Back for the fourth straight year, the 10×10 Arts Series lives up to expectations of years past by combining great shows with interactive pre- and post-show activities, get-togethers and conversations. This series gives culture seekers of every background and circumstance easy access to an experience unlike any other, for a low price. Just like last year, audience members will be encouraged to fill out and post comments on the 10×10 feedback wall after each performance.
The art series features 10 of the finest in theatre, dance, world and classical music starting at just $10 per ticket. Tickets for 10×10 shows are purchased like all others at the Walton Arts Center — by visiting www.waltonartscenter.org.
TFW talked with Beth Bobbitt, the WAC’s public relations manager, who gave us some insight on how they make the series diverse, and maintain the integrity of a great cultural experience.
Q. How do you find the artists that are chosen for the 10 x 10 series?
A. We comb the globe looking for the best theater, dance, cirque and music to help connect us to the world and each other in fun and meaningful ways. Each 10×10 show offers pre and post-show activities designed to break down the barriers between the audience and the artist, encouraging people to try new things.
We book artists that are not only great performers, but also value community engagement. Most of our 10×10 artists participate in some type of residency with local schools, giving students hands-on experience and insight into their art form.
Q. Do you try and make each year’s series different from the last, or just maintain the same mission of diversity?
A. We want people to have a vastly different experience with each 10×10 show, so variety is key. This year is a great example — in October, we’re bringing AnDa Union, a group of musicians from Inner Mongolia and the Grammy Award® winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, followed by a one-man experimental theater performance from Berlin called LEO in February and the return of a WAC favorite, the Trey McIntyre Project in May.
Q. What, to you, are some exciting aspects of this year’s series?
I’m excited that we are including more dance and movement with LEO, Compagnie Kafig and Trey McIntrye Project. And it’s so wonderful to be able to remind people that for the price of a movie ($10), you can see world-renowned artists like the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa.
Two lucky winners will have a chance to see the first performance in the 10×10 series by AnDa Union on Friday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. at the WAC for free. From Inner Mongolia, AnDa Union draws inspiration from Mongolian music that nearly disappeared during China’s tumultuous past. This acoustic group of 14 musicians and vocalists creates rhythms with throat singing and traditional instruments including the morin khuur (a horse-hair fiddle) and the maodun chaoer (a three-holed flute). To win two tickets to see this one-of-a-kind group, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text (479-387-8794) us an interesting fact about Mongolian history. Winner announced Sept. 26!