Holidaze Gives Back to Northwest Arkansas

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, January 15, 2021 – Holidaze at Walton Arts Center did more than just bring holiday cheer, it was also able to give back to the community in tangible ways.

The holiday themed pop-up bar, created by Hannah Withers and Ben Gitchel of Maxine’s Tap Room and Leverett Lounge, along with Richard Gathright, has a tradition of supporting nonprofits and hospitality workers during the holiday season.

“We felt honored to be invited into such a large and beautiful location, to work with the amazing staff at Walton Arts Center,” Withers said. “We don’t think there’s another location in Fayetteville that we could’ve done this as creatively or safely. We are thrilled that even in the midst of a pandemic, we were able to align with our original mission of giving back to our community, and we were able to hire event and hospitality workers who obviously need employment, all while creating a place of cheer to end this indescribable year.” 

More than 9,400 patrons attended Holidaze during the pop up’s 40-day run. Holidaze and Walton Arts Center were able to employ 22 hospitality workers and 30 event staff, and throughout the run seven artists or groups were hired to provide entertainment for patrons.

Holidaze was also able to financially support several nonprofits serving various segments of our community. A Secret Santa donated $10 for each Stony Bird, the Holidaze signature cocktail, purchased. Patrons purchased 928 cocktails resulting in $9,280 raised. Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Alliance, Northwest Arkansas Equality, Peace at Home Family Shelter and Roots Festival’s Meals for Musicians will each receive $2,320.

Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Alliance also hosted their annual Nog Off, eggnog competition during Holidaze. Participants included bartenders and mixologists from Fox Trail Distillery, Brewski’s Draft Emporium, Vault, Maxine’s Tap Room, Xuma Kitchens, Infusion, Pinpoint Fayetteville and Bordino’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Amber Hurlbut from Infusion took home the trophy, and the event raised an additional $800 for the FIRA which will be used to provide immediate financial release to local hospitality professionals.

As the host location for Holidaze, Walton Arts Center’s Ghost Light Recovery Fund will receive $30,000. The Ghost Light Recovery Fund helps Walton Arts Center offset lost revenue from canceled performances, continue education and public programming, maintain facilities and support staff until full-scale performances can resume.

About these nonprofits

Fayetteville Independent Restaurant Alliance’s mission is to provide resources for local businesses and hospitality professionals with a focus on livable wages, healthier lifestyles and access to benefits that are not often prioritized for our industry.


NWA Equality is a nonprofit organization providing programming, education, and advocacy to serve, connect, and empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. 


Peace at Home Family Shelter provides shelter, services, and support to women, men, and children fleeing domestic violence in Northwest Arkansas.


Roots Meals for Musicians provides meal care packages for members of the music community to help them bridge the gap during these uncertain times.


Support for Walton Arts Center is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 200,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 300 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 250 volunteers donate 28,000 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 enjoy world-class performances at a great price. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.