While Northwest Arkansas has had a thriving arts scene for years, the arts and culture offerings in the area have reached new heights with the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on Nov. 11, 2011 in Bentonville. Founded by Alice Walton, it is a premier national art institute collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving the outstanding works and masterpieces of American art that illuminate our heritage and artistic endeavors.
Numerous public and private galleries and arts centers throughout the region serve not only regional artists, but nationally and internationally-known visual artists as well.
The Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville excels in its offerings of dance, music and theater, and hosts the award-winning TheatreSquared and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. From its Broadway series to dance performances, concerts and more, it packs the house. Springdale boasts the Arts Center of the Ozarks which offers classes and workshops as well as performance art and dinner theaters. Rogers Little Theater stages Broadway musicals and theater productions as well as a youth enrichment series. The Bella Vista Players and Sager Creek Arts Center round out other arts offerings.
Millions of visitors continue to flock to The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs to experience the outdoor drama depicting the last days of Christ’s life on earth. Also in Eureka Springs, Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point gives visitors an opportunity to see the nation’s brightest budding opera talent. In existence for more than 50 years, this prominent opera training program rates in the top ten in the world by Money Magazine.
This plethora of arts and culture sites in northwest Arkansas has sparked the creation of a new Arkansas Art Trail. The trail highlights 10 significant places where nature and art intersect. Exploring the entire trail can take three to seven days depending on how long you linger at each site or how many side trips you take.