Like the Pompeii worm or the heat-loving cockscomb, late summer festivals are undeterred by the blistering sun. We’re gifted with our fair share of summer arts celebrations here in central Arkansas; here are four festivals from around the state you might want to attend.
Faulkner Chamber Music Festival. This year marks the 10th Annual FCMF, an educational festival hosted by the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock dedicated to the young chamber musician. Faculty includes the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Geoffrey Robson, the Quapaw Quartet’s Meredith Maddox Hicks, the Kontras Quartet’s Francois Henkins, among others. The festival opens with a free recital 1 p.m. July 23 at Garvan Woodland Gardens’ Anthony Chapel, followed by a free carnival at the River Market Pavilions at 10 a.m. July 24. It continues through Aug. 6.
Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. As part of Eureka Springs’ Diversity Week, and in artistic partnership with Low Key Arts’ “Arkansas Shorts” and the Kaleidoscope Film Festival, this 2nd annual film festival highlights women in film, LGBT films and filmmakers, student films and feature-length documentaries. Opening the festival on Aug. 5 is “Not Without Us,” a documentary on climate change. The festival culminates Saturday, Aug. 6, evening with an “Indie Awards” ceremony. Admission is free. For details, visit
Valley Music Festival. This new iteration of Valley Fest at the Pope County Fairgrounds in Russellville includes an Official State Barbecue Championship, hot air balloons and “Band Wars,” in which 20 bands from the likes of Fountain Lake, Etna and Bald Knob play 20-minute sets in competition for cash and to open for headliners The Marshall Tucker Band and The Kentucky Headhunters. Aug. 13-14, $25-$60. See valleymusicfest.com for tickets.
Fayetteville Roots Festival. A one-day event at Fayetteville’s Greenhouse Grille in 2010 has blossomed into a four-day happening that features intimate shows from Amy Helm (in a special appearance with Earl & Them), The Shook Twins, Shovels and Rope, John Moreland and Old Crow Medicine Show, thanks to the diligent leadership of co-founders Bryan Hembree and Jerrmy Gawthrop. The sustainability-focused festival stretches across eight venues in downtown Fayetteville and donates liberally to Feed Fayetteville, an organization that bridges local farmers with underserved populations, Aug. 25-28, $59 $139. For tickets and details, see fayettevilleroots.com.