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story.lead_photo.caption Photography by Edward C. Robison III; courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Georgia O'Keeffe's "Jimson Weed/ White Flower No. 1," a 1932 oil on canvas 48 x 40 inches, is among works that will be on show in a special exhibit May 26-Sept. 3 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

As we proved by looking back at 2017, Northwest Arkansas is rich in the arts. Here are 18 things to look forward to in 2018, most of them right here at home and a few on the road.

January

1. "Joanne Martin: A Life in Miniature" -- A film by artist Stephanie Lewis about Lewis' aunt, Joanna Martin, screening at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at Ozark Folkways in Winslow.

Born in 1938, Martin fought dyslexia before it had a name, raised two children, started her own business and opened the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis.

"I love unsung heroes," Lewis says. "There are a lot of heroes everywhere you look -- you just don't know it."

INFO -- Email smmedlrg@gmail.com.

2. "At This Performance..." -- For the past 15 years, "At This Performance..." has honored the role of the Broadway standbys and understudies, a surefire way to see the biggest Broadway stars of the future performing songs from their current shows and repertoires, 7 p.m. Jan. 29, Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

INFO -- 443-5600.


February

3. "The Producers" -- Bialystock and Bloom -- names that should strike terror and hysteria in anyone familiar with Mel Brooks' classic cult comedy film -- take the stage Feb. 9-25 at Arkansas Public Theatre. If you know the directing work of Ed McClure, one of the founders of APT, you know you're going to get Broadway in Rogers.

INFO -- 631-8988.

4. "Through the Eyes of Picasso" -- Exploring Pablo Picasso's fascination with African and Oceanic art, the exhibition will feature 170 works, with more than 60 paintings, sculptures and ceramics by the 20th century Spanish master and other pieces that were part of his personal collection, through April 8, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

INFO -- nelson-atkins.org.

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March

5. "RENT" -- In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway -- and forever changed the landscape of American theater. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production, March 2-4, Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

INFO -- 443-5600.

6. "Pre-Existing Condition for Choir, Piano, and Percussion" -- A new work by Stephen Caldwell, debuts March 15, presented by Schola Cantorum.

Caldwell, director of choral activities at the University of Arkansas, and wife Mara are the parents of William, who faces the challenges of congenital heart defects, and "Pre-Existing Condition" honors his battle. At not quite 18 months old, "he's not out of the woods, but he's hiking in the right direction," Caldwell says.

During heated healthcare debate, the piece, Caldwell says, "started to morph a little from a work about kids with CHDs specifically, to a piece about parents who are challenged with raising kids with pre-existing conditions. I was writing from the first person, and the emotions were very real. I found myself banging on the piano in a way that I never had before. It was anger. It was frustration. It was a scream in the dark. We start rehearsal first thing in January."

INFO -- Email stephenc@uark.edu.

7. "Vietgone" -- By Qui Nguyen, it's the classic boy meets girl -- except this boy and girl are refugees from the Vietnam War newly settled in a relocation camp in Fort Chaffee, March 14-April 8 at TheatreSquared. Nguyen's parents met and fell in love in an Arkansas refugee camp, he grew up in El Dorado, and he was a featured playwright at the T2 Arkansas New Play Festival in 2015.

INFO -- theatre2.org.

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April

8. Time Traveler -- Designed by Mack Rides of Germany, it's the latest addition to world-renowned roller coasters at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., and it breaks several records, according to Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City. But mostly, it's a double launch with spinning cars. And at an investment of $26 million, Time Traveler is Silver Dollar City's biggest attraction ever. Opening date for the ride is spring 2018.

INFO -- silverdollarcity.com.

9. "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical": A 2014 Tony-nominee for best musical, "Beautiful" tells the true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom set to the soundtrack of a generation, April 24-29 at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

INFO -- 443-5600.

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May

10. Masterworks III: La Bohème -- Music director Paul Haas says it will unlike anything else ever presented by the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. "The final Masterworks concert will be staggering in scope, starting with the first act of Puccini's best-known opera, 'La Boheme,' and blowing the roof off after the intermission with Strauss' 'Zarathustra,' best known as the opening soundtrack from '2001: A Space Odyssey'," May 5, Walton Arts Center.

INFO -- 443-5600.

11. Homegrown Greatest: The Music of Florence Price -- "Florence Price's (1887-1953) music is romantic, lyrical, soulful and beautiful," says John Jeter, music director of the Fort Smith Symphony. "She was the first African-American female composer to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. She is considered the most prominent, historically significant concert composer of her race and gender in American music history. The Fort Smith Symphony will be the first orchestra to ever record her complete cycle of four symphonies."

Jeter points out that the 2018 concert, which takes place on May 12, will be the first time Price's Symphony No. 4 in D Minor (1945) has "ever been performed, ever." The sheet music was copied from a handwritten manuscript in Special Collections at the University of Arkansas. And then for two days after the concert, the orchestra will be recording her first symphony and her fourth for Naxos Records, the label for which the musicians recorded the music of William Grant Still.

INFO -- 452-7575.

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June

12. Artosphere -- Billed as "Arkansas' arts and nature festival," the Walton Arts Center event will be June 10-23. Mark your calendars now for some of the most popular events: Dover Quartet's concert at St. Paul's, June 12; AFO concert at Crystal Bridges Museum, June 15; Garden Party, Trail Mix and Off the Grid, June 16; Artosphere Festival Orchestra 10x10 concert, June 19; AFO Finale, June 23.

INFO -- waltonartscenter.org/artosphere.

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July

13. "Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Art" -- Building on Crystal Bridges' collection of significant works by Georgia O'Keeffe, the museum has brought together a selection of O'Keeffe's most important creations as the centerpiece of a unique exhibition set for May 26-Sept. 3. Alongside these iconic artworks by the mother of American Modernism, the exhibition features artworks by a select group of emerging contemporary artists that evoke, investigate and expand upon O'Keeffe's artistic legacy.

INFO -- crystalbridges.org.

14. Flicker World Tour -- Niall Horan, a former member of arguably the biggest boy band of the last decade, One Direction, embarks on a world tour in support of his debut solo album "Flicker," which features the sexy global hit "Slow Hands." Rising country/blues singer Maren Morris joins Horan at the Walmart AMP at 7 p.m. July 21.

INFO -- arkansasmusicpavilion.com.

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August

15. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" -- The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to life in this musical parable by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, July 27 to Aug. 12, Arkansas Public Theatre in Rogers. This colorful production features a huge cast of adults and children.

INFO -- 631-8988.

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September

16. Shiloh Museum Turns 50 -- The Springdale museum opened on Sept. 7, 1968, and will celebrate with a family-centered party and an adult party in September 2018. The staff has spent two years doing all the refurbishing of its galleries, and the last one, which starts with prehistoric Northwest Arkansas and ends with white settlers, will open in time for the festivities.

INFO -- 750-8165.

17. Taylor Swift World Tour -- Sept. 8 at Arrowhead Stadium in KC, Sept. 18 at the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis or Oct. 6 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

INFO -- taylorswift.com.

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November

18. "Noises Off" -- A fictional show titled "Nothing's On" crumbles during its 10-week run, and the audience watches the demise from backstage. A play within a play, with doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and clever dialogue, it's often called the funniest farce ever written, Nov. 8-11 & 14-17 at Fort Smith Little Theatre.

INFO -- fslt.org.

File Photo Joshua D. Jones played the lead in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" when it was presented by Rogers Little Theater 14 years ago. The musical returns in 2018 to the Arkansas Public Theatre.
Courtesy Photo "RENT" returns to the road for its 20th anniversary tour in 2018.
File Photo/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Curtis Morris, exhibits manager at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, and Carolyn Reno, collections manager, prepare to hang a depression era scythe during renovations at the Springdale museum, which will celebrate its 50th birthday in September.

NAN What's Up on 12/31/2017

Print Headline: The Best Is Yet To Come

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