Walton Arts Center is excited to invite the community to come see the newly renovated and expanded facility on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Events begin at 9:50 am with remarks and a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tyson Plaza at the corner of West Ave. and Dickson St. The Grand Reopening Celebration will kick off Walton Art Center’s 25th Anniversary Season, beginning with a Family Open House: “Behind the Curtain” from 10 am to 1 pm for families and children featuring music, food and interactive activities. The party will continue with an Evening Celebration: “Encore!” from 6 pm to 10 pm with music and performances from many diverse genres which is sure to include something to delight our adult audiences. All events are free and open to the public.

“November 19 is a big day for Northwest Arkansas,” said Peter B. Lane, president & CEO of Walton Arts Center. “Our $23 million renovated facility is ready to meet our audiences and we sincerely hope you will come out and see what Walton Arts Center is prepared to offer.”

The newly renovated facility will be open for the community to explore during the morning event, the first public event post-renovation. Light snacks and drinks will be available throughout the event as well as a number of family-friendly performances and interactive activities — giving patrons a behind-the-scenes look at the magic that happens in the theater. The evening event, suggested for audiences 14 years of age or older, will feature a performance by the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) along with special performances by Memphis a cappella group DeltaCappella and Chicago’s Mucca Pazza. Attendees can pop into the jazz lounge in McBride Studio to hear Champian Fulton, who Nate Chinen of The New York Times lauded as “a charming young steward of the mainstream jazz tradition” or dance away the night with The Silvershakers and the Fayetteville Jazz Collective in Starr Theater.

Family Open House: “Behind the Curtain”
Saturday, Nov. 19
10 am – 1 pm
*With remarks and ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:50 am

Live performances by Fayetteville Old Time Music, Shannon Wurst and Mucca Pazza will greet patrons inside the new atrium lobby. Trike Theatre will present Grandma’s Story Quilt in McBride Studio and patrons will be able to observe and participate in the children’s cast rehearsal for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s The Nutcracker in Starr Theater.

Special photo opportunities will be available onstage in Baum Walker Hall and backstage activities, including a large paint-by-numbers stage set, kid-friendly stage makeup and hair demos as well as hands-on theatrical equipment demonstrations will help attendees go “Behind the Curtain!”

Community Creative Center will host an interactive arts activity in the Pace Balcony Lobby with take-away keepsakes. Adults can escape to the Sudduth Garden Room for a coffee bar and quiet lounge area.

Joy Pratt Markham Gallery’s opening exhibition features Ted Lott's Migration Series alongside printed and sewn installations by Kay Healy, which take inspiration from interviews with Walton Arts Center volunteers and donors, emphasizing the importance of memory and community.

Other family-friendly activities will take place in the Bradberry Rose Garden and the new catering kitchen.

To top things off, a “Wow-Me” guided tour will take people from the orchestra pit up to the catwalk above Baum Walker Hall stage where participants will get to explore the theater from a vantage point few people ever get the chance to see. These will take place every 30 minutes. Patrons who participate in the guided tour must be 14 years or older and must wear closed-toed, low-heeled shoes. Space for the “Wow-Me” tours is limited and will be first come, first served.

Evening Celebration: “Encore!”
Saturday, Nov. 19
Doors open at 6 pm
*with a special lighting ceremony unveiling the new atrium lobby at 5:45pm.

The Evening Celebration: “Encore!” will feature all the newly renovated performance spaces and is geared toward an adult audience with drinks and hors d’oeuvres offered to attendees. Join us on Tyson Plaza at the corner of West Ave. and Dickson St. at 5:45 pm for a special lighting ceremony unveiling the new building before doors open. The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) will re-open Baum Walker Hall with a special performance at 7 pm, which will be simulcast on monitors throughout the facility. Mucca Pazza will perform after SoNA in Baum Walker Hall at 8:30 pm.

VoiceJam 2015 competition winners DeltaCapella will entertain audiences in the new atrium lobby while Starr Theater comes to life with performances by The Silvershakers and the Fayetteville Jazz Collective featuring interactive swing dance lessons. Jazz pianist/vocalist Champian Fulton will perform two sets in McBride Studio. Live acoustic music and a coffee bar will be available in the new Sudduth Garden Room.

For more information about the Grand Reopening Celebration events, visit waltonartscenter.org/grand-reopening.