Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to be the featured speaker at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ 29th annual convention, which will be held June 15-17 in Little Rock, Ark.
Clinton will most likely speak at the lunch on Saturday, June 17, but details have not been finalized.
People at convention host Arkansas Times, several of whom have covered Clinton since he entered the political arena as a candidate for Congress in 1974, began working on lining up his appearance as soon as they knew Little Rock had been chosen for the convention. The former president is a reader of the Times and gave his last interview as president to the paper in Jan. 2001 on a nostalgic farewell-to-the-presidency visit to Little Rock.
Providing an assist was Jamie Moses, publisher of Buffalo, N.Y.’s Artvoice, who urged Clinton to attend the convention during a private dinner in Buffalo late last year.
AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel announced Clinton’s appearance this weekend at the AAN East conference in Washington. “I’ve talked to dozens of AAN members and they’re all excited that President Clinton will be attending,” Karpel said later. “We anticipate a huge increase in attendance as a result of his appearance, including a record number of spouses and mothers-in-law.”
The three-day convention will also feature an opening night reception at the Clinton Presidential Library, which was recently awarded American Institute of Architects’ highest honor for architectural excellence.