Culturalist: August 2017

A month of meteors, music makers and mega athletes

Meteor Shower Mania Cruise at Pinnacle Mountain State Park | Aug. 12

LITTLE ROCK | In a year full of celestial wonders (see this month’s Outdoorsman), it might be easy to overlook the Perseids, that annual firestorm of debris orbiting the Swift-Tuttle comet that paints the summer night sky. But here’s the thing: Don’t. Because with upward of 100 meteors per hour at its midmonth peak, the Perseids are truly something to see, especially aboard a ranger-led cruise on Lake Maumelle, where city lights give way to peace, quiet and almost-pitch-darkness. (

Fayetteville Roots Festival | Aug. 24-27

FAYETTEVILLE | Aside from showing people a good time, the Fayetteville Roots Festival is all about celebrating the connections we’ve got to this neck of the woods. But the festival also celebrates roots of the musical variety, and this year’s four-day event boasts the best lineup to date: a who’s who of folk music, including Iron & Wine, The Wood Brothers, John Paul White and Elephant Revival. And just to make sure they’ve covered all their bases, the folks behind FRF have also planned a food-and-farming festival to celebrate ingredients homegrown in the Ozarks. All the more reason (as if there weren’t already plenty enough) to spend the weekend in Fayetteville. (

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre | Aug. 23 – Sept. 10

LITTLE ROCK | What’s most genius about Carson McCullers’ seminal novel as it relates to the passage of time is that it transcends all generational boundaries. (Extra genius points because she wrote it at the ripe young age of 23.) Adapted for the stage in 2005, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter centers around John Singer, a deaf-mute man, and his relationship with four other misfits living in a 1930s Georgia mill town. This month, the characters—lonesome and isolated, all seeking comfort from the silent John—will come to life on The Rep’s stage in a production that’s guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings. (

Eureka Springs Multisport Festival | Aug. 11-13

EUREKA SPRINGS | If you’ve been feeling particularly in-shape and are looking to go the distance this summer, we know just the event that’ll put your skills to the test. The three-day-long Eureka Springs Multisport Festival will kick off with a sprint-distance triathlon consisting of a 300-yard swim, a 7-mile bike ride and a 2-mile run. On Saturday morning, throngs of cyclists will participate in 21-, 62- and 100-mile gran fondo-style bike rides. And as if all of that doesn’t pose enough of a challenge, Sunday will end with a 5K and a 10K, where athletes will run their way to victory, hoping to earn the title of either a Half or Full Eurekan. But if watching and waving sound more your speed (we don’t blame you), there’s plenty of demand for that, too. (

Will Counts: The Central High School Photographs at the Arkansas Arts Center | Aug. 8 – Oct. 22

LITTLE ROCK | In 1957, photographer Will Counts, then on staff at the Arkansas Democrat, captured what are considered to be some of the most important moments of the civil rights movement. His images of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School (particularly that of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford and a screaming, sneering young girl, Hazel Bryan, standing behind her), while stark and appalling, drew attention to an important struggle. Though Counts was only 26, the photographs earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination. As the community prepares to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the integration next month, the Arkansas Arts Center presents this exhibition that explores Little Rock’s history through Will Counts’ lens. (

Anna Moss at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art | Aug. 31

BENTONVILLE | Every month, when Crystal Bridges hosts DISH—a forum built around women in the culinary and art worlds—the conversation brings lots of inspiration and wisdom. And knowing her as we do, we’re confident Anna Moss, half of folk/soul duo Handmade Moments, is a good choice to lead this month’s discussion. In May, we featured Anna and her partner, Joel Ludford, in a narrative about their journey of recovery after a tragic accident that almost took their lives. And if her story taught us anything, it’s tenacity and perseverance. All of which is to say, there will be plenty to take away from the dialogue. (