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Walton Arts Center supports Everyartist Live!

On November 21, 2013, Everyartist launched Everyartist Live!--a collaborative art event that engages elementary school children across the country, creating the largest art event in history.

Everyartist tiles

Here at Walton Arts Center, we have proudly displayed the artwork on the exterior of our building since January. The art is also currently displayed in museums including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Almost 40,000 local children from 125 schools across Benton and Washington counties participated in this project. Laura Goodwin, VP of Learning & Engagement on why this project is important, “Everyartist is a great forum and reminds us that children’s creativity is limitless but requires our support. The expressions of gratitude will be inspirational and I hope will spur our community to insist that every child in Northwest Arkansas have access to quality arts experiences.”

The EveryArtist mural project will remain on our building through June 8. To learn more about this project, check out this video:

Semi-permanent Everyartist tiles on display at Walton Arts Center


Everyartist, at its core, seeks to unleash the creativity innate in every child.  The organization is carrying out this mission by creating a national collaborative art event designed to foster the creative development in children around the country.  Numerous research studies and experts in the field believe that supporting the creativity of children and giving them an outlet to express themselves is just as important as the work that is done in Reading/Writing, Science and Math.  Budgets for arts programs across the country are experiencing deep cuts due to education policies, narrowing school curricula, and an undervaluing of the arts experience.  And yet, a growing body of research indicates that the arts are essential for academic achievement, social engagement, and innovative thinking. For more information about the project, visit

Semi-permanent Everyartist tiles on display at Walton Arts Center


Saying Goodbye to "Out of the Woodworks"

Since 1980, Patrick Dougherty has created over 200 large-scale, site-specific "stickworks" installations made entirely from--you guessed it--sticks. His designs include figures, cocoons, vases, huts and various other monumental subjects. As part of the third annual Artosphere Festival in 2012, Walton Arts Center commissioned Dougherty to create the Out of the Woodworks installation that can be seen standing on Walton Art's Center Tyson Plaza today. 

Construction of "Out of the Woodworks"

Construction of "Out of the Woodworks"

Dougherty is well-known for his installations, which are crafted from saplings harvested from local wooded areas. A carpenter by trade, he began his installation work after studying primitive building techniques using tree saplings as construction materials.

“Sticks are something we all have in common,” Doughtery said of his work. “Everybody knows sticks – the twigs and branches picked up on grandfather’s farm; the branches woven in grandmother’s basket. Somewhere threaded in all the public mass is a common thread, and that thread is the human spirit.”

While the stickworks installation has become an iconic part of Dickson Street, the sculptures were built with a one to two year lifespan in mind, and a plan to recycle the sticks afterward. In order to preserve Dougherty's vision to create something beautiful and temporary that eventually returns to the earth, the sculptures must be removed from their Tyson Plaza location soon. 

Photo courtesy of Ironside Photography

During the Translating Earth, Transforming Sea visual arts reception on May 1, patrons will have one last chance to snap photos, say goodbye, and enjoy the beauty of the stick sculptures. Upon the de-installation of Out of the Woodworks, Walton Arts Center plans to mulch the sticks and give them away as part of the Artosphere Celebration on May 16. Not only does this ensure the sticks' return to nature before they become hazardous, but — it also invites our community, who has become so invested in this project, to help celebrate and be a part of the life cycle of this special project. 

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help create this installation, and to those of you who have expressed your kind words, taken photos of and shown your interest in a beautiful piece of art with an even more beautiful message. We hope you'll stay tuned for more community art projects as part of this year's Artosphere Festival!

Photo courtesy of Ironside Photography 


Improvised Shakespeare Co. + The Bard's Birthday Bash!

Hear ye, hear ye! Walton Arts Center is thrilled to present its next 10x10 show, The Improvised Shakespeare Company on Wednesday, April 23 at 7:30pm.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company was founded in 2005 and has been performing its critically-acclaimed show at the iO Theater in Chicago for over seven years. Based solely on audience suggestion, The Improvised Shakespeare Company creates a fully improvised masterpiece in Shakespearean prose before viewers’ eyes. All of the dialogue in the show is spoken for the first time, nothing has been planned or rehearsed and the characters are virtually created while audience members watch—each performance is unique and completely new. The night could reveal everything from tragedy to comedy, shown through the themes and language of William Shakespeare. 

Cast of Improvised Shakespeare Company

What couldst make this more exciting, thou asketh?  The performance will take place on Shakespeare's 450th birthday! So, get your tickets to the performance, attend a pre-show Creative Conversation with the cast, and stay afterward for our post-show birthday bash for the Bard! We'll be sure to celebrate with birthday cake, a Shakespeare-inspired drink and plenty of Elizabethan insults and phrases. To practice your Elizabethan phrases before you come to the show, try out this English to Shakespearean language translator:

Get your tickets today!



Masquerade Ball 2014

© 2014 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography

Walton Arts Center's fourth annual Masquerade Ball recently took place in Baum Walker Hall, and showed all who attended an exciting evening of music, dancing, food and the best Mardi Gras masks in town. The Ball was hosted by Walton Arts Center's Corporate Leadership Council, and is WAC's largest fundraiser supporting arts education. The 2014 honorary chairs of the Ball were Duncan & Cindy Mac Naughton, while Scott Tassani served as the event chair.

© 2014 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography

Thanks to those in attendance, this year's Masquerade Ball raised more than $200,000! This number almost doubled our goal, and set a record fundraising amount for Walton Arts Center's award-winning arts education programs, which will give 50,000 children an opportunity to experience the arts this year alone. To learn more about these programs, don't miss this video created by Saatchi & Saatchi X.

© 2014 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography





Thanks again for helping us realize our dream of creating a community where everyone has access to the arts!

To view all of the photos from the event, check out our Masquerade Ball Facebook album.

© 2014 Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography


"Inspiring" -- Audience Reviews on Soweto Gospel Choir

Walton Arts Center was thrilled to have the Soweto Gospel Choir as part of our 10x10 Arts Series last week. Baum Walker Hall was filled with patrons of all ages who gave us lots of positive feedback, and around 1,000 Northwest Arkansas students were able to see the performance through performing arts field trips with their schools--the cherry on top of the Choir's visit to NWA.

If you missed out on this amazing show, don't worry! We still have several 10x10 performances remaining this season. Our next 10x10 show is coming up on Wednesday, April 23, so go ahead and add the hilarious Improvised Shakespeare Company to your planner. You definitely won't want to miss out on a night of laughter with this talented group!

Here are a few more comments we received from you after the show:

“My heart was full! Soweto Choir Rules!"

“Wonderful cultural experience” 

“My favorite 10x10!”

Thank you so much to everyone who came out and made the Soweto Gospel Choir performance such a success! We hope to see you for our next 10x10 performance!