June Culturalist

A month of libations, lepidopterology and “Live Like You Were Dyin’”

shutterstock_2154622846/25 Preservation Libations: Master Mix-Off at the Albert Pike Memorial Temple

LITTLE ROCK | Though it might lack the cloak-and-dagger mystique of former speakeasies—it seems unlikely that mixology would have been so well publicized in the era of Prohibition—this historically themed event has what counts: Specifically, booze. (In addition to friendly competition and tunes by members of Little Rock’s Amasa Hines. But mainly, booze.) On hand to pour, splash, concoct and serve said libations—both for attendees and a panel of very lucky judges—will be some of the city’s finest cocktail slingers from the likes of 109 & Co., Big Orange, Cache, Ciao Baci, among a slew of others. And although much of what they’re set to serve is still being kept under wraps—though we hear that the likes of genever, amari and old-style vermouths may make an appearance—we’re perfectly fine with a little mystery. (preservearkansas.org/what-we-do/mixoff)

579110_248553648607680_1308221738_n6/11-27 Artosphere:Arkansas’s Arts & Nature Festival

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS | With 16 performances, installations and concerts spread over 11 days, Northwest Arkansas’s sixth annual Artosphere festival can be a bit daunting. To help you find your way around, here are four events you shouldn’t miss:

What: I Think I Can

Where: Walton Arts Center’s Joy Pratt Markham Gallery in Fayetteville

When: June 16-27

Why: This interactive installation is so much more than just a model train set. Members of the public are invited to take a short “career test” on an iPad before receiving a 1:87-scale puppet representing their chosen career. Participants then tell their character’s story while a puppeteer animates the puppet’s placement into the world.

What: Alonzo King Lines Ballet

Where: Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall in Fayetteville

When: June 16

Why: Featuring the sounds of beavers, humpback whales, Pacific tree frogs, mountain gorillas and other natural soundscapes collected by famed bioacoustic recordist Bernie Krause, this performance by the San Francisco-based Alonzo King Lines Ballet promises to be wild.

What: Strange Fruit (pictured) at Trail Mix and Family Sunday

Where: Crystal Bridges’ trails in Bentonville

When: June 21

Why: Combine equal parts theater, dance, circus and surrealist performance art, and then stick it atop 14-foot poles, and you’ll get something close to this world-renowned performing arts company’s “Swoon.” If you can’t make the show, check out their performance of “Spheres” on June 19 in Fayetteville’s Tyson Plaza.

What: Bold Spirit: The Best of Beethoven

Where: Walton Arts Center’s Baum Walker Hall in Fayetteville

When: June 27

Why: For its final performance at this year’s festival, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra—an ensemble of more than 80 musicians gathered from some of the world’s best orchestras and music programs—will perform two of Beethoven’s most famous works. Drop by before the show to learn about featured pianist Pietro de Maria.

seyfried_eric-1506666-orig6/26-27 The Mount Magazine Butterfly Festival

PARIS | Although spring storms have trounced many of the season’s flowers, taking the likelihood of seeing, say, the vibrantly hued state butterfly, Diana fritillary, down a notch or four, there’s still plenty of places to look among the 2,220 acres of the state park for the 25 species you might come across during the festival. (Pro-tip: patience.) For those less inclined to tote binoculars and nets, the festival proper has a live butterfly observatory tent on the festival grounds—filled with monarchs and painted lady butterflies that will be released Saturday afternoon—in addition to the pageant, photo and art contest, live entertainment and more. (mountmagazinestatepark.com)

shutterstock_2039611066/5 Tim McGraw | Verizon Arena

NORTH LITTLE ROCK | Of course you know he’s coming. Because when one of the world’s biggest stars of country music—or of any genre, for that matter—comes to town, it’s known well in advance. And if you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, you know everyone (us included) is totally wishing they were in your boots. (verizonarena.com)

(Note: For those not fortunate enough to have scored seat in Verizon, there’s still a whole lot of good vibes and sounds coming your way this summer—most of which are laid out on page 23.)

6/3-21 August: Osage County | Arkansas Repertory Theatre

LITTLE ROCK | This critically acclaimed, Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning black comedy makes its way to The Rep this month as the theater’s final production of its 2014/2015 season. Producing Artistic Director Robert Hupp directs this tale of a deeply dysfunctional family that gathers at its Oklahoma homestead when the family patriarch goes missing. Over the course of a month, dirty laundry is aired, skeletons revealed and nothing is ever the same. (therep.org)

The Calendar

JUNE 2:  Diamond Chef Arkansas at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock

JUNE 4-7:  Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus present Built to Amaze at the Fort Smith Convention Center

JUNE 4-28: Arkansas Shakespeare Festival at locations in Conway and North Little Rock

JUNE 5 – SEPT. 6: Selections from the Permanent Collection at Fort Smith Regional Art Center

JUNE 10: Ghostbusters at Movies in the Park at First Security Amphitheater in Little Rock

JUNE 11-13: Art of Wine Festival at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

JUNE 12-13: 59th annual Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival in Warren

JUNE 13-14: Lake Dwellers Junior U.S. Open Water Ski Championships at Bullneck Lake in Scott

JUNE 18-28: Arkansas New Play Festival at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios in Fayetteville

JUNE 19-20: Surf the Bay Festival at Fairfield Bay

JUNE 20: Black & Brown Comedy Get Down featuring Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and others at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock

JUNE 20: Juneteenth Celebration at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock

JUNE 22-28: LPGA Tour’s Walmart NWA Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers