ACO Becomes Arts One Presents: New entity promises continuing commitment to visual arts, theater

ACO Becomes Arts One Presents: New entity promises continuing commitment to visual arts, theater
BECCA MARTIN-BROWN
bmartin@nwadg.com

What was the Arts Center of the Ozarks is gone: The building at 214 S. Main St. in Springdale is now used by another entity, CACHE, the Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange; the costumes and set pieces amassed over half a century are in storage; and most of the familiar staff has been replaced by new faces.

An “art and business collaboration program” will give businesses “an opportunity to attract patrons through promotion of the artist’s work,” says Anne Jackson, executive director of Arts One Presents. “As many artists and businesses have faced challenges through the covid-19 pandemic, Arts One Presents will provide revitalization efforts to support their growth and recovery.” (Courtesy Image/Arts One Presents)

What Arts One Presents will be promises to “honor the legacy of the ACO and all who continue to participate in and support our local creative community,” says Anne Jackson, the newly renamed nonprofit’s executive director. An announcement made Sept. 30 in downtown Springdale’s Turnbow Park revealed the former Arts Center of the Ozarks’ new logo and plans to focus on “diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility” in visual arts and theater.

“Arts One Presents reflects that as a community, we are one, and we believe that the arts are for everyone,” Jackson says. “The name Arts One Presents conveys our mission, vision and values in a way in which we felt allowed for a broader reach, accessibility and sustainability into the future.”

Jackson, who has a degree in journalism with an advertising and public relations focus from the University of Arkansas, has worked with nonprofits in Northwest Arkansas for the past 17 years, including in programs, events and community partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters; as development director for Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas; and in advancement and donor relations with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, “building departments and programs and learning about art from some of the most incredible art world figures today,” she says.

“Since 2018, I’ve had the great opportunity to work in larger festival high-profile event management and operations for The Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C., and Bentonville Film Festival,” Jackson goes on. “Through the pandemic, I turned more to consulting with some of the wonderful nonprofits in our area, working with boards of directors in strategic planning, operations and development. Earlier this year, I worked with the board of the Arts Center of the Ozarks to help re-imagine the organization, its mission and its programs. Having been in theater as a child and through high school, I loved being able to think about how community theater impacted me and how it can epitomize collaboration among all performing and visual arts.

“Joining me in this vision to foster thriving and inclusive communities through the power of art is Taylor Dolan, program manager for performing arts, and David Gomez, program manager for visual arts,” says Anne Jackson, executive director of the newly named Arts One Presents. “As an artist, illustrator, actor and director, Taylor brings a worldly perspective to her myriad of talents. David, too, is an artist, and his linear, yet playful style is so distinct and representative of how he thinks. Both Taylor and David are successful working artists, and I’m thrilled that they’ve joined the Arts One Presents team to help bring our programs to the next level.” (Courtesy Photo/Meredith Mashburn)

“On the visual arts side of the program, we will be working with artists, representative of Northwest Arkansas’ diverse communities, to create art experiences that will help elevate local working artists, create economic opportunities for local businesses with artist collaborations and unify communities through art experiences,” Jackson elaborates. “We are making very intentional decisions based on our organizational values.”

Jackson says site-specific installations will be at the heart of Arts One Presents’ visual arts programming, adding that upcoming installation projects including work from Jeffry Cantu, Gina Gallina, Jonathan Perrodin and others will be announced soon. “For supportive programs and exhibitions, we may put out calls for artists to submit, as we have for the upcoming exhibition, ‘Dia de los Muertos: An Interpretation of the Times,’ which will open Nov. 6 at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History,” she adds.

But Jackson promises equal attention to the ACO legacy of performing arts, and the new organization has planned a slate of three productions for its 2021-22 season.

“For our winter musical, which will open mid-February, we’re excited to bring ‘Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,’” she reveals. “Our spring play will be ‘Teen Dad’, written by Adrienne Dawes, who is in her second year of graduate school at the University of Arkansas Theater Department. She’s a rock star! And our summer musical, which will take place around July/August, is ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ We are currently meeting with individuals to slate positions like director, music director, technical director, etc. Auditions will take place later this fall for ‘Natasha.’

“As we are no longer in our former space at 214 S. Main, we have the opportunity to perform in theaters and non-traditional spaces all across Northwest Arkansas,” Jackson explains. “As our programs grow, I do hope we are able to do more types of performing arts and collaborations that may identify as ‘guerrilla theater’ and experimental theater, as well. The community is now our stage, and I invite the challenge for our team of creatives to think outside of what’s deemed traditional.

“Arts One Presents will be hosting workshops this fall that will engage our community on the ground floor of community theater,” Jackson adds. “We are looking at the barriers of access to community theater, and we are working on programs and outreach to break down those barriers and create better access for those who want to participate on and off the stage.

An “art and business collaboration program” will give businesses “an opportunity to attract patrons through promotion of the artist’s work,” says Anne Jackson, executive director of Arts One Presents. “As many artists and businesses have faced challenges through the covid-19 pandemic, Arts One Presents will provide revitalization efforts to support their growth and recovery.” (Courtesy Image/Arts One Presents)

“With this new identity, our focus is, art is for everyone and brings communities together; art starts conversations and offers new perspectives,” Jackson concludes. “Our hashtag #WeAreOne grew out of that concept.”

Arts One Presents can be found physically in office space shared with the Downtown Springdale Alliance.

“We like to say that we have office space at 224 W. Huntsville, but we have satellite desks all over the Shiloh Square area,” Jackson says. “You can often find us at Trailside, grabbing coffee and meeting with artists and community partners.

“We are constantly meeting new people who are interested in the arts, and we are excited to be part of a growing artist workforce in Northwest Arkansas.”

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FYI

Arts One Presents

Find out more at the nonprofit’s new website, artsonepresents.org.

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FYI

Arts One Presents

2021-22 Season

“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” — From award-winning composer Dave Malloy, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” is an electropop opera based on a slice of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.” Debuting at Ars Nova in New York City in October 2012, it tells the story of young and impulsive Natasha Rostova, who arrives in Moscow to await the return of her fiance from the front lines. When she falls under the spell of the roguish Anatole, it is up to Pierre, a family friend in the middle of an existential crisis, to pick up the pieces of her shattered reputation.

“Teen Dad” — Written by Adrienne Dawes, a grad student in the University of Arkansas Theater Department, “Teen Dad,” according to Dawes’ website, “subverts popular regional theater ‘kitchen-sink beach house dramedy’ to share a heartfelt, comedic exploration of generational trauma and recovery in a mixed race Black and Latinx family.” In the play, Abby, a precocious emo-goth teenager, orchestrates a surprise reunion for her mother Tanya and birth father Tom, with the help of her mom’s fiance/healer John.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” — Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the 1996 Disney animated feature, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” according to Musical Theatre International, showcases the film’s Academy Award-nominated score to tell the tale of Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer. The original musical premiered in 1999 in Berlin.

Categories: Theater