MUSIC
+
PERFORMANCE

Groundwaves

Since 2021, Groundwaves has gathered together MCs from across the region with legendary West Coast rapper Murs for six-month seasons of community, creative collaboration, and career development.  Open mics and cyphers, one-on-one mentorship time with Murs, “best of” regional showcases, national festival performance opportunities – all have combined to help our artists up their game via regular collaboration and constructive critique.

Groundwaves is free to participate in, and open to any MC or beatmaker who wants to work with mentors and peers in the hip-hop community. Audience members are also welcome to attend, even if they are not planning to perform (fair warning: some are so moved by the friendly vibe they end up performing anyway). 

Groundwaves(AR) is joined by its sister programs, Groundwaves(OK) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Groundwaves(CO) — the chapter that started it all — in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Where will Groundwaves pop up next?  Stay tuned and see…

Watch the Groundwaves(AR) Season Two Recap

“ Groundwaves has helped me bring my songs to life and for them to do more than just sit on a streaming site. The community and connections have been incredible.”

Kevin Contra

The Evolution of Groundwaves

Created and hosted by legendary West Coast rapper Murs, and inspired by historical hip hop open mics such as New York’s Lyricist Lounge and Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, and the Good Life Cafe and Project Blowed in Los Angeles, Groundwaves recently completed its second season in Northwest Arkansas.

In the second year, Groundwaves frequently moved out of 214 by CACHE and into the community. The establishment of a program in Tulsa led to an increase in creative exchange with MCs from both cities traveling back and forth to perform together. Additionally, Murs and the Northwest Arkansas cohort of artists attended a private tour of The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and attended the Run the Jewels and Big Boi concert together on the Momentary Green. Finally, several members of the cohort were invited to perform at The Happiness of Pursuit Festival in Ontario, California, on the festival’s Groundwaves Stage, alongside MCs from Groundwaves OK and CO.

CACHE is looking forward to continuing to work with Murs and Northwest Arkansas’ hip-hop community to continue growing this program in 2023. 

Watch the Groundwaves(AR) Season One Recap

“[Groundwaves] introduced me to a community of artists who I otherwise wouldn’t have even known were there.”

Tylo May

Groundwaves will return to 214 by CACHE in 2023.

Listen to Groundwaves Artists
Follow Groundwaves on Instagram
Program News

Festivals & Events

CACHE has produced, hosted and consulted on events throughout the region including advocating for and providing opportunities to connect local talent and music curators to festivals and series.

Music Ecosystems

Support and growth for the Northwest Arkansas music scene

CACHE worked with British music industry think tank Sound Diplomacy to complete a Music Ecosystem Strategy and Action Plan for NWA, which engaged more than 500 people from the region’s community and music industry leaders.

Research showed Northwest Arkansas’ music ecosystem produces a $389 million economic output and is responsible for 3,972 jobs in the region. Sound Diplomacy made several recommendations to elevate the region’s music ecosystem.

Key opportunities to be addressed over the next three years include

1

Establishing a full-time staff dedicated to the development of music ecosystem
2

Activating cities to strategically support music
3

Developing platforms for the region’s diverse, culturally rich communities
4

Creating grants, residencies, exchanges, workshops and more for musicians
5

Supporting the creation of dedicated artist-centric spaces
6

Nurturing, growing and attracting music businesses and music-related technology and multimedia sectors to support local artists
7

Building partnerships with K-12 schools, arts education organizations and higher education to create intentional pipelines of local skills and creativity

Read the Executive Summary Read the Executive Summary