This September, the Acansa Arts Festival of the South will return to its traditional fall schedule with a new format: a smaller festival series organizers are calling Acansa Roots. The festival will take place Sept. 21-24 at various venues across the metro, some more intimate settings than previous years, and will highlight artists with Arkansas connections.
Earlier this year, Acansa held its first three-week festival since 2019 due to pandemic-related delays. This four-day event in part serves to get the festival back to its annual fall timeline, according to executive director Dillon Hupp.
"Titling this event Acansa Roots is significant for a couple of reasons," Hupp says. "The title reflects Acansa’s roots of hosting a smaller, one-week event in our early years, and also refers to the fact that all of our performers for the event have deep ties to Arkansas."
Here's who's taking the stage at the 2022 fall fest.
Sept. 21, 7 p.m. | New Deal Salon
Performances by pianist Tatiana Roitman Mann have been recognized by the BBC as "formidable… both accurate and with rarely seen joy." Tatiana has appeared as a soloist and recitalist across North America and Europe. Radio broadcasts include H. Villa-Lobos’ "Mystic Sextet" on NPR’s "Performance Today," B. Bartok’s "Contrasts" on New York’s classical music station WQXR and Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue" on Little Rock’s KLRE.
"Death of Kings"
Sept. 22, 7 p.m. | Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
In a raw and moving performance, Ben Grimes recounts his own experiences in military service. "Death of Kings" is the story of all soldiers told by one. The play couples some of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and Grimes’ personal insights to explore the universal costs and collective trauma of war. "Our nation has just exited the longest stretch of sustained conflict in its history. For 20 years we sent men and women into harm’s way. How do we make sense of all the pain and loss? How do we move on?"
Big Piph and Tomorrow Maybe
Sept. 23, 7 p.m. | Argenta Plaza
In partnership with the Argenta Downtown Council and Argenta Vibe concert series
"One of Arkansas’ best bands" and "great hip-hop ensemble" are phrases often used to describe the collective known as Big Piph and Tomorrow Maybe. However, although they are deserving of both titles, these descriptions have proven to be far too confining. The creativity, discipline and showmanship that BPTM put into their jazz, soul, funk and rock-infused hip-hop experiences will soon have them recognized as one of the best bands… period.
Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. | The Rail Yard
Stuart Montez is a guitarist and vocalist who is well-known on the Nashville music scene. He is a 30-year-old native of Little Rock where he graduated from Catholic High School. His unique blend of blues, funk and rock and roll combines original works with well-known favorites and is sure to delight audiences.
Performer bios provided by Acansa.