Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere festival to return in 2021

Performance of Art Heist, an interactive theatre experience coming to Artosphere.

Courtesy photo

It’s been a quiet year but, slowly, surely, some things we’ve all been missing are finally starting to come back.

One NWA tradition that was interrupted by the pandemic last year is Artosphere festival, which Walton Arts Center officials this week announced will officially return in 2021.

The event, intended to celebrate art and nature, is set for May 6-23 at venues cross the region.

This year’s event, like a lot of things over the last year, will take place primarily outdoors.

“On the heels of the pandemic, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to lean into the ‘art in nature’ element of the festival,” said Scott Galbraith, vice president of programming and executive producer at Walton Arts Center. “Therefore, in addition to our popular Trail Mix, we’ll be presenting in three different cities an outdoor theater piece that will comply with current health and safety protocols.”

The event is anchored by the popular Trail Mix series of concerts, which will take place in Fayetteville and Bentonville on May 21 this year. Performers this year include Papa Rap, Melody Pond, Block Street Hot Club, Jayme Stone, Smokey and the Mirror, and Bike Zoo.

In addition, the Dover Quartet (hailed by the New Yorker as one of the finest young string quartets, will return this year with performances taking place live on KUAF as well as in person at Walton Arts Center for a limited audience. The quartet will also screen a new documentary film titled Strongs Attached at the festival this year.

Speaking of films, the Artosphere Film Series will also return this year. This year’s event will include screenings of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, The Boy and the World, Mia and the Migoo and Welcome to the Space Show May 15-16 at Walton Arts Center.

This year’s event will also include a performances of a show called Art Heist, a theatre experience described as “a true crime outdoor walking theater piece that gives you the chance to crack the world’s most famous unsolved mystery.”

Missing from this year’s festival is the 90-member Artosphere Festival Orchestra and the Chapel Music Series, both of whom will sit out in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A schedule of performances set for this year’s event is listed below.

For more information, or to purchase tickets to individual performances, visit artospherefestival.org. Art Heist will go on sale in April, but most other shows are on sale now.

Artosphere 2021 Schedule

Art Heist
Walton Arts Center Tyson Plaza
Thursday, May 6 – Sunday, May 9

Rogers Location TBA
Thursday, May 13 – Sunday, May 16

Bentonville Location TBA
Thursday, May 20 – Sunday, May 23

Performances begin every 30 minutes:
Thursday and Friday 6-8:15 pm
Saturday 2-4:15 pm and 5:30-8:15 pm
Sunday 2-3:30 pm and 5-6:30 pm
Tickets are $25 and $30 plus applicable fees and will go on sale in April

Off the Grid
Various locations around Fayetteville
Tuesday, May 11
7-9:30 pm
Local musicians will be performing at businesses within the Outdoor Recreation Area. A detailed schedule will be available soon.

Artosphere Film Series
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Free with reservation
Saturday, May 15
2 pm FernGully: The Last Rainforest
7 pm The Boy and the World
Sunday, May 16
2 pm Mia and the Migoo
7 pm Welcome to the Space Show

Dover Quartet: Live from Walton Arts Center
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Tuesday, May 18
7 pm
Tickets are $20

Strings Attached Screening
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Wednesday, May 19
7 pm
Free with reservation

Jayme Stone: Folklife
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
Thursday, May 20
7:30 pm
Tickets are $32-52

Trail Mix
Downtown Fayetteville and the Frisco Trail System
Friday, May 21
5-7 pm
Featuring local and regional artists performing on the trail including Papa Rap, Melody Pond, Block Street Hot Club, Jayme Stone, Smokey and the Mirror, Bike Zoo and more