Jan 3, 2023 - News

Five Northwest Arkansas stories to watch in 2023

Illustration of the Axios logo moving sidways like a rightward arrow, and revealing the year 2023 over a field of blue and black streaks.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The start of a new year is a good time to reflect and goal-set for the future.

  • Here are five trends and narratives we'll be watching as 2023 unfolds:

High-priced housing

ICYMI, the cost of living in NWA has rapidly increased, with the median price of single-family homes growing faster than any other community in the country. The issue has caught the attention of local government and nonprofit organizations.

Taxes and teachers and saving time, oh my!

The Arkansas State Legislature's 94th General Assembly convenes Jan. 9 — one day before Sarah Huckabee Sanders is inaugurated as the state's first woman governor.

Work hard, party harder

The region's arts and culture scene has bounced back since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and we're eager to see which concerts, festivals and art exhibitions come to town this year. The inaugural FORMAT Festival, a three-day music, arts and technology event, took place in Bentonville in 2021. A second festival hasn't been announced, but we're on the lookout.

Arkansas: Home of the Jetsons

The governor-appointed Arkansas Council on Future Mobility delivered its final report in December. It's now up to state lawmakers, entrepreneurs and investors to pave the way for new opportunities related to transportation and logistics.

Keep the network working

As NWA continues to grow, building infrastructure, especially roads capable of handling more traffic, will be vital.

But "infrastructure" means more than easing traffic. Across the state, providing increased broadband access to rural areas, building electric-vehicle charging stations along interstates and tackling overdue water projects will likely be priorities in NWA and across the state this year.

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