Aug 27, 2022 - Things to Do

NWA arts preview: 10 best things to do this fall

"Listening Forest" installation. Photo courtesy of 4Media Group
"Listening Forest" installation. Photo courtesy of 4Media Group

Fall in Northwest Arkansas is filled with Razorback football and the roar of motorcycles. But there are plenty of other opportunities to get out and be creative.

Here's our fall arts preview guide.

1. See a play at TheatreSquared

Spend nearly any night in downtown Fayetteville and see a musical.

  • Shows: “It Came From Outer Space,” now through Sept. 18; drama “Detroit ‘67” Oct. 12-Nov. 6; and comedy “Stones in His Pockets” Nov. 9-Dec. 18.
  • Get tickets.
2. Watch Crystal Bridges light up

"Listening Forest" is a nighttime outdoor exhibit by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in the forest outside Crystal Bridges incorporates light, sound and projections.

  • Aug. 31-Jan.1, 2023.
  • Get tickets ranging $22-$27 or $15-$20 for museum members.

Also at Crystal Bridges this fall: "Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour," a whole exhibit dedicated to fashion and its role in culture.

  • Sept. 10-Jan. 30, 2023.
  • Tickets are $12 or free to museum members.
3. Attend FORMAT's debut festival

This Bentonville music, art and technology festival debuts this fall and promises to be an immersive experience with traditional performance stages, a barn for disco parties, an "adult playground," a "maze" of retail and food vendors, venues for art installations and experimental sounds and a lengthy lineup of musicians.

  • Sept. 23-25.
  • Get one-day tickets starting at $125 or three-day tickets starting at $300.
4. Try local food at these festivals

BITE NWA: This food festival featuring more than 30 local restaurants takes place in conjunction with the Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.

  • Sept. 23-25. Get single-day tickets for $45.
  • Yes, and: BITE LITE, a shorter version of the festival, will be Sept. 1 at the Jones Center. Tickets are $35.

Bikes, Blues, and BBQ: It’s not just the bikes. This staple bike rally (that’s taking place in Rogers instead of Fayetteville in a big change this year) is packed with music, food and vendors.

  • Oct. 5-8.
5. Peruse local crafts

Make a day (or two or three) out of it and buy your heart’s desire of pumpkin everything at these craft fair weekends.

6. See a Broadway show

It's not too late to catch a couple of larger-than-life productions before the Walton Arts Center Broadway series ends.

  • "Legally Blonde the Musical" will be on stage Oct. 14-16, and "Chicago" will be on stage Nov. 8-13.
  • Get tickets ranging from $33-$82.
7. Fayetteville Film Fest

Stay tuned for film selections and ticket info. Categories include best narrative feature, best documentary feature, best narrative short, best documentary short, best emerging filmmaker, best Arkansas connection and audience choice: best of fest.

  • Oct. 20-22.
8. Dance all day at Momentous

This four-day electronic music festival will take over the outdoor space at The Momentary with headliner Arca.

  • Oct. 20-23.
  • Get single-day tickets for $20-$40 or $16-$32 for museum members and $15-$20 for students. Sunday is free.
9. Explore outdoor art

NWA's cities and businesses have been investing in public art projects for the past several years, enhancing area aesthetics and encouraging people to linger longer.

  • Each of the four largest cities publish online guides to some of the most notable works. These are extensive but not necessarily all-inclusive.

Bentonville: OZ Art NWA is the most comprehensive collection, mostly in Bentonville. The organization is dedicated to boosting the regional arts scene through public art. See the map.

Fayetteville: The most observant have noted faded murals in Fayetteville for decades and of course know about the "Seven Points" castle at Wilson Park, but there's also a lot of fresh paint. See the map.

Rogers: A relative newcomer to public art, Rogers features some of the most vibrant works in NWA. See the guide.

Springdale: The nonprofit Downtown Springdale has designated an arts district in the city known for poultry production. Several murals now wrap buildings and alleyways. See the map.

10. See live music
  • Japanese Breakfast: Sept. 17 at The Momentary in Bentonville. Get tickets for $45.
  • Goo Goo Dolls: Sept. 18 at the AMP in Rogers. Get tickets starting at $35.
  • The War on on Drugs: Sept. 22 at The Momentary. Get tickets for $48.
  • The Chicks: Oct. 4 at the AMP. Get tickets starting at $39.
  • Old Crow Medicine Show: Oct. 8 at JJ’s Live in Fayetteville. Get tickets starting at $40.
  • The Black Keys: Oct 13. At the AMP. Get tickets starting at $60.
  • Waka Flocka Flame: Nov. 11 at JJ’s Live. Get tickets starting at $25.
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