We're AMP'ed Up for the 2021 Concert Season in NWA

January 30, 2021

Business

UA Research Finds Rise in Entrepreneurship Amid Pandemic

NWA Daily

While small businesses and the service sector took major blows this past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, new research at the U of A shows that entrepreneurs are energized, and forming new businesses at record pace.

  • In the Endeavor NWA 2021 Ecosystem Predictions Report, author Sarah Goforth predicts that institutional agility during crisis will power certain trends in 2021 and beyond.
  • The first trend that Goforth mentions is the rise of "asynchronous, lifelong learning through one’s home university," meaning the materials of a traditional course will be available for students to use on their own schedule.
  • Secondly, Goforth predicts that the difference between startups and “social ventures” will eventually disappear - newer generations demand new models for their businesses, and aim to grow them sustainably.
  • Thirdly, study abroad programs will take place with or without a passport. During the pandemic, UA students enrolled in a study abroad program created a virtual environment to collaborate with students in India.
  • Lastly, re-investment into basic research will be the catalyst for how we deal with future issues including pandemics, climate change, and natural disasters, Goforth said.

Check out the full 2021 Predictions Report HERE.

Entertainment

Newly Renovated Walmart Amp Ready for 2021 Season

NWA Daily

Following a $17.2 million expansion, 2020 was predicted to be one of the biggest years yet for the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers. The expansion allowed for an 11,000 person capacity increase and brought a new partnership with new Live Nation Entertainment.

  • Many of the most famous names in music were set to perform at the AMP in 2020 including the Backstreet Boys, Phish, and Kenny Chesney. However, the new space did present new socially distanced opportunities for live music and movies outside.
  • The expansion includes the covered plaza a new lawn bar, more concession stands and restrooms, an expanded main entry and a bigger box office. -The Free Weekly
  • Jennifer Wilson, AMP PR Director, said they wanted to develop programming during this period that allowed them to stay connected to the community and that kept artists employed. "We were able to accomplish that because of the great team we have at the Walmart AMP and Walton Arts Center,” she said. The Free Weekly
  • As of now, twelve (!) concerts that were scheduled for last year have already been approved for the new 2021 season. Finally!

Regional Development

Regional Cities May Be Left to Pay for HWY 112 Side Path

Regional planners said Wednesday that the Arkansas Department of Transportation may not provide funding for a side path along 16.7 miles of Arkansas 112 between Fayetteville and Bentonville.

  • The Department of Transportation considers side paths to be more recreational and not part of the state's transportation system, especially if it is separate from the highway. -NWA Democrat-Gazette
  • Mike Johnson, a NWA Regional Planning Commission member, is encouraging the department to reconsider the 15-year-old policy. If the department denies this request, regional planners and cities will have to cover up to $5.5 million for construction costs.
  • Tim Conklin, assistant director at regional planning, said they aren't working with just one city. "Some of the smaller cities, especially, would be very challenged to pay for some state highway infrastructure," he said. -NWA Democrat-Gazette

Community

Crystal Bridges and The Momentary Commit to Being Inclusive Institutions

NWA Daily

In wake of the Jan. 6 events at our nation's Capitol, Crystal Bridges and The Momentary said in a statement that these events were a chilling reminder of the significant work ahead, and are committed to becoming actively open and welcoming to all.

Recreation

Trail Tunnel Construction Under Fulbright Expressway Begins

Improvements to the trail tunnel under the Fulbright Expressway have finally been approved and are set to begin next week.

  • Part of the Razorback Greenway, the lighted tunnel was originally designed to manage stream flow of Scull Creek, but was converted for trail traffic in 2008. Today, the tunnel is consistently wet and unsafe for pedestrians.
  • Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator, said staff have designed a sloped concrete floor through the culvert to create a more dry and safer experience when walking, jogging or riding through the tunnel. -Fayetteville Flyer
  • Trail frequents should expect periodic closures during construction hours.
    Detour signs will route trail users around the tunnel along Swallow Circle and Gregg Avenue.

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