The community theater organization reinvents itself


The Ozarks Arts Center has left the building. The longtime nonprofit NWA has a new name, new direction — and no location.

What is happening: Art One Presents, which renamed Arts Center of the Ozarks last year, has returned to live theater productions since suspending performances due to the pandemic.

  • The organization retains offices in Springdale but sold its venue, which it had operated since 1972, in 2020. Now. instead, it has the ability to host performances anywhere in the NWA, executive director Anne Jackson told Axios.
  • He seeks to expand its reach to the entire NWA and focus more on visual arts in addition to theater. The organization recently commissioned a public art installation called “Humongous Fungus,” a “larger-than-life mushroom and flower garden” by artist Gina Gallina at Turnbow Park in Springdale, Jackson said.

Driving the news: Art One Presents’ first production since 2019 kicked off on Wednesday. His version of “Romeo and Juliet” takes place inside the parking lot on the same street College Avenue in Fayetteville. (Tickets are sold out, sorry.)

The big picture: While TheatreSquared is proud to bring professional theater to NWA and the Walton Arts Center presents Broadway productions, Art One Presents is an alternative whose mission is to provide opportunities for local amateur talent.

  • The organization held workshops to teach people how to audition.
  • The actors of “Romeo and Juliet” are local. NWA DJs provide the music, and the production was choreographed by the Ozark Ballet Theatre.

1 fun fact: Art One Presents has been around in one form or another since it was called Springdale Music Club in 1964.

Rollback: Arts Center of the Ozarks sold the building at 214 S. Main St. to the Tyson Family Foundation when the pandemic forced it to halt production.

  • Jackson said the building was also a bit large for the association’s needs.
  • Creative Arkansas Community Hub and Exchange (CACHE), a branch of the Northwest Arkansas Council seeking to boost arts and culture in the region, now operates out of the building.

Yes and: The building, called 214 for now, will get a new name, website and social media by the end of the year, Amber Perrodin, CACHE arts and community manager, told Axios.

  • CACHE is still testing the space to see what the community wants from it and is in the process of choosing artists for its creative exchange fund.
  • Artists and arts organizations can use the space for rehearsals, performances, art exhibits, or film screenings. Art One Presents used the space for “Romeo and Juliet” auditions, Perrodin says.

And after: Art One Presents’ next show, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” will take place July 21-23 and July 28-31 at the Don Tyson School of Innovation’s Performing Arts Center.


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