By Free Weekly Staff
When traveling the United States, Public Relations Manager Beth Goodwin says its becoming harder each year to find community arts programs that receive as much support as the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. While other organizations are struggling to keep their programs strong, WAC is once again bringing top-of-the-line performances to Northwest Arkansas, and attempting to make them accessible to a wider audience during their 2012/2013 season.
Goodwin said their ability to offer the “10×10 Series” for the third, consecutive year is a reflection of that support, with access to acts from around the world for as little as $10 a show, or $90 a season.
The series is made up of 10 performances, including a group of Grammy nominees from Puerto Rico, a contemporary, New York-based ballet, an Australian Circa and even the classic Pride and Prejudice.
“We want to give people the opportunity to try something new, and to reach out to the culture seekers who want to get involved and experience the arts, but might not have the resources,” Goodwin explained.
One group, the Tokyo String Quartet, a world-renowned act that has been performing for 42 years, will come through on its final tour. And patrons don’t just get to see world-class acts. Before, during and after the show there are opportunities to discuss the art itself and topics such as theatre etiquette.
“Just going to a theatre, you might not know the etiquette or what to wear or much about the art form itself. So, we also try and do preshow activities that create creative conversations with the artists or community experts, just to talk a little bit about what patrons are about to experience,” Goodwin said.
Also a part of their 2012/2013 season as a whole are a number of well-known titles like STOMP, War Horse, Shrek The Musical and Catch Me If You Can. These shows are often more expensive, but costs to bring such large and well-known acts are still mitigated by sponsors.
They began the season with Second City on Aug. 18, and the next show will be STOMP on Sept. 7 and 9. Since STOMP’s last performance in Northwest Arkansas, new performers and musical numbers have been added to the show. It’s a combination of percussion using found items such as wooden poles, garbage cans and even Zippo lighters, movement and visual comedy.
The rest of the season will include local favorites like Artosphere, where WAC brings 80 musicians from around the world to Fayetteville for up to 12 days where they perform and go throughout the community striking up spontaneous conversations and performances.
WAC is growing each year, with plans to open a center in Bentonville, and expand in Fayetteville. This is only possible, Goodwin said, because of the support shown by the community in the form of sponsors, volunteers, patrons and artists.
“Most of these shows are individual donors that just feel really passionate about the art form,” Goodwin said.
This year, The Free Weekly is excited to partner with WAC to be able to offer a pair of tickets to see STOMP. To enter a drawing to win the tickets, find the three STOMP logos throughout this week’s edition and e-mail or text the page numbers to firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-387-8794. Your name will be put into a random sorting system and the winner will be announced the following Wednesday, Sept. 5. When you email in the page numbers, be sure to include your full name and contact information. Also, be sure to “Like” us on Facebook.com/freekly to find out about more chances to win.