NCAFAE Archives

Brochures, press releases, photos & event highlights

Still on the Hill

Still on the Hill

"Still on the Hill" folk duo delights their audiences with original ditties featuring and celebrating life in the Ozarks. Their most recent tour honors Ed Stilley, recently featured in the April, 2016 edition of Arkansas Living as being divinely inspired. Husband & wife Kelly and Donna Mulhollan (professionally known as “Still on the Hill”) have known the Stilleys for twenty years, and Kelley has published a book, “True Faith: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley” (2015), which chronicles the life and times of Ed Stilley and documents 50 of the more than 200 instruments built over a twenty-five year period. A native of the Ozarks, Mr. Stilley is known as a preacher, farmer, hymn singer and maker of musical instruments, many of which have been highlighted in “Still on the Hill’s” concerts over the years.

Born in 1930, Ed and his wife, Eliza, (and five children) lived near Eureka Springs, AR for 46 years until they moved to a “more modern place” in 2005, a few miles away, but closer to family. Mr. Stilley feels he has been “called” to make musical instruments by hand and give them away to children or whoever needs them. Although he has no formal training, Mr. Stilley uses scrap wood and metal, saw blades, pot lids and springs to enhance the instrument sound. He has made more than 200 guitars, fiddles and dulcimers, all inscribed with the words “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.”

Ronald Radford

Ronald Radford presented in FFB by the NCAFAE

Ronald Radford is known internationally as the "American master of the Flamenco guitar." He began his career as a student of the legendary Flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya and studied classical guitar with Andres Segovia. He has traveled thousands of miles in Spain studying the music of the Spanish gypsies...and as we know, Flamenco music is commonly known as "Spanish gypsy music."

Mr. Radford has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall, Washington's Kennedy Center, and at colleges and concert halls across the United States. His international tours have taken him to fifteen countries, from Australia to Switzerland and from Canada to Panama. He toured for State Department as a musical ambassador in Mexico, Guatemala and other Latin American countries. He appeared on network television on the "CBS Newcomers Show" and his exciting CD, "Viva Flamenco!", and his DVD "Live Your Passion!" are available world-wide.

Arkansas Children's Theater 2015

Arkansas Children's Theater in Fairfield Bay

Nearly 250 excited children filled the large ballroom in the Fairfield Bay Conference Center on Friday, October 16. Being bussed in from schools in the area, these children had the opportunity to not only enjoy a first rate theatrical performance but also to celebrate a significant bit of history.

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The story line revolved around Scott Gibson (pictured) who takes the audience from his early school years to his college days and beyond. He dreams of becoming an astronaut and nearly reaches that goal, but is disappointed to be removed from the training program. However, he does move forward with the aero-space program as a scientist and contributes to the program in a significant way.

The presentation introduces the children to President J.F. Kennedy (and the tragic ending of his life), V.P. Lyndon B. Johnson, and the space program, including several astronauts, through an interesting multi-media technique. Not only do the children become aware of the importance of goal-setting, but also how to handle falling short of your goal and how to continue reaching out for another equally satisfying and important goal.

The program was essentially a one-person show, with the assistance of a lighting and sound assistant behind the scenes…which provided a third lesson to the children in how to get a job done and done well with a minimal amount of assistance, but with a lot of on-stage costume/clothing changes. It was very apparent that the children were spell-bound due to the level of quiet experienced during the presentation and the quality of questions asked of the actor and assistant at the end of the show.

The North Central Arkansas Foundation for the Arts and Education (NCAFAE) offers three such presentations each school year, co-sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council. The performances are available to school children, home schoolers, and adults (those who are young at heart) at no charge. The next performance will be “The Toymaker’s Apprentice” on December 3, 9:00 AM, at the new Arts Theater Auditorium at South Side School (Bee Branch, Arkansas). You are invited to join us.

Guest Performers

  • Bob Milne

    Widely considered the world's greatest living ragtime pianist, performing symphonic piano arrangements of rag, blues, and jazz.

  • Scott Carrell
  • Pianist Scott CarrellScott Carrell is an internationally-known pianist who captivates audiences with his virtuosic flair, expressive playing & informative comments. His innovative program "The Magic of the Piano" brings exciting performances of classical & jazz works and discussions about the music & the composers.

    Image courtesy of the artist's website:

  • Cleveland Duo & James Umble
  • Cleveland Due & James UmbleClearly in love with music, The Cleveland Duo & James Umble perform with an eclectic trio of violin, piano and classical saxophone.

    They have been heard throughout North America since the 1993-94 season in major chamber music venues, conference sites, universities and conservatories of music, schools, festival sites, temples and over the airwaves of National Public Radio and the C.B.C.

    Their repertoire contains newly commissioned works, other original compositions, and transcriptions of existing master works for which they have gained exclusive performance rights by major publishing houses. They have recorded for Dana, Klavier and soon-to-be-released, Centaur labels.

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    James Umble, alto saxophone, earned a D.M.A. from the University of Michigan. He is a professor of Saxophone at Youngstown (Ohio) State University’s Dana School of Music and has also taught at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina and at the Oberlin Conservatory. He has appeared numerous times with the Cleveland Orchestra in specialized repertoire featuring the saxophone. Dr. Umble is a founding member of The Cleveland Duo & James Umble.

    Carolyn Gadiel Warner, piano, earned a Bachelor’s degree in piano and a Master’s in violin from the University of Toronto, and won First Prize in Violin and Chamber Music from the Paris Conservatory of Music. She is long-time member of the violin and keyboard sections of The Cleveland Orchestra where she holds the Marc and Marjorie Swartzbaugh endowed keyboard chair. As a member of The Cleveland Duo and The Cleveland Duo & James Umble she has performed throughout North America and internationally and has been profiled in Strad Magazine, Saxophone Journal, and other professional publications.

    Stephen Warner, violin, earned the B.Mus. from the Curtis Institute of Music and immediately thereafter joined the violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra. A founding member of The Cleveland Duo with his wife, pianist, Carolyn Gladiel Warner, an ensemble which toured extensively since 1982, he formed The Cleveland Duo & James Umble during the 1993-94 season after the trio went through the Grammy Award nomination process in five categories. Mr. Warner is also an alum of The University of Georgia and The Cleveland Institute of Music.

  • "Harmony"
  • HarmonyThe band called HARMONY hails from Mountain View, Arkansas, center of a region of the Ozarks well known for its rich musical and folklore heritage. Adept with a variety of stringed instruments, Dave Smith and Mary and Robert Gillihan offer an eclectic repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk songs, old-time string band pieces, a cappella gospel songs and Southern Mountain fiddle tunes.

    In 1998 HARMONY was chosen as one of six finalists in A Prairie Home Companions’ “Talent from Towns Under 2000” contest. The band was voted First Runners-Up by the audience at Town Hall in New York City, and was honored to be asked to sing with host Garrison Keillor.

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    Regular performers at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, HARMONY has also been busy touring around Arkansas for the last several years with songwriter Charley Sandage in a presentation of original songs written about Arkansas’ colorful history called “Arkansas Stories", as well as "The Big Bear", a collection of songs and stories that teach young children about the early history of our State and the importance of taking care of one another and the land that we all live on. Latest in the Arkansas Stories project is a collection of sixteen songs about Arkansas’ role in the Civil War, sanctioned by the Arkansas Sesquicentennial Commission.

    Visit their website to learn more about their music:

  • Alfred Lee
  • Dr. Aaron Lee is a world-renowned pianist, organist & composer who travels extensively to freelance compose, conduct seminars, charm audiences & share his God-given talents & abilities in performances of the familiar & unique.

  • Brick Fields
  • Brick Fields

    "A worshipful house of blues with a steeple on top." This internationally-renowned Ozark gospel blues duo presents a powerfully charged, soulful experience not to be missed!

  • Philippe Strings
  • The “Musical Inspirations String Trio” performs for weddings, banquets and events across northwest Arkansas and southern Missouri. They especially enjoy performing in unique locations such as the historic Crescent Hotel and the famous glass Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, AR; the Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, AR; and Big Cedar Lodge and Top of the Rock in Branson, MO.

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    Susanna (violinist) currently works in Geraldi’s Restaurant in Berryville, AR with plans to begin college in the fall in pursuit of a degree in nursing. In addition to the violin, Susanna enjoys playing the harp, composing melodies and performing Celtic tunes.

    Joanna, when not playing the viola, enjoys her job as a vet assistant in Green Forest, AR. She is also an advanced horse trainer and works at several ranches in the Berryville, AR area. As a skilled guitarist, she enjoys composing and singing everything from “oldies” to hymns to current pop tunes.

    Rachel (violinist) is a full time student at the University of Arkansas pursuing a double major in Music Performance and Music Education. She currently runs her own music studio teaching violin and piano.

  • Other guests performers include:
  • Arkansas Trio
  • Bob Boyd Sounds
  • Tom Tiratto
  • Midnight Express
  • Neil Rutman
  • Tatiana Roitman Mann & David Gerstein
  • REAL Entertaining
  • 106th Army Jazz Band
  • Arkansas Arts Center
    Children's Theater on Tour
  • ...and many more!

Guest Artists

  • Emily Powell

    Emily Powell Photography

    At a young age, Emily Powell developed an interest in photography…learning to take photos with her father’s 35mm camera. Later in high school, she took an art class and was able to use that camera again while also learning to develop her own photos in the dark room there. It was during this time that she really began to feel passionate about taking photos.

    These days she is doing much more in developing her work, under the professional name of “Photo Emiliana,” and now using a professional, digital camera. Emily is also matriculating at UALR, working in the area of International Relations and European Studies. While she has a love and appreciation for all kinds of art, street photography is her favorite. She very much enjoys taking pictures of what she sees as she roams the streets of any city.

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    Emily has written of herself, “This artist doesn’t specialize in one particular category of photography. Emily challenges herself in working with every category to grow and constantly be learning.” While she has lived in many locations in the USA as well as Europe, Emily looks upon Europe as her “other home” and calls Europe a “photographer’s dream world” in that every day brings new adventures to capture with a camera. She feels that living outside the US has shaped her not only into someone who can adapt easily to new things but also into one who loves to meet new people, enjoys completely being immersed into new cultures, and takes full advantage of every incredible experience possible to get the story behind each photo she takes. In the future, she looks forward to living in Europe, teaching English, while continuing to work with her love for photography.

    Although things moved slowly at first for “Photo Emiliana,”she knew that 2015 was going to be an exciting year in her life. She has many new business opportunities including an art show, many booked sessions, connecting with several magazines, and has work featured on websites and commercials. Business is going well and Emily is very excited to see her passion develop into something larger than she ever imagined.

    Emily’s mission: "To make people feel something with her photographs and to make them think. That is all any artist could want when showing their work.”

  • Brandy Vandygriff

    Brandy Vandygriff, Clinton AR Photographer

    Brandi Vandygriff is an honor graduate of Clinton High School (class of 2012) and is currently studying photography at John Brown University (class of 2016). Her work has been displayed at the Arkansas State Fair, John Brown University and the Fairfield Bay Conference Center. She has won several best of show ribbons at the Van Buren Co. Fair.
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    She credits her photography inspiration to God and three great photography pioneers: Alfred Stieglitz, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams. She enjoys shooting from unusual perspectives and angles (as can been seen in her Towering Fortress Collection) and also using old school 35mm film and working in the darkroom making her own prints.

    Brandi strives to improve her photography skills and is always open to try new techniques or different forms of expression. She hopes her work will invite the viewer to take a closer look at the world around us and the simple wonders God has created for all of us to enjoy.

2015 Spring Exhibit: Featured Artists

Fairfield Bay Conference & Visitors Center

  • Buddy and Linda Pledger

    They have been splitting their time between Fairfield Bay and North Little Rock (where he is a family physician and she is a Professor Emeritus at UALR) since the early 80's. Buddy's pottery has been sold to benefit charities such as Carti and Hearts and Hooves. Linda learned the art of making fused glass through the Arkansas Arts Center and has worked on commission and to benefit Homeless Children of Arkansas. They are especially excited to be able to meld his painting and her fused glass to create art together.

  • Yun Kim

    Yun is from South Korea. She began painting in the third grade. In high school and collage she studied everything from drawing to sculpture, so can use any medium.” Yun Kim, who prefers to be called Kim, studied art as her major in high school and on through the university in South Korea. She came from South Korea to New Jersey in 1988, opened and managed several businesses, and then met and married her husband Bobby Luckyman. They moved to Arkansas in 2008 because he was born there. She joined the Mountain View Art Guild in 2009, after 40 years of not making any art. Kim often paints at home while listening to music. It helps to soothe my soul,” she says. She paints in all mediums and enjoys painting landscapes.

    In competitions she has won many awards, including Best of Show at the Spring River Art Competition and various awards. In Mountain View her work is on display at the Ozark Folk Center Art Cabin. When asked about goals, Kim’s humor shines through. “I might be too old to have goals! Just enjoy what you are doing!”

  • Joyce Hubbard

    Joyce moved to Mountain View with her husband in February 2007 from Connecticut. The move was inspired from a visit with friends in 2006 who had moved there. After the visit, they started looking for a place to call their own in this wonderful, laid back community, with all its natural beauty. Painting was not even on her list of things to do during retirement, until her good friend and neighbor, Ann Snyder convinced her to take art classes in October 2008, from Sue Coon. The lessons went on from there to learning more techniques in various medium from other instructors.

    Joyce's painting can be seen at the Iron Skillet Restaurant, in the Art Cabin at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR, at the local banks the library, Stone County Fair a Fairfield Bay Art Exhibit, Spring River Artists Guild Art Show, and Competitions in Hardy, and Mountain Home Art Exhibit. She has been a member of the Mountain View Art Guild (MVAG) since 2009.

  • Fran Pattillo

    Fran is originally from the Detroit, Michigan suburbs, but after meeting her husband, she was transplanted to Arkansas. She started painting when she was a young woman; her painting was put on hold until a few years ago due to a career in science and raising her 3 children. Fran has explored most media but oil painting is her favorite. She plans on doing a series of water colors in the near future. Although birds and animals are her favorites, she has painted most subjects.

  • Judith Beale

    Judith is from Jacksonville. She has a B.A. from UALR, Major, and Art History M.F.A. from the University of Memphis. She has had Solo Exhibits in Memphis including Master Thesis Exhibit at the University Of Memphis Gallery.

    Judy’s works have been juried into regional and national group exhibits over the past 30 years. Judy is currently working in watercolor, oils, acrylics, monoprints, drawings, and photography and current interest is in presenting ideas of cycles of change. Judy is now enjoying painting again after a few years of visual problems.

  • Michelle LaMotte Bry

    Michelle is a native of North Dakota, moved to Fairfield Bay in 2007 with her husband, Doug Bry and daughter Miranda. She first started acrylic painting as a teenager, but gave it up after a few years. After about 20 years of doing nothing with art, she started finger painting with her 4 year old daughter, which rekindled the artist within her. After seeing an article in the Fairfield Bay News for an art contest being sponsored by the North Central Arkansas Artist League (NCAAL), she decided to set a goal to paint something for it. That submission led to her meeting members of NCAAL, who encouraged her to join their league and paint with them on Monday mornings. She took up acrylic painting again, but when a friend gave her daughter colored pencils, who had no interest in them, Michelle decided to try them out for herself. That led to her discovery of a talent for drawing.

    Now she draws in many mediums, including colored pencils, oil and chalk pastels, and markers. She loves to draw birds and flowers, but has started expanding into landscapes and animals. She recently developed a pointillism technique using markers and chalk pastel, which is what her current work of art (a waterscape) now displayed at the Fairfield Bay Conference Center has been done in.

NCAFAE Season Brochure

NCAFA&E Concert Season 2014-2015

Upcoming Events

Nov. 6, 2016: REAL Entertaining

Dec. 4, 2016: Dr. Alfred Aaron Lee

Mar. 9, 2017: Bob Milne

Apr. 30, 2017: Brick Fields

May 28, 2017: Nat'l Guard Jazz Band

Click here for details!

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Contact Us

Address: P.O. Box 1676
Fairfield Bay, Arkansas 72088
Conference Center Gallery:
110 Lost Creek Pkwy | 501-884-4202

If your school is in Cleburne, Stone, or Van Buren Counties in Arkansas, and would be interested in participating in our Arts in Education Program, please Contact Us for more details.