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Artosphere announces lineup for 2016 festival

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Fayetteville’s favorite art and nature festival will return for a seventh year this spring.

Of course, we’re talking about Artosphere, the annual series of events highlighting art influenced by the natural world organized by Walton Arts Center.

This year’s festival, set for May 10-27, includes dozens of events spread all over the region, including the popular Trail Mix Series featuring mini-concerts along the trail system, performances by the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, as well as several family-oriented performances.

“At its heart, Artosphere celebrates artists who are influenced by nature and who help us to live more sustainable lives,” said Jenni Taylor Swain, vice president of programming at Walton Arts Center. “The 2016 festival brings high-quality artistic experiences for students, families and the entire community to Northwest Arkansas through dozens of events and activities, most at low or no cost.”

New this year is a series of cycling-related events to commemorate National Bike Month in May. The festival will feature “Bike-itecture” tours in Fayetteville and Bentonville, which are guided bike riding tours exploring the architecture, public art, and LEED certified buildings in each city.

The annual Trail Mix series of concerts along the trail system will expand this year as well, as the festival will coincide with the annual Square to Square Bike ride on May 14. Concerts are scheduled along the entire Razorback Greenway on May 14, and then on Frisco Trail in Fayetteville on May 15.

The Artosphere Festival Orchestra, once again led by music director Corrado Rovaris, is set to perform several times during the festival. The orchestra will perform Russian Masterworks on May 21 at Walton Arts Center, Heroic Beethoven on May 24 (also at the WAC), and Mozart in the Museum at Crystal Bridges May 27.

The festival’s Chapel Music Series will also be back this year, with performances set for several local churches and “architectural marvels” like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville and the E. Fay Jones-designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista. Performers include Hawaiian vocalist/ukulelist Paula Fuga, bluegrass band The Barefoot Movement and two renowned string quartets, the Dover Quartet and the Aizuri Quartet.

Other notable performances include SPIN By Evalyn Parry (described as part indie music concert, part performance poetry, part history lesson) on May 12, Circa’s Carnival of the Animals on May 13, and Grammy Award-winning duo, The Okee Dokee Brothers, on May 15 at Walton Arts Center.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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