Monthly Archives: March 2014

Finding your way in Northwest Arkansas

Ever have any trouble finding your way around a place you don’t know?


Well, you can travel anywhere in Northwest Arkansas and not get lost because of a wayfinding initiative with partner cities and the Northwest Arkansas Council.  Just look out for signs like these, and you will be sure to find your way around!

Wayfinding in Northwest Arkansas


Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit at Arts Center of the Ozarks

Blithe Spirit

April 4, 5, 6, 11 & 12, 2014 

A recent smash on both the London and Broadway stage, this Noel Coward classic offers up a fussy, cantankerous novelist, recently re-married but also haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, thanks to visiting medium.  As both worldly and un-worldly personalities clash, hilarious comedy follows.  Witty, sophisticated and uproariously entertaining, with a surprising twist in the end.

Buy Tickets Here!

Siloam Springs – 2014 Arkansas Community of the Year

Siloam Springs was named Welcome to Arkansas Community of the Year at the 40th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Rogers.

Arkansas Tourism Director Joe David Rice presented the award to Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce President Wayne Mays, Co-Chair Christina Drake and Welcome Center Manager Betty Ross, who accepted a plaque on behalf of the community.

Siloam Springs - Arkansas Community of the Year Left to Right: Wayne Mays, Scott Sudduth, Christina Drake, Betty Ross, Joe David Rice

“Siloam Springs has vigorously implemented Welcome to Arkansas principles and additional training opportunities,” Mays said of Siloam Springs’ involvement in the program, “Locally certified trainers now host biennial Welcome to Arkansas training sessions for our front-line personnel, and have created a powerpoint for these presentations that features photos and information about these points of interest to take training attendees on a ‘virtual tour’ of Siloam Springs’ best attractions.”

“We have taken the principles of the Welcome to Arkansas program to heart, and have used it as a leading development tool for furthering tourism and quality of life improvements in our community,” Mays said.

Fluff at Walton Arts Center

Australian Family Theater piece Fluff comes to Walton Arts Center

Fluff at Walton Arts Center

Walton Arts Center is excited to welcome Fluff on Sunday, April 13 at 2pm. Tickets are only $6 and can be purchased by calling 479.443.5600 or by visitingwww.waltonartscenter.orgFor downloadable photos, visit our Fluff  Dropbox. For video, click here.

Fluff is a fun, simple Australian theater piece best for children ages 4-10. During the show, viewers meet the Ginghams, a family that worries about lost and discarded toys and travels the world to find them. As each toy is introduced one by one, audiences will learn the story of how it came to be lost and its journey to a new home. After receiving a movement, a vocal sound, a piece of music and a nightlight, watch as the Gingham family safely tucks each toy back into bed. Fluff has been acclaimed for its originality and its combination of song, movement, projection and audience participation.

With a bright set and plenty of song and dance, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy. New technology and handmade toys combine throughout the show to create an original performance that children and parents alike can appreciate.

Fluff is a production of Cre8ion—a company specializing in producing and touring theatrical shows in Australia and internationally. Cre8ion works with artists who have developed theatrical works across a multitude of genres that dare to be innovative and different. Critics and reviews on Fluff:


“One of the most imaginative shows for the young you will find. Highly sophisticated and great fun…the children – and the adults – loved it!” –The Advertiser (Sydney Opera House season)

“The laughs come as much from the adults in the audience as their enthralled children” –The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

Walton Arts Center is proud to debut Fluff for this one-day-only performance. Tickets can be purchased by calling at 479.443.5600 or by visiting For more information about Fluff, visit their website here.

Fly Fishing 101 Program at Hobbs State Park

Fly Fishing 101 Program at Hobbs State Park 

Hobbs State Park Logo

     Those who wish to learn the basics of fly fishing will want to attend the Fly Fishing 101 workshop to be held at the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor centerSunday March 30th from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Two hours of instruction will be in the classroom, and two hours will be outside.  Participants will learn four basic casts, the six basic types of flies, (lures) how to cast and “play” the flies in the water, how to read water, how to wade, how to purchase and assemble your equipment, how to store your equipment, as well as how to tie the four basic knots used by fly fishers.  All equipment will be provided.

The workshop will be taught by Sallyann Brown, past recipient of the “Woman of the Year” and the “Federation of Fly Fishers Educator of the Year” awards from the Federation of Fly Fishers, Inc.

When:  Sunday March 30, 2014

Time:  12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Where: The workshop will be held at the Hobbs State Park visitor center located

on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

Minimum age is 12 yrs.  Cost:  $35 per person + tax.  Class size is limited to 15.  Reservations and pre-payment required.  479-789-5000


Spring Break at Hobbs State Park

Hobbs State Park - Spring Break in Arkansas

Getting outside is what the Boomers did as kids; however, today many parents today express  concern about children’s alienation from nature, which Richard Louv described as “nature deficit disorder” in his bestseller, Last Child in the Woods.

Today the 52 State Parks of Arkansas provide fun, safe settings for families with children to enjoy the outdoors together, and Spring Break at your Arkansas State Parks, is one of those opportunities.

Take the family to Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area this upcoming Spring Break.  Hobbs is located on Hwy 12 just east of Rogers, and is the largest state park in Arkansas with 12,056 acres.  Go for a hike.  Hobbs has 35 miles of trails.  24 of those miles are Multi-Use, meaning that you can ride your horse, non-motorized bike, or hike on these trails.  11 of Hobbs’s 35 miles of trail are for foot traffic only.

Other Spring Break activities at Hobbs include nature programs, a free talk on the famous Sanborn fire maps on Saturday the 22nd, and a fly tying workshop on Sunday the 23rd.   Spring Break cruises on Beaver Lake are scheduled for March 23rd,

26th ,28th , and 29th.  The Hobbs visitor center has outstanding exhibits of nature, history, and taxidermy of local wildlife.  At Hobbs State Park you can learn about the now extinct passenger pigeon or visit the Historic Van Winkle Trail, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Get outside in your own “back yard” this Spring Break.  Visit Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area, and beat that “nature deficit disorder”.

For more information about Spring Break activities at Hobbs State Park and how to sign up for the fly tying workshop or Beaver Lake cruises, call 479-899-5000   For on-line maps of Hobbs State Park and its trails, as well listings of Spring Break and other programs visit:


The Wizard of Oz at Walton Arts Center

The Wizard of Oz at Walton Arts Center

Join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto as they follow the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires!

The Wizard of Oz April 1-6 7 PERFORMANCES!

Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this new production of The Wizard of Ozcontains all the beloved songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.


A Taste for Modernism at Crystal Bridges

March 15 through July 7 at Crystal Bridges

March 15 through July 7 at Crystal Bridges

This exciting exhibit at Crystal Bridges opens tomorrow, March 15!


Admission is $8 for adults. Admission to all temporary exhibitions is free for Museum Members and for youth ages 18 and under.


The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism is sponsored by: William S. Paley Foundation Inc., ConAgra Foods, Greenwood Gearhart Inc., KFSM-TV CBS, Stephens Inc.


The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism features selections from the extraordinary private collection of William S. Paley, the late founder and guiding spirit of CBS. The exhibition features more than 60 works of art, including paintings, drawings and sculpture, some of the most striking by French modern masters. Highlights include works by Paul Gauguin, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, and Edgar Degas, most created between 1880 and 1940, at the height of French Modernism, as well as Pablo Picasso’s Boy Leading a Horse.

Paley was the charismatic entrepreneur who virtually invented CBS. He was also an unusually active trustee at The Museum of Modern Art, joining its board in 1937, when the museum was only eight years old, and rising through its ranks to become president and then chairman. Paley began buying art in the mid-1930s and he continued to do so into the early 1970s. Upon his death in 1990 at the age of 89, Paley willed his entire collection to the museum.

At Crystal Bridges, The Paley Collection complements the earlier exhibition of modern works shared with Fisk University, The Artists’ Eye: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, and presents a rare opportunity for guests to view these masters of European Modernism that inspired many American artists. This exhibition was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Crystal Bridges will be the last venue to offer this special temporary exhibition before it returns to MoMA. Admission is $8 for adults. Admission to all temporary exhibitions is free for Crystal Bridges members and for youth ages 18 and under.

A free audio tour, prepared by The Museum of Modern Art, is available for check-out at the entrance to the exhibition.

A drop-in guided tour featuring selected highlights from the exhibition is offered on Thursdays at 1 p.m. Free, no registration required.


Tales from the South at Arts Center of the Ozarks

Tales from the South March 16, 2014 Sunday at 6:00 pm Location: Arts Center of the Ozarks 214 S. Main Street Downtown Springdale

Starring Writers: Vicki Penny & Russell Gayer With Music By: Tyrannosaurus Chicken

“Tales from the South” is coming to the ACO! This unique, unrehearsed showcase of writers reading their stories is broadcast locally on KUAF on Sunday afternoons, and syndicated on World Radio Network.  Rich in language, detail and voice, the show’s literary moments are true stories told by the Southerners who lived them.  This traveling version brings host and executive producer Paula Morell to NWA for a truly Southern evening.  Local writers and their stories will be chosen for performance, accompanied by local musicians playing Southern blues/jazz, and topped off with a scrumptiously Southern Sunday Night Supper.  A one–of-a-kind way to celebrate our Southern heritage and talents.

Tickets include Sunday night supper: ACO Members $20 Public: $25 Story written by NWA Media writer & ACO Callboard Editor Becca Martin-Brown

Sharing Stories: ‘Tales From the South’ has everything but campfire

“Tales From the South” started with 10 stories Paula Morell’s friends sent her for a project about 10 years ago.

But her passion for storytelling goes back much, much further.

“I grew up in a family of storytellers, my grandfather and dad in particular, and I would hang out with them and listen for hours,” says Morell, who hosts the weekly “Tales From the South” events in Little Rock and the broadcasts on KUAR, the National Public Radio affiliate in Little Rock. “I’m a lot more introverted, so instead of telling stories, I started writing stories as early as 5 or 6 years old.

“I’m fascinated with stories and storytelling, heard or read, fiction or nonfiction,” she adds. “There’s an age-old connection that happens between the storyteller and his/her audience, and that’s where the magic is.”

For Morell, it was not enough just to create that connection at her Starving Artist Cafe in downtown Little Rock. She also wanted to take the show on the road, a decision which will bring “Tales From the South” to the Arts Center of the Ozarks at 6 p.m. March 16.

“I knew there were people who couldn’t travel to Little Rock to be on the show and, frankly, I love Arkansas and wanted to be able to go to different locations around the state,” Morell says. “So, starting in July 2013, we were accepted to be on the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts on Tour roster, which enables nonprofits and schools to get a grant to bring us to them.”

In the second half of 2013, Morell says, “Tales From the South” came to Fayetteville and Eureka Springs, and in 2014 is scheduled to also visit Conway, Searcy and several other cities in the northern half of the state.

As it is done at the Starving Artist Cafe, “Tales From the South” at ACO will open with dinner — FROM WHERE — and then move on to music and readings by HOW MANY regional writers. Morell works with those she selects to make sure their work is in its best form for live telling — and sharing.

“I think that we have gravely limited our connections,” Morell says of life in the digital world. “Instead of sitting down and talking with each other, we are texting, Tweeting or sending little blurbs on social media. It’s not uncommon to see a table full of people having lunch together and not even looking at each other, but rather immersed in their devices.

“What is appealing about projects like ‘Tales’ is the universal aspect of storytelling,” she adds. “When we stop and connect with a person telling their own true story, whether it’s live in person or on the radio, we are connecting in a way that isn’t possible on today’s devices. Sharing our stories connects us to each other and ourselves in a way that is age-old and universal. I think as a society we have been missing this, and that’s why these kinds of projects are so popular.”

With local Southern writers reading their works, Southern musicians performing in between and a “simply scrumptious Southern Sunday night supper thrown in for good measure, it has the potential to be a really fun night,” says Kathi Blundell, ACO administrative director. “And it will be broadcast later on National Public Radio’s Little Rock affiliate and heard on KUAF in Northwest Arkansas.”

At ACO, Morell promises, audiences will see and hear storytellers who have “ an incredible amount of bravery” and, she hopes, that experience will open “a floodgate of memories/stories” for the audience.

“And I hope that they then share their stories, with the person sitting next to them, their family when they get back home, and/or their coworkers and neighbors later in the week,” she says. “Because that’s what it’s all about.”

Arts Center of the Ozarks presents Miss Nelson

Miss Nelson is Missing

Saturday March 8th  3pm & 5pm Sunday, March 9th 3pm

Arts Center of the Ozarks - Miss Nelson

Arts Center of the Ozarks 214 S. Main Street, Springdale, AR  72764 479-751-5441

Tickets:  ACO Member: Adults $12/ Students $8 Public: Adults $16/ Students $9 For tickets call 751-5441 or order online at

Pay Attention, Class!

‘Miss Nelson’ teaches musical lessons

By Becca Martin-Brown, Callboard Editor

When Miss Nelson goes missing and is replaced by the unpleasant Viola Swamp, the students of Room 207 learn some valuable lessons — and the students in the ACO audience just might, too.

The Arts Center of the Ozarks Child’s Play series presents the musical “Miss Nelson Is Missing,” based on the books by Harry G. Allard Jr., March 8-9 for the public. Director Danny Hobson and actress Lesha Kuehn Fogerty agree there are plenty of laughs surrounding the learning experience.

“The story teaches children a number of valuable lessons about showing appreciation, being compassionate, respecting others, and perhaps most importantly, about integrity,” Hobson says. “The class of Room 207 learns that doing the right thing, even when it seems unpopular, is the best decision a person can make. “

Fogerty adds that young audiences will be “entertained by kids behaving badly, but I hope they also see the importance of good behavior. Being good can be fun.”

“I think this story appeals to children for all sorts of reasons,” Hobson goes on. “On one hand I think it empowers children when they begin to make predictions about Viola Swamp and her “connection” with Miss Nelson. On the other hand, I think the wacky characters and colorful illustrations, both of which we’ve tried to capture in our play, have made this a beloved book of children for many years now. “

While the cast has enjoyed creating an appealing experience for audiences — some HOW MANY youngsters will see the play through the Serendipity Series for schools in addition to the public performances — it’s also been a challenge and a joy for them.

Fogerty says there were “so many” reasons she auditioned.

“I’ve been involved at the Arts Center since I was a child myself. Whether onstage or off, singing, or dancing, it has been my home away from home since I was about 5 years old,” she says. “After not being as involved lately, I am thrilled to be in another production.

“I liked that there were two different characters to make the role more of a challenge,” she adds. “I also liked that the characters, Miss Swamp in particular, were ‘larger than life.’ There aren’t many opportunities to play such extremes.”

“Besides costume changes, which can be difficult, the most challenging aspect about having one actress, or actor, portray two roles is creating a clear distinction between the two characters,” Hobson says. “Costuming helps a lot, but the actress must work very hard in rehearsal to create two separate characters. It’s in her words and her actions. How believable is she making the two characters, and how does she interact with the other characters on stage to show the difference?”

“This is an amazing musical adaptation written by Joan Cushing,” he adds. “The musical numbers are very catchy and will keep the students tuned in throughout the entire show. I can’t wait to see and hear the kids’ reactions when they see the show! There’s going to be lots of fun had by all!”


Lesha Fogerty: Miss Nelson/Viola Swamp

Michael Weir: Pop Hanson/Principal Blandsford/Det. McSmogg

Jordan Hunt: Allison

Jordan Marshall: Gregory

Hadley Apple: Cheryl

Rylee Loftin: Adam

Katelyn Capdeville: Megan