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Stories by Becca Martin-Brown

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'A Band Of Mothers'

Comics find the funny side of new parenthood

Subscriber onlyShayna Ferm says she is a member of the biggest club in the world. She's a mom. Continue reading...

'Tex-Mex Honky-Tonk'

Tejas Brothers blend musical genres just for fun

Subscriber onlyBass player John Garza says he coined the term the Tejas Brothers use to describe their music -- "Tex-Mex honky-tonk." What that means remains open to interpretation, based on the venue, the audience and the mood of the band's frontman, Dave Perez. Continue reading...

Say 'Yes' To The Dress - Old State House showcases first ladies’ gowns

Subscriber onlyFrom the post-World War II elegance of Anne McMath's sleeveless black sheath to Hillary Clinton's oh-s0-1979 bell-skirted, empire-waisted pink dress reminiscent of that decade's popular Gunne Sax brand, the inaugural gowns worn by Arkansas' first ladies return to the Old State House Museum on Sept. 14. Continue reading...

Ready For A Closeup

‘Sunset Boulevard’ a soaring tale of love, loss

Subscriber onlyDon't be surprised. Although he wrote it, "Sunset Boulevard" does not sound like Andrew Lloyd Webber -- more like Stephen Sondheim, actually. But the musical is as complex and demanding as any combination you can imagine of Sondheim's typically tongue-twisting lyrics and Webber's demanding arias. Continue reading...

Living History - Shiloh Museum still evolving at 50

Subscriber onlyThe Shiloh Museum started without a home, a name, a curator or a mission. All it had in 1965 was a collection of Native American artifacts the city of Springdale purchased from Guy Howard, a former Springdale city attorney, mayor and judge, for $15,000 -- although that was a tidy sum equal to about $120,000 in today's money. Continue reading...

Five Minutes, Five Questions Mezzo Soprano Sarah Mesko

Subscriber onlyMezzo soprano Sarah Mesko might not be a household name -- yet. But she's only 33, and she's sung with the New York Philharmonic, the Washington National Opera and on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera 27 times, just to name a few. Not bad for a girl from Hot Springs, Ark., who graduated from the University of Arkansas. And no one is more excited about living the dream than she is. Continue reading...

Time For Jubilation - Sykes stays low key in the middle of high-profile career

Subscriber onlyJubilant Sykes says he could never have been John Legend. Pop music was his first love, he admits, but it wasn't his destiny. Continue reading...

That Old-Time Religion - Southern gospel a tradition at Silver Dollar City

Subscriber onlyTake three kids -- with less than four years between them in age -- and put them in a tiny house somewhere south of Hamburg, Ark., with no electricity and no running water. Singing, says Judy Martin Hess, was "part of our entertainment -- one of the things our mom did to pass the time." Continue reading...

See It, Feel It - Clothesline Fair offers hands-on shopping

Subscriber only"Even though crafts have taken a hit due to online sales, shows such as Prairie Grove offer a lively atmosphere that can't be re-created on a computer screen," says toymaker Marc Falmer. Continue reading...

Making Everyone Welcome - APO plans season, kids’ club to appeal to families

APO plans season, kids’ club to appeal to families

Subscriber onlyYou're never too young for classical music. Continue reading...

Maker Spaces

Don’t just watch the world go by; dive right in

Subscriber onlySo you're new to Northwest Arkansas? Well, you've already found What's Up! (and its sister magazine, The Free Weekly, at freeweekly.com) to keep you "in the know and on the go" as far as arts and entertainment in 12 -- count 'em, TWELVE -- counties. Congrats! Continue reading...

Changing The World

Singer/songwriter seeks common ground

Subscriber onlyClaire Holley speaks quickly, with lots of emotion and enthusiasm in her voice. But at the same time, she chooses her words carefully. She wants to be clear in her meaning -- and she wants to be sure she doesn't come across as anything but grateful and humble. Continue reading...

Tree Of Life - Roots Fest digs deep with legend Del McCoury

Subscriber onlyIf Del McCoury knows he's a legend, it doesn't show in an interview. He doesn't want to talk about how he's changed roots music, but rather how roots music changed him. And at 79 -- more than 50 years into his career -- there's very little point in trying to rein him in. Continue reading...

Rapper talks family, love, his brand of rap

Subscriber onlySo how do a 20-something Filipino rapper -- who goes by the name P-Lo -- and a middle-aged Mid-Southern arts writer have a conversation? Continue reading...

One Night Only -- Yellow Brick Road leads back to Alma

Subscriber onlyThe uninitiated might hear "at Alma High School" and think the Alma Performing Arts Center is just an auditorium for student productions. Continue reading...

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