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Movers and Makers: Episode 4

Episode Four of Movers and Makers features special guest Jessie Evans, in conversation with host Sonny Kay, live from her home base in Ubatuba, Brazil! A founding member of San Francisco’s Subtonix in the early 2000s, Jessie fronted the dance-goth trio The Vanishing (issuing two classic full-lengths) before making her way to Berlin, where she collaborated with Malaria!’s Bettina Köster (as Autonervous), and legendary Banshees drummer, Budgie. In 2013 she moved to Sao Paulo where she began releasing solo records and collaborating with an even wider range of artists, reinventing her sound in the process. She recently moved to the coastal town of Ubatuba, became a mom and in 2019 dropped her most recent full-length, Heartwave. This discussion takes place Thursday, December 17 at 6:00 pm CST.

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Movers and Makers: Episode 3

Episode Three of Movers and Makers features special guest Robin Laananen, a photographer and tour manager who has devoted more than a decade to trekking around the world with groups like Refused, The Locust, Modest Mouse, and Le Butcherettes. After cutting her teeth in Seattle shooting live shows and, eventually, Sub Pop publicity photos, she relocated to Los Angeles and found her niche. In 2017, Robin issued the first book of her work, US/THEN, documenting her adventures traveling with the group, Warpaint. Robin sits down with Low Key Arts’ Sonny Kay to talk about her career and her travels with some of the most provocative bands in underground music. This discussion takes place Thursday, December 10 at 6:00 pm CST.

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The 14th Annual Arkansas Shorts: A Night of Short Film

Low Key Arts presents the 14th annual Arkansas Shorts: A Night of Short Film festival, taking place on Saturday, January 2, 2021. For the first time in the history of the festival, it will be an outdoor drive-in event, presented in partnership with Hot Springs Mall, Visit Hot Springs, KUHS 102.5 FM, and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Festival Director Jen Gerber brings her vision for a provocative, moving experience to this year’s Arkansas Shorts. Drawing from a multicultural cross-section of submissions, the program this year represents the diverse population of our state and the peculiar political landscape of our nation, while not losing sight of the fun and creativity that have always been characteristic of this night of short film. Chris Wilks, a veteran of the festival and International Shorts Programmer, has overseen selections from a vast and encouraging number of Arkansas filmmakers, as well as hand-picking additional selections from among the best international shorts of the past year. 

“As one might imagine, Arkansas Shorts will look a bit different this year, but after the overwhelmingly positive experience from the HSDFF drive-ins, we are confident that this event will be safe, fun and our strongest lineup to date”, says Festival Director, Jen Gerber. 

The biggest change organizers are making to the format is the elimination of the three separate screening blocks for International, North American and Arkansas short films. Instead, the program will be a highly curated mix from all 3 sections, with a special showcase granted to the filmmakers who participated in the virtual edition of the Inception to Projection Filmmaking Program. “While 2020 has forced nearly every organization to pivot away from their traditional plans, this year Low Key Arts found tremendous success with Inception to Projection as we made the programs virtual, enabling us to reach students all across Arkansas. We are overwhelmingly proud of the strong filmmaking community in Arkansas that has weathered quite a  storm this year and we can’t wait to celebrate all these accomplishments in January,” says Gerber.  “Uptown Hot Springs is proud to be a supporter of Arkansas Shorts,” says Scott Green, manager of the Hot Springs Mall. Scott has been a huge champion of these pop-up drive events by supplying a safe venue for this community to gather to see these films on a big screen and we are grateful for all the support we continue to receive from the community.

Covid restrictions presented difficulties in producing Arkansas Shorts in its traditional venue, the Malco Theatre, in 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to Maxwell Blade for allowing us into his Theatre of Magic in years past, and for his gracious and very generous support of Low Key Arts.

The 14th annual Arkansas Shorts: A Night of Short Film festival drive-in will take place at 4501 Central Avenue in Hot Springs, in the parking lot facing the former Sears location on Saturday, January 2, 2021. Gates will open at 5:00 pm and the shorts will begin at 6:00. Total running time is 2 hours. Cost per vehicle is $20. Tickets available at the gate or in advance HERE from Prekindle.com

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Movers and Makers: Episode 2

Episode Two of Movers and Makers features special guest Ashish Vyas, bassist with DC’s multicultural groove dealers, Thievery Corporation. Hash (as he’s known to friends), a first-generation American of South Asian parents, earned his stripes in the early 2000s with San Diego punk-dub icons Gogogo Airheart before he started bringing the vibes in a major way with TC. He’s traveled to every corner of the world, made records in some of the most exotic places imaginable, and jammed with members of Fishbone and Fugazi. They don’t call him the low-end sadhu for nothing! Join us for what will no doubt be a fascinating discussion with one of your host’s favorite people – and musicians – in the world. Movers and Makers Episode Two will stream live at 6:00PM CST on Tuesday, November 24 at facebook.com/lowkeyarts

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Movers and Makers

Low Key Arts is pleased to announce a new online interview and discussion series, Movers and Makers. Hosted by LKA Executive Director, Sonny Kay, the series presents in-depth conversations with noteworthy artists, musicians, and instigators contributing to popular culture through their work and their lifestyles.

Episode One of Movers and Makers features special guest Damon Locks, an influential Chicago musician, visual artist, and teacher. Locks has a 30-year history in underground music and art, and has been actively involved in the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project in Chicago for many years. As a designer, his work has adorned some of the most influential rock albums of the past two decades. His groups Trenchmouth (with Portlandia’s Fred Armisen), The Eternals, and Exploding Star Orchestra defy classification, instead presenting a relentless trend toward innovation, reinvention and fusion. In late 2019, Locks’ Black Monument Ensemble released their debut album, Where Future Unfolds, a haunting, prophetic portrait of the stark reality of life for Black people in the United States, set to a lush backdrop of gospel jazz, whose beauty transcends the pain it describes.

The discussion will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 6:00 PM CST and can be viewed live on the Low Key Arts Facebook page (facebook.com/lowkeyarts).

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Low Key Labs

Low Key Arts Announces a New Slate of Digital Arts Creativity Workshops for Summer 2020

Thanks to the success of their recent #GivingTuesdayNow Fundraiser (the fourth highest grossing Givesource fundraiser in the entire state of Arkansas!), Low Key Arts is pleased to announce brand new workshops for music, film, screenwriting, photography and graphic design for Summer 2020.

“The coronavirus lockdown has awakened a desire in people for creative outlets”, says Sonny Kay, Executive Director of Low Key Arts. “We felt like this was a great chance to offer a way for people to make their own content, rather than simply sitting home, watching or listening to things made by others. I can’t think of a better time to encourage people to be adventurous in their self-exploration.”

All the workshops are led by working artists who have found critical success in their given areas of expertise. Starting the first week of June, Low Key Arts will be offering masterclasses in the following areas: Filmmaking, Screenwriting, one-on-one Guitar, Bass and Keyboard lessons, Photography, and Graphic Design. For the safety of the community, all classes will be taught virtually but will still offer the same impactful education, training and professional mentorship.

Building on its ten year history, Inception to Projection is Hot Springs only filmmaking workshop. This one-of-a-kind program has afforded a growing number of Arkansas filmmakers their first step to pursuing a career in television and film production with many alumni having gone on to attend both undergraduate and graduate film schools and find employment in the industry. Taught by filmmaker Jen Gerber, Inception to Projection is expanding this summer to include three sessions: the Introductory Inception to Projection Filmmaking Class, Advanced Directing, and a 12-week Feature Screenwriting workshop. The Introductory level course is for new filmmakers, while the Advanced Directing class is geared towards participants who have previously completed a session of Inception to Projection. The short films produced during Inception to Projection are screened each January at the Arkansas Shorts film festival and are the heart of the screening. “Inception to Projection is so special because it fosters a community of like-minded creators who have stories to tell but just need an outlet to get them made. This program provides the tools, training and resources for these filmmakers to fulfill their vision and share their films with a captive audience at Arkansas Shorts,” says Inception to Projection program director, Jen Gerber. “I’m so thrilled to offer our first feature length screenwriting class this year! There is so much talent in this state and it’s my hope that these programs will help elevate the unique stories of this community,” says Gerber.

Low Key Labs is an ongoing community-focused music and arts workshop series. Working musicians, artists and professional makers are recruited to mentor students of all ages and skill levels in both one-on-one and group study classes, teaching the fundamentals of various creative disciplines using fun, low-pressure methods tailored to each individual participant. Low Key Labs is designed to give newcomers the tools to become proficient, while more advanced students are provided with challenging exercises to expand their skill set. Returning instructors Harry Glaeser and Bobby Missile (Low Key Arts Artistic Director and a member of Ghost Bones, banzai florist, and Mind Rider) resume their roles leading one-on-one instruction – now retooled for social distancing via Zoom – on Guitar, Bass, and Keyboards for students of all ages and skill levels in 4-week sessions. As Glaeser, frontman of renowned Little Rock indie groups, Couch Jackets and banzai florist, points out, “There’s no better time than now to improve at something as fun and pragmatic as your musical talents. I love helping people realize their potential.

Low Key Labs expands this year to include a new 3-week survey in Digital Photography taught by Hot Springs’ very own Aaron Brewer. Brewer is a native of Arkansas, and a Hot Springs resident for three years. Self-taught, he has photographed the people, places, and events around Hot Springs since his first visit in 2008, is the official photographer of National Park College, and has owned his photography studio, Aaron Brewer Photo, since 2016. Low Key Arts is honored to include him among the Labs staff.

The final new class offered this summer is Digital Graphic Design, taught by Low Key Arts Executive Director, Sonny Kay. As a freelance graphic designer for over a decade before moving to Hot Springs, Kay has a long resume of clients and nearly three decades of experience in the music industry. “Since I moved here, people have been encouraging me to share my knowledge and experience. Teaching is something I’d intended to do for a long time and now I have the opportunity. I really hope I can help people feel empowered to use certain software and perhaps lift the curtain a little bit on the “magic” of things such as Photoshop. Tapping into people’s creativity is very rewarding.”

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Inception + YouTube = 😍

Stay-at-home blues got you climbing the walls? Tired of TV? Have we got the antidote! Inception to Projection now has a YouTube channel!!! HERE

Nearly a decade’s worth of Inception to Projection films – all in one place. SO much incredible work has come out of this program – see for yourself!

We’ve pulled as many films from the vaults as we could find (nearly 60!) but realize there’s a few missing. If you or someone you know has an Inception to Projection film that hasn’t been uploaded yet, please get in touch. We would like the channel to be as complete as possible. It’s an archive we can all be proud of!

And, as we’re gearing up for another great session this summer, there’s never been a better time to support Inception to Projection and the many incredible opportunities it provides young people in Hot Springs. Donate today!

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VOV 2020

VOV 2020 Opening Reception – Sonic Youth Rockumentary Double Feature

Low Key Arts and Superior Bathhouse Brewery welcome an international lineup of musicians to the 16th annual Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival taking place at Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor Street in Hot Springs. In addition to a stellar lineup of fresh talent (140+ musicians) from across North America and beyond, the festival this year features some exciting events outside of the shows at Low Key Arts, including workshops and film screenings. Fans of iconic punk rock and musical gadgetry, in particular, are in for some treats!

Partnering with the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute, on Wednesday, March 19, Low Key Arts will present the VOV 2020 opening reception – featuring an incredible musical film double-feature, both of which are Arkansas premieres! Desolation Center (featuring live performances by Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Redd Kross, and featuring Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction) will screen at 7:00 PM, followed by Sonic Youth: 30 Years of Daydream Nation, a new film from director Lance Bangs, at 8:45 PM.

Immediately following the screenings will be a Q & A with SONIC YOUTH drummer, STEVE SHELLEY, and Desolation Center director, STUART SWEZEY. In a first for the festival, the opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 19 at the Pocket Community Theater at 170 Ravine Street. Tickets are available for $12 HERE.

Valley of the Vapors workshop series this year features a rare Arkansas appearance from legendary punk icon, Keith Morris, a founding member of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and his current project, OFF! Keith will read from his book, My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor at Kollective Coffee and Tea (110 Central Ave.) on Saturday, March 21 at 4:00. This event is free but registration is required. Please see valleyofthevapors.com

Low Key Arts and Mid America Science Museum welcome guitarist and musical innovator, Bobby Bray, of San Diego’s The Locust who will lead a free workshop on Do-It-Yourself Virtual Audio Effects Using Pure Data freeware on Sunday, March 22 at 2:00 at ASMSA. Matt Shea, founder of College Station, TX -based Idiot Box Pedals will lead a free workshop on Do-It-Yourself Analog Guitar Pedal building on Saturday, March 21 at noon at Low Key Arts. These events are free but registration is required. Please see valleyofthevapors.com

VOV will also feature surprise shows each day as well as the annual painting auction which serves as a major fundraiser for Low Key Arts.
Tickets for Valley of the Vapors 2020 are on sale now at Prekindle.com and are also available at the door each day of the event. Daily passes are $10, and a 4-day festival pass is $35. For more information please see valleyofthevapors.com

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VOV Volunteer Roundup

Sunday March 15, 5:00-7:00 pm
Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor Street

Mark your calendars! Please join us on Sunday, March 15 @ 5:00 pm for the VOV volunteer orientation and handbook review as well as the opportunity to get your exclusive 2019 volunteer shirt screened by Jose Hernandez! This year, shirts will kindly be provided by Superior Bathhouse Brewery! We will post a link to choose your size soon!

If you would like to volunteer for The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival (The VOV) 2020 please reach out to our volunteer coordinator, Rob Cox. Email him at [email protected]

VOV 2020 is March 20-23! Spread the word!!

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10th Annual Spa City Sweethearts Burlesque Revue!

Friday February 14 & Saturday February 15
Arkansas’ largest and longest running burlesque show, The Spa City Sweethearts, is back Valentine’s Day weekend 2020, with a show unlike any other! Don’t miss some of the best burlesque and variety performances Arkansas (and beyond) has to offer!

Featured Hosts:

  • Gentleman Jack Hammer
  • Ace Wildman
  • Tipsy Tart

With performances by:

Astra L’amour, Bang Bang Bloom, Bri Rose, Beatnik Betty, Caerdwyn Adel, Cheetah Nautràle, Count Rosé, Crystal Glass, Doll Eyes, Eva Greenway, Ginger Rose, Ivy St. Germain, Jezabelle Jaxxx, Karma Couture, Kevin Honey, Lana Violette, Love Lee, Maxie Fauna, Minerva Minx, Mischief Managed, Moxie Cyanide, Myra Mains, Opal Sassafras , Penny Slayne, Pepper Darling, Rosa Lee Bloom, Schweeeeet Tea, Sukie Pearl, Sylvia Stems, Tease Supreme, The Siam Fox, Vesper Rose, Violet D’Vine, Zelda Zietgiest and MORE!!!!

 

Must be 18 years of age or older. Handicapped accessible.
Buy your tickets for each day by following the links below. This event will sell out!

Friday February 14 tickets: https://www.prekindle.com/event/18843-10th-annual-spa-city-sweethearts-burlesque-revue-hot-springs
Friday February 14 reserved VIP table for 4 persons: https://www.prekindle.com/event/39916–hot-springs
Saturday February 15 tickets: https://www.prekindle.com/event/22312-10th-annual-spa-city-sweethearts-burlesque-revue-hot-springs
Saturday February 15 reserved VIP table for 4 persons: https://www.prekindle.com/event/88833–hot-springs

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