FRIDAY 2/21-SUNDAY 2/23. Momentary, 507 S.E. E St., Bentonville.
If Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville weren’t enough to tip the scales, the Momentary — a satellite of Crystal Bridges situated in a former Kraft Cheese plant downtown — places Northwest Arkansas firmly on the map as a contemporary arts destination. Describing the space, Momentary Director Lieven Bertels calls it “an everyday living room for the arts with concerts, exhibitions, studio residencies and festivals.” The former factory houses 24,000 square feet for contemporary art, musical and theatrical performances, studio space and an Onyx Coffee bar. Its opening weekend will pair its inaugural exhibit — “State of the Art 2020,” the follow-up to Crystal Bridges’ 2015 exhibit of the same name — with a festival it’s calling “TIME BEING.” Aussie indie rocker extraordinaire Courtney Barnett performs in the Røde House, a 350-seat performance hall that allows for state-of-the art acoustic adjustments. In Fermentation Hall, the Momentary’s black box theater, music will abound from conceptual party electronica artist FM Belfast, as well as Hermigervill, an Icelandic musician who knows how to throw down with a theremin. American harpist Mary Lattimore brings her transcendent repertoire, and MacArthur Foundation 2019 “genius” grant recipient Annie Dorsen brings “Spokaoke,” a participatory performance that reimagines iconic speeches like MLK’s “I Have a Dream’’ into karaoke. Then there’s Bandaloop, whose “vertical performance” will use climbing gear and more to choreograph a performance on the exterior of the building. The idea here is to blur boundaries, distinctly the case in Bobbi Jean Smith’s “A Study on Effort,” a performance that meditates on sound, choreography and time in collaboration with violinist Keir GoGwilt, who’ll perform free pop-ups in the tower, which is 70 feet high and features multiple mezzanines. Events are open to members Friday, Feb. 21, with general admission opening Feb. 22. Each performance requires its own ticket purchase; see themomentary.org for tickets.