project leader
Rachel R
Apollo on Emma Avenue
(Shiloh Square)
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the project

The Second-Annual Arkansas Country Blues and String Band Festival will be a 3-day festival held in Springdale, Arkansas, in the downtown area working with local partners. The festival seeks to bridge the traditions of Country Blues, which is predominantly from an African American heritage tradition and String Band music, which is predominantly from a European American heritage tradition for local and visiting audiences in an effort to encourage cultural understanding as well as provide a top-notch artistic experience for all who attend. 

The artists that we plan to work with include Grammy-nominated artists and the direct lineage of both the blues and string band musician masters, including: Folkways recording artist, Jerron Paxton, Layla McCalla of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Grammy-nominated artist, Jontavious Willis, The Creek Rocks, The Ozark Highballers, and others from the Arkansas String Band and Old-Time music scenes.  We feel like this event will attract many visitors, not only from within the region, but that it will also attract the audience to the heritage and backgrounds of these relatable musical traditions and the modern practitioners of the craft from across the country.

We hope to use the commonalities of the musical traditions as a bridge of understanding across socioeconomic backgrounds of the artists, the local residents, and the visitors in a hope that we all can understand and appreciate each other a little better as people that are sharing a region and a country. We will do this not only through the concerts, but also through workshops and presentations by working with the artists as well as the local schools. We will host educational presentations in partnerships with the University of Arkansas, Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Downtown Springdale Alliance, and other local partners and coordinate instrument workshops with our artists for attendees. As part of the festival, we will also host the 3rd Annual Ozarks Stringband Championships and the 3rd Annual Ballad-Off In the Park. 

The majority of the festival, aside from a small grouping of ticketed events, will be free and open to the public. We will make scholarships available for workshops as well. 


the steps

As soon as the money is in hand for this campaign, we will start paying local hosts, venues, and securing contract payments for local vendors. Between June, when the money is dispersed, and October, we will apply the funding to artists contracts, book travel, and work on the logistics of pulling off a top-notch event for Springdale and its visitors. 

why we're doing it

We believe that music is a universal truth that can bring folks together. We believe that sharing related musical traditions across socio-economic backgrounds is a bridge to understanding and can galvanize folks to work together. We believe that collectivism is the path forward for a better NWA and world. We believe in sharing the best of these musical traditions with the public and with each other. We believe in Country Folks Sharing Joy. 


Your support will contribute to infrastructure and artists needs for the festival including:

$16,000- artists fees

$6,000- venue costs

$8,000- artists lodging/travel


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee N/A $0.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4% $612
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.



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