Fayetteville should say, “Thanks, but no thanks” to generic “Walk of Fame” | Street Jazz

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fayetteville should say, “Thanks, but no thanks” to generic “Walk of Fame”

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Gee, just like Hot Springs.

Fayetteville’s Advertising and Promotion Commission, while making the wise decision to support events taking place in the New York City of the Ozarks, made a detour into Silly Land when it decided to spend $5,000 for the “Arkansas Entertainment Walk of Fame.”

The idea, put forth by music promoter Butch Stone, would honor Arkansas natives who have become famous in the fields of literature, music or film. The names would be placed on bronze plaques along the sidewalks along Fayetteville’s “music and entertainment district” - otherwise known as Dickson Street, for those who still live on planet Earth.

All well and good, I suppose, except that this is a venture that Comrade Stone may be selling to other Arkansas cities, as well, Hot Springs, of course, has had their own Arkansas Walk of Fame since 1996, with almost the same criteria that Stone presented to the city of Fayetteville.

In Hot Springs, according to their website (http://www.hotspringsattractionguide.com/attraction-brochures/143-arkansas-walk-of-fame-hot-springs-) the criteria are:

* Were born in or lived in Arkansas
* Made a significant contribution in their field
* Are recognized nationally.

Too bad ya’ll can’t use the Internet, huh?

This is the list of names that Stone presented to Little Rock and the Peabody Hotel when their partnership was announced.

Bill Clinton
Kris Allen
Billy Bob Thornton
Maya Angelou
Levon Helm
Johnny Cash
Black Oak Arkansas
Mary Steenburgen
Al Green
Ben Moody
Glenn Campbell
Alan Ladd
Conway Twitty
KT Oslin
Jimmy Driftwood
Charlie Rich

Yeah, that’s pretty generic.

I guess the point of my little diatribe is this - I really, really love Fayetteville. I believe that we have more creativity per square foot here than most communities in Northwest Arkansas, all the way from singers on the square to slam poets to world-famous writers.

We don’t need no stinkin’ list of generic names on some generic sidewalk, that can be found in a dozen other cities across the state. While some of the names above might belong on a Fayetteville Walk of Fame, others don’t.

Let’s be provincial, and just for once, let’s revel in it.

The Walk of Fame (but let’s change the name) is a good idea, but only if we honor folks from Northwest Arkansas. We have more than enough to fill the street.

Besides being a source of civic pride, I believe it would be a real tourist attraction, as opposed to a sidewalk that they can see in Little Rock, or any other city that Stone can convince to go along with this idea.


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