Artosphere Returns This Spring

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, March 22, 2021 —Artosphere, Arkansas’ Arts+Nature Festival, returns May 6-23 with events across Northwest Arkansas. While there will be some changes to the typical festival activities, patrons can still expect dozens of fun art experiences for the whole family to enjoy during the month.

The 90-member Artosphere Festival Orchestra and the popular Chapel Music Series will not be part of this year’s festival due to health and safety restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Yet the Dover Quartet, hailed by The New Yorker as “one of the world’s finest young string quartets,” and a staple of Artosphere, will be back.

Dover Quartet’s performance at Walton Arts Center will also be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3, giving fans several ways to experience their performance. Artosphere will also feature one of the first public screenings of the quartet’s new documentary, Strings Attached.

Artosphere will still offer a mix of free and ticketed performances spread across the region. The Artosphere Film Series, Trail Mix and Off the Grid are back as part of this year’s festival and all will be free. In addition to the Dover Quartet performance, there will be ticketed performances by Jayme Stone and of a new interactive theatre piece, Art Heist.

“On the heels of the pandemic, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to lean into the ‘art in nature’ element of the festival,” said Scott Galbraith, vice president of programming and executive producer at Walton Arts Center. “Therefore, in addition to our popular Trail Mix, we’ll be presenting in three different cities an outdoor theater piece that will comply with current health and safety protocols.”

Put your detective skills to the test with Art Heist, a true crime outdoor walking theater piece that gives you the chance to crack the world’s most famous unsolved mystery. The world’s single largest property theft took place 30 years ago on March 18. The 13 stolen art pieces, valued at half a billion dollars, have never been recovered. No arrests have been made in the case.

During this 90-minute theater experience, you and your group will meet a cast of characters involved in the theft of art from the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. As you interact with security guards, museum staff, investigators and suspects you’ll gather clues as you try to figure out what really happened – but watch out for the red herrings. There’s still a reward, so you could solve the case and collect the cash.

Art Heist will be performed in Fayetteville May 6-9, in Rogers May 13-16 and in Bentonville May 20-23. At each location, performances will be every 30 minutes on Thursday and Friday from 6-8:15 pm, Saturday from 2-4:15 pm and 5:30-8:15 pm and Sunday from 2-3:30 pm and 5-6:30 pm. Tickets range from $25-30 plus applicable fees.

Another returning favorite is the Artosphere Festival Photography Competition. For a $10 entry fee, Arkansas photographers can enter up to three photos under the theme “Arts and Nature.” This can include but is not limited to nature and landscape photos, images that show rhythm or patterns in nature or performers in a natural setting. Entries are due by Friday, April 23.

Rebecca Drolen, assistant professor of photography at the University of Arkansas, will judge the entries on composition, originality, technical excellence, and variety in response to the 2021 theme. Finalists will be selected by May 3 and the community will be able to vote for their favorite photo through May 7 on social media.

One grand prize winner as well as the People’s Choice will be announced on May 10. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $150. The People’s Choice winner will receive two tickets to a performance of Art Heist May 20-23. Complete competition rules, important dates and requirements can be found at waltonartscenter.org/artosphere/photography-call-for-entry.   

For the past 11 years, Artosphere has spotlighted artists and performers from around the world who are inspired by nature, and the festival provides opportunities to experience art in nature around Northwest Arkansas.

You can purchase or reserve tickets now to all performances except Art Heist by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting artospherefestival.org. Art Heist will go on sale in April.

Artosphere Schedule

Art Heist

Walton Arts Center Tyson Plaza

  • Thursday, May 6 – Sunday, May 9

Rogers Location TBA

  • Thursday, May 13 – Sunday, May 16

Bentonville Location TBA

  • Thursday, May 20 – Sunday, May 23
  • Performances begin every 30 minutes:
  • Thursday and Friday 6-8:15 pm
  • Saturday 2-4:15 pm and 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Sunday 2-3:30 pm and 5-6:30 pm
  • Tickets are $25 and $30 plus applicable fees and will go on sale in April

Off the Grid

  • Fayetteville
  • Tuesday, May 11
  • 7-9:30 pm
  • Free

Local musicians will be performing at businesses within the Outdoor Recreation Area. A detailed schedule will be available soon.

Artosphere Film Series

  • Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
  • Free with reservation
  • Saturday, May 15
  • 2 pm FernGully: The Last Rainforest
  • 7 pm The Boy and the World
  • Sunday, May 16
  • 2 pm Mia and the Migoo
  • 7 pm Welcome to the Space Show

Dover Quartet: Live from Walton Arts Center

  • Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
  • Tuesday, May 18
  • 7 pm
  • Tickets are $20

Strings Attached Screening

  • Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
  • Wednesday, May 19
  • 7 pm
  • Free with reservation

Jayme Stone: Folklife

  • Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
  • Thursday, May 20
  • 7:30 pm
  • Tickets are $32-52

Trail Mix

  • Downtown Fayetteville and the Frisco Trail System
  • Friday, May 21
  • 5-7 pm
  • Free

Featuring local and regional artists performing on the trail including Papa Rap, Melody Pond, Block Street Hot Club, Jayme Stone, Smokey and the Mirror, Bike Zoo and more.

For more information about the Artosphere Festival and a complete event lineup visit artospherefestival.org.

Artosphere 2021 is sponsored by Walmart and Tyson Foods. Additional support provided by Artosphere Sustainer Circle members. Support for Dover Quartet provided by Reed and Mary Ann Greenwood.

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 www.waltonartscenter.org.

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