“Rock and Ring thru the Decades in Little Rock”

72nd Annual American Bell Association Convention

Little Rock, Arkansas  ~  Wednesday, June 28 – Saturday, July 1, 2017

Embassy Suites Hotel, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway

Hotel Reservations: Reserve Online ~ Phone: 501-537- 3310 (M-F)
Front Desk: (501) 312-9000

Embassy Suites by Hilton Little RockThe Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa is located west of the city of Little Rock. The main floor atrium garden has water cascading throughout the first floor. This is a luxurious hotel offering many amenities for our members:

  • Complimentary Breakfast (Made to Order)
  • Complimentary Reception with snacks and drinks
  • Complimentary Internet & USA Today
  • Business Center
  • Fitness Facilities
  • Refrigerator and Microwave
  • Indoor Pool and Sauna
  • 10% discount at hotel restaurants
  • Complimentary shuttle w/in 5-mile radius of hotel
  • Complimentary Outdoor Parking (indoor parking available for an additional $10 charge/day)
  • Complimentary shuttle to/from airport (call front desk for reservation)
  • 24-Hour Front Desk with a friendly smile waiting to greet you

Suite Room Rates

  • $114 (per night, 1-2 members/room)
  • $124 (per night, 3 members/room)
  • $134 (per night, 4 members/room)

Embassy Suites by Hilton Little Rock room interiorDirections

From I-430 N: take Shackleford/Kanis loop exit (Exit 6). Make a right onto Shackleford Road, and then a left at the light onto Financial Centre Parkway. Continue for 1/2 mile and the hotel is on your left.

From I-430 S: take Shackleford/Kanis loop exit (Exit 6). Make a left onto Shackleford Road, and then a left at the light onto Financial Centre Parkway. Continue for 1/2 mile and the hotel is on your left.

Travelling from the Airport

Call the Embassy Suites front desk and provide your name, arrival date, and departure date. They have a small van so make sure you call as soon as possible. First come, first serve…501-537-3310 (M-F). This is a FREE service from the hotel.

Pre-Convention Tours

Little Rock is steeped in history going back to the Civil War. In addition to historical museums, there are many art museums. Two tours will be offered to take in some of the sights in Little Rock and Hot Springs (about 45 minutes away.)

Arkansas State Capitol bellMonday, June 26 Tour—Little Rock – $25

Tuesday, June 27 Tour—Hot Springs – $60

The Belle of Hot SpringsHot Springs is a spa resort city. The water was believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties and was a subject of legend among Native Americans.

Friday Night Buffet and Dinner Theatre

southern crossroads dinner theatre playMurry’s Dinner Playhouse presents Southern Crossroads – As one of the longest running dinner theatres in the country, Murry’s is committed to bringing food, fun, and fabulous entertainment right to the heart of Arkansas. On Friday evening enjoy a night out after a long day of buying bells at the auction. Murry’s is located about 15 minutes from the Embassy Hotel. We will ride share to transport everyone to the dinner playhouse for those that travelled by train or airplane.

Southern Crossroads is a joyous, funny, and touching show set in the midst of the Great Depression. Southern Crossroads follows a traveling family of singers, who despite setbacks, persevere to bring entertainment to the locals regardless, treating them to an old-fashioned high-spirited Southern jamboree.

We will ride share to the dinner theater. Cost for this dinner and show is $38.

The 2017 Convention Bell

Created by Virginia Wilson Toccalino, ABA Member and Artist from Canada

2017 ABA Convention Bell

This unique, fine, handcrafted and individually hand blown glass bell has what is known as a high gloss, wet mint finish. The multiple fine lines in the aqua body of the bell are made using threads of transparent cobalt blue glass on white opaque glass centers known as overlay glass canes. The white centers stop the light and reflect it back to give a precise and multi-toned visual effect. This technique is what the artists call a complex cane body, although others with some degree of knowledge of this process may refer to this style as Fligrana or Filigree Glass. The bell height is 7″.

Filigrana glass was developed in historic Murano Italy in 1560 AD and is largely responsible for the fame they enjoy today.

The handle is achieved by trapping air bubbles in the crystal and then pulling and twisting the mass of glass to get the swirling pattern in the handle that now resembles chrome threads. This effect is known as an air twist and is in effect a complex cane in its own right. The handle is secured to the body of the bell using a cold fusion method. A smooth transition is achieved with the reflective clear knop between the handle and the body.

2017 ABA Convention Bell clapperThe clapper is a multifaceted clear crystal bead hung off a silver tone chain using classic jewelry techniques and is epoxied to the inside of the bell top.

Each bell is identified on the inside bottom rim, “ABA 2017,” and signed discretely by the artist.

This convention bell is a very labor intensive work of art offered to the ABA members and collectors at a very special price of $55 that will not likely to be repeated in the future so don’t miss out on this truly beautiful bell.

What Else is in Store

Bell Exhibits – Many members are downsizing their collections. Why not opt for a Sales Table at this year’s convention? The more exhibits the merrier. Or just enjoy browsing through the beautiful bells on exhibit.

Auction – Why not sell some of your bells at convention (remember each bell has a $25 minimum), or hope that the bell you really want will be available at the auction and you will be the highest bidder.

Programs – Learn from the amazing program presenters about bells, bell companies, etc.

Exciting Entertainment – We are working on exciting entertainment for the convention.

Renewing Friendships – Meet friends whom you have talked with at previous conventions and catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives or just talk about bells.

Bring a Friend or Relative – There is nothing like enjoying the convention with someone. I tried that in Kansas City with my sister, and she is now hooked on bells.

Call the Convention Chair with questions or if you would like to participate in some way at the convention:

Marilyn Grismere
(513) 466-8038 (land line)
(513) 885-9040 (cell)