Engaging the Community through the Artosphere Partner Grant

Although it seems like 2013 Artosphere just happened, here at Walton Arts Center we’re already getting excited for the 2014 Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts & Nature Festival!

One of the most unique aspects of Artsophere is the way projects inspire and engage the community. The annual Artosphere Partner Grant helps fund artist projects that support the mission and theme of Artosphere (to celebrate artists, influenced by nature, who inspire us to live more sustainable lives).

This year, a total of $20,000 will be awarded among 1-5 2014 Artosphere Partner Grant winners.


In the last two years, the grant has funded several projects, including 2013 Artosphere’s The Herd and The Swarm by Tasha Lewis and Sun Boxes by Craig Colorusso.

Tasha Lewis’s installation of The Herd was placed in Walton Arts Center’s Cynthia H. Coughlin Gallery Lobby. More than 17 sculptures of antelopes, impalas and gazelles were sculpted from printed fabrics and featured emerging and disappearing into walls. More than 1,400 students and teachers were able to experience these majestic animals while visiting Walton Arts Center last Spring. 


For The Swarm, more than 1,000 butterflies were printed in various sizes with cyanotype on fabric and constructed with the help of community volunteers. Small but powerful magnets placed on their bellies allowed the installation to move around throughout 2013 Artosphere, appearing at multiple sites throughout Artosphere without leaving a trace. At each location, viewers were able to move the butterflies around the site, allowing them to both experience the project and help it evolve. In a final send-off of the installation, community members were invited to help the butterflies “migrate” by taking one or two of these beautiful butterflies home with them. We are certain they all found good homes.

The installation of Sun Boxes was created by Rogers-based artist Craig Colorusso. Each sun box is a solar powered speaker, operating independently and programed with a guitar note that plays on a loop. Together, the notes form a Bb chord, slowly changing and evolving over time because of the different lengths for each note’s loop. Listen here!  In a community yoga event held by Soul Yoga Lounge at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, local yogis joined together to celebrate nature and practice yoga to the sunrise and the ethereal sounds of Sun Boxes.

The 2012 Artosphere Partner Grant also led to the Artist’s Laboratory Theatre’s production of “Alley 38,” a theatrical walking expedition through the uncharted places of downtown Fayetteville, and the installation “Karst” by Massey Burke, which still stands on West Avenue today!

 “Supporting artists that give the community new ways to think about art and nature is important for the vision of Artosphere. For the past two years, the Partner Grant Program has been successful in generating thoughtful and collaborative work and we look forward to reviewing new proposals that are challenging and exciting.” - Laura Goodwin, VP of Learning and Engagement at Walton Arts Center

If you are interested in applying for a grant, submissions are due November 1, 2013 at 11:59pm, and the award announcement will be made on December 1, 2013. To submit a proposal or learn more about the application criteria, click here. 

Program Evaluation Criteria:

  • Relationship to and support of the Artosphere Festival
  • Artistic quality
  • Degree of community involvement
  • Visibility – the estimated number of people who will experience your project
  • Projects must occur in Northwest Arkansas and be presented within May 1 - June 7, 2014 

Project ideas include but are not limited to:

  • Theme specific theatrical performances, musical performances, visual arts installations (indoor, outdoor, etc.)
  • Public improvisation activities, concerts or artistic expression
  • Community collaborations
  • “Festival within a festival”
  • Artosphere event enhancements (pre or post-show activities, events or experiences in support of Artosphere programming)

Save & Close

Creativity and diversity are highly encouraged in support of the Artosphere Festival.