Art, Architecture, and the Fortune 500: A Study Tour to Northwest Arkansas


Art, Architecture, and the Fortune 500: A Study Tour to Northwest Arkansas

Friday, April 22–Sunday, April 24
$2100 pp/double occupancy only available

This spring Houston Seminar will be welcomed at Crystal Bridges and tour its expanded collection, special exhibitions, and its satellite performing and visual arts space, the Momentary. We will tour Fay Jones’s moving Mildred Cooper Chapel and venture farther afield to Jones’s palatial commission for Governor Orval Faubus as well as Fay and Gus Jones’s home in Fayetteville. We will have a rare opportunity to visit the interior of Marlon Blackwell’s St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in nearby Springdale. Led by Stephen Fox and local experts, travelers will witness the enormous investment in and growth of this region, instigated by corporate leaders at three regional Fortune 500 companies: J. B. Hunt, Tyson Foods, and Walmart. Rooms are booked at the vibrant 21c Museum Hotel, our chic home for two nights in Bentonville.

Itinerary Overview

Friday, 22 April 
Study tour participants will travel by motorcoach from XNA airport to 21c Museum Hotel. We will be free to visit downtown Bentonville (don’t forget the Walmart Museum!) and grab a bite to eat (options will be suggested). We will convene at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art for an introductory tour and free time to explore the galleries and grounds. The motorcoach will transport us to St Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church for an introduction to this ancient tradition and an opportunity to participate in the chanted Vespers service leading up to Greek Easter on April 24. We will return to the hotel for a meal at the famous Hive restaurant and orientation to the region by Daniel Hintz, CEO/Chief Experience Designer of the Velocity Group.

Saturday, 23 April, is Fay Jones day!
We will leave on the motorcoach from the hotel for an early morning visit to Fay Jones’ Mildred Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista. After some time to take in Jones’ distinctive vision, we will drive to Rogers where we will visit the War Eagle Mill, a Civil War era site (and active mill), and be joined by Allyn Lord, former director of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, who will tell us about 18th and 19th century history of this singular region. We will enjoy a leisurely visit and catered lunch at Fay Jones’ Orval Faubus house, owned and cherished by architect (and garden enthusiast) Jonathan Formanek. Travelers can rest on the motorcoach as we are driven to Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas. Stephen Fox will guide us through the city and we will have the opportunity to tour Fay Jones’ own house. We will head to dinner at a Fayetteville eatery before returning to Bentonville for the night.

Sunday, 24 April
After checking out of the hotel, we will visit the Momentary, Crystal Bridges’ expansion of its programs into performing arts as well as visual and culinary arts. Located in a decommissioned 63,000- square-foot cheese factory, the Momentary serves as a gathering place to relax, work, eat and drink, and discover today’s art through programs, exhibitions, festivals, and more. We will then head to the sprawling studio of multimedia artist George Dombek where we will be introduced to his work and enjoy a picnic lunch. Our motorcoach will then deliver us to the airport for our return to Houston.

Travel Information

Travelers will make their own flight arrangements. Programs are designed to coordinate with United Airlines flight 4385, currently scheduled to fly from Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) at 9:35 A.M. on Friday, April 22, and returning from XNA to IAH on United Airlines flight 4864, departing at 3:00 and returning to Houston at 4:50 P.M (NOTE: This previous flight has been canceled as of 1/11/22. The appropriate next flight that day will returning from XNA to IAH on United Airlines 4314 departing Northwestern Arkansas National Airport (XNA) at 4:50 pm and arriving at Houston Intercontinental (IAH) at 6:40 P.M. 

Registration Details

Registration is now open for this study tour. To reserve a space, please make a deposit of $500.00/pp, and fill out the registration packet and return it, along with proof of COVID vaccination and a check with the remainder of your payment. Full payment is due by February 15th. 

Please read over the registration packet before reserving your place: April 2022 Arkansas Registration & Release Forms

You may print the forms and email them to [email protected] or send them by mail to:

The Houston Seminar
PO Box 22764
Houston, TX  77227

Please contact the registrar at 713-666-9000 or [email protected] with any questions.


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