Jenni's Favorite Projects

¡Circus Sites!  Fall 2016 and Fall 2017

This was Potluck Arts’ founding project partnering with the newly created Downtown Springdale Alliance. It was a pilot project designed to test contemporary circus arts as a means to integrate audiences and provide both accessible and highly artistic experiences to underserved communities in unexpected and unique locations.

We had acrobats all over town, a high wire walker under the full moon and clowns making us laugh.  Potluck had so much fun creating bi-lingual marketing materials and welcoming all audiences with the traditional Mexican Gito.

Arts Midwest, 2015 onward

As the Professional Development liaison for the annual conference, Jenni has the satisfying opportunity to stay on top of trends in the feild and provide new ideas and models for the development of panels and presentations for colleagues around the country.

One day I’m planning a debate, another a podcast, and another exploring keynote speakers around the world. How cool is that! 

Arts Center of the Ozarks, June 2016-May 2017

Jenni served as Acting Executive Director for one of Northwest Arkansas’ iconic community arts organizations.

It was a privilege to participate in the Arts Center’s transition into a regional arts hub supporting emerging and growing arts organizations. One of my favorite events was seeing a La Grand Posada on downtown’s Emma Street, thanks to the collaborative efforts and artistic leadership of Artists Laboratory Theater.

Other programming highlights included:

  • Te Amo Uncle Sam – with University of Arkansas Creative Writing Department and Stiches Group – which led to the formation of the new theater group Latinx.
  • Trike Theatre expanded their Little Trike Series, testing a regional tour model, and offering more theater in downtown Springdale
  • Dia de los Muertos saw local dancers, community alters, parade and celebration – and introduced the Latin Art Organization of Arkansas to more people throughout the region

Dance! Dance! Dance! From 1992 onward

Growing a dance audience takes commitment, investment and ongoing introduction to more and more dance. Due to Jenni’s persistence and passion, Northwest Arkansas welcomed the world’s finest companies including Hubbard Street Dance, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal, Houston Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pilobolus, Trey McIntyre Project, Mark Morris Dance Group, Complexions Dance Company, Groupo Corpo, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, MOMIX, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, and STREB.

You’ve got to see dance to get it. While at Walton Arts Center, I kept Northwest Arkansas’ dance card full and found every which way to integrate dance within the seasonal program, including offering it on Broadway Seasons and as literature-based content for schools.

ARTOSPHERE Festival and TRAIL MIX, ongoing since 2010

Jenni was co-founder and curator of Artosphere, Arkansas’s Arts+Nature Festival, which happens every spring since 2010. Artosphere provided a platform to explore, experiment and take the arts out into communities and connect with new audiences and new art forms, paving the way for innovative programming on the new Razorback Greenway, and introducing contemporary art forms and immersive experiences to the region.

We hatched the festival under the belief that artists, influenced by nature, will help communities live some more sustainable lives. Reaching a regional audience of 8,000-10,000 and collaborating with dozens of artists, organizations and cities gave the region a new perspective about the value of arts and culture in community building.

10x10 Arts Series, ongoing since 2010

This was an arts access initiative that features ten renowned artists, with tickets priced at $10. It was a marketing/program/education partnership with the goal of growing audiences for renowned artists that were unfamiliar to Northwest Arkansas. It was a series you needed a language course to pronounce; it included artists like DakhaBrakha, Malpaso Dance, CIRCA, Mnozil Brass, Anda Union, and Compagine Käfig. One detail that made 10x10 so special was the birth of the sticky note critic – where audiences gave raw, on the spot statements about the show. In a time when high-tech is the rage, this totally low-tech activity gives a new, yet old-school one-on-one connection between audiences and artists.

What a fun project to create, curate, and ultimately convince others to support. My all-time favorite moment was following behind the choreographer Mark Morris as he read the sticky notes. His response: Absof***king brilliant!    

From Broadway to Dickson Street, ongoing since 2000

Jenni’s focus on Broadway began just after 9/11 when she joined the Broadway League and subsequently became a Tony Voter – one of 2 in Arkansas at the time. Strategizing and financing Broadway tours for a 1200-seat theater took collaboration, creative thinking, risk aversion, and pure perseverance. Northwest Arkansas became the center for tours crossing the US – North, South, East or West – and grew revenue and audiences.

We tried it all from non-traditional programming like ballet, percussion and contemporary circus to mounting unique shows like Blue Man Group. One of my favorite memories was the Blue Men “Calling the Hogs” for over 50,000 people at Razorback Football Stadium. Pig Sooie!