Fayetteville’s Final Frontier

Fayetteville’s Final Frontier

WAC festival looks to the stars in 10th year



The Artosphere Festival was created by the Walton Arts Center to celebrate and bring awareness to sustainability, environmental issues and the intersection of art and the natural world. The 10th year of the festival coincides with the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon, making the theme of “Space” seem an obvious choice for the 2019 festival.

“We’re always looking to come up with a nature-related theme that is relevant; we’re not just picking something out of the blue,” explains Jennifer Wilson, WAC public relations director. “Space gives us the opportunity to get above the Earth and look back on ourselves and reflect. The art that’s created from that, and then the art created from people being on Earth and looking out into the stars — that inspires people.”

The festival runs June 10-29. Nineteen days of music, nature and art programming — much of it free and open to the public — can seem a bit overwhelming. Wilson always recommends to guests who can attend only a couple of events to choose from different categories. Trail Mix on June 14 (look for a map coming in the June 9 What’s Up!) incorporates the space theme with a scale model of the solar system depicted alongside musicians performing on the trail; the Artosphere Film Series presents space-themed movies in Baum Walker Hall at WAC, along with an IMAX film at Malco Razorback; the Chapel Series places musicians in nontraditional settings so that listeners might consider music and nature in a new light; and one of Wilson’s personal favorite events, AFO Off the Grid, sees the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in casual settings across Fayetteville and Siloam Springs as they connect with the community at the playful performances.

Below are a few more highlights Wilson points out if you just don’t have time to hit everything. Full schedules and information are at the Walton Arts Center’s website and on the Artosphere smartphone app, available at the Apple Store and on Google Play.

Bella Gaia

June 13

“This is like the quintessential Artosphere experience,” Wilson says of the immersive audio-visual experience that is “Bella Gaia” (Beautiful Earth). Using satellite images, time-lapse nature photography, music and dance, “Bella Gaia” was inspired by astronauts recounting the moving experience of looking back on Earth from space. “So it’s kind of an intersection of technology and education, and the pieces look beautiful.”

7 p.m., Walton Arts Center. $10-$20.

Trail Mix

June 14

From the Community Creative Center on Meadow Street to Wilson Park in Fayetteville, musicians, family-friendly activities and a scale model of the solar system will be positioned at locations along the route for the signature Artosphere event. Following the event, guests are invited back inside the WAC for a showing of “WALL-E” in the atrium, a traveling inflatable planetarium in Starr Theatre and telescope stargazing in front of the building.

5:30 p.m., Frisco Trail. Free.

Artosphere Film Series

June 15 — 10 a.m., “A Beautiful Planet” in IMAX, Malco Razorback Theater. $10.

June 25 — 7 p.m., “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Starr Theater at WAC. Free; reservations required.

June 28 — 7 p.m., “Apollo 13”, Starr Theater. Free; reservations required.

June 29 — 10 a.m., “E.T.”, Starr Theater at WAC. Free; reservations required.

June 29 — 2 p.m., “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, Starr Theater at WAC. Free; reservations required.

The Moon Project

New York-based One Year Lease Theater Company will bring readings of its new cosmically adventurous work “The Moon Project” to Artosphere for staged readings during the festival. “The play includes footage from that time and sets the moon landing in its place in history, culturally and chronologically,” Wilson explains. “And how often do you get to see a staged play reading? They’re really looking for feedback on it, because the next step is to take it into actual rehearsals. And we hope that in, I think, two seasons we’ll get it back as a full play.”

June 19 — 7 p.m., 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville. Free; reservations required.

June 20 — 7 p.m., Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale. Free; reservations required.

June 21 — noon, WAC. Free; reservations required.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

“One of the fun things the AFO is doing, especially in their finale concert, is it’s all focused on the moon,” Wilson enthuses. The finale concert “includes the 1902 film ‘A Trip to the Moon’ by George Méliès as the background, and then we have all kinds of music that’s been inspired by the moon — by Strauss, by Monteverdi, by Bach, but also by John Williams and David Bowie. It will be a really fun night to be able to experience space-themed music.”

June 20 — 8 p.m., Mozart in the Museum, Crystal Bridges in Bentonville. $45.

June 21 — AFO: Off the Grid, Memorial Park Amphitheater in downtown Siloam Springs. Free.

June 26 — 7 p.m., Masterworks of Mendelssohn & Brahms, WAC. $10.

June 27 — AFO: Off the Grid, Dickson Street entertainment district in Fayetteville. Free.

June 29 — 8 p.m., AFO Celebrates: The Moon, WAC. $10-$49.

Stars and Songs by the Fire

June 22

In partnership with the Ozark Natural Science Center in Huntsville, guests can enjoy dinner, music, campfire fun and storytelling under the stars on June 22.

6:30 p.m., Ozark Natural Science Center. $35/adults; $20/kids 5-12; $10/age 5 and younger. Lodging and breakfast is also available for those who wish to stay the night. Visit website for full details.



Artosphere Festival

WHEN — June 10-29

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville and other locations throughout Northwest Arkansas

COST — Some events ticketed; many are free

INFO — 443-5600, waltonartscenter.org/artosphere

Categories: 'Tis the Season