ArtLinks Agenda

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Arkansans for the Arts Town Hall Meeting

12:00-3:00 pm • Walton Arts Center
495 W. Dickson Street, Fayetteville 
Arkansans for the Arts, a statewide arts advocacy organization, presents a town hall meeting for District 1 (Northwest Arkansas) arts constituents and legislators.

3:30-7:30 pm • Jim’s Express Shuttle Service 
A shuttle van will be operating exclusively for ArtLinks participants in a continual shuttle between the Graduate Fayetteville hotel and the Walton Arts Center.

Fellowship Awards Presentation and Reception

4:00 pm to 6:30 pm • Walton Arts Center 495 W. Dickson Street, Fayetteville 
ArtLinks attendees are invited to mix and mingle with the artists who are receiving awards for their work in dance choreography, sculpture or installation art, and the writing of novels. The recipients of the 2019 Individual Artist Fellowship Awards will be honored for their artistic and creative excellence. Light refreshments will be served following the presentation of awards.


Conference Registration

8:00 – 9:00 am • Graduate Fayetteville Hotel
Hotel Lobby, 2nd Level
70 N. East Avenue, Fayetteville, Arkansas


9:00-9:15 am • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level
Patrick Ralston, director of the Arkansas Arts Council, welcomes participants to the 2019 statewide arts conference presented by the Arkansas Arts Council.

Regional Arts Initiatives 1: The Unexpected Arts Festival & ArtSpace

9:15-10:30 am • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level
Steve Clark, founder of the nonprofit group 64.6 Downtown and The Unexpected arts festival, talks about working with renowned artists to create large-scale murals, sculptures and art installations to drive cultural and economic development to downtown Fort Smith.

Wendy Holmes from ArtSpace in Minneapolis, Minnesota discusses using the tools of real estate development to construct or restore places where artists can affordably live and work. Holmes discusses the projects in development for Northwest Arkansas.

Can the Arts Save Rural America?

10:45 am - 12:00 pm • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level  
Charles Fluharty, president and CEO of Rural Policy Research Institute, at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, provides unbiased analysis and information on the challenges, needs, and opportunities facing rural America. 

Paul Pietsch, research manager with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, will share NASAA’s work with the National Governors Association on rural prosperity.


12:00 - 1:00 pm • White River Room, 1st Floor 
Enjoy a boxed lunch and drink while networking with your arts colleagues.

Regional Initiatives 2: Artists 360 & Public Art Projects in Siloam Springs

1:00 - 2:30 pm • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level 

Lisa Cordes, director of artist services at the Mid America Arts Alliance talks aboutArtists 360, a program sponsored by the MAAA and funded by the Walton Family Foundation. The three-year pilot program provides grant funding and professional development opportunities to artists of all disciplines in five Northwest Arkansas counties

Donna Smith Jones and Kelsey Howard discuss an exciting partnership project developing between the sculpture department at U of A Fayetteville and Main Street Siloam Springs. Sculpture students will be invited to submit plans for four site-specific public art projects.

Urban Corridors, Community Engagement and the Creative Economy

2:45 – 3:30 pm
Donald Gensler, artist, lawyer, and project manager for Art in Public Places with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission will talk about creative placemaking, community engagement and economic development. He will be showing examples of his own exciting murals and selected national and international public art projects addressing these issues.

3:30 – 4:30 pm • Afternoon Arts Activity
Representatives from Experience Fayetteville, the convention & visitor’s bureau, will lead a guided public art tour around the historic downtown square. Several of the commissioned pieces were created by Green Candy, an art action group focused on creating community conversations about waste and sustainability through art.

Or, participate in a hands-on art activity with Jo Ann Kaminsky, a trained arts therapist, and learn more about using the therapeutic benefits of the arts for healing and change.

4:30-7:30 pm • Jim’s Express Shuttle Service
A shuttle van will be operating exclusively for ArtLinks participants in a continual shuttle between the Graduate Fayetteville hotel and TheatreSquared.

ArtLinks Reception

5:30 - 7:00 pm • TheatreSquared, 505 W. Spring Street, Fayetteville
ArtLinks attendees will have an opportunity to network with fellow conference participants as they enjoy light refreshments in the newly built TheatreSquared building. T2 staff will give guided tours of the Northwest Arkansas’ new, architecturally significant, professional theatre.

7:00-9:00 pm • Dine-Arounds on the Square
Join one of the Dine-Around groups for lively conversation and good food at a restaurant near Fayetteville’s historic town square. A sign-up sheet is available at the registration table. Meet up with your Dine-Around group leader in the hotel lobby at 7 p.m.

See the sign-up sheets for more information about the menu items and prices at the following participating restaurants: Cheers at the Old Post Office, Hugo’s, Vetro 1925 Ristorante, Taste of Thai and Axis Lounge.


Harnessing the Power of the Arts: Measuring Impact to Drive Advocacy

8:30 to 9:30 am • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level 
Arkansans for the Arts, the state arts advocacy group, provides tips to help you build your advocacy toolbox. The Arts fuel the creative economy and enhance the quality-of-place that attracts and retains talent. Enhance your talking points about the power of the arts to better communicate with legislators and business and community leaders.

Regional Initiatives 3: Community Connections

9:30 to 10:45 am • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level
Allyn Lord, director of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, is joined by Melisa Laelan, director of the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, to discuss the community impact of a collaborative boat-building project with members of the Marshallese community in Northwest Arkansas.  

Adam Long, the assistant director of the Arkansas State Heritage will speak on ways to use rural partnerships along the Arkansas Delta Byways and long range plans for the Delta Byways project to increase cultural and environmental tourism in the Delta.

Keynote Address

Creating a Unique Identity for Your Community through the Arts
11:00 am - 12:00 p.m. • Eureka Springs Ballroom, 2nd Level 
Andy Vick is an experienced leader and arts administrator who understands the power of the arts to drive economic development, cultural tourism, and community vitality. As executive director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs, Colorado he oversees the operation of a local arts agency serving a two-county region with a population of over 700,000 residents. Learn how the Cultural Office is elevating the visibility and value of the local arts community through impactful programming, effective advocacy, and strategic leadership that responds directly to community needs, and positions the creative sector in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region for continued growth and success.

Architecture Corner

The ArtLinks conference reception will be held in TheatreSquared’s new 50,000 square-foot home. In Marvel Architects’ innovative design, the artistic spaces, far from hidden, actually project from the facade.

The building unites two state-of-the-art theatres. Board-formed architectural concrete wraps both theatre volumes. The theatre's mainstage is designed for perfect acoustic isolation from even the blast of a freight train’s horn one block away.

The studio, rehearsal space, and mainstage are all plainly visible from the street, so that no matter where you stand outside, it's clear the building's purpose is to create and experience live theatre. Sustainable through-and-through, the project exceeds national standards with repurposed building materials, including all-LED lights and furniture milled from trees on site. T2 welcomes community members with an open-all-day café/bar in the first-level commons area.