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

$2600 pp/single occupancy

This spring study tour is an exploration of an under-rated region of America: northwest Arkansas. With the aid of local experts and Houston’s own Stephen Fox, we will visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary (its performing arts facility building) as well as regional architecture, with a focus on the stunning work of E. Fay Jones. We will see first-hand the investment made by community leaders, led by the Walton family, in creating a model community.  Rooms are booked at the vibrant 21c Museum Hotel, our chic home for two nights in Bentonville.

Itinerary Overview – Subject to change based on timing and availability.

Friday, 22 April 
Study tour participants will travel by motorcoach from XNA airport 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 Kalene Griffith, president and CEO of Visit Bentonville.

Saturday, 23 April
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 the 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. Steve Clark, seasoned politician and director of the Chamber of Commerce, will meet us at Fayetteville Public Library tell us more about modern Arkansas and regional politics We will head to dinner at Vetro 1925 before returning to Bentonville for the night.

Sunday, 24 April
After checking out of the hotel, Jill Wagar, deputy director of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, will open the museum early and welcome us with an introduction to the museum’s genesis and future plans. This session will be followed by a guided tour of the permanent collection. We will leave time for exploration and lunch. We will board the bus for a self-guided tour of the Walmart Museum and then travel to the Momentary, Crystal Bridges’ expansion of its programs into performing, 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. 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 the below schedule:
Friday, April 22: United Airlines flight 4849, 2:35 pm departure from Houston Intercontinental (IAH), arriving at Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) at 4:19 pm.

Sunday, April 24: United Airlines flight 4314, 5:04 pm departure from XNA, arriving at IAH at 6:40 pm.

If these flights are fully booked or the prices are prohibitive, please consider flying into Tulsa. Email [email protected] if you will be flying into Tulsa or flying early into Bentonville to help with planning.

Registration Details

Registration is now closed for this study tour.

If you have already made a deposit, 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.