Artosphere Festival Returns to Northwest Arkansas

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, March 22, 2018Walton Arts Center proudly presents the 9th Annual Artosphere: Arkansas' Arts + Nature Festival on June 10-23, 2018 with events at locations across Northwest Arkansas. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Walton Arts Center box office, by calling 479.443.5600, or by visiting

The Artosphere Festival celebrates art, music and nature with exciting performances, activities and events that the whole family can enjoy. Each year, Artosphere spotlights artists and performers from around the world who are inspired by nature, and provides a creative framework for the community to discuss issues of sustainability and environmental awareness.

This year’s festival explores water, a subject of crucial importance around the world, through large-scale art installations, a film series, performances and conversations. Today’s festival announcement is being made in concurrence with World Water Day, as designated by the United Nations.

“The 2018 festival will celebrate the importance of our water resources, while discussing conservation efforts and drawing connections between water and art through activities and artistic expressions that are both fun and educational,” said Scott Galbraith, vice president of programming and executive producer at Walton Arts Center.

As the musical centerpiece to the festival, Artosphere will again host the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO) for three major concert performances: Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum; Beethoven Masterworks; and the Artosphere Festival Finale: The American Spirit.

Now in its eighth year performing under the baton of internationally acclaimed Maestro Corrado Rovaris, the AFO features more than 90 premier musicians from major symphonies, prestigious ensembles and distinguished programs across the globe performing both classic and new works by leading composers.

For classical music lovers who like a casual vibe, don’t miss the festival’s AFO: Off the Grid events featuring AFO musicians performing mini concerts at downtown restaurants and pubs in Fayetteville, Siloam Springs and Springdale. 

The popular Chapel Music Series is back with both internationally lauded and locally loved musicians, many making their festival debut. This uplifting music series takes place in churches, chapels and unique architectural venues across Northwest Arkansas.

Artosphere Trail Mix also returns with two days of outdoor fun and entertainment along local trail systems, while a worldwide, citizen-led walking tour makes its debut at the festival. Jane’s Walk is an annual festival of free citizen-led walking conversations happening in hundreds of cities around the world and inspired by writer and activist Jane Jacobs. The Artosphere Jane’s Walk Tours will uncover unseen aspects of the community during themed walks in Fayetteville, while encouraging walking as a way to connect with our neighbors.

A new Artosphere Film Series, featuring films for adults, kids and families, will explore the wonder, magic and reality of the world’s greatest waterways, the creatures that dwell there, and the generations of people who call the water home. 

“Artosphere seeks to cultivate a sense of community around the passion for art and nature, and explore new ways to creatively interact with our beautiful region,” Galbraith said.

“Inspired by diverse and quality arts programming, the festival provides a platform for outstanding national and international artists, as well as the finest in local talent,” he said. “Each year, we take pride in presenting authentic artistic experiences through inclusive events and activities for kids, families and the entire Northwest Arkansas community to enjoy.”


Artosphere Festival Orchestra

Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville
Friday, June 15, 8 pm | $40

From the Great Hall of the world-class Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Maestro Rovaris leads the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in the 6th annual Mozart in the Museum performance. This exceptional program features Jonny Greenwood’s Water; Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto featuring Marie Tachouet, Flute, and Cheryl Losey Feder, Harp; and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38Prague”. Presented in partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the concert will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio. Seating is limited.

Beethoven Masterworks
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, Fayetteville
10x10 Arts Series Event
Tuesday, June 19, 7 pm | $10

The AFO performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the Emperor Concerto, featuring Italian pianist Maurizio Baglini; and Symphony No. 6, the Pastoral Symphony, a musical tribute to nature and the country setting where the symphony was written. The performance will be illustrated and animated by French artist Grégoire Pont, whose visual imagery drawn live, will accent Beethoven’s work and delight audiences of all ages.

Artosphere Finale: The American Spirit
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, Fayetteville
Saturday, June 23, 8 pm | $11-49

A contemporary American sampler, this concert features the unique compositions of Leonard Bernstein, Jennifer Higdon and John Adams, and the incredible artistry of violist Roberto Díaz. Each piece brings a distinct perspective to a concert that exemplifies the best of American classical music.

Chapel Music Series

Still on the Hill: Water Music
Sunday, June 10, 6:30 pm | Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard, Springdale | $10
Monday, June 11, 6:30 pm | Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, Bella Vista | $10

Described as “Ambassadors of the Ozarks” for the work they do to preserve a rich culture that is quickly disappearing, Kelly and Donna of Still on the Hill are award-winning, story-telling songwriters. This dynamic duo embellishes their songs with a host of unique instruments from the hills they call home.

Dover Quartet
Tuesday, June 12, 7 pm | St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville | $15

Artosphere’s resident quartet and founding principal strings for the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, the Dover Quartet will continue its multi-year residency in 2018. Recently named the Cleveland Quartet Award winner, and awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, the quartet has become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world.

Arx Duo: Percussion Re-imagined
Wednesday, June 13, 7 pm | Hunt Chapel, Rogers | $15

Aspiring to expand the genre of percussion chamber music through performing and creative collaboration, Arx Duo has blazed a trail in the realm of contemporary music since its inception at the Yale School of Music in 2014. Since then, the duo has performed and led educational clinics across three continents. Serving as members of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Arx Duo will also lead a variety of community engagement performances throughout Northwest Arkansas.

An Evening of Music with Roberto Díaz and Friends
With Dover Quartet and the Zorá String Quartet
Wednesday, June 20, 7 pm | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville | $25

Roberto Díaz, violist and president/CEO of Curtis Institute of Music, will be joined in this performance by the current Curtis Quartet in Residence, Zorá String Quartet, and the former and founding Curtis Quartet in Residence, Dover Quartet. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime concert set amidst the inspiring architecture of Crystal Bridges' Great Hall and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ozarks. The evening’s program features Scott Slapin’s Capricious Viola Trio, Antonin Dvořák’s String Quintet in E-flat major “American”, and Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet. The concert will be recorded by KUAF.

Trail Mix & Crystal Bridges Garden Party

Trail Mix: Frisco Trail
Downtown Fayetteville
Friday, June 15, 5:30 to 7:30 pm | Free

Trail Mix comes to the heart of downtown with artists and musicians performing along Fayetteville’s Frisco Trail between The Depot and Walton Art Center. Take part in arts and crafts hosted by The Spark Foundation and Community Creative Center in the arts center’s Rose Garden. Gather for a live radio broadcast and simulcast of the AFO’s Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum concert.

Trail Mix Fayetteville artists include: The Crumbs, Melody Pond, Rozenbridge, Still on the Hill, Block Street Hot Club, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Mobile Aquarium and Waterbombs.

Trail Mix: Bentonville
Downtown Square to Crystal Bridges Museum
Saturday, June 16, 11 am to 1 pm | Free

On Saturday, Trail Mix comes to Bentonville with artists and musicians performing at trail locations between downtown and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Get started at Compton Gardens, and then move north along the Crystal Bridges Trail to a hillside entertainment stop at the museum’s James Turrell Skyspace art installation, The Way of Color.

Trail Mix Bentonville artists include: The Crumbs, Melody Pond, Rozenbridge, Waterbombs and more.

4th Annual Crystal Bridges Garden Party
June 16, 11 am to 4 pm | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville | Free

Enjoy entertainment in multiple locations on the museum’s beautiful grounds and trails with AFO musicians presenting classics by Mozart and Beethoven, mixed with your favorite popular American music, as well as performances by Opera in the Ozarks, the nationally acclaimed summer music festival based in Eureka Springs. The Garden Party also includes art making, nature and art talks, and tasty refreshments from Eleven restaurant and local food trucks.

AFO: Off the Grid
Follow Walton Arts Center on social media for the most up-to-date schedule of Off the Grid performance times and locations.

AFO Off the Grid: Fayetteville
Friday, June 21, 7 pm | Dickson Street Entertainment District, Fayetteville | Free

AFO Off the Grid: Downtown Springdale
Saturday, June 22, 7 pm | Downtown Area, Springdale | Free

AFO Off the Grid: Main Street Siloam Springs
Saturday, June 22, 7 pm | Downtown Area, Siloam Springs | Free


Artosphere Film Series

The Buffalo Flows
Thursday, June 14, 7 pm | Starr Theater, Walton Arts Center | $5

The Buffalo Flows is a one-hour documentary written and produced by two-time Emmy Award® winner Larry Foley, professor of journalism at the University of Arkansas. Academy Award®-winner Ray McKinnon narrates. Internationally known as an outstanding canoe stream, this 135-mile river, free of dams, is so much more. The story is about the bluffs and the trees, the flowers and the birds, and the giant elk. It is about hiking and floating, camping and fishing, and it is about the people who make their homes in Buffalo River country year-round, and have for generations.

Song of the Sea
Sunday, June 17, 11 am | Starr Theater, Walton Arts Center | $5

From the creators of the Academy Award®-nominated The Secret of Kells comes a breathtakingly gorgeous, hand-drawn masterpiece. Based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, Song of the Sea tells the story of the last “seal child,” Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. For ages 5 and up.

Disney Nature’s Oceans
Sunday, June 17, 2 pm | Starr Theater, Walton Arts Center | $5

Journey to the depths of a wonderland filled with mystery, beauty and power. Oceans is a spectacular story, narrated by Pierce Brosnan, about remarkable creatures under the sea. It is an unprecedented look at the lives of these elusive deep-water creatures through their own eyes. Incredible state-of-the-art-underwater filmmaking will take your breath away as you migrate with whales, swim alongside a great white shark and race with dolphins at play. For ages 5 and up.

Chasing Coral
Sunday, June 17, 5 pm | Starr Theater, Walton Arts Center | Free 

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Chasing Coral is a documentary that follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists as they set out on a thrilling adventure to discover why coral reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. For ages 5 and up.

KUAF Summer Jazz Series'
Bill Frisell Trio
Thursday, June 14, 7:30 pm | Starr Theater, Walton Arts Center | $30, $40

The Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society kicks off the 20th KUAF Summer Jazz Series as part of Artosphere with the Bill Frisell Trio featuring Thomas Morgan and Rudy Royston. This concert marks Frisell’s first appearance in the region. JazzTimes says of Frisell, “In his music there is individuality and universality, technique and simplicity, diversity, intensity and depth, and the sense of adventure of a child.”


Artosphere Jane’s Walk

Urban History with Author & Historian Charlie Alison
Sunday, June 10, 10 am | Free
Meet @ Lafayette Street Bridge between West and Gregg Avenues | Fayetteville

Mullins Creek Urban Stream Restoration
With Watershed Expert Sandi Formica
Sunday, June 10, 2 pm | Free
Meet @ Leroy Pond Drive and S. Razorback Road (Lot 56B) |Fayetteville

Walking Native Fayetteville
With Director of UA Indigenous Studies Program Sean Teuton
Sunday, June 10, 3 pm | Free
Meet @ Fenix Fayetteville Gallery, 16 W. Center Street | Fayetteville

Ways to Wander: Rediscovering Our City
With Artist & Photographer Sabine Schmidt
Saturday, June 17, 11 am | Free
Meet @ Fenix Fayetteville Gallery, 16 W. Center Street | Fayetteville

Visual Arts

The Bleak and the Burgeoning
June 19 - Oct. 7 | Joy Pratt Markham Gallery | Walton Arts Center | Free

Works in this multi-artist exhibition, including large-scale installations, are physically curated in ways that reveal both an independent sense of personal geography and a collective experience of fragile terrains. Featured artists include Amber Cowan, Masey Craddock, Leonardo Drew, Lauren Fensterstock and Judy Pfaff.

Topo Map for School Avenue                                                        
On display throughout the festival | School Avenue, Fayetteville | Free

In this public art installation spanning four city blocks, artist Stacy Levy translates how urban nature works. By creating a life-size topographic map on the street and sidewalks, Topo Map for School Avenue illustrates the natural steepness and micro gradients of the School Avenue terrain. Levy draws the path of rain flowing down the slope and makes perceptible the areas where the storm water gathers. Topo Map for School Avenue investigates the intersection of nature and urbanity and promotes environmental literacy as walkers stroll through the ecological story that links three of Fayetteville’s cultural institutions, Walton Arts Center, KUAF Public Radio and the Fayetteville Public Library.

For more information about the Artosphere Festival and a complete event lineup, download the Artosphere App from Google Play or the Apple App Store or visit

Artosphere 2018 is sponsored by The Walton Family Foundation, Walmart/Sam's Club, Tyson, Simmons Foods, Experience Fayetteville, Visit Bentonville and Greenwood Gearhart Inc. Additional support provided by Lee & Linda Scott and Friends of Walton Arts Center. Support for Maestro Corrado Rovaris provided by Reed & Mary Ann Greenwood. Media support provided by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, KUAF 91.3FM Public Radio, Celebrate Arkansas Magazine and CitiScapes Magazine

The Artosphere App is compatible with all standard smartphones and tablets. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 195,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 400 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 45,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 200 volunteers donate 21,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 45% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit