Bentonville’s 2012 Artsfest

Bentonville’s  2012 Artsfest

This monthlong event is a celebration of the arts, with events highlighting visual, culinary and literary arts, music, film and landscape architecture. Program details and a full schedule of events can be found at




6 p.m.-9 p.m.

An evening on the Peel Mansion historical grounds to launch the 2012 ArtsFest, this event will feature Art Walk (June 1
& 2) Artist Preview Show, food by Basil’s Cafe, the beautiful Peel Mansion gardens and facilities, and the musical stylings of Lagniappe — a R&B/soul musical group. Tickets are $50 for DBI members and $75 for non-members. Call 479-254-0254 to purchase your tickets. The Arts Fete is sponsored in part by NCR and Flintco.


Celebrated jazz saxophonist Grady Nichols will be playing at the Bentonville Artwalk this Friday. Courtesy Photo



June 1, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. &
4 p.m.-9 p.m.

June 2, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Held during the June First Friday and the Bentonville Farmers Market, this event includes more than 30 regional artists, gallery walks, public art projects, special R.E. Baker student exhibitions, and live music, including William Reyes and Trio de Janerio and national recording artist Grady Nichols.




Exploring the culinary talent and experiences of Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas, this festival provides a banquet of special tastings and menu items at restaurants and food hot spots throughout the week. The Art of Cakes, a collection of chef demonstrations focused on baking and supported by War Eagle Mill, will be held from 9 a.m.-noon on June 9.

Serving Up
James Beard

Downtown Bentonville, Inc. is also working with several restaurant partners to help launch the national James Beard Foundation’s Serving Up James Beard program. This in-restaurant menu promotion is built on a chef or restaurant creating an entree inspired by James Beard, with proceeds helping the James Beard Foundation Scholarship support the great American chefs of tomorrow. The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, nurturing and preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage and future, and is located in New York City’s West Village. The Foundation also administers the James Beard Awards, known as the “Oscars of the food world.”



THURSDAYS, JUNE 7, 14, 21 & 28

6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

This music series at The Pressroom (121 W. Central Ave., 479-657-2905) provides a spotlight on some of the best jazz talent in Northwest Arkansas. The program was developed in partnership with the North Arkansas Jazz Society and is provided at no charge because of the generous support of Charles and Susan Chambers and The Pressroom.

of Performances

June 7, Claudia Burson Trio, featuring vocalist Hannah Howard

A staple of the Northwest Arkansas jazz community, Burson has been an in-demand performer for years. She anchored the house rhythm section for the North Arkansas Jazz Society’s Summer Jazz Concert Series, was a featured artist at the Tulsa Woman in Jazz Festival and has performed at the Walton Arts Center’s Starr Jazz Series. Her trio includes Drew Packard on upright bass and Steve Wilkes on drums.

Hannah Howard is a mezzo-soprano/ alto has from the Caribbean Islands; Trinidad and Tobago and has been singing since the age of 3. Her multilingual melodies combine Caribbean undertones and overtones laced with passion, grace and purity. She is a junior at the University of Arkansas, pursuing a double major in Vocal Performance and Theater with a minor in Communication. She performed three years with the Caribbean COTT award-winning group, Mechizedeck Order, and toured Venezuela with them. She also placed first and second in The Trinidad and Tobago National music Festival.

June 14, Matt & Gus

This father and son guitar team has been described as Wes Montgomery meets Jimi Hendrix. These two masters of strings cover jazz standards, swing, blues and more. Matt has garnered nine Northwest Arkansas Music Awards and has performed with Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Rob Wasserman with Willie Waldman and many more.

June 21, RJ Mischo Duo

Singer/harmonica player RJ Mischo began his musical career more than 20 years ago in Minneapolis by working with the area’s legends like Muddy Waters alumni Mojo Buford and Sonny Rogers. R.J. and his wife now live in Fayetteville.

June 28, Walter Savage Duo

Walter Savage has won a reputation for bringing the upright bass to the spotlight. Whether playing at a renowned Bay Area jazz institution like Yoshi’s or entertaining the masses at Enrico’s in North Beach, Savage lets the bass shine through in leading force. Since 1963, Walter has appeared in the rhythm sections of Tony Scott, Gerald Wilson, Mary Jenkins, Horace Tapscott, Taj Mahal, Gloria Lynn, Sonny Chris and Arthur Blythe, to name a few.




4320 Film Challenge, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Seedling Film partners with Downtown Bentonville Inc. annually to host the 4320 Film Challenge. Filmmakers have 72 hours to create a film based on a theme and a location that is given to them at the start of the competition.

The prize this year is $500 Filming will be happening from June 8-10 throughout downtown Bentonville. Screening of the films will be held at the Bentonville Public Library. The winners will also be screened at the Offshoot Film Fest 2012 in October.

Making it Reel: Filmmaker
Competition and Investor Forum

10 a.m.-Noon

The Making it Reel Filmmaker Competition is hosted by the Seedling Film Association, allowing four filmmakers to pitch their idea or screenplay, business plan and approach to a room full of potential investors. Although SFA are not guaranteeing funding, they are offering an audience with pre-screened candidates who have an interest in investing in film. SFA also guarantees feedback on the projects from a panel of seasoned filmmakers and free entry to the Investor Workshop for Filmmakers on June 16.


SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 23, 30

9 a.m.-Noon

This hands-on exploration of creativity and play will be offered over three weekends at the Bentonville Farmers Market on the downtown Square. Provided in partnership with art and theatre groups from around the region, as well as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Cox Communications and others, participation is free and all materials are provided at no cost. The Art Park program series is sponsored in part by Tony and Tahni Rogers.


Additional 2012

Aside from the multiple events being produced by Downtown Bentonville Inc., several partners are providing an array of special events during the month, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Bentonville Public Library, Studio 124, Art Seen 107, Walmart Visitor Center, Pickin’ on the Square, and others. It also includes public art offerings from the Bentonville Public School District and 21c Museum Hotel.

The entire schedule of events can be found in the new quarterly downtown newspaper The Square, which can be picked up at locations throughout downtown Bentonville.

You can also check out our website at for the entire schedule of events being offered during the festival.


Categories: Galleries