Arts & Entertainment
When it comes to arts and entertainment, Northwest Arkansas is full of both well-known classics and hidden gems.
From live local bands at a dozen venues throughout the week to big-name singers at the AMP, and from a salon-style violin concert at a local home to a performance by our very own Symphony of Northwest Arkansas at the Walton Arts Center, there are as many opportunities to enjoy music in NWA as you could ask for.
Whether you like the formal theater experience, the historic cabaret theater experience, or something in between, there is a performing arts venue in NWA for you.
In Fayetteville, the Walton Arts Center consistently brings first-class musicians, dance troupes, Broadway shows, comedians, and many other performing artists to its main theater as well as its more intimate Starr Theater. The WAC has that exciting big-theater feel, but any local will tell you that there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Also in Fayetteville, TheatreSquared is a year-round professional theater. Their company of professional actors produces nationally known plays, and new, locally scripted works.
On the more popular-theater side, Arkansas Public Theatre (formerly known as Rogers Little Theater) is housed in the historic Victory Theater, and produces its plays with an all-volunteer, local cast.
The Trike Theatre for Youth in Bentonville is a fantastic option for family-friendly live entertainment, as well as for kids to get involved with theater
If you are a fan of independent films, you are in for a treat! NWA is home to the Bentonville Film Festival, founded by Geena Davis. Every year the week-long BFF brings hundreds of filmmakers and aficionados to the area, with dozens of film showings and lots of opportunities to rub elbows with celebrities and undiscovered geniuses alike.
With the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as a cornerstone, the art community in Northwest Arkansas is growing fast. New public art installations are always popping up, the 21c Museum Hotel brings art and luxury accommodations to the heart of Bentonville, and local art studios like Studio 7 are a great way to try your own hand at art.
If you know about our Gallery at Midtown, you know that we love the local art scene, especially connecting local artists to the community. And we’re not the only ones – with no commercial art galleries in Bentonville, many local businesses like 211 Café and First National Bank of NWA have integrated art galleries into their spaces.
There is no way we could list all the amazing food options in NWA. With venues and cuisines to fit every taste and budget, here are just a few of the local, unique highlights to whet your appetite:
- The Hive at 21c in Bentonville specializes in the High South Cuisine of the Ozarks.
- Eleven at Crystal Bridges does not serve typical museum food, thanks to its focus on High South Cuisine and gourmet twists on American comfort food.
- Tusk & Trotter in Bentonville focuses on seasonal, local ingredients.
- The Preacher’s Son is a completely gluten-free restaurant housed in a Gothic Revivalist church building off the Bentonville Square.
- Table Mesa Bistro right on the square in Bentonville focuses on Latin dishes, but usually with a fusion twist.
- The Rail Pizza Company in Rogers offers pizza and wings in a relaxed, funky atmosphere.
- Greenhouse Grille in Fayetteville offers “conscious cuisine,” with locally and ethically sourced ingredients and a healthful menu.
No discussion of the food scene in Northwest Arkansas would be complete without mentioning Brightwater, the newly opened culinary school in Bentonville. In addition to attracting and training talented chefs, Brightwater offers community classes for anyone who wants to know more about the connection between food and wellness, wants to hone (or begin!) their kitchen skills, or just loves food.