News from Opera in the Ozarks

by Carole Langley

In 2018, Opera in the Ozarks was approached by a philanthropist about the possibility of building new facilities for the IPFAC campus. Improved facilities would dramatically raise the profile of the eight-week summer program, allowing for new artistic possibilities and strengthening the program’s attraction among young performers and audiences alike. These facilities would also open up opportunities for new activities to take place at IPFAC year-round, including partnerships with other organizations.

To assist in exploring the opportunities and implications new facilities could bring, Opera in the Ozarks hired WolfBrown, a nationally recognized consulting practice. WolfBrown spoke to a variety of stakeholders, ranging from potential users of the new facilities to peer vocal training programs, in order to understand the regional needs that new facilities could fulfill and the ways in which new facilities could enhance the core summer training program. While Opera in the Ozarks is still early in conversations about this potential transformation, WolfBrown will be working in close collaboration with staff to develop a plan for the utilization of new facilities.

After their discussions with Mr. Brown, the Governing Board voted unanimously to continue with this project and to begin preparations needed to meet the challenges of growth needed as we undertake this exciting new opportunity.

Remembering Maxine Fortenberry

Past AFMC President (1975-1977)

Maxine (Mrs. John) Fortenberry, longtime Federation member who lived in Little Rock, Arkansas died November 12, 2018 at 88 years of age. She was very active in the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs and the National Federation of Music Clubs.

Mrs. Fortenberry served as President of the Arkansas Federation from 1975-1977. A major project during her term was coordinating Arkansas Days in Washington, D.C. as part of the Nation’s Bicentennial celebration. This event included a concert by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in the Kennedy Center, as well as concerts by four Arkansas school and college groups.

Mrs. Fortenberry served the National Federation of Music Clubs in various capacities in the 1970’s and 1980’s including National Rating Chairman, American Music Month National Chairman and Southwest District Coordinator. She was also in charge of program preparation for the National Fall Board meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1972.

Mrs. Fortenberry was also active in two local music clubs, the Little Rock Musical Coterie, and the Jonesboro Nocturne Club. She held numerous positions in both clubs including the presidency.

Other musical organizations in which Mrs. Fortenberry was active were Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony, Opera of the Ozarks, Arkansas Arts Center and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild. She was a member and soloist of her church choirs and collegiate and community choral groups for over fifty years.

A Memorial Service was held at Pulaski Height Methodist Church in Little Rock, and burial in the Fortenberry family plot in Walnut Grove Cemetery at Newport, Arkansas.