The Momentary Announces RØDE Microphones as a Founding Funder

The Momentary, a contemporary arts satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, announced that RØDE Microphones, an audio company based in Sydney, Australia, is among its founding funders with RØDE’s commitment of a $1 million gift. As part of this collaboration, the Momentary, slated to open in 2020, will name its indoor concert venue the RØDE House.

The collaboration was announced on the occasion of a visit from RØDE founder and president Peter Freedman AM to Northwest Arkansas earlier this week, in the company of the Australian Ambassador to the United States, the Hon. Joe Hockey, to discuss cultural exchange between Australia and Northwest Arkansas.

“I first visited this area of the US a little over a year ago, and was struck by the vibrancy and growth of the region,” said Freedman. “Meeting with the Walton family was a genuine highlight.  I have always had a keen interest in supporting the arts, both in my business and philanthropic activities, a focus that aligned perfectly with the work of the Walton Family Foundation. The success of Crystal Bridges is a testament to their commitment, and the plans for the Momentary are an exciting next step that I am proud to support, bringing a little bit of Australia to Northwest Arkansas!”

“RØDE is a great Australian success story, fueled by the ambition and courage of Peter Freedman,” said Ambassador Hockey.  I commend his generous gift which will see the RØDE House concert venue come to life in 2020. Like Northwest Arkansas and the Walton Family, Australia places innovation and creativity at the heart of community life, inspiring the people who call that place home. I look forward to what the Momentary offers for years to come.”

Beyond funding for program support, RØDE Microphones will be providing audio equipment to assist musicians, sound artists, and media teams with live concerts, audio installations, event streaming, and podcasts.

“The Momentary is excited to announce this partnership,” said Momentary director Lieven Bertels. “RØDE is a brand trusted by many of our artists and we welcome their support, which will help us build a great performing arts and music program. It’s wonderful to collaborate with a company that has creativity and innovation at its core. We are truly grateful for Peter Freedman’s visionary leadership in this field, and happy to be working with his team.”

The Momentary will open to the public in early 2020, with a preview concert in the fall of 2019. More information and season announcements will be coming soon. Follow the Momentary on social media for updates:

For information about the Momentary, visit the website here. For Enewsletter updates, sign up for the Momentary interest.

Momentary Announces New Hires in Lead-Up to 2020 Opening

The Momentary, a new contemporary arts venue set to open in early 2020, today announces new hires including: Pia Kishore Agrawal, curator, performing arts; Cynthia Post Hunt, programmer, theater/dance; Kaitlin Maestas, assistant curator, visual arts; and Stuart Rogers, programmer, festivals/music; all under the leadership of director, Lieven Bertels.

The group will join the core Momentary team, which includes director, Lieven Bertels, appointed in September 2017; Mallory Taylor, executive assistant, hired in January 2018; Lauren Haynes, who serves a dual role as curator, contemporary art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and curator, visual art at the Momentary; and Catherine Hryniewicz, who was recently promoted from project manager, exhibitions at Crystal Bridges to operations manager at the Momentary.

“It’s exciting to see this dynamic team come together as plans for programming and the vision of the Momentary take shape,” said Bertels. “We are grateful to be able to draw on the expertise of Lauren and Catherine, who bring valuable institutional knowledge to their new roles. And with the addition of Pia, Kaitlin, Stuart, and Cynthia, we are getting new perspectives, energy, and ideas from individuals with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. The Momentary and this extraordinary team are poised to bring visual, culinary, and performing arts to our community in unique and inspiring ways.”

Pia Kishore AgrawalPia Kishore Agrawal, curator, performing arts, will join the team in December 2018 to lead the research and planning of performance seasons, festivals, and special projects. Prior to this appointment, Agrawal was program director at the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, where she produced public programs including lectures, festivals, and more.During her time at the Mitchell Center, Agrawal worked with artists such as Tania Bruguera, Okwui Okpokwasili, Kevin Beasley, and Jason Moran. She also served as the managing director of the Rude Mechs in Austin, Texas and the programming director of FringeArts in Philadelphia, Pa. She is a graduate of Haverford College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Cynthia Post HuntCynthia Post Hunt, programmer, theater/dance, joined the team in October 2018 to develop and implement performing arts projects, including concerts and performances, residencies, commissions, workshops, audio and video recordings, and more. Post Hunt is a curator and artist based in Northwest Arkansas and co-founder of Inverse Performance Art Festival, which strives to foster local dialogue about performance art on an international scale and build a community of performance artists and supporters. From 2017-2018, she served as the house manager of TheatreSquared and in 2018, Post Hunt joined the Live in America project as a curating partner. She maintains a vibrant art practice, performing regionally and nationally at institutions and festivals such as Crystal Bridges, Art Basel Miami, and Mana Contemporary Chicago. She is an active member in the local and national performance community, participating in workshops, educational development, and publications. Most recently, she is a recipient of the Artists 360 grant. Post Hunt received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kaitlin MaestasKaitlin Maestas, assistant curator, visual arts, joined the team in September 2018 to develop and organize contemporary art installations and exhibitions, with curator Lauren Haynes, at the Momentary. Maestas was born in Albuquerque, N.M., and her research and interests have been primarily devoted to exploring themes of identity, displacement, and cultural heritage in the United States and the Americas.   Previously, she served as the curatorial assistant of modern and contemporary art at the Denver Art Museum working on several major exhibitions including Shade: Clyfford Still and Mark Bradford and Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, an exhibition featuring site-specific installations by 13 Latinx and Chicanx artists examining the complex layering of cultures in the U.S. In 2015, she was the program coordinator for the Biennial Ambassadors artist residency program and later, served as the assistant curator for the Vis-à-Vis: Biennial Ambassadorsexhibition. Maestas holds a Bachelor of Arts from Regis University in Denver and did her graduate studies at the University of Denver.

Stuart RogersStuart Rogers, programmer, festivals/music, began in early November 2018 to plan and execute performing arts projects, including concerts and multidisciplinary performances, festivals, residencies, commissions, workshops, and more at the Momentary. Born in Sydney, Australia, Rogers brings over 20 years of experience programming music and the performing arts in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Rogers relocated to New York City in 2001 where he worked as a commercial photographer and made music documentaries including the Icelandic feature length, Everything Everywhere All the Time. He presented a weekly radio show on East Village Radio for a decade and DJ’ed across the city including events for Mick Jagger, Jodie Foster, and Robert De Niro. From 2005 to 2014, Rogers ran his own artist management company which represented the likes of Beth Orton, Ólöf Arnalds, and Debo Band, and has also helped present artists including Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Foo Fighters, Bikini Kill, Beck, and DJ Shadow. From 2014 to 2018, Rogers was the program manager at Sydney Festival, curating over shows and programming acts including PJ Harvey, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Kim Gordon, Gotye, and Seu Jorge to breakthrough Australian debuts by artists such as Kate Tempest, Moses Sumney, Aldous Harding, and Karol Conka. Rogers graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Mass Communications from Macquarie University in Sydney.

Currently, the 63,000 square-foot decommissioned Kraft Foods plant is being redesigned and adapted for use as a multi-disciplinary art space to include galleries, studios, theater, culinary space, and more. Prior to the opening, the Momentary staff will be located in a temporary office adjacent to the construction site. A video preview of the construction progress is available here. Follow the Momentary on social media for updates:


For information about the Momentary, visit the website here. For Enewsletter updates, sign up for the Momentary interest.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Unveils the Vision for the Momentary and Announces a Gift from Walmart for Access and Innovation

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art held a press event today to provide an update on the timeline and vision for the Momentary, a new contemporary arts venue slated to open in early 2020. Additionally, Walmart announced that it will provide a $2 million gift toward access and innovation at the multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space.

“Since Crystal Bridges opened in 2011, nearly four million visitors to the museum have experienced the power of art to transform lives. The Momentary will add new and complementary offerings, and extend the story of contemporary art right up to the moment,” said Rod Bigelow, Crystal Bridges executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer. “We are grateful to Walmart for their support to help bring artists, innovators, and the community together and to further position Northwest Arkansas as a unique arts and cultural destination.”

“As part of our commitment to enhance quality of life in Northwest Arkansas, Walmart is honored to provide this gift to the Momentary for access and innovation for our community and today’s working artists, both local and visiting,” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart.

Access will come in the form of free general admission to all visitors. In addition, funds for innovation will go toward initiatives that align with the mission through festivals, major exhibitions, artist programs, culinary offerings, and more.

At the event, Tom and Olivia Walton, Walton Family Foundation, spoke about the foundation’s commitment to the project. “Just like Crystal Bridges, the Momentary began with a vision—bringing together the art and music of our times, blurring the boundaries between visual and performing arts, and offering it in a place that feels comfortable and accommodating,” said Olivia Walton.

“The Walton Family Foundation is supporting this project as a way to enhance the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. Our commitment to cultivating arts and cultural experiences provides more opportunities for education, engagement, and enjoyment in our region,” said Tom Walton.

In 2016, Crystal Bridges announced plans to transform a 63,000 square-foot Kraft Foods plant into a multi-disciplinary space for visual, performing, and culinary arts, as well as an artist residency program. Wheeler Kearns Architects, based in Chicago, is overseeing the adaptive re-use project. Design and site work is now complete, with the new construction phase underway. Spaces are being transformed to include galleries, studio space for artists, a small black box theater, kitchen, café, rooftop bar, and flexible indoor gathering areas as well as an outdoor space for concerts, festivals, and community events. A video preview of the construction progress is available here.

“The Momentary encourages an experimental approach with the flexibility and space for artists to engage with the community and each other in meaningful and unexpected ways,” said Lieven Bertels, director of the Momentary. “By preserving the industrial integrity of the architecture, we are embracing the history of the building. We’re also exploring our unique identity. Since, the mission of the Momentary is to champion contemporary art’s role in everyday life, our logo is based on the type of signage found in a factory setting and present all around us, while the iconic arrows in the logo come together to form the M in our name,” Bertels adds.

Another way the Momentary is embracing the past and moving it into the future is through the work of a regional artist, Addie Roanhorse, a graphic designer, mixed media artist, and resident of the Osage Nation reservation in Eastern Oklahoma. Roanhorse has created design elements for the building that are inspired by traditional Osage attire and pay homage to the history of the land around the Momentary. The patterns are printed into the building’s entryway, loading dock, and elevator tower glass, and play a functional role in filtering light.

“I have great admiration and respect for Crystal Bridges and the Momentary and I am honored to have this opportunity to acknowledge my ancestral territory with a visual representation of Osage culture,” said Roanhorse.  “Inspired by traditional finger weave patterns, the designs woven in the past are identical patterns my generation continues to weave today.”

The Momentary will open to the public in early 2020, with a preview concert in the fall of 2019. More information and season announcements will be coming soon. Newly announced social media handles and links for the Momentary include:

For information about the Momentary, visit the website here. For Enewsletter updates, sign up for the Momentary interest.