Dancing In The Street

Dancing In The Street

Artinfusion road show opens in Springdale


For one Saturday afternoon next month, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s Artinfusion — a social group designed for museum patrons from the ages of 21 into their 40s — is moving its operations to Emma Avenue in Springdale for an event that promises to be a barn burner. The Emma Avenue Block Party , scheduled for June 2, is the first of what the museum hopes will be many collaborations with Northwest Arkansas communities, says Sara Segerlin, manager of public programs at the museum.

“The Artinfusion group and the Artinfusion Advisory Council wanted to move in a direction of more community engagement,” says Segerlin. “For example, we do artist studio visits to get to know Northwest Arkansas artists. The next step was really getting to know each different town in Northwest Arkansas and the creative culture in each town. The Advisory Council, Kentrell [Curry, educator of Artinfusion programming] and I, along with the museum leadership, wanted to see Artinfusion take that next step, which is to begin building those relationships with the community. The block party idea came out of that.”

Segerlin says the group considered a number of towns as candidates for the inaugural block party, but they eventually settled on Springdale because of its rich diversity and downtown revitalization efforts.

“We thought this was perfect timing, to start with downtown Springdale,” she notes. “And Kelly Syer [of the Downtown Springdale Alliance], Eve Smith [director of visual arts at the Arts Center of the Ozarks] and Amber Perrodin [of Team Springdale] have all just been incredible at offering us guidance. This event is planned as a group: We have been meeting regularly with the Advisory Council, creating the activities, talking to various partners in Springdale to ask what they would like to see. This event has come from feedback from those in Springdale, as well as the Artinfusion council.”

Courtesy Photo
Artinfusion’s Springdale Mixer at Fairlane Station in September of 2017 was a precursor to the Emma Avenue Block Party — and the success of the event bodes well for the June 2 Block Party.

Expect the entire landscape of Emma Avenue to change for the afternoon, and make note — dancing in the street is definitely encouraged. Segerlin says Emma will be cordoned off from Main Street to Spring Street in order to make room for the 5,000 revelers the organizers are expecting. The event schedule is packed from 5 p.m until 10 p.m., with mainstage performers including Papa Rap, Sensación Latina de Arkansas, Ballet Folklorico, Lesly Reynaga and Brother Moses. Springdale’s newest art gallery, One Seventeen Create, will host several local artists. A communal bike ride is also planned, and the Springdale-based performance art group Stitches will take over a back street, turning it into an artists’ alley.

“We’re blown away by the excitement of everybody in Springdale and their willingness to participate and be a part of a community event,” says Segerlin.

Following Brother Moses’ set on the main stage, party goers will be invited to walk to the Arts Center of the Ozarks to close out the night by participating in a champagne toast to artist Octavio Loco, whose exhibit “Exodus” is currently on display.

“His exhibition is about identify and immigration, not just in today’s society, but throughout history,” says Smith. “I love highly conceptual pieces, and this is a really highly conceptualized, themed exhibit that really speaks to our political environment right now. Looking at immigration throughout history makes you see it in a different view, and, as an artist, I love that.”

“We have just discovered so much richness and diversity in Springdale,” says Segerlin. “We’re just tapping the surface of showcasing it.”


Artinfusion’s Emma Avenue Block Party

WHEN — 5 p.m.-10 p.m. June 2

WHERE — Downtown Springdale

COST — Free

INFO — 657-2335, 751-5441

Categories: Galleries