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Assume Rubix fingers over LITFest efficiency contracts, sponsorship particulars

The town of Little Rock launched extra paperwork on Tuesday associated to LITFest, the controversial city-sponsored pageant that Mayor Frank Scott Jr. canceled on the eleventh hour after reporters famous a string of moral and authorized points. The newly launched paperwork had been beforehand held by Assume Rubix, the contractor employed to supply the pageant that didn’t occur. The paperwork embrace sponsorship particulars and efficiency contracts. 

Christina DePriest, a paralegal within the metropolis legal professional’s workplace, stated that these paperwork weren’t produced as a part of the preliminary Freedom of Data Act launch as a result of the town didn’t have possession of them. DePriest stated Assume Rubix offered a flash drive  Monday afternoon and the knowledge was distributed to requestors.

In an interview Tuesday, Assume Rubix Principal Tristan Wilkerson shared a few of his disappointment in how the pageant spiraled uncontrolled and finally fizzled fully.

Assume Rubix

“Assume Rubix didn’t obtain any compensation from the town of Little Rock, nor the sponsors for its providers in producing and liaising this occasion,” Wilkerson stated. “We labored our butts off with volunteers and neighborhood companions to attempt to convey collectively a pageant with lower than three months to plan and a shoestring funds.”

Spencer Watson, the town spokesperson, stated that Little Rock has not obtained any funds from Assume Rubix associated to LITFest. Wilkerson stated Tuesday that the unspent sponsorship cash was refunded to the contributing organizations, and the agency didn’t obtain a dime from the $45,000 contract with the town.

The paperwork included a $65,000 contract for headliner Ashanti; a $25,000 contract for J. Howell, the opening efficiency; a $7,500 contract for Spinderella, who was set to supply DJ providers, and a $3,000 contract for the musician Blane Howard.

All contracts had been paid for in full, regardless of the cancellation, Wilkerson stated. He additionally famous T-shirts, water bottles and different swag gadgets had been prepped for the pageant however went unused.

He stated that the cancellation of LITFest negatively impacted Little Rock’s residents, the native expertise that was set to carry out and his group — “the people who find themselves paid honest wages to guarantee that they are often first-time homebuyers and deal with their youngsters and be overly cellular in a spot like Little Rock, [which] has traditionally not created alternatives for younger individuals like that.”

In response to an accounting abstract, 4 sponsors contributed a complete of $165,000, although solely the presenting sponsor’s cash was obtained early sufficient for use for expenditures — Axon Enterprises Inc., a taser manufacturing firm that provides gear for the Little Rock Police Division, which gave $150,000.

Three different sponsors every gave $5,000, however the cash was not obtained in time to be spent, Wilkerson stated. These sponsors had been Wright Lindsey Jennings, a legislation agency the place At-Giant Director Antwan Phillips works as an legal professional; Lime, the electrical scooter firm that gives rides in Little Rock and The Ron Redwing Group, a public methods agency primarily based in Memphis.

Sponsorship {dollars} had been routed by means of a nonprofit group related to Assume Rubix, The Basis for Social Impression. In response to the accounting abstract, every of the $5,000 contributions had been refunded in full, however Axon was refunded a portion of its contribution — an unspent $56,144. Wilkerson stated he couldn’t remark in regards to the settlement with Axon as a result of he stated that he was not concerned.


The inaugural LITFest was set for Oct. 7-9, however Metropolis Supervisor Bruce Moore canceled the town’s contract with Assume Rubix on Oct. 3, which led to Scott to call off the festival later the identical day.

Wilkerson stated that taking up LITFest was like a labor of affection, and his agency has been left with a “fairly large void.” The $45,000 contract with the town was anticipated to pay workers’ wages whereas they labored on the pageant, and with the cancellation, Wilkerson stated the corporate has taken a loss.

Assume Rubix is a minority-owned public affairs agency that was chosen for the occasion group in April 2022 by means of a request for {qualifications} (RFQ) course of carried out by the town. Assume Rubix secured the contract the second time the town put it out for bid as a result of the town’s first bid didn’t finish in a contract.

The town introduced that Assume Rubix would lead LITFest in April, one week after Assume Rubix introduced that Charles Blake, the mayor’s former chief of employees, joined the corporate. Within the assertion, the town assured that Blake was not concerned within the submission course of, however public records later showed that was false.

Although Assume Rubix was picked to prepare the occasion in April, Moore signed the contract months afterward June 9. Wilkerson stated the Assume Rubix group suggested metropolis officers to attend till after the November election to carry the occasion, however members of the Scott administration insisted on holding it in October.

Wilkerson stated that the planning for a marriage with 30 individuals might take longer than his agency was allotted for a pageant that was anticipated to attract 20,000 attendees. 

“We had been requested to carry out a miracle,” Wilkerson stated. “That’s loads to ask.”

Upon the pageant’s cancellation, Scott stated that each the town and Assume Rubix acted legally inside “the traditional bounds of contracting and procurement.” He additionally stated that he was “disillusioned that divisive politics negatively affected the imaginative and prescient and influence of this inaugural pageant.”

Wilkerson echoed related sentiments on Tuesday and argued that Assume Rubix has not been represented pretty in press protection. In August, the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce awarded the agency because the 2022 Minority Enterprise of the Yr; Wilkerson additionally was acknowledged because the Excellent Minority Government of the Yr.

This distinction, in addition to the agency’s work to increase the millage for the Little Rock Faculty District, and becoming a member of within the Construct Academy — a Little Rock enterprise and management growth program — acquired neglected within the LITFest protection, Wilkerson stated.

“We’ve moved on as a result of now we have work to do,” Wilkerson stated.

The submit Think Rubix hands over LITFest performance contracts, sponsorship details appeared first on Arkansas Times.