Summer starts with Havana Nights, Jazz, Wakarusa and Cinderella

event preview by Brittany Ransom
bransom@thecitywire.com

School may not be out yet, but summer is in full swing as the Fort Smith region hosts Havana Nights, two art exhibit openings, Wakarusa and a contemporary twist on Cinderella. It's time to get out of the house before the temperatures become unbearable.

Havana Nights
Salsa music, rum tasting, and Cuban cuisine will be just a few highlights as the Children's Emergency Shelter presents "Havana Nights" on May 31. Hosted by CES and the Fiori Family, the Cuban-inspired evening will kick-off the summer in true island style.

Along with rum tasting, guests will enjoy a selection of specialty crafted beers, as well as authentic Cuban dishes. Hand rolled cigars will also be available. Live entertainment will be provided by the award-winning Salsa band, Calle Soul. Items will also be up for grabs in the silent and live auction events.

This year's party will be held at the Riverfront Pavilion, located at 100 N. B St., in Fort Smith. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Guests are invited to wear their best "island" attire. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online or by calling CES at 242-5771.

Center for Art and Education June exhibit opening
The Center for Art and Education in Van Buren will team up with artists from Fayetteville Underground for its June exhibition, which will debut with a reception on June 1.

The summer exhibit will feature an array of mediums, including watercolors, cast sculptures, jewelry, stone sculpture, and ceramics. The five artists, William Mayes Flanagan, Michael Davis Gutiérrez, Hank Kaminsky, Susy Siegele, and Mike Haley, will all be on-hand to greet visitors and answer questions about their collections. Each is a member of the Fayetteville Underground, an organization on a mission "to promote the visual arts in Northwest Arkansas by actively collaborating with the community, supporting area artists working to the highest standards, and encouraging education and public engagement in the arts."

The Fayetteville Underground exhibit will remain on display at CAE through June 27. The reception will be held at the center from 1 to 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 474-7767.

Jazz in June
The Bonneville House is holding its “Jazz in June” fundraiser beginning at 6:30 p.m., on June 5. The music and auction will be held at the Bonneville House, located at 318 N. Seventh St., in downtown Fort Smith.

The Don Bailey Jazz Combo with Tabitha Graves will provide the music. The event is also scheduled to include a silent auction and cork pull. Tickets are $50 per person, with sponsor tables available. An outside table of eight is $500, and an inside table of six is $400. For more information, visit the Bonneville House website, or call 782-7854.

The Bonneville House was built in 1868 and occupied by the David McKibben family for 10 years. It was later sold to Mrs. Sue Neis Bonneville, widow of General Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville (1796-1878), for whom the Bonneville Dam, Bonneville Salt Flats, and our local Bonneville Elementary School were named.

RAM's 66th River Valley Invitational opening reception
The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum (RAM) will open its 66th annual River Valley Invitational exhibit with a special debut reception on June 5. The invitational is a national competitive exhibition that has been hosted by the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum since its inception in 1948.

The purpose of the exhibition is "to encourage and recognize professional artists." All works will be for available for sale, with proceeds benefiting RAM’s educational programs and the participating artists.

The reception, sponsored by Dewey's Cafe, will be held at RAM from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free for members and $5 for non-members. For more information, call 784-2787.

Wakarusa Music Festival
Mulberry Mountain will once again play host to one of the region's most recognized and popular music festivals, Wakarusa. The four-day outdoor concert will be held June 5-8, and will feature a number of regional artists, spanning different genres, scattered amongst several stages throughout the venue.

Music lovers from all over the country will travel to the picturesque mountainside in Ozark to hear featured acts such as The String Cheese Incident, BASSNECTAR, The Flaming Lips, STS9, Umphrey's McGee, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. This year's line-up will also include more than 150 musicians who will perform over the course of the festival.

General admission passes range from $59 (one day) to $204 (full event) and include access to all stages and venue areas, late night show access, and shuttle rides. Parking and camping passes can be purchased separately. VIP passes are also available. The event will be held rain or shine.

Young Actors Guild present "Cinderella"
The Young Actors Guild will present a contemporary take on the Rogers and Hammerstein classic, Cinderella, June 12-14. The fairytale tells the story of a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her evil stepmother and stepsisters, who dreams of a better life. With the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a princess and finds her prince.

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The show will open on June 12 at 7 p.m. at the Alma Performing Arts Center. YAG will also perform on June 13 at 7 p.m., followed by two Saturday shows, a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m. Cinderella will close on Sunday with a final performance at 2 p.m.

A special "Cinderella Tea" will also be held for young prince and princess lovers on June 14 at 12:30 p.m. Treats will be served. Tickets are $8 per child and can be reserved by calling 479-782-1696. Seating is limited.

Show tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. Adult tickets may be purchased online. Kids tickets are available by calling the box office at 479-632-2129.

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