This May: Artosphere Festival Returns
Celebrating Art and Nature with Dozens of Regional Performances, Expanded Family Programming and Trail Mix Events, Plus Razorback Greenway Celebration

Walton Arts Center proudly presents the 7th Annual Artosphere: Arkansas' Arts and Nature Festival, May 10-27, 2016. Featuring both free and ticketed performances, events and activities at locations across Northwest Arkansas, Artosphere celebrates artists influenced by nature and provides a creative framework to discuss issues of sustainability. Tickets are on sale now!

This year, Artosphere comprises even more events for children and families with opportunities to learn about nature through innovative arts experiences.

Artosphere 2016 also features an expanded Trail Mix weekend. Capturing the very essence of Artosphere, Trail Mix is a time of music, art, hiking and biking along local trails and the Razorback Regional Greenway. Creating a one-of-a-kind experience, audiences can visit stages throughout the region and enjoy performances by artists and musicians from across the country.

On Saturday, May 14, enjoy a full day of free programs along the Razorback Regional Greenway, from the Fayetteville square to the Mill Street District in Springdale, then to Mercy Trailhead in Rogers and ending at Lawrence Plaza just off the Bentonville square. This festive event will also mark the one-year anniversary of the Razorback Greenway opening. On Sunday, May 15, Trail Mix comes to the Frisco Trail in downtown Fayetteville.

“At its heart, Artosphere celebrates artists who are influenced by nature and who help us to live more sustainable lives,” said Jenni Taylor Swain, vice president of programming at Walton Arts Center. “The 2016 festival brings high-quality artistic experiences for students, families and the entire community to Northwest Arkansas through dozens of events and activities, most at low or no cost.”

“In the spirit of National Bike Month in May, Artosphere will also celebrate the Razorback Regional Greenway, recognizing the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride, and applauding Northwest Arkansas’ ever-expanding commitment to bike infrastructure.”

Another festival highlight is the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO). Now in its sixth year and comprised of more than 90 musicians from prestigious ensembles, orchestras and music programs around the world, the AFO will once again gather in the Ozarks for a professional music-making experience unique to Artosphere.

Performing under the baton of internationally acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, the orchestra will present three concerts: the opening Russian Masterworks performance on May 21; the Heroic Beethoven concert on May 24; and the ever-popular concert, Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum on May 27, which will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio. The May 21 and May 24 concerts take place at Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall.


Trail Mix
May 14 & 15

Trail Mix: Razorback Regional Greenway
Locations throughout Northwest Arkansas
Saturday, May 14, 8am to 5pm | FREE

This year, Trail Mix has expanded to include the Razorback Regional Greenway, spanning six Northwest Arkansas cities. Join us for a festive day of free programs with artists and musicians in various locations across NWA – we’ll start with a kickoff celebration at the Fayetteville square, then meet up again for the Springdale Front Porch Festival in the Mill Street District. There will be live performances at Mercy Trailhead in Rogers and a final celebration at Lawrence Plaza just off the Bentonville square. Events include bike parades, interactive performance art, live music and dancing, farmers’ markets and a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Razorback Greenway. This year’s Trail Mix also partners with the second annual “Square to Square” bike ride (fee and registration required).

Saturday Trail Mix artists include: The Bike Zoo, Evalyn Parry, Paula Fuga, Polyglot Theatre ANTS, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Barefoot Movement and more.

Saturday’s Trail Mix will extend to the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for the 2nd Annual Garden Party until 5 pm, with music, food trucks and special performances by Trail Mix artists Circa, Beth Stockdell and more!

Trail Mix: Frisco Trail
Frisco Trail, Downtown Fayetteville
Sunday, May 15, 4 pm to 8 pm | FREE
On Sunday, Trail Mix comes to the Frisco Trail in downtown Fayetteville, starting with bike decorating at Community Creative Center at 4 pm. Then, beginning at 5 pm, head to the Frisco Trail for more outdoor fun and entertainment.

Sunday Trail Mix artists include: Paula Fuga, The Barefoot Movement and more.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra
May 21, 24 & 27
Performing under the baton of acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO) is recognized as an important classical music voice by American Public Media’s Performance Today – the nation’s most popular classical music radio program. This year, the Orchestra brings together more than 90 musicians from distinguished symphonies and music programs around the world to celebrate the convergence of art, music and nature in Northwest Arkansas.

AFO Presents:

Russian Masterworks
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Saturday, May 21, 8 pm | Tickets: $10
This opening AFO performance will showcase works by Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff, featuring renowned pianist Benedetto Lupo.

Heroic Beethoven
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Tuesday, May 24, 7 pm | Tickets: $10
The AFO will present two works by Beethoven, complemented by the American debut of Impetus by Daniel Schnyder featuring The Dover Quartet.

Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum
Friday, May 27, 8 pm | Tickets: $40
Featuring AFO musicians and soprano soloist Deanna Breiwick, this performance will feature a program of Mozart concert arias and early Mozart symphonies, and will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio. Tickets for this special performance will go on sale March 30.

AFO ensembles will perform “pop-up concerts” at local eateries during Food & Music Night on May 20.

Chapel Music Series
Locations across Northwest Arkansas
May 10, 16, 18, 20 | Tickets: $10
Listen to exquisite music played in local churches and architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville and the E. Fay Jones-designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista. This year’s Chapel Series lineup includes Hawaiian vocalist/ukulelist Paula Fuga, bluegrass band The Barefoot Movement and two renowned string quartets, the Dover Quartet and the Aizuri Quartet.

Paula Fuga
Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, Bella Vista
Tuesday, May 10, 6:30 pm | Tickets: $10
Exquisite vocals, powerful lyrics and gorgeous melodies have earned Paula widespread critical praise and an incredibly dedicated fan base. A blend of tradition and evolution, her music features soul and jazz–infused lyrics, seamlessly mixing English and Hawaiian languages, supported by traditional Hawaiian instruments like the nose flute and ukulele, and a voice filled with so much soul, you’re guaranteed to become an instant fan.
Paula Fuga will also perform at Trail Mix on May 14 & 15.

The Barefoot Movement
Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard, Springdale
Monday, May 16, 6:30 pm | Tickets: $10
The Barefoot Movement is anything but your standard bluegrass band. They stretch from a strong foundation of traditional Appalachian music, borrowing the best from other roots based genres to shape their hallmark sound. In a typical show, you’ll hear elements of bluegrass, blues, folk, rock, country and pop through their narrative lyrics, tight three-part harmonies, hot instrumental riffs, lilting blues scales and catchy vocal hooks. Country Weekly says “Flatt and Scruggs would be proud,” and CMT says they’re “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene.” While their top-notch musicianship can speak for itself, it’s their witty banter and on-stage chemistry that makes a venue of any size feel like home.
The Barefoot Movement will also perform at Trail Mix on May 14 & 15.

The Dover Quartet
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville
Wednesday, May 18, 7 pm | Tickets: $10
One of the most in-demand ensembles in the world, The Dover Quartet serves as the AFO’s founding principal strings and resident quartet. Considered one of the most talented string quartets to emerge at such a young age, the group catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. Dubbed “the young American string quartet of the moment” by The New Yorker, this group brings a youthful enthusiasm to the repertoire that is truly their own.
The Dover Quartet will also be the featured artist at the AFO performance on May 24.

The Aizuri Quartet
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville
Friday, May 20, 8 pm | Tickets: $10
Combining depth, refinement and rigor, this ensemble is in full possession of that most elusive of string quartet qualities: the balance between charisma of the individual and cohesion of the collective. Formed in 2012 and comprised of graduates of the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail.

SPIN by Evalyn Parry
Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater
Thursday, May 12, 7 pm | Tickets: $8
Friday, May 13, 8 pm | Tickets: $8
Part indie music concert, part performance poetry, part history lesson, SPIN celebrates the bicycle as muse, musical instrument and agent of social change. Inspired by the incredible true story of the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle, SPIN features a vintage bike hooked up to simple electronics and played as a brilliant accompaniment to the magnetic songs and monologues at the heart of this performance.
Evalyn Parry will also appear at Trail Mix on May 14.

Circa’s Carnival of the Animals
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Friday, May 13, 7 pm | Tickets: $10
The wondrous world of the animal kingdom comes to life when the Circa Carnival comes to town! With whimsical tales of creatures of land and sea who tumble, fly, leap and spin, Carnival of the Animals will whisk you away on a thrilling circus escapade, with the antics of performers set to a moving backdrop with animated visuals that create the feeling of being in a larger-than-life story book.

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Sunday, May 15, 4 pm | Tickets: $8
Through playful songs and inspirational lyrics, this Grammy Award®-winning duo encourages children and adults alike to break away from our media driven culture and dive into the natural world right under our noses. Drawing on traditional folk and mountain music with striking harmonies and spot-on picking, The Okee Dokee Brothers make room for kids to dance and for parents to share stories.
The Okee Dokee Brothers will also appear at Trail Mix on May 14 & 15.

Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater
Saturday, May 21, 11 am & 2 pm | Tickets: $8
A tale of three birds…and an egg! With a simple story and creative lighting and sound combined with cleverly conceived props, Egg investigates the cycle of life of newly hatched birds. Told through physical theater, illusion and music, this heart-wrenching, funny and delightful story explores the theme of ‘flying the nest’ – drawing children in close to the lives of the bird characters in their nest and telling them a story of friendship, wonder and tender, loving care.


Bike-itecture Tours
Fayetteville & Bentonville
Thursday, May 12 (two tours; one in Fayetteville, one in Bentonville)
Saturday, May 21 (one tour in Fayetteville)
FREE | Registration Required
Explore sustainability on this community bike riding tour presented by Artosphere and the Arkansas Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Bike-itecture Tour series consists of leisurely bike rides and guided tours of local architecture, art installations and LEED (Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings. Learn about environmentally conscious design, operations, landscaping and more, in a fun and active social setting.

Fayetteville Bike-itecture Tour | May 12, 5-9 pm
The event kicks off at the HandleBar Bike Shop on Block Street where bike rentals will be available. Ride to Eco Modern Flats then to The Cardinal at West Center for a guided tour of each building and a talk about resource-efficient practices throughout a building's life cycle.

Bentonville Bike-itecture Tour | May 12, 5-9 pm
Join us for an artful bike ride along the Crystal Bridges Trail. Starting at Compton Gardens the tour includes James Turrell’s Skyspace: The Way of Color, the Pat Musick exhibit A Place Where They Cried, the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House and more. There will be a discussion about Crystal Bridges’ new wing, set to be designed in 2017, and a presentation by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne.

Fayetteville Bike-itecture Tour | May 21, 3-7 pm
This ride starts at the Phat Tire Bike Shop where bike rentals will be available. Ride to the Waterside Building Center for a guided tour of design, low-impact operations and more. The ride wraps up at Core Brewery with refreshments and a fruitful discussion on sustainable practices you can integrate at home.

Food & Music Night
Downtown Bentonville Square
Friday, May 20, 6 pm | FREE
Settle in or move around your favorite local restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and other gathering places around downtown Bentonville as Artosphere Festival Orchestra ensembles perform “pop-up concerts” for your listening pleasure.

National Bike Month
Events Across Northwest Arkansas
May is National Bike Month and Walton Arts Center is working with a number of Northwest Arkansas partners to promote sustainable modes of transportation, with various events that highlight ways to incorporate the bike into the workplace, in schools and in the community.

Bike to Baum | Sat., May 1 | 12:30 pm Meet at Arsaga’s at the Depot in Fayetteville and bike to Baum Stadium for the Diamond Hogs vs. Texas A&M home game.

Bike to School Week | May 9-13 Area students are invited to safely bicycle to school this week.

Bike Decorating | Sunday, May 15 | 4 pm Dress up your bike at Community Creative Center in Fayetteville, then peddle over to the Frisco Trail for Trail Mix.

Bike to Work Week | May 16-20 Pick a day and bicycle to work during National Bike to Work Week.

Bike to Work Day | May 20 Communities coast-to-coast will be riding bikes to work on National Bike to Work Day.

Artosphere Partners
In conjunction with the 2016 festival, Artosphere is partnering with a variety of regional organizations to host or promote events and activities across Northwest Arkansas during the month of May. For a list of partner activities and events, visit

For more information about the Artosphere Festival, a complete festival event lineup, and to purchase tickets, visit or call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600.

2016 Artosphere Festival Supporters
Thanks to Visit Bentonville, Fayetteville A&P, Springdale A&P, Tyson Foods Inc., Greenwood Gearhart Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Walmart Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and the following local funders for their support: Bob & Becky Alexander, Emily & James Bost, Ellen Compton, Tom & Cynthia Coughlin, Sandy Edwards, Hershey & Denise Garner, Jeff & Lisa Gearhart, Reed & Mary Ann Greenwood, Meza Harris, Malcolm & Ellen Hayward, Greg & Hannah Lee, David & Deborah Malone, Dick & Margaret Rutherford, Frank & Sarah Sharp, Barbara G. Taylor. Support for AFO Music Director Corrado Rovaris provided by Mary Ann & Reed Greenwood.