Artosphere announces lineup for 2016 festival

Trail Mix concert


Fayetteville’s favorite art and nature festival will return for a seventh year this spring.

Of course, we’re talking about Artosphere, the annual series of events highlighting art influenced by the natural world organized by Walton Arts Center.

This year’s festival, set for May 10-27, includes dozens of events spread all over the region, including the popular Trail Mix Series featuring mini-concerts along the trail system, performances by the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, as well as several family-oriented performances.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra


“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.”

New this year is a series of cycling-related events to commemorate National Bike Month in May. The festival will feature “Bike-itecture” tours in Fayetteville and Bentonville, which are guided bike riding tours exploring the architecture, public art, and LEED certified buildings in each city.

The annual Trail Mix series of concerts along the trail system will expand this year as well, as the festival will coincide with the annual Square to Square Bike ride on May 14. Concerts are scheduled along the entire Razorback Greenway on May 14, and then on Frisco Trail in Fayetteville on May 15.

The Artosphere Festival Orchestra, once again led by music director Corrado Rovaris, is set to perform several times during the festival. The orchestra will perform Russian Masterworks on May 21 at Walton Arts Center, Heroic Beethoven on May 24 (also at the WAC), and Mozart in the Museum at Crystal Bridges May 27.

The festival’s Chapel Music Series will also be back this year, with performances set for several 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. Performers include Hawaiian vocalist/ukulelist Paula Fuga, bluegrass band The Barefoot Movement and two renowned string quartets, the Dover Quartet and the Aizuri Quartet.

Other notable performances include SPIN By Evalyn Parry (described as part indie music concert, part performance poetry, part history lesson) on May 12, Circa’s Carnival of the Animals on May 13, and Grammy Award-winning duo, The Okee Dokee Brothers, on May 15 at Walton Arts Center.

Several of the concerts and performances are low cost, or free to attend.

A full list of performances, including specific show times and ticket information is below.

For a bit more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

Artosophere events

Descriptions provided by Walton Arts Center

Trail Mix – Razorback Greenway
When: Saturday, May 14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Where: Razorback Regional Greenway (Locations throughout Northwest Arkansas)
More info: 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
When: Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Frisco Trail, Downtown Fayetteville
More info: 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 – Russian Masterworks
When: Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Where: Saturday, May 21, 8 pm
Tickets: $10
More info: 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.
This opening AFO performance will showcase works by Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff, featuring renowned pianist Benedetto Lupo.

What: Artosphere Festival Orchestra – Heroic Beethoven
When: Tuesday, May 24, 7 .m.
Where: Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Tickets: $10
What: The AFO will present two works by Beethoven, complemented by the American debut of Impetus by Daniel Schnyder featuring The Dover Quartet.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Mozart in the Museum
When: Friday, May 27, 8 p.m.
Where: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Tickets: $40
More info: 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: Paula Fuga
When: Tuesday, May 10, 6:30 pm |
Where: Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, Bella Vista
Tickets: $10
More info: 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.

Chapel Music Series: The Barefoot Movement
When: Monday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard, Springdale
Tickets: $10
More info: 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
When: Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville
Tickets: $10
More info: 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
When: Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.
Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville
Tickets: $10
More info: 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
When: Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Where: Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater
Tickets: $8
More info: 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
When: Friday, May 13, 7 p.m.
Where: Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Tickets: $10
More info: 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
When: Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m.
Where: Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Tickets: $8
More info: 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.

When: Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Where: Walton Arts Center, Starr Theater
Tickets: $8
More info: 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.

Fayetteville Bike-itecture Tour
When: May 12, 5-9 p.m.
Where: Handlebar Bike Shop
Tickets: Free (registration required)
More info: 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.

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
When: May 12, 5-9 p.m.
Where: Crystal Bridges Trail
Tickets: Free (registration required)
More info: 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
When: May 21, 3-7 p.m.
Where: Phat Tire Bike Shop
Tickets: Free (registration required)
More info: 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
When: Friday, May 20, 6 pm
Where: Downtown Bentonville Square
Tickets: Free
More info: 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.

Bike to Baum
When: Sat., May 1, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Arsaga’s / Baum Stadium
More info: 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.

For the Bike to Baum event, 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 Decorating
When: Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m.
Where: Community Creative Center
More info: Dress up your bike at Community Creative Center in Fayetteville, then peddle over to the Frisco Trail for Trail Mix.

This article is sponsored by First Security Bank. For more great stories of Arkansas food, travel, sports, music and more, visit