Live performance in Northwest Arkansas takes us under string lights, into artist studios, and out to local pubs until the faint sounds of a ukulele porch-player guide us home. These moments create the richness of the Ozarks.

We asked local artists to describe their home. These sounds, images, recipes, and letters are Northwest Arkansas.

The sound of near and far memories in polyphonic motion, after Octavio Paz

by Lia Uribe: Disrupting the status-quo with sound

Festival project: A celebration of transitions: stories from NWA in dance and song. Project details coming soon.

In 1945, Mexican poet Octavio Paz published a recount of his visit with American poet Robert Frost in the Argentine literary journal “Sur.” His line “El sonido del agua vale más que todas las palabras del poeta” (the sound of water is worth more than all the poets’ words) informs my piece.

by Lia Uribe: Disrupting the status-quo with sound

My dearest love, Fayetteville:

I didn’t mean to fall so deep into you. I was already involved with someone. Eureka Springs was my first love, and I thought I was with her for life. But the stars crossed and the serendipitous ways of the universe threw me into your constellation.  And here I still sit–14 years later—one of the many tiny glimmers in your Milky Way.

Read the full letter

by Hannah D Withers: Virgo, Downtown Wrangler, Bossypants Extraordinaire

My dearest love, Fayetteville:

I didn’t mean to fall so deep into you. I was already involved with someone. Eureka Springs was my first love, and I thought I was with her for life. But the stars crossed and the serendipitous ways of the universe threw me into your constellation.  And here I still sit–14 years later—one of the many tiny glimmers in your Milky Way.

You give me the freedom to create and independence to nurture the way that I build things and make ideas come to life. You inspire me to give. You challenge me to create. I have little flecks of you in my skin, and part of the shine in my eyes is yours. So many of the flutters in my heart belong to you, too. You have become such a part of who I am, that I can’t tell the difference between what is me and what is you anymore. It’s been too long that we’ve been together. I don’t remember who I was without you. Is it natural for me to wonder what it would be like with another?

If my fluid heart starts to move away from you, will I be the same without you in my life everyday? Without your open canvasses of Block Street parking lots and empty spaces for me to fill with dreams of places that bring us together? Will you be the same without me? What do you look like without me throwing together ideas that seemingly magically come to life and bring people together?  Do I do these things to feed my own spirit? Or to serve your hefty appetite for vibrancy? How can I tell the difference when I’ve been so thoroughly pulled into your orbit that I don’t know if I can move in any direction except around you?

Don’t worry, my love, I’m not leaving you. But we have been together so long, and we’re so intricately braided together, do you ever just wonder what your adventure would be like if you burst out on your own…to remind yourself who you are and what you feel like alone? Am I more me without you? You have filled me up so much with you that I don’t remember who I was before now. If we’re not together, who are you without me? Do you have dark street corners and empty seats at your tables?  Or does someone just slip into my spot and keep that Maxine’s barstool warm?

If we’re swing dancing near the barn at Roots Festival under a stellar orange sherbet Fayetteville sunset, and you take my hand and twirl me away from you…..do I come back?

Neither of us are predictable enough as the setting constellation in the Western sky, and I know you have other dance partners. But there’s something about the way we move together. No matter how far off I spin, I think you’d pull me back. For now, I’m going to stay here glinting. Like the bright North Star in the Little Bear Dipper. But look out into that universe…..look at the expanse of that sky….

love,
Hannah

 

by Danny R. W. Baskin: Baroque AF but eating well