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Arkansas’ Premier FEASTival

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Wildwood Park for the Arts’ 19th Annual Wine & Food FEASTival Supports Arts Education

Feed your soul with stimulating libations and artful edibles created by some of central Arkansas’ finest chefs and restaurants when Wildwood Park for the Arts hosts its 19th Annual Wine & Food FEASTival from 6:30 – 9 pm on Friday, April 21, 2017. The event is held throughout the Park’s Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre complex at 20919 Denny Road in west Little Rock. Chaired by Vivian & David Norman, FEASTival supports the Park’s programs, including the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA).

With support from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, more than 100 wines and several spirits will be available for tasting and pairing with a feast of portions from local restaurateurs. Diamond Bear Brewing and Stone’s Throw Brewing will join the party for sampling beers crafted in central Arkansas.

Participating restaurants include:  Bistro in Bryant, Blue Cake Company, Bonefish Grill, Boulevard Bread Company, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Capital Hotel, Chenal Country Club, Cocoa Belle Chocolates, Lulu’s Latin Rotisserie & Grill, Nothing Bundt Cakes, SO Restaurant & Bar, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, and Trio’s Restaurant.

Dizzy 7 will perform live dance music throughout the evening, and Arkansas Circus Arts will provide additional entertainment. A cork pull, raffle, and silent auction will round out the evening’s activities.

Parking is available inside the gates at Wildwood Park, and Mercedes-Benz of Little Rock will provide express service from Denny Road parking to the doors of Cabe Festival Theatre.

Tickets are $65 per person until 11:59 pm on Monday, April 17, tickets are $75 at midnight April 18th – April 21st. Tickets and more information are available at www.wildwoodpark.org and through Wildwood’s box office (20919 Denny Road, Little Rock) on weekdays through the evening of the FEASTival. To purchase by phone, contact Wildwood Park for the Arts at (501) 821-7275.

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Let’s Grow the Love on April 6, 2017

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Click Here to Donate April 6, 2017 8 AM – 8 PM

Between 8 AM and 8 PM on Thursday, April 6, you can change Wildwood Park for the Arts and Arkansas for the better.

 

Support Wildwood Park for the Arts through ArkansasGives, a 12-hour statewide online giving event sponsored by Arkansas Community Foundation. It’s easy:

We’ll make it even easier for you! With your permission, Wildwood will give you a courtesy call or email a personal reminder to you on April 6th. Simply contact Mary Bea Gross, Wildwood’s development officer, at marybea@wildwoodpark.org.

Any donation made through ArkansasGives.org makes a tremendous impact and helps Wildwood earn BONUS DOLLARS through a matching pool of funds from Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF). The more Wildwood raises, the more bonus dollars the Park will receive.
Plus, your impact will be DOUBLED during this 12-hour giving period thanks to a generous matching gift from the Wildwood Board of Directors. Your gifts, up to $10,000, will be matched dollar-for-dollar on this special day of giving if you choose to give to Wildwood Park.
All donations to Wildwood through ArkansasGives.com from 8 am – 8 pm on Thursday, April 6, are eligible for the ARCF and Wildwood Board matching funds.
When you give on ArkansasGives Day, you join a statewide celebration of giving and help Wildwood raise even more dollars to support the Park’s mission. With your help, Wildwood enriches the lives of Arkansans of all ages by creating community through nature and the arts.
Thank you for your support!

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2017 Registration Open for Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts

Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts (WAMA) is a summer music festival and arts camp designed for students ages 6–18 who are interested in studying music. The academy’s mission is to provide music and arts education of the highest quality to students of all music abilities and backgrounds. Supported in a creative and musically nurturing environment, WAMA students learn and perform alongside professional faculty and guest artists from across the country.

WAMA offers six sessions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced music students:

Advanced Orchestra: June 11-23, 2017 (weekdays only, with the exception of the assessment day on Sunday, June 11)
Advanced Vocal Instruction: June 11-23, 2017 (weekdays only, with the exception of the assessment day on Sunday, June 11)

Intermediate Instrumental Instruction: June 26– July 7, 2017 (weekdays only)
Intermediate Vocal Instruction: June 26 – July 7, 2017 (weekdays only)

WILDMusic Beginner Instrumental Instruction: July 10 – July 14, 2017
WILDMusic Beginner Vocal Instruction: July 17 – July 21, 2017

For more information about WAMA and each session, click here or contact Angela Collier, Curriculum Manager.

The deadline to register is April 30, 2017; click here to register online.

Scholarships are available; contact Angela Collier or call (501)821-7275 prior to March 31, 2017.

 

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Art in the Park’s Nature in Print

Wildwood Park for the Arts’ first 2017 Art in the Park exhibition features works by three young printmakers. Arkansas artists Miranda Young, Daniella Napolitano, and Sarah Burns will explore the natural world and its many configurations through various printmaking techniques and styles in Wildwood Park for the Arts’ winter/spring Art in the Park exhibit, Nature in Print: Arkansas Printmakers Exploring the Natural World.  Miranda Young’s bold, large-scale monotype prints and colorful 3D sculptures create abstract meditations on the spiritual and emotional meanings that humans place on animals.  Daniella Napolitano’s childhood fascination with nature and animals is evident in her sometimes-exaggerated prints of animals in action. Nature as words is the inspiration for Sarah Burns’ shadowy linocuts of various trees. “Nature in Print” will open February 24 and close April 9, 2017. The exhibit is installed in the Galleries at Wildwood, Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, in west Little Rock, AR. Art may be viewed weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, in west Little Rock, AR. There is no fee to visit the Art in the Park exhibits.

Miranda Young currently teaches printmaking for the Arkansas Arts Center’s Museum School and is a scenic designer and properties master for the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.  Daniella Napolitano also works at the Arkansas Arts; her artistic talents include photography, too.  Sarah Burns teaches art and technology at Western Hills Elementary.

An opening reception for “Nature in Print” will be on March 2, 6 pm – 8 pm. The reception is free to the public and is sponsored by Boulevard Bread Co. During the opening reception, Daniella Napolitano will demonstrate relief printing for reception guests.  At 7 pm, there will be a House Concert by Arkansas musician John Willis who  will perform a jazz set.  There is a $15 recommended donation for the House Concert.
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Wildwood Park for the Arts enriches the lives of Arkansans of all ages by creating community through nature and the arts.  Art in the Park’s vision is to create a dynamic environment for the visual arts to be in conversation with contemporary culture, the community of Little Rock, and the natural environment of Wildwood Park.

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Dr. Bevan Keating named Artistic Director

 

HyperFocal: 0Dr. Bevan Keating named Artistic Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts

Dr. Bevan Keating has recently been named as the Artistic Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization located in west Little Rock on Denny Road. Keating draws upon a wealth of experience as a performer, educator, and artistic director to guide Wildwood’s contribution to the arts community here in Arkansas. Wildwood is expanding its innovative music and arts education programs, as well as fostering development of Wildwood’s offerings in the Park’s 625-seat Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre, the Art in the Park visual arts exhibitions, and series of concerts, events and festivals.

Among his first projects as Wildwood’s Artistic Director is the upcoming LANTERNS! Festival, February 10th through 12th. Wildwood’s annual deep-winter festival celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year. Held over three magical evenings, guests are transported to faraway lands and times as they stroll through the beautifully lit pathways of Wildwood’s gardens. Cultural vistas feature live entertainment, food, drink, games and more throughout the Park’s Butler Arboretum and inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre.

Hailing from London, Ontario, Keating naturally selected Canada as one of the six vistas for this year’s festival, which also includes the Caribbean Islands, China, France, America’s Wild West, and the Moon. Located at Wildwood’s iconic Butler Gazebo next to Swan Lake, the Canadian vista will be the first stop for guests entering the Park’s east gate and the launch site for floating luminaries that guests launch along with their wishes for the lunar year, which is the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster. Keating will personally lead the vista where guests will have opportunities for karaoke with tunes by some of Canada’s most famous singers (Celine Dion and Justin Bieber among them). Maple syrup will surely play a role in the cuisine, along with beverages preferred by our neighbors up north.

Prior to accepting the position of Artistic Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts, Dr. Keating collaborated with Wildwood on several stage productions and provided artistic leadership for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA). In 2015, Dr. Keating directed The Bremen Town Musicians as part of Wildwood’s Art to Go! statewide educational touring program to introduce youth across Arkansas to opera and the dramatic arts.  He also served as the Director of Vocal Programming for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA) in 2015 and as Artistic Director for WAMA in 2016. The Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts is a rapidly growing summer music academy for student musicians of all ages and abilities. Approaching its fourth year, WAMA is attracting some of the most talented youth in Arkansas, and students during the program’s first years have gone on to study music at the university level.

The Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA) provides youth in Arkansas access to the highest standards in music and arts education. With primary emphasis on instrumental and vocal music, WAMA also provides opportunities to explore multiple artistic genres, from visual and culinary arts to literary arts and musical theatre. Through orchestral, large and small ensemble, and solo experiences, students receive training and performance opportunities supported by professional faculty. Public performances and master classes by internationally renowned faculty and guest artists are held throughout June and July.

Dr. Keating has directed several productions recently in Wildwood’s Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre, including Dracula: Unearthed (2015), The Kristin Lewis Opera Gala (2015), and The Music Man (2016). He will also direct and conduct Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, onstage in Wildwood’s Cabe Theatre March 31 – April 2 this spring.

These productions are produced in partnership with Praeclara, of which Dr. Keating is also the Artistic Director. Praeclara is a multidisciplinary performing arts company supported by Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock where Dr. Keating serves as Director of Music. Praeclara specializes in creating unique performances of both original scripts and classical masterworks that challenge Arkansas audiences through innovative staging and adaptations of familiar works; works such as Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Dido & Aeneas, but also introducing new stories and interpretations as in the original script of Dracula: Unearthed.

Dr. Keating is responsible for the thriving music programs at Second Presbyterian Church; including the Adult, Youth, and Children’s Choirs, a chamber ensemble, the annual youth musical and several hand bell and instrumental ensembles. The Adult Choir and Chamber Ensembles have participated in high profile local performances and have toured internationally in Canada, the UK and Ireland, Austria, Germany, and Hungary. As part of Second Presbyterian Church’s and Praeclara’s commitment to bringing excellent music to the community, Dr. Keating also facilitates the performances of the Little Rock Wind Symphony and the River City Men’s Chorus at Second Presbyterian.

As director of the choral and voice department at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Keating leads the UALR Concert Choirs, the elite UALR Chamber Chorus, and Women’s Chorus, as well as the UALR Community Chorus. He also teaches a rigorous series of coursework for aspiring orchestral and choral conductors. He serves as a mentor and teacher for students studying both performance and music education, and his students have gone on to complete post-graduate degrees in music; perform and teach professionally; and to serve as musicians for congregations across the U.S.

Keating is Wildwood’s third artistic director of the Park, following Dr. Ann Chotard, the founding artistic director, and Cliff Fannin Baker, who also served as CEO. Ms. Leslie Golden was named Executive Director in late 2012, having served as Managing Director for several years with Mr. Baker. For more information about Wildwood Park for the Arts, visit wildwoodpark.org.

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January WILDVolunteer Events

 

Family WILDVolunteer Day! – January 16, 1 pm – 4 pm.

 

Drop in on, January 16th, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, from 1:00 – 4:00 PM to serve as a family, create kindness, and inspire others as part of Wildwood Park for the Art’s Family Volunteer Day!

Serve alongside Wildwood staff and AmeriCorps members as we prepare for our annual cultural festival, LANTERNS!  There is a job for everyone in the family! From preparing for LANTERNS!, our annual deep-winter festival celebrating 6 cultures from around the world, to helping keep the Park’s outdoor areas clean by removing plant debris and picking up litter, . Jobs may include raking leaves, creating luminaries  and decorating for this enlightening event.

Create your very own “Kindness Rock” to hide in the Park for others to discover.

While you volunteer, your younger school age students can hang out with Wildwood’s educational staff to create “Kindness Rocks!” by painting messages of kindness on rocks that will bring joy to others. Kindness Rocks began in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and are moving across the country as various organizations and schools are jumping on board! Kids can take their Kindness Rocks and hide them throughout Wildwood, their neighborhood, or other public places around Little Rock.
Be inspired by the future as you view interpretive Presidential Portraits & Inauguration Stands by 4th graders from Wildwood’s Arts-in-Education partner schools, Robinson Elementary School & Roberts Elementary School.

The student artwork on display at Wildwood is the result of five-day school residencies with Texarkana sculptor and Wildwood teaching artist Kay Thomas.  During her residency, Thomas worked with 4th grade students instructing them in basic 3D paper construction techniques as an arts integration approach to their humanities curriculum on U.S. presidents and the inaugural ceremony. The exhibit will be installed for viewing in the Galleries at Wildwood from January 9 to January 23. Families who visit the Park during Wildwood’s Family Volunteer Day on January 16, 2017, will have access to materials to create their own interpretative presidential portraits.

WILDVolunteer Happy Hour – January 9, 5;30 pm – 7 pm. 

Join us on Monday, January 9th anytime from 5:30-7:00 to learn more about the upcoming season’s volunteer opportunities and meet our new AmeriCorps group that will be with us in the New Year. Bring a friend (or two, or three, or more!) and enjoy a glass of wine, beer or hot chocolate and some yummy snacks. We’ll have volunteer sign-up sheets for upcoming events (including LANTERNS!), and we’ll be here to answer any questions you may have about volunteering. We’d love to know if you are planning to attend. RSVP, if you can, by emailing angela@wildwoodpark.org!

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Great strides: WAMA @ Wildwood

 

As of June 27, the third week of WAMA is in full swing! The first two weeks of the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts were absolutely invigorating, and we’re continuing the momentum! WAMA is showing its capacity to expand – both in size and scope:

In 2016, WAMA supporters made it possible to bring students and interns from across Arkansas to make music together at Wildwood. (Housing was provided in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.) Young instrumentalists worked intently in full rehearsals with conductor Daniel Black (Ft. Worth Symphony) each day. They shared in master classes with the renowned ensemble WindSync and a variety of side-by-side performances and coachings from the faculty, which included Tatiana Kotcherguina, Ashley Walla, Barry McVinney, and Kiril Laskarov, Concert Master for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

WAMA is living the vision to bring students in both the Instrumental core and the Vocal core together in concert. Under the batons of Daniel Black and Dr. Bevan Keating, WAMA Artistic Director, more than 30 orchestral musicians collaborated with almost as many advanced vocal students to create a spectacular culminating concert, A Summer Schubert Serenade, on June 24th.

The intermediate program is overflowing with instrumentalists and singers eager for training to reach the next level. Music faculty from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, UALR, and local schools are joined by teaching artists who provide such multi-arts electives as yoga, visual arts, culinary classes, creative writing and theatre.

In week three, advanced vocal students shift their focus to the more whimsical side of musical theatre, with equally intensive training by faculty and two internationally-renowned guest artists. Baritone-bass Curtis Sullivan and collaborative pianist, Dr. Kyung-Eun Na, will also perform a concert for the public:

Awake the Beauty

Thursday, June 30 / 7:30 pm

Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival (indoors)

The next afternoon, July 1st at 5 pm, participants in the Advanced Vocal Core will present a culminating concert.

In the weeks following, WILDMusic beginning students will embark upon artistic adventures in African drumming, ukulele classes, visual arts, culinary arts and musical theatre. Each week culminates with a student performance. These emerging young artists, just like the more advanced WAMA students, are developing musically and artistically the skills crucial for self-discipline, collaboration, exploration and creativity. Register your young artist here.

WAMA students are making great strides. Help us continue the momentum. Keep the metronomes going, the paintbrushes vivid, the voices on cue. Thanks to a growing number of funders and patrons just like you, WAMA is pleased to provide world-class faculty members, innovative classes, and a variety of performances and performance opportunities so that hundreds of young people each summer have access the highest standards in music and arts education. Click here to make a donation today to support the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts. Or contact Mary Bea Gross, Development Officer, at 501-821-7275, or via email at marybea@wildwoodpark.org.

With gratitude,

Dr. Bevan Keating, WAMA Artistic Director

Angela Collier, WAMA Curriculum Manager

Leslie Golden, Executive Director