Know the News - Latest news on Northwest Arkansas's AMMPlify Fest

April 12, 2024 00:21:15
Know the News - Latest news on Northwest Arkansas's AMMPlify Fest
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Know the News - Latest news on Northwest Arkansas's AMMPlify Fest

Apr 12 2024 | 00:21:15

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Hosted By

Dave Perozek

Show Notes

In this week’s installment of Know the News, host Chris Swindle sits down with Music Editor Monica Hooper and Roger Barrett with AMMPlify to talk about the upcoming AMMPlify Fest. 

 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to this installment of the Know the news podcast. I'm your host, Chris Swindle, metro editor for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. In this week's podcast, we speak with. [00:00:09] Speaker B: Roger Barrett, one of the founders of. [00:00:11] Speaker A: The local arts and music focus program Amplify. This is in advance of a story on the topic that will publish in an upcoming edition of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette's what's Up entertainment magazine. Today on know the news, I'm joined by Roger Barrett with Amplify and Monica Hooper with the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette to discuss the group's first year of efforts as well as its upcoming amplify fest. Thank you for joining us today, Roger. [00:00:51] Speaker B: Could you explain a little bit about what amplify is and what it does. [00:00:54] Speaker A: For our listeners who might be unfamiliar with it? [00:00:57] Speaker C: So amplify stands for arts and music mentorship program. And basically what it is, is we've been selecting people that are kind of up and coming event planners, show promoters, movers and shakers in Fayetteville, people that are kind of on a diy level that we think could use an extra push. So we select them and kind of work with them as they do their own thing at venues they haven't been associated with up to that point. So, you know, mainly it's been happening at Mount Sequoia. We've been working with people to get them into booking at George's and smoke and barrel and other venues throughout Fayetteville. And this upcoming show is going to be mainly at the dining hall in Mount Sequoia, which is up until this point, has been an unused space for music. So we're excited to see shows happening in a space that it wasn't happening before. [00:01:51] Speaker B: What spurned you, and I believe it. [00:01:53] Speaker A: Was Lee Wood, is that right? [00:01:55] Speaker C: Yes. [00:01:56] Speaker B: When you all started this program, what kind of spurned that on? [00:02:00] Speaker C: Basically, us getting older and kind of, we felt there might have been a lull in people. Fayetteville is kind of like a, you know, you have to know someone to get in at a certain venue or you have to have a connection to make something happen. So we basically just wanted to give away our connections to other people that we thought could use them. And we felt a kinship to, you know, we liked what they were doing and thought they could use some of our experience to help help them do their thing. So basically, we just, as people that have been working in Fayetteville for a while now, we kind of just wanted to help out younger promoters who we feel might not have some of the connections that we had. [00:02:44] Speaker B: So now it's been a year, maybe a little bit more since you started amplify? [00:02:49] Speaker C: Yeah, just about 18 months. [00:02:50] Speaker A: 18 months. [00:02:51] Speaker B: Okay. And I was curious, like, what would you say now have been, like, the biggest successes of the past year, as well as any challenges or lessons learned throughout the process of starting something brand new like this? [00:03:02] Speaker C: I feel like the whole first event was a challenge. Just working with so many people and everyone getting on the same page took a while. Once that happened, I feel like it's just been successes after that. I feel like working with hop out has been a huge success. We helped them with their first show at George's, which ended up being a really big show and a really great lineup. And now they've been working with George's a lot. They've been working with Smoke and barrel. They just hosted the goodbye alley shows in the old practice space studios on Center street, which was a really huge event. You know, they've got a show with House of unce on May 24. It's going to be really big, and it combines punk bands and electronic dance bands. So we really like what they're doing, and we're glad that they've kind of stepped into a good place as being kind of major event promoters in Fayetteville. So I feel like working with hop out was huge. [00:03:59] Speaker D: I noticed that the two from hop out, they. Can you talk a little bit about how they got started ups for people who are not familiar with hop out? [00:04:10] Speaker C: Absolutely. Hop out started as a house venue, so they were mainly booking kind of punk rock and hardcore shows at their house. And then when they had to move out of their house, they were kind of promoters without a home base venue. So we felt like that was happening as the first amplify festival was happening. Vaughn spoke on one of the panels at the first amplify fest at Mount Sequoia. So we had known about their house shows, and we had known that they were without a venue, so we thought getting them hooked up with George's would be a great kind of thing to do, and that's worked out really well. And now they're booking their own shows on their own, and they're going really well. [00:04:51] Speaker D: And one of them, Jordan, is one of the media mentees, right? Or am I incorrect about that? [00:05:00] Speaker C: So I feel like Jordan should have been a media mentee. She basically acted as a medium mentee because she, for the second show we did at Georgia's, that hop out organized. She did all the graphics and all the design for that. So basically, she acted as the media mentee. But our current media mentee, Julia from Beebomb, Arkansas, is also doing really well. [00:05:24] Speaker D: Yeah, I love the rites of spring flyers that she's had on social media. They're very eye catching, and she's amazing at that. [00:05:33] Speaker B: It sounds very intuitive. But what exactly is a media mentee? What is their role? [00:05:41] Speaker C: So a media mentee was kind of one of the things that we learned that we needed to have. The first show didn't have a social media mentee, so we were kind of doing it maybe poorly a little bit. So we felt like dealing with the second show and everyone kind of realizing what aspects social media plays in event promotion, we felt like we were lacking a media mentee. So, basically, a media mentee is kind of creating a narrative for the show to kind of inform people, the audience, what the show is creating. Social media posts, stories, graphics, designs, basically just creating the overall narrative of the show. So for these next shows at the dining hall, Julia came up with the rites of spring, the darkness and light. Since they're kind of two contrasting shows, the Saturday, April 27 show is mainly metal and punk, and then the next morning is an art sale and a brunch. So kind of two seemingly opposite events that are kind of connected. You know, the artist for the April 28 show created a backdrop for the metal show. That's really cool. So basically, it's just she connected the two shows together to where it seems like it fits together. I thought they fit together, and I kind of liked that they were contrasting shows, and she kind of made it easier to, you know, pitch what the show was. [00:07:16] Speaker D: And then you. You said with the first year that there was a lot of people, and we had talked about, when I did a story about. About amplify in January, how you had simplified the. Kind of. Kind of simplified it so that you could more easily organize these things. And so you have basically now three mentors who work with mentees now rather than before. I'm not sure how many mentors you had the first six before. [00:07:52] Speaker C: We quickly realized that was too many to work with. I feel like behind the scenes, it worked out fine, but I feel like it was hard to promote, and kind of a lot of people were like, wait. You know, we had panel discussions, workshops, and shows on the same day. So I felt like it was hard to put that on all on a flyer. It was hard to, like, put that all in a social media post. So I feel like Julia, this time around, having a media mentor has been great. Her mentees. Her mentee, Lauren, actually designed some of the new ones that we've been posting on amplify nwa Instagram so I felt like this show has been a lot easier to talk about. It's been a lot easier to post about, and it's going to be a lot easier to have on a flyer where someone can look at it who's not familiar with what amplify is. And, you know, instead of having to know about the mentorship aspect of it, you just see the show and you're like, oh, this is a great show that I'm going to go to. And, you know, during the show, you can meet the people who put on the show and make connections that way. So I feel like we learned how to make it more easily digestible for the people who just are walking by, seeing the flyer or just happen to see the Instagram post, and they're going to know what it is as opposed to having questions about what the festival is. [00:09:15] Speaker A: Okay, we're going to take a quick. [00:09:18] Speaker B: Break and then come right back and talk a little bit more about amplify fest. [00:09:22] Speaker A: Stay with us. [00:09:23] Speaker E: If you're enjoying this podcast, consider a newspaper subscription to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette or the River Valley Democrat Gazette. We have a special offer for our podcast listeners, so visit nwA online.com nwapodcast to get started. You can also click the subscribe button on our websites, nWA online.com and rivervalleydemocratgazette.com. Or call us at 479-684-5509 and be sure to say that you're a podcast listener. Now back to the show. [00:09:54] Speaker B: So it's almost time for amplify fest. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, music starts at 06:00 p.m., Saturday, and the art sale runs from 11:00 a.m. To 03:00 p.m., Sunday, with a dj providing music during the art sale. Can you tell our listeners we've gone over it a little bit, but can you tell them about what kind of music they're going to expect to hear during the festival, both that first night and what the dj's going to be up to? [00:10:23] Speaker C: Yeah, absolutely. So on April 27, we have a show that's been curated by Raifbox of Holy Anvil Recording Studios. So Raife is a member of a really great metal band, Chronowizard, who will be playing. I definitely recommend checking them out if you haven't already. They've been playing a lot of shows at George's and Smoke and barrel lately. And this will be their first all ages show at Mount Sequoia. And they're going to be joined by obliviate, Mudlung the salesman. Always tired and pyrocratic, and those are all always tired as a local emo band. Obliviate is a hardcore band. Mudlung is a metal band. The salesman is a progressive rock band. So it's basically a good indication of, like, the current metal, progressive metal and emo and punk bands of the moment. I feel like it's a good mix of what's happening in the punk and metal scenes at the moment. And I feel like with Saturday from eleven to three, we've got about 15 art vendors that are going to be selling ceramics, prints, small works of art. Everything's gonna be under $100. [00:11:27] Speaker B: That's Sunday, right? [00:11:28] Speaker C: That's Sunday from eleven to three. Also at the dining hall. Sam Hauser is a really eclectic dj. He's gonna be playing an all vinyl set, and brunch will be available as well. So I feel like that'll be a quieter show, obviously, and you'll be able to talk to the artist and buy their work. Everything will be under $100. So we feel like hopefully a lot of people can leave with a work of art without breaking the bank. [00:11:57] Speaker B: And I know Rafebox put on Anvil Fest, which we were lucky enough to get to go to one night of the heavier music night. It was a lot of fun. Hadn't been to a show like that in a while, and there were all the informational tables set up, and I think y'all are going to do something similar. You're going to have some very similar. [00:12:15] Speaker C: So singing Anvil Fest is how we decided that Raife needed to be the music mentor. I feel like a lot of people, his mentors have been. He's been working with them about how to do events like Anvilfest, not only the music curation behind it, but how to approach sponsors, how to approach venues about working with you. So we felt like him doing Anvil Fest in Bentonville at a venue he'd never worked with. You know, he had about 20 sponsors that he had never worked with before. He's very. I feel like if you talk to him for five minutes, you're on board with whatever he has to tell you. So we knew from Anvilfest that he would be the perfect music mentor. We wanted to do a similar thing. And he's working on the next Anvil fest for this fall, too, so we're excited about that. [00:13:08] Speaker A: Sure. [00:13:09] Speaker B: And then another part of the festival beyond the music, as we've already discussed some the art sale, all the artwork for sale, priced under $100, I believe. What kind of works will people find at the art sale? Like what mediums and what themes is going to be just varied or what? [00:13:29] Speaker C: It will be varied themes. It will be small paintings, prints, a lot of ceramics, and a few other things that I will hopefully be surprised by. And hopefully everyone will be. But mainly small prints and small paintings. [00:13:49] Speaker A: An admission to this festival is free. [00:13:52] Speaker B: But there is a vip ticket if people want to get a few perks and help contribute to the festival. What does that vip ticket entail? What do they get with that? [00:14:03] Speaker C: So that goes towards Mount Sequoia center for their upcoming shows. Those are $25 tickets, and you can get access to some free snacks and drinks in Sequoia hall, which is right next to the dining hall. You can preview the next show that will be up by that point. And there's a private bathroom, and it's basically, if you have that, it'll be a little quiet getaway if you're at the metal show, somewhere to go. [00:14:31] Speaker B: Take a breather. [00:14:31] Speaker C: Exactly. [00:14:33] Speaker A: Monica, you've been writing about amplify for. [00:14:36] Speaker B: Well over a year now, off and on. And so I'm curious as to your perspective, as to the work you've seen from the project and how you see it, along with other projects aimed at. [00:14:46] Speaker A: Assisting creatives in the area. [00:14:49] Speaker D: I think it's unique because you don't see a lot of people who are willing to, to pass on their skills. And I think that a program like this thrives in this area because we have such a supportive art community, and no one really acts as gatekeepers. And like, I've watched with Roger mentioned Hop out, which is, I want to say their names. It's two different people. It's Jordan and Vaughn. And I think it's been really cool watching them go from this diy to actually being able to create something sustainable that's huge. And for the community, I think with some of the events that they're setting up, and I think it's been really exciting watching what Raife has done with the program as well, because as we had talked about before, I mean, he's. He's like very able to do things, and I think it's really wonderful that he's putting so much energy into making sure that creatives here can connect. And, like, he even added new people for this installment. That's for this installment of amplify. So there's going to be Northwest Arkansas musicians connection is going to be there, and they're a great organization, and the sound collaborative is another organization, and I'm glad to see them getting resources together to help people have places to play. And, like, it's not that anyone ever brought this up, but with losing, like, I talked with, I can't think of her name. Jordan. I spoke with Jordan a little bit, Jordan and Vaughn a little bit about losing third spaces. And I know that, you know, the alley, the goodbye alley shows were because that there's another space that's going away, and so there isn't a lot of space for, like, he was saying, like, all ages shows that, you know, caters to the, you know, punk rock and metal. And I like that we're seeing people be active and create those spaces and that there's programs here that support making this a tenuous and sustainable. I hate to say economy, but cycle maybe, so that arts can just continue to thrive and there's something there. If somebody wants to create something that may not be what they see around all the time. [00:17:34] Speaker B: Well, I'm sorry. [00:17:36] Speaker C: I think economy is a good word for it. I feel like, yeah, with what Raife has done with the April 27 show, you know, as we talked about was what he had done with Anvil fest. So, yeah, we'll have sponsors and, you know, bookers, event planners at. With tables at the show that, you know, bands can meet. That attendees can meet. You know, the shows are free in all ages, so anyone's welcome. So we're definitely hoping that new people are coming or new bands who haven't had shows yet are coming to meet. You know, they'll be able to meet the people putting on the shows as well. So hopefully that creates some connections that last outside the show. [00:18:15] Speaker D: Yeah, and it's free because of the bridging and belonging grant that you're. [00:18:21] Speaker C: Yeah, it's free because Walmart. The Walmart Bridging and belonging grant fund is funding amplify. The amplify Grant. So, yeah, besides Walmart, we have experience. Fayetteville, we've got Blackstreet records. We have lots of sponsors for these shows that you can read about on our Instagram page. [00:18:43] Speaker B: Well, the festival sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe there's a babysitter out there who can watch the child, which you did say it was all ages, maybe just put his headphones on and take him out. [00:18:53] Speaker C: Babies are welcome. [00:18:55] Speaker D: We don't have a baby. Yeah, no, our son is six. [00:18:58] Speaker B: Yeah, he might have a good time at that well, thank you both for joining me and sharing the details about the festival and the program. [00:19:08] Speaker A: Really appreciate it. [00:19:09] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:19:10] Speaker C: Thanks for having me. [00:19:12] Speaker A: In other news coming soon, Stacy Ryburn looks at the impact of water leaks caused by busted pipes in northwest Arkansas. Tracy Neal tells us about the family of a teen who was killed in 2022 and their efforts to keep the case in the public's eye. Campbell Roper writes about the plans for a new health programs building at Northwest Technical Institute and what comes next as the Institute seeks additional funding for the project. Ron Wood explains how area law enforcement agencies are using social media to help solve crimes, and Al Gaspany provides an update on school choice pilot programs at middle schools in Fayetteville. In the River Valley, Monica Brick writes about proposed updates to the water rake designs in Fort Smith, and Sadie LcIcero tells us about the Arkansas Climate League winning the Energy Innovation Prize for their Fort Smith solar project. In what's Up, Monica Hooper interviews Allison Russell, who will open for Hosier on April 26 at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion, and Becca Martin Brown previews the all modern quilt show set for April 20 in Rogers. In Sunday's profiles section, April Wallace writes all about Elizabeth Shackelford, the longtime executive director of the Children's Safety center of Washington county. All of this and more will be available to our subscribers on our tablet and smartphone apps and at our websites nWA online.com and river valleydemocrategazet.com. I really appreciate you listening to this point and want to thank you for your support of local journalism. Know the news is a weekly podcast brought to you by the newsrooms of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the River Valley Democrat Gazette. Again, I'm Chris Swindle, your podcast host this week. Have a great weekend. And until next Friday, so long.

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