State Board of Education voted to change the makeup of a committee designed to aid with employment issues.

The board voted 5-4 Friday to expand a personnel policy committee for the district from eight members to just under 50, with one representative from each school in the district serving on the committee. Elections for the committee were already underway when board members voted to expand the number of seats.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., could likely run for a second term without having to face a Democratic challenger, but officials with the state Democratic Party disagree.

Cotton, who has served in the Senate since 2015, originally faced Democratic challenger Josh Mahony of Fayetteville. Mahony, who ran unsuccessfully against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Womack in 2018, announced he was dropping out of the Senate race Tuesday. His announcement came roughly two hours after the campaign filing period ended.

Teresa Knapp Gordon (center), president of the Little Rock Education Association, telling reporters Monday that the union is calling for a one-day strike on Thursday.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The return of the Little Rock School District to local control has been a controversial topic since the state took over the district almost five years ago. State officials say the outcome of an Oct. 10 meeting of the State Board of Education signals a return to local control of the district, but others disagree. 

What we know, after the marathon eight-hour meeting and roughly 350 pages of transcribed minutes, is that it's complicated.

celesteheadlee.com

Celeste Headlee has many titles: classically trained soprano, veteran public media journalist, and acclaimed author, to name a few. 

But to who she calls her favorite person in the world, she was just a granddaughter. 

kristin-lewis.com

The opera world has its fair share of stars, and one hails from right here in Little Rock. 

Kristin Lewis has graced the stage around the world, including at her Metropolitan Opera debut earlier in the year. She's world-renowned for her well-focused, majestic sound, particularly in her signature role leading Giuseppe Verdi's Aida.

University of Central Arkansas

This week on Arts Scene, a glimpse into the musical life of an unlikely opera singer. 

Listeners may know Florence Foster Jenkins from the 2016 movie of the same name, starring Meryl Streep. Jenkins graced the stage in early 20th Century New York, singing some of the greatest pieces of the vocal repertoire. 

Jason Masters / Little Rock Soirée

On this week's Arts Scene, a spooky look at Ballet Arkansas's world-premiere season opener. 

The city's professional dance company is kicking off its 41st season with "Sleepy Hollow," an adaptation of Washington Irving's haunting tale of the Headless Horseman. 

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's 2019-2020 season is well underway, and it's the first under the leadership of ASO Associate Conductor and Interim Artistic Director Geoffrey Robson. 

He's had numerous roles since joining the symphony, directing the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and hosting his concert preview show At The Symphony on KLRE Classical 90.5. Now, we'll hear a full season of concerts programmed by Robson, along with input from various stakeholders. 

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