Northwest Arkansas Music Awards won’t return in 2013

Fayetteville band Perpetual Werewolf accepts an award for Best Metal/Hard Rock Band during the 2012 Northwest Arkansas Music Awards.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

After a 17-year run, and a whole lot of recognition for the local music scene, the Northwest Arkansas Music Awards (known locally as the NAMAs) won’t return in 2013.

Organizer Susan Porter, who founded the awards in 1994, said that sponsorship for the event dropped off during the recession, and really never returned after that.

“We had a good run,” Porter said. “We just decided it was time to put it to rest.”

The event, which evolved from a write-in poll in local newspaper The Free Weekly into an full-on award ceremony featuring performances by local bands, honored musicians in a variety of genres each year. Awards were given for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, and others.

Two years ago, Porter expanded the event into the Rock It Music Week, a week-long music conference featuring panelists from all areas of the music business, but the festival never really took off.

Porter said she has been approached by a few locals who are interested in starting a new local music award event with a different name, but that she won’t revive the NAMAs.

The NAMA Awards were last held at George’s Majestic Lounge on April 22, 2012.