About The Festival

Inspired by a 2012 visit to Spoleto Arts Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, ACANSA's Founder, Charlotte Gadberry approached the Mayors of Little Rock, North Little Rock and leaders of our arts communities about collaborating to make ACANSA Arts Festival a reality for Central Arkansas and they enthusiastically agreed. A grass-roots movement ensued with hundreds of volunteers working together in numerous roles to bring this annual festival to Arkansas. The inaugural festival took place September 23-28, 2014. ACANSA continues to develop year after year and is working to establish Arkansas as the next great arts and culture destination in the U.S.

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2017 Festival Lineup

2017 FESTIVAL OPENING Date: September 20Time: 6pmLocation: Butler Center for Arkansas StudiesTickets: Free Admission Help us usher in the 2017 ACANSA Festival with food, drinks, music, and art!

BARRON RYAN Date: September 20Time: 8pmLocation: Ron Robinson TheaterTickets: $20 general admission, $10 student/military A musical adventure that’s vintage yet fresh, historical yet hip, classic.

SECRET SISTERS  (SOLD OUT!) Date: September 21Time: 8pmLocation: South on MainTickets: TBD Join Oxford American and ACANSA for a Southern duo infused with soul.

ANDREW YORK (SOLD OUT!) Date: September 21Time: 7:30pmLocation: The Joint, ArgentaTickets: TBD Join Grammy-award winning classical guitarist Andrew York for an intimate performance in an exclusive setting.

NOT ABOUT HEROES Date: September 21-22Time: 7 pmLocation: Arkansas Repertory Theater AnnexTickets: $30 This stunning play is a timeless and uncompromising exploration of courage, of humanity and an intense friendship forged through poetry and the power of words, overshadowed by a terrible and all-consuming war.

NANCY NOLAN Date: September 19-24Time: TBDLocation: Argenta GalleryTickets: Free Admission A powerful photographic exhibit featuring a mother’s love for her infant son fighting to survive.

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND Date: September 22Time: 8pmLocation: Arkansas Regional Innovation HubTickets: $25 general admission, $10 student/military A modern omnivorous brass band out of New Orleans that embraces be-bop, funk, and rhythm and blues.

IMPRO THEATRE Date: September 21 & 22Time: 8pmLocation: Argenta Community TheaterTickets: $30 general admission, $15 student/military Los Angeles based Impro Theatre creates completely improvised, full-length plays in the styles of the world’s greatest playwrights, authors and composers.

TO LIFE Date: September 22Time: 7 pmLocation: New Deal Salon, Little RockTickets: $20 general admission, $10 student/military Join Tatiana Roitman Mann on piano, Andrey Dyachenko on clarinet, and Kiril Laskarov on violin for a wonderful evening of classical music in a truly intimate setting.

COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET Date: September 23Time: 8pmLocation: The University Theatre in the Center for the Performing ArtsTickets: $35 general admission, $15 student/military Contemporary ballet overflowing with virtuosity and technique. Pure dance, pure excitement.

WILL COUNTS: THE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHS Date: August 8 - October 22, 2017Location: Arkansas Arts CenterTickets: Free Admission The Arts Center’s exhibition will feature about 35 prints from the group of black and white negatives Counts made of the events at Central High in the fall of 1957.

9 HORSES Date: September 23Set 1: 11am @ Hillary Clinton Children’s LibrarySet 2: 6pm @ Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall (UA Little Rock)Tickets: Free Admission Nine Horses is a musical trio that brings the virtuosity of classical music together with the immediacy of jazz and folk music.

FAMILY ART DAY Date: September 23Time: 11am - 1pmLocation: Hillary Clinton Children’s LibraryTickets: Free Admission Come join us for a day of art, music, and fun for the whole family!

GALLERIES AT UA LITTLE ROCK Date: September 23Time: 10am - 6pmLocation: Fine Arts Building, UA Little RockTickets: Free Admission Join ACANSA for a full day of visual art expression at the galleries at UA Little Rock, featuring work by Peri Schwartz, Heidi Hogden, and Layet Johnson, culminating in a reception at 5 pm prior to the evening's performances by Nine Horses and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

CORE PERFORMANCE COMPANY Date: September 24Time: 6 - 7:15pmLocation: Central High School Commemorative GardenTickets: Free Admission A world-premiere, site-specific dance and spoken word performance commemorating the historic events of 1957.

LRCH 60th ANNIVERSARY Date: September 24Time: TBALocation: Central High SchoolTickets: Free Admission Join ACANSA as we help present a variety of performances on the day we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine.

GOSPEL BRUNCH AT WILDWOOD PARK Date: September 24Time: 11amLocation: Wildwood Park for the ArtsTickets: $45 general admission (includes brunch and performance) Food, fellowship, and soulful music featuring the award-winning St. Mark Sanctuary Choir!

LUNCH & LEARNS Date: Multiple DatesTime: 12 noonLocation: Multiple LocationsTickets: Free Join us at various locations during the noon hour, bring your lunch and learn about various art forms.