An artist community and creative space in Bentonville
At the intersection of 5th and J Streets in Bentonville, an old warehouse serves as a creative cauldron and testing ground for the city’s and the region’s artists and makers.
With neighbors like the Momentary, 5th Street Studio, and Airship Coffee, both the indoor and outdoor spaces will transform into fertile and ever-changing spaces of interdisciplinary invention.
As an educator, Karen has taught ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary and social dance forms to students of all ages at schools in California, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Arkansas, including Loyola University of Chicago and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Youth Education Department. Karen spent 7 years as a dance instructor and 6 years as director of the high school dance program at Arkansas Arts Academy in Rogers, AR and serves on the faculty of NWA Conservatory of Classical Ballet. She has been the recipient of grants and awards by the Artists 360 program, Arkansas Arts Council, Mid-America Art Alliance and the Walton Family Foundation. In 2021, Castleman received a research grant from the Walton Family Foundation for the purpose of mapping the existing dance and movement ecosystem in NW Arkansas, connecting with national organizations to investigate potential organizational models for elevating dance and filling gaps identified by the research.
As a pilot project of the research, Castleman introduced DanceChance NWA, a choreography focused performance series featuring local choreographers and a unique response process giving useful feedback to choreographers and audiences to further understanding and fluency around the craft of making dances.
Karen seeks to connect people to the power, beauty, and joy of dance. She enjoys creating spaces for people to deepen their experience of the artform, whether by introducing novice viewers or students to movement that brings joy, or engaging experienced audiences in work that challenges preconceptions, motivating dialogue. Whether creating dance in a theater, museum, parking garage or open field, utilizing ballet, modern, popular or pedestrian vocabularies, or facilitating spaces for arts activity, she welcomes communities to join together in engaging the senses to make new meaning out of the most familiar subject, the body.