Music is the Global Handshake | Welcome

Talk of the Town NWA takes great pride in welcoming newcomers to Northwest Arkansas. It is a delight and honor to welcome The House of Songs Ozarks to our community. The House of Songs or THOS opened its Austin house in 2009 coupling local and international songwriters in a 12 day immersion of collaboration and friendship. Believing that “Music is the global handshake,”  THOS participants blend their unique cultural and musical experiences to co-create new original songs. These songwriters are showcased for local residents free of charge at various venues. The Walton Family Foundation has helped to facilitate the opening of this second house in our area.

Welcome! The House of Songs Ozarks, Bentonville, AR

Troy Campbell, founder and president, says that the inspiration for THOS has been an expanding vision born after meeting Danish star singer-songwriter, Poul Krebs back stage at a New Orleans songwriters convention in 1999. After accepting an invitation from Krebs to join him at a songwriting retreat in Denmark, the expansion of this international connection continued.  In addition to the original Austin THOS, other THOS sponsored songwriting collaborations have been hosted in 13 other countries. Campbell  said that the name, The House of Songs, came to him in an instant when asked what he would call his organization.  He later found that the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrian referenced “garo demana” or House of Song as the place where righteous souls would go. Of note, this writer in reading about Zoroastrian found that ancient high priests or Magi (possibly the wise men from the East) had associations with the Zoroastrian Religion.

Saturday, August 26 was the Open House for THOS Ozarks.  Guests were able to tour the house located on Southeast C Street in Bentonville.   The rooms in the house are each named for famous songwriters including Arkansas’s own Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

The event was hosted by Campbell and his wife along with Clayton Lillard who is the House Manager for the Austin House. Bernice and Bryan Hembree, organizers of the Fayetteville Roots Festival, will be helping to welcome the international guests as well as introducing them to local songwriters.

The first guests to the Ozark house are set to arrive September 7.  There will be a free concert at the The Preacher’s Son, 201 NW A Street in Bentonville on September 10 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m as well as a screening of the documentary co-directed by Campbell along with Austin Tolin, Albert E. Brumley: Songwriter of the Ozarks. Campbell summed up his impression of Northwest Arkansas with a simple, “I had no idea.”

Click to learn more details about…The House of Songs

Talk of the Town TEAMMATE  | Bex Tracy, Rogers, AR | “Together we can and will do more; serve more!”  Theresa

Talk of the Town NWA  our mission is to report on people, places and things that matter in Northwest Arkansas; applicants for front page feature articles can let us know via email  (include press release, press pass, contact information and pictures.)

Newcomers Guide to Northwest Arkasnas

Appalled, Shocked and Dismayed in Northwest Arkansas

Last year I met a newcomer that is what “she described herself as” a white woman yet of Hispanic decent; when we first met I believe she had been in Northwest Arkansas less than six months – and – she was appalled, horrified, shocked, dismayed, stressed and outraged.  I noticed it on twitter and reached out to her…

If you’re reading this – we (you and I) have more work to do in this community – our – Northwest Arkansas.  There’s a lot to be done regarding Newcomer support in Northwest Arkansas!

Being from San Diego landing here in Northwest Arkansas was culture shock as she described it and as many describe it.  The challenges had to do with overhearing many people speak in a derogatory way about her Hispanic culture – remember – she’s looks white and many spoke freely in her presence , other challenges included big trucks, rebel flags, terrible driving and traffic situations to mention a few.

I chose to spotlight her story at Newcomer Reception – in the raw.  I was and am truly grateful she was willing to be so brave and again really vulnerable in a public venue like our Newcomer Receptions.  Following her brave heartfelt share she handed back the microphone and my only words were…I’m so sorry this has happened to you here and that it has caused you to hurt.  Then I turned to the audience and said, “When we know better – we can do better!”

Later that next week we met for coffee and let me say “being heard” is so incredibly powerful because she seemed softer and I encouraged her to seek and focus on things she loves here.  Today she is a vibrant community leader and a loving, caring, beautiful woman, wife, bonus mom, friend, neighbor and professional – yes she got back to her true foundational core.

Together – we can do more.  I don’t want to come across as NWA fairy Godmother or anything yet – the work we do at TalkoftheTownNWA.com is very important.  Further we need your support to keep going, growing and making a difference.

I was inspired to write this today because yesterday I got off the phone after hearing the shared story of a beautiful black woman that has been here a year and found herself in tears at an offsite work meeting.  She broke down and cried because she hasn’t been able to connect here in Northwest Arkansas.

Look for that article next (link at bottom of page) and learn more about what is possible if the Newcomer just knew we we’re available on such a personal level.  Not everyone needs support – many do great.  If you’re a newcomer and struggling pick up the phone and call us 479.633.GROW (4769) or attend a Newcomer Reception then we’ll have a tea or coffee later.  A sit down visit (smile).

Please share both of these articles so businesses, services and HR departments can better understand the void we fill.  We are able to make a huge difference in this community as connectors, consultants, coaches, mentors and more…  Support, retention and connection is our amazing gift to this community by means of TalkoftheTownNWA.com and the work we do as a service and the individual attention and conversations we are willing to have with Newcomers is powerful in our growing region.

Day before yesterday I called a client who works for a prominent supplier in Northwest Arkansas.  The conversation took a spin about a beautiful black woman struggling to get connected in Northwest Arkansas…click to read full story

With much gratitude,

Theresa | Chief Inspirational Office | TalkoftheTownNWA.com | 479.633.GROW (4769)