Recently, Channel 11 did a week-long feature on Little Rock’s R&B legacy. The 5-part series included an interview with my son, Matthew Savage McCoy, director of the Friends of Dreamland, about the musical heritage of the Dreamland Ballroom.
Like his mother, Matthew’s been bitten by the Dreamland bug and has made it his mission to bring this magical place back to life. In the above picture of me standing amongst the Dreamland rubble, I am pregnant. And guess who with? That’s right, Matthew! Instead of having an innate calling, you might say he has an in utero calling.
Rising to the Occassion
To date, his biggest accomplishment was in 2018. With the help of Katy Elliot, he submitted and received a grant from the National Park Service to build an elevator addition that will make Dreamland Ballroom ADA accessible. But that is not all he has done. Since his return to Little Rock from Fayetteville with a degree in Animal Science (go figure), he has rejuvenated the Friends Of Dreamland board, become an expert on the history of 9th Street and the Taborian Hall, managed successful fundraisers, implemented monthly tours of the building and ballroom, improved the ballroom’s social media presence, partnered with Mosaic Templar on Juneteenth, become VP of our new neighborhood organization – the Little Rock Art’s District – and currently he is awaiting the results of two more grants he recently submitted that will complete the elevator addition and restore the famous stage.
But, perhaps the hardest thing he’s done is learn to listen; to his board, his supporters, his Mom, and his mentor – Cathy Mayton – of Stella Boyle Trust.
Good interview, son.
If preserving this piece of Arkansas History speaks to you, consider giving a tax-deductible donation to Friends of Dreamland.