Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission members awarded $115,100 to help fund 16 upcoming events and projects during the group’s regular spring special funding meeting held Monday afternoon inside the Fayetteville Town Center.
Twice each year, the commission awards funds to groups needing financial help with promoting or starting an event.
Spring A&P funding awards
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The commission last year overhauled its process for distributing grant funds.
Executive Director Molly Rawn and her staff developed a new procedure that aims to add clarity to the grant process, which has in the past been criticized for being confusing and difficult to manage.
The guidelines include a revamped application process that asks applicants to specify one of five focus areas their event falls into: performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts, sports and recreation, and heritage.
Rawn’s team uses a defined rubric to come up with recommended award amounts. Applicants are then rated on organizational capacity, administrative experience, advertising and promotional plans, and potential sales tax impact.
Any questions regarding those criteria are taken up with individual applicants and answered before the team makes a recommendation of awards. Those recommendations are then brought to the commission for approval.
Of the 21 applicants, five were not given any funding. Rawn said those events either did not meet the required criteria, or have been awarded significant funding for the same projects year after year.
Approved projects will receive 60 percent of their funds 30 days before the event, with the remainder coming only after a post-event report is submitted.
2018 Spring Funding Awards
The following descriptions were provided by Experience Fayetteville and are presented here without edit.
Organization: Apple Seeds
Event: Evening at the Farm
“Evening at the Farm” is a farm dinner benefit held on the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm at Gulley Park. The benefit is a gathering of 130 guests from across the region. Guests enjoy a five-course dinner prepared open flame by locally respected chefs and live music. Typically sold out, this unique event is featured in the media. We’re expanding this event by offering an intimate farm to table dinner series, led by a collection of local chefs in our Teaching Kitchen. This series will provide a unique dining experience and engage guests in a farm to table setting unlike any.
Organization: Art Ventures
Project: Exhibitions and Programs
Art Ventures requests $15,000 to support two projects. Equity Backlash features contemporary work about current survival in America as the value of diverse cultures is challenged daily. Glenn Mack, Brightwater executive director, Leann Halsey, Fayetteville Farmers Market business&program coordinator, and Art Ventures collaborate to bring Art Meripol’s 1974 Farmer’s Market photographs to exhibit at Bite: Taste of NWA and then to Art Ventures Gallery in August when Art Ventures presents American Folk Art curated by Marsha Scott, which aligns with the Fayetteville Roots Festival. The American reach for a better life crosses cultural origin. Toursim impact should be high.
Organization: Big Bot Design
Project: Death Ray Illustration + Print Expo
For three years the Cattywampus Co-Op has held successful, well attended craft shows highlighting the best of our local creative community. This year we will introduce a new type of show within the Wampus Wonderland Show. The Death Ray Illustration + Print Expo will shine a light on the visual artists living in our community that make pop culture related artwork and illustration and print ranging from comic books to zines, posters and more. We will host well known artists as a draw creating an exciting new element to the holiday show expanding the audience for our artists and makers.
Organization: Bikes, Blues, and BBQ
Project: Rally Guide
Bikes, Blues and BBQ is the world’s largest charity motorcycle rally. The event is comprised of 4 locations – Dickson Street, Baum Stadium, Washington Co Fairgrounds and Arvest Ballpark. The organization is managed by a Board of Directors that consists of community leaders. It is estimated that this event brings a $65-80 million impact to our region and state in tourism. Attendees travel from all over the US for our annual event. The requested amount of $5,000 will help us produce a rally guide to help our attendees get the most out of the event and experience our beautiful area and scenic rides.
Organization: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks
Project: International Festival
This first annual International Festival is being created in response to an event we hosted the last two years at the end of summer. That event was held on a Tuesday night and we had such great response and interest we moved to a time that allows us to have more programming and engagement with all attendees. The International Festival will reach out to all populations represented in Northwest Arkansas and each country who wants to participate will have a table to showcase their country or culture through displays, clothing, activities, etc. The main stage on the Great Lawn will have a variety of dancing and music from many countries emceed by Papa Rap (Al Lopez), a local celebrity. There will be opportunities for all attendees to walk the garden interacting with the various cultures, listening to music, watching and even learning cultural dances. The goal is to celebrate all who make up Northwest Arkansas, individually and collectively as well as, to educate the community on our diversity.
Organization: Fayetteville Film Festival
Project: Fayetteville Film Festival
The Fayetteville Film Fest is a five-day event which annually draws filmmakers and film enthusiasts from all over the country and has seen a 350% increase in attendance between 2015 and 2017. The event showcases the art and craft of filmmaking and provides educational opportunities in the form of workshops, panels and roundtable discussions. In order to amplify awareness of our 10th anniversary event, we request $15,000 to be used to increase statewide and regional marketing and to promote the weeklong festival and the newly created Fayetteville Film Prize, a contest designed to incentivize ongoing filmmaking in our region.
Organization: Fayetteville Public Library
Project: Human Library of Fayetteville
The Human Library Organization™ is partnering with Fayetteville Public Library and UofA Communication Department in bringing a Human Library to Fayetteville on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. The library publishes people like open books and readers ask questions and get answers from their “book.” The goal of the Human Library of Fayetteville is to promote diversity and belonging in the community- to live a story beyond your own. The Human Library of Fayetteville will feature keynote speakers, storytelling activities and partnerships with local organizations – this event will make Fayetteville a flagship city for belonging.
Organization: Fayetteville Roots Festival
Project: Fayetteville Roots Festival
Fayetteville Roots Festival is a five-day, intimate, urban music and food festival taking place August 22 – 26, 2018 in Northwest Arkansas. The festival features over 10 music stages and multiple culinary stages and events. The festival features nationally known musicians/bands paired with undiscovered regional and local talent. The Roots Festival is a showcase of many of the elements that make the Fayetteville community and Northwest Arkansas region a beloved cultural hot spot.
Organization: Fayetteville Senior Activity Center
Project: Improving cardio equipment & opportunities for NWA Seniors
The purpose of the Fayetteville Senior Activity & Wellness Center is to serve the senior community. The center strives to engage seniors with a variety of monthly organized events, daily social activities, educational opportunities, a fitness center, fitness classes and Meals on Wheels program. Overall, we want to enhance the lives of our Senior Population. Currently, our focus is on safe and updated cardio exercise equipment for our aging community to use without the burden of having to pay for a gym membership. Given the cost of other everyday necessities, being able to afford a gym membership is often not an option for the older population. Our services are provided through a free membership and our seniors are asked, only if financially able, to make a donation for the services they use. Studies have shown that participating in lifelong physical activity (especially cardiovascular activity in seniors) is associated with lower incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. For this project, we are planning to add 5 treadmills, 4 recumbent bikes, 2 ellipticals and 2 rowing machines to our existing fitness center. If funded, we will be able to provide our seniors with new equipment and multiple new cardio opportunities (classes, education sessions, etc.) by the end of 2018.
Organization: Fenix Fayetteville
Project: Fenix Art Festival
Fenix Fayetteville is organizing a two-month art festival at our new permanent location, 16 W Center St. on the Fayetteville Square. Programming includes art exhibitions and installations; conceptual art performances; staged theatre readings; the spoken word; music and educational workshops. Tying in with Artosphere, First Thursday, and the Farmer’s Market, the Festival will attract a wide range of visitors from Northwest Arkansas and beyond. Founded in 2016, Fenix has showcased over 50 of Arkansas’ finest artists and hosted enthusiastic crowds for performances and workshops. With an experienced curatorial panel, Fenix is requesting $14,000 for festival promotion and programming.
Organization: Homegrown Music Festival
Project: Homegrown Music & Mountain Sports Festival
Homegrown Music & Mountain Sports Festival is proudly bringing our event from the Mulberry River back to our community of Fayetteville. We hang our hat as the state’s only sustainability conscience music and arts festival. This year we are building on our reputation by adding a sports element. Homegrown will take place at the newly built Kessler Regional Park, providing Fayetteville with the perfect opportunity to show off its new facilities. We will also be utilizing the City’s recently passed public park alcoholic beverage permit. Our event has the support of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation the City Council. Our music and events are free to all attendees. We want all ages and background to have an equal opportunity to attend. However, that creates a financial burden for us. We humbly request $15,000 through Experience Fayetteville to assist us in a soon to become annual event and national attraction for Fayetteville.
Organization: Little Craft Show
Project: Little Craft Show
The Little Craft Show will take place at Fayetteville Town Center. The purpose of the event is to highlight small makers and artists by giving them a venue to showcase their work, and giving shoppers an opportunity to “shop small” during the holidays. The show attracts over 8,000 shoppers to Downtown, as well as 90+ vendors from around the region, resulting in hundreds of out-of-towners visiting and staying in Downtown Fayetteville for the weekend. Led by Amber Perrodin and Monica Diodati, TLCS is requesting $8,000 to aid with advertising and venue costs.
Organization: NWA Senior Babe Ruth Baseball
Project: 2018 Southwest Regional Senior Babe Ruth Tournament
NWA SBR is hosting the 2018 Southwest Regional Tournament in Fayetteville at the White River Baseball Complex beginning July 13th. Ten teams composed of 16-18-year-old players will be competing to win a spot in the Senior Babe Ruth World Series to be held this year in Jamestown, NY beginning August 2nd. The Southwest Region consists of leagues in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico. This event will have an estimated economic impact of over $100,000 in the form of food, entertainment and lodging for the traveling teams and their families. Players in this age range are making their college choices and this will also give them a long look at the Fayetteville and U of A community. It will also provide an opportunity for NWA SBR to partner with Fayetteville Parks to make any necessary improvements to White River that will contribute to the community as a whole for years to come. We are asking for a $5,000 grant which would be used directly for tournament expenses, including but not limited to the Babe Ruth League tournament fee ($3,000), field prep, player picnic, food and lodging for BRL officials and umpires, and to pay local umpires who are given the honor of umpiring a region-level tournament.
Organization: NWA Tech Fest
Project: NWA TechFest 2018
NWA TechFest, a non-profit organization, runs a day-long technology conference that brings tech professionals and students together to learn and network. Speakers from Arkansas, and around the country, travel to the conference to present on a range of topics including cyber security, devops, mobile development, more. We respectfully request $5000 in funding to cover the rental STEM initiatives and cost of the Fayetteville Town Center for our 6th annual conference to be held on May 17, 2018. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Experience Robotics.
Organization: Open Mouth Reading Series
Project: Open Mouth Poetry Festival 2018
Open Mouth Reading Series is a monthly reading curated by poets Molly Bess Rector and J Bailey Hutchinson. In addition to featuring visiting poets, each month we invite community readers to join on stage. In the fall of 2017, Open Mouth launched a poetry festival featuring award-winning poets such as Janine Joseph and Ashley M. Jones alongside a variety of local poetry-lovers. We attracted a diverse crowd of community members last year, and numbers well exceeded our expectations; we anticipate festival attendance will grow this year. Our series is well-regarded both regionally and nationally, and a grant of $12,000 would increase Fayetteville’s literary profile even further by allowing us to pay for travel, lodging, venues, and stipends for our visiting poets.
Organization: Pilot Arts
Project: Tuck Everlasting, The Musical
Pilot Arts is focused on promoting and producing musical theatre in Fayetteville. The goal is to engage the amateur and veteran performer in our community, while making quality performing arts financially accessible to all audiences. Tuck Everlasting is our second production. We are requesting $14,800 to help pay for the venue, equipping the venue technically (lights, sound, power), and production costs. We are converting the historic Arkansas Air and Military Museum into a temporary performance venue with the goal of increasing the creative economy in south Fayetteville. Pilot Arts is run by Missy Gipson, a Fayetteville resident and teaching artist/director.
Organization: Spark Foundation
Project: 2018 Fayetteville Firefighters Hero Half Marathon
The Fayetteville Firefighters Hero Half Marathon is a fundraising race and community event co-hosted by The Spark Foundation and IAFF Local 2866. All proceeds support organizations that meet community needs and celebrate an active lifestyle. Firefighters from across the country run in full bunker gear to honor the sacrifice and service of everyday heroes. This 13.1-mile race highlights Fayetteville––winding along the scenic Razorback Regional Greenway with a Finish Line Festival on Dickson Street. We request $10,000 to increase out-of-state promotion, support our inaugural 15-week training program, and assist in marketing the new 2-person relay.
Organization: The Community NWA
Project: Banff Mountain Film Fest
The Community (TC) began hosting the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in 2009. We began with one night of films with approximately 180 people in attendance. Over the past 8 years we have expanded to two nights of films with nearly 700 tickets sold in 2015 & 2016. Each night of the festival consists of approximately six to eight individual films made by independent film makers from all over the world. These films originate out of the Banff Mountain Film Competition which showcases a selection of films from around the world during a nine-day Festival. TC, as the local host, then selects what it feels are the films best suited for our audience. TC hosts this event every year in an effort to bring a high quality social and artistic film festival into NWA, specifically Fayetteville, for the enrichment of the general public. The films display a rich global diversity highlighting mountain culture, sports, and environmental issues. In addition, the funds raised from the event are used to provide financial assistance for local and global non-profit entities focused on the development of children and families. Locally, funds raised will support Prism Education Center.
Organization: U.S. Pole Vaulting Association
Project: The Fayetteville Street Vault
Northwest Arkansas will host a Street Vault Competition amongst athletes of all ages and skill levels located in downtown Fayetteville on Mountain Street. This event will bring in pole vaulters on both a local and national level to the Northwest Arkansas community, also known as the Track Capital of the World. Upon completion of all youth and master division competitions, an elite competition will take place in the evening featuring top ranked pole vaulters in the world. This unique, free public event will provide high energy entertainment value, inspiration, and exposure to high level athletes.
Organization: Arts Live Theatre
Project: Fall Season
Arts Live Theatre, the region’s only dedicated children’s and youth theatre company, presents its fall 2018 season, including second stage productions of ‘The Tempest’, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, ‘Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing’ and the NWA premiere of ‘Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang’. In addition to stage productions, Arts Live Theatre offers after school theatre classes for grades K-1, 2-4, 5-7 and 8-12 in Musical Theatre, Improv, Create-A-Play and more. Arts Live Theatre also offers Saturday workshops in all aspects of performing arts taught by professional artists in addition to regional school outreach.
Organization: Soldier On Service Dogs
Project: 4th Annual Dickson Street Slide
Our 4th annual Dickson Street Slide event invites families from all over the Northwest Arkansas region to literally slide down Dickson Street on a 1,000 ft. water slide. This event includes a “community village “to sell merchandise and interact with neighbors all day. The slide begins at Collier’s Drug Store and ends at the Walton Arts Cetner on West street. To make this event “stand out” this year Soldier On is partnering with various business to make the Community Village in the WAC lot particularly eventful. We will feature a Health and Wellness Zone, featuring business and non-profits with a focus on mental health and suicide prevention. Flip Side Ninja Park will sponsor a “competition zone” with agility, strength, and endurance events. In addition we will have a Kids Zone, a Food Zone, and a business zone where Dickson Street businesses can set up protable shops and capitalize on more space to serve even more customers.