Giveaway: Tickets to see “Timber” at Walton Arts Center

Timber WAC slider image

It’s all about stunts and acrobatics in this toe-tapping musical by French Canadian circus company, Cirque Alfonse.

Taking inspiration from the woods surrounding their own real-life family farm, Timber! presented by Cirque Alfonse includes talented tumblers and musicians who create a crazily-unique acrobatic experience set in the world of loggers and traditional Canadian farm life.

The experience looks and smells authentic.

And we’ve got FOUR tickets to see the show on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m.! Who wants to win these tickets PLUS a gift card to U.S. Pizza, right up the street from Walton Arts Center?

Read on!

Timber_266x375WebAdABOUT THE SHOW: Taking inspiration from the woods surrounding their own real-life family farm, Cirque Alfonse’s talented tumblers and musicians create a crazily-unique acrobatic experience set in the world of loggers and traditional Canadian farm life.

The artists perform incredible feats of aerial acrobatics that are directly inspired by the natural raw materials of the forest and the equipment used on the farm. There are balancing acts on tree stumps and the sound of banjos and men with bushy beards performing synchronized axe juggling.

Not only does Cirque Alfonse represent three generations from one family, it also features professional acrobats from the École Nationale de Cirque de Montreal, as well as professional dancers, an ex-skiing champion and three talented and versatile musicians.

“SCARILY THRILLING.  IT’S A SHOW THAT SEEMS TO IMPLY THAT MONTY PYTHON WAS RIGHT IN BELIEVING ALL LUMBERJACKS ARE IN A PERMANENT STATE OF DELIRIOUS HAPPINESS.” ~ The Guardian THE FOOD: You know we adore U.S. Pizza, which is why we’ve partnered with them multiple times over the past seven years of running Motherlode. They know pizza and they appreciate mamas enough to give us gift cards when we ask.

They not only have award-winning pizza, but also delicious salads, sandwiches and a great location right on Dickson Street. With their own parking lot! Hallelujah :)

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win these show tickets plus U.S. Pizza, throw your name in the online hat, mamas!

Just click on the words “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us about a note-worthy “daring act” one of your kids has displayed — unintentional or not! :)

Did your son set up a crazy “ramp” and try to fly over a row of obstacles on his bike? Did your daughter wave down to you from her perch on top of the kitchen cabinets?

If it made your internal mama alarm scream “Danger! Danger!” tell us the story. Please. We’d like to think we’re not alone in having those unexpected panic attacks after seeing our kids do something that made us say: Whew! That was close! (I’m remembering the time I rode with a friend on a go-kart without brakes and we careened through a barbed wire fence. There was lots.of.blood. And it was all mine. My friend didn’t get a scratch.)

You can also email your answer to us at

INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about this giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. Click here to sign up.)

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

There will be two performances of Timber on Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm and Friday, May 15 at 8 pm in Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 479.443.5600 or by visiting You don’t want to miss this show!

Watch your inboxes, mamas. We’ll choose a winner on Friday at 5 p.m.!

Crystal Bridges: Summer Camps + Things to do with the Kids

crystal bridges art

Crystal Bridges has some awesome summer camps coming up.

These indoor/outdoor programs include time in the galleries, outside on the trails, and in the studios for a fun-filled week of art for kids ages 6 to 12.

Sessions include: Drawing, Painting, Mixed-Media Mania, Art and Animals, Art and Nature, Video Selfies, The Dancing Museum, and All About Andy, centered around Warhol’s Nature, an exhibition opening at the museum in July.

PrintAll materials, plus healthy snacks, are included. CLICK HERE for more info.

In addition to info about summer camps, we also asked some questions about visiting Crystal Bridges with kids.

Here’s the Q&A:

Q: Some museums are “stuffy” and kids don’t seem welcome. Are kids allowed in every part of Crystal Bridges?

Kids are always welcome in all of Crystal Bridges’ galleries!

Kids often respond to works of art quite differently from adults, because they don’t have that sense of needing to “know something” about the works in order to appreciate them. In fact, if you feel a little puzzled about, say, the Abstract Expressionist works in Van Gogh to Rothko, bring a kid along to help you see the works with fresh eyes!

van gogh

Q: Can you tell me about the areas of the museum that cater to kids?

We have two great art-making areas in the Museum right now that kids of all ages will enjoy:

  • The Artist’s Studio, associated with the exhibition Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
  • Experience Art Studio, our year-round space for art making and creative play.

stellaAnd of course the Museum grounds are a wonderful resource for families—especially the Art Trail, where kids can encounter playful sculptures such as Stella the pig!

Q: For those who have never been to the museum, but they want to visit with their kids, what would you say they MUST do?

First: take it easy.

Don’t feel like you have to cram everything into one visit. And be willing to experience the artworks at a kid’s pace.

My own son, when he was about 5 to 7, viewed art galleries by moving through them three or four times at top speed. At first I thought I should slow him down, but in fact, his rocket pace kept him from whining about me moving too slowly, and me from being irritated by the whining, and we still got a good experience of the art, noticing something different on every pass.

Other than that, I’d say don’t miss some of the outside attractions, in addition to the galleries: the walk up to Crystal Spring from the South Lawn is short, and leads you to an enchanting little area that kids will enjoy where the spring comes up from under a rocky ledge.

Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture and others are out on the South Lawn, as well.

Q: What about if they’re visiting without children?

The Crystal Bridges Library is located on the third floor and is a great place for quiet reflection, to take in the views of the upper pond, and to browse through a huge selection of books about American art and artists.  Once you’ve discovered an artist you like in the galleries, come upstairs to the Library and look up some more information on that artist!  (By the way, the Library has a children’s section, too, so it’s not just for grown-ups!)

Q: What about things to do just outside the museum doors? 

This is the time of year to GET OUTSIDE at Crystal Bridges!

crystal bridgesThings are starting to bloom everywhere and in some places it’s just breathtaking, so get out there!

We have more than three miles of trails here on the grounds, and each trail has its own attractions. Pick up an Outside brochure in the lobby and choose your path, or join the Spring Showcase Trail Experience, a guided tour of the grounds that provides information about the spring blooms.

Crystal Bridges’ new Outdoor App will be available in early May and will feature maps, a plant guide, information about artworks, and more. Watch for its debut on Mother’s Day weekend.

Look for the green “Eco-Boxes” on the grounds, too: they are hand-powered audio devices that play recorded information about the history, artworks, or plants in a specific area.

If you come in the evening, stroll up the Orchard Trail or the Tulip Tree Trail toward the Museum’s Additional Parking area and stretch out on one of the comfortable benches to enjoy the mesmerizing colors of Leo Villareal’s illuminated artwork, Buckyball.

Q: Since the museum is free, do visitors have to check in or can they just walk in and start looking around?

We ask everyone to check in. It helps us keep track of how many guests are visiting Crystal Bridges and where they are coming from.

Our Guest Services associates will ask you for your zip code and one or two other questions for our records. They can also give you lots of information about the Museum and events or programs that may be happening the day of your visit.

Of course, if you want to purchase tickets to a temporary exhibition, you would do that at Guest Services, as well.

crystal bridges view

Q: Does the museum restaurant, Eleven, have food options that would appeal to kids?

Yes, there are children’s options on both the lunch and dinner menus. Eleven’s grilled-cheese sandwich is one of the snazziest anywhere!

Q: What about special evenings out for couples at Eleven?

Dinner at Eleven on a Wednesday or Friday night can be a relaxing, romantic event, and on Fridays, you can enjoy live music in the restaurant from 5 to 7 p.m.

Our Gallery Guides offer a short “Nightcap Tour” at 7:30 on Wednesday and Friday: it’s a half-hour tour that focuses on three or four of the favorite artworks in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection.

Q: What’s new at the museum right now?

We are very pleased to have recently reopened our 1940s to Now Gallery, which was closed for re-installation.  There are many artworks in this new arrangement that are either new acquisitions, or have never been on view at the Museum before.

Q: Are there any future plans we can look forward to?

There’s always something new coming!

Mother’s Day weekend will be especially fun this year, because it coincides with our first-ever Crystal Bridges Garden Party in celebration of National Public Gardens Day on Saturday, May 8.  We’ll have art making, information, live music, activities, and a native plant sale at various locations all around the grounds.

Plus, award-winning garden writer Amy Stewart will give an illustrated presentation on her popular book Wicked Plants, so don’t miss it!  The Museum Store is also hosting a jewelry trunk show and sale that weekend, just in time to pick out something pretty for Mom.

Looking further ahead, of course, we eagerly anticipate the completion of the reconstruction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman Wilson House on the Museum grounds later this year! Keep your eyes on the Museum’s website for information about the date.

For a full list of events coming up at Crystal Bridges, click here. CLICK HERE to register for summer camps online or call guest services at 479.657.2335.

Giveaway: Tickets to see “Spot” at Walton Arts Center

SPOT_266x375Toddlers and preschoolers across the land love the Spot” books by Eric Hill.

Our kids absolutely adored this cute little pup and he’ll be stepping out of the storybook and onto the stage at Walton Arts Center to entertain kids on April 12th!

And we’ve got EIGHT tickets to give away :) Two moms will each win 4 tickets!

ABOUT THE SHOW: Theater Terra of the Netherlands is bringing your favorite pup to life. The colorful characters and stage set of this new musical will transport children to the wonderful world of Spot.

Together with that lovable dog, preschoolers and their parents will embark on an entertaining and educational adventure. Spot will guide children to his father’s farm where all the animals are lost and enlist their help to find them all.

Can everybody recognize the sounds of the animals to help Spot bring them home?

Watch this cute video to give you an idea of what this show will be like:

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to 4 tickets to this show, throw your name in the online hat! Just click on the words “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post and tell us which of the Spot books your kids like best.

where's spot bookWe read “Where’s Spot” and “Who’s there, Spot?” so many times the board books almost fell apart.

You can also email your answer to us at

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ODDS: Help us spread the word about the giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

(You can also earn an extra chance to win by signing up to receive the free email newsletter we send once a week. Click here to sign up.)

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Pinterest. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

If you don’t want to take any chances, buy your tickets now by clicking here or call the box office for tickets! This is going to be a fun show!

Good luck, mamas!

VoiceJam Festival at Walton Arts Center April 10-11


The brand new a cappella festival VoiceJam, produced by Walton Arts Center, will bring talented a cappella professionals and participants from all over the world to Northwest Arkansas.

The festival will be at Walton Arts Center on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11. Collegiate and community vocal groups will participate in the competition judged by some of the best professionals on the a cappella scene.

The winner will have the chance to compete at VocalAsia Festival in Shanghai, China. There will be performances, workshops and guest appearances from award-winning a cappella quintets, The House Jacks and Voco Novo. Deke Sharon, producer of NBC’s “The Sing Off” will serve as the official host of VoiceJam.

Weekend festival passes range from $70 to $100 and can be purchased by visiting VoiceJam Weekend Pass. Single tickets are also available for purchase and details for the events are listed below.

All weekend passes and single tickets can be purchased in person at Walton Arts Center Box’s Office, by phone at 479.443.5600 or by visiting


VoiceJam A Cappella Festival

Friday, April 10-Saturday, April 11

Weekend Pass *all-access pass to events and workshops

The weekend pass includes all the finest components you are looking for in a premium festival experience. This pass allows access into Friday’s competition, all Saturday workshops (beginning, intermediate and advanced classes available) and the Red Carpet Showcase featuring an EXCLUSIVE pre-screening of “Pitch Perfect 2” before it hits theaters.

Ticket prices range from $70 to $100; visit VoiceJam Weekend Pass to learn more.


Saturday, April 11

A full day of expertise, training and fun will take place at Walton Arts Center with instruction from Deke Sharon, The House Jacks and Voco Novo. Available workshops include:

  • Introduction to Contemporary A Cappella
  • Sing it Like You Mean It – Part 1
  • Sing it Like You Mean It – Part 2
  • A Cappella Arranging
  • Vocal Percussion
  • Starting a Group
  • Singing Instruments
  • Directing an A Cappella Group
  • Q&A: Meet The Pros

Ticket prices range from $70 to $100; visit VoiceJam Weekend Pass to learn more.


voice jamFriday, April 10 at 8 pm

Deke Sharon, hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “the father of contemporary a cappella” will host the competition as audiences of all ages enjoy the high-octane performances.

Nine groups have been selected to compete and Walton Arts Center is excited to welcome them to the stage. The competition will be judged by a versatile and world-renowned group of vocal experts including Ariel Arbisser, Dr. Stephen Caldwell, Troy Dolendo and Jia-Ching Lai. Each group will showcase their original pieces for the audience and the judges will deliberate and decide who will be crowned the first-ever VoiceJam Champion with a chance to compete at VocalAsia in Shanghai, China.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $25; visit VoiceJam Competition to learn more.

Red Carpet Showcase:

Saturday, April 11 at 7 pm

This red carpet celebration will highlight the winner from the previous night’s competition with special performances by professional ensembles The House Jacks and Voco Novo. In addition to the live showcase, is Walton Arts Center’s exclusive pre-screening of “Pitch Perfect 2,” which debuts in theaters May 2015. “Pitch Perfect 2” stars Anna Kendrik, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson and Elizabeth Banks, and follows the story of collegiate a cappella group, the Barden Bellas as they enter into an international competition that no American team has ever won. Produced and directed by Elizabeth Banks, Paul Brooks and Max Handelman, and music by Mark Mothersbaugh.

Ticket prices range from $30 to $50; visit Red Carpet Showcase to learn more.

The Competitors:

Mellow Divas – Berkely Preparatory School, Tampa, FL

DeltaCappella – Memphis, TN

Snowday – Gaithersburg, MD

The ILL Harmonic – University of Illinois

Above the Keys – University of Miami

Beltones at Belmont – Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Seventh Street Jazz – Yorba Linda, CA

Hibernotes – Missouri State University, Springfield, MO

VirtuOSO – Baylor University, Waco, TX

The Judges:

Troy Dolendo began his musical career as a DJ in junior high school. Far before beatboxing or vocal percussion became popular, Troy was imitating the sounds coming from the stereo at every chance. He began his career at Walt Disney World in 2005 and still works at Disney as well as the Universal Corporation. He was a founding member of MOSAIC as well as The Edge Effect, who were finalists on America’s Got Talent and won Boyz II Men’s vocal group challenge. Dolendo has shared the stage with a variety of stars, including PRINCE, Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Lopez.

Ariel Arbisser is a versatile performer based in Ithica, NY. In addition to The Funx, her diverse lineup of projects include soul group The Jeff Love Band, female powerhouse ensemble Lady Jaeye, and experimental funk duo Frisky Business. Arbisser got her start with the Cornell Chodials with whom she became a nationally recognized soloist, and co-produced two of their award-winning albums. Using the Meisner technique that she studied at The Actors Workshop, she has developed the teaching module, “Sing It Like You Mean It” which she teaches at festivals and schools nationwide.

Jia Ching Lai is an assistant professor of the music department at Taiwan National University of the Arts and hosts the first a cappella radio show in Taiwan. Lai is the founder of the multi-award winning O-Kai Singers who are currently the record holder for most awards won by any vocal group in Taiwan with a total of 23 domestic and international awards.

Dr. Stephen Caldwell has received critical acclaim as a singer, conductor and composer alike, and he appears regularly in concert, recital, and stage performances throughout the country and abroad. As the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas, he conducts the Schola Cantoruma, Master Chorale and Women’s Chorus. He often serves as a vocal and pedagogical consultant for choral programs at many public schools, has adjudicated choral festivals at all levels and has prepared choirs for many leading conductors including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony. Caldwell’s original, award-winning compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the world by various school and community ensembles including the Taipei Male Choir in Taiwan, and Temple University in Philadelphia.

Host & Special Guests:

Deke Sharon has been heralded as “the father of contemporary a cappella” and is responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella, having created the dense vocal-instrumental sound in college, subsequently spreading it around the world. In addition to his work with The House Jacks, Deke produces NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” which had the highest ratings of any new, unscripted television show in the US in 2009, and was the third highest rated show on NBC in 2010. Deke also served as music director for Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” (2012) starring Anna Kendrick, and is contemporary cappella’s most prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, many of which are printed worldwide with Hal Leonard/Contemporary A Cappella Publishing. He has produced dozens of award winning a cappella albums and created a cappella groups for Disneyland and Disney World, and frequently tours the world teaching a variety of topics to students and professional singers.

The House Jacks includes members Deke Sharon, Austin Willacy, Elliott Robinson, John Pointer and Nick Girard. They have inspired live audiences across North America, South America, Europe and Asia with over 3,000 performances. They feature amazing instrument imitations (drums, flute, guitar, bass, trumpet, muted trumpet, synthesizers) that are woven into their songs to create a full and varied experience for audiences of all ages.

Voco Novo hails from Taiwan and includes five singers who came together and started Voco Novo A Cappella Group with goals to create a new sound and collaborate with different art forms. Voco Novo not only tours around Taiwan, but also has performed abroad, including Korea, Hong Kong, China, Austria, Germany, and Sweden. With only a few years of experience, Voco Novo has already won many awards including “Best Solo” award at the 2010 Seoul International A Cappella Competition, “Gold Diploma” and “Han-Guang Best Performance” and “Han-Guang Best Arrangement” at the 2011 Taiwan International A Cappella Festival, “Gold Diploma” in Pop and Jazz categories and the “Best Arrangement” award at the International A Cappella Competition in Graz, Austria.

VoiceJam is supported by NBCUniversal, Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, Cheyenne Products, Vocal Asia and CJCHT art & culture. VoiceJam registration, submission and festival components can be found at

Walton Arts Center announces 5 new awesome shows



Walton Arts Center recently announced the 2015-16 Procter & Gamble Broadway Series and the special five-show package will be available for renewal or purchase next week.

“This series being presented at Walton Arts Center reflects what is happening in New York”, said Jenni Taylor Swain, vice president of programming. “This lineup represents a good revival, something for the family, winners of multiple awards and a first national tour.”

2015-16 Procter & Gamble Broadway Lineup



Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015-Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015

Pippin is Broadway’s high-flying, death-defying hit musical! Full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats and soaring songs from the composer of Wicked, Pippin will lift you up and leave you smiling. This unforgettable new production is the winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical. Direct from an acclaimed run at Boston’s American Repertory Theater, this captivating new production is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus; it features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Pippin is noted for many Broadway standards including “Corner of the Sky,” “Magic To Do,” “Glory” and “Love Song.”


Kinky Boots

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016-Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016

Kinky Boots is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible, proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world. Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein.


Mamma Mia!

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016-Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016

A mother, a daughter and three possible dads will make for a trip down the aisle that you’ll never forget! Over 50 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel good show. Writer Catherine Johnson’s sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek Island paradise. On the eve of her wedding,  a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016-Sunday, March 6, 2016

Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award® -winning Broadway musical from the creators of household names The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic fairytale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love, the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more – plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved songs including “In My Own Little Corner” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream or a really great pair of shoes.


The Bridges of Madison County

Tuesday, April 19, 2016- Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Bridges of Madison County is one of the most romantic stories ever written. It first captured the nation’s attention as a best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, and is now an irresistible, two-time Tony Award® winning Broadway musical. The Bridges of Madison County tells the story of Iowa housewife Francesca and her life-changing, four-day whirlwind romance with traveling photographer Robert. It’s an unforgettable story of two people caught between decision and desire, as a chance encounter becomes a second chance at being so much more. The stunning stage production features gorgeous, soulful music by Tony Award® winning composer Jason Robert Brown that draws upon the rich textures of Americana and folk and the expressive balladry of classic Broadway.

FYI, you’ll see construction for the WAC renovations and expansion during the upcoming year (click here to find out more about that), but shows will not be impacted. Subscriptions can be renewed or purchased by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting