The Younger Set

Shaky Bugs brings learn­ing, fun to Fire­fly Fling

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - WHAT'S UP - — BECCA MARTIN-BROWN BMARTIN@NWADG.COM

It might seem as though Jules Tay­lor is ev­ery­where in North­west Ar­kan­sas — on movie sets, per­form­ing with Phun­bags com­edy im­prov, help­ing helm the Fayetteville Film Fes­ti­val, di­rect­ing at Arts Live The­atre. But nowhere is she hap­pier than en­ter­tain­ing and ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren with her Shaky Bugs pro­gram.

“My first Shaky Bugs per­for­mance in North­west Ar­kan­sas was in 2005, so Shaky Bugs is cel­e­brat­ing its 12th year,” she says. “North­west Ar­kan­sas is a great place for chil­dren- and fam­i­ly­ori­ented en­ter­tain­ment.”

On Satur­day, Tay­lor will be one of the head­lin­ers at Fire­fly Fling, billed by the Botan­i­cal Gar­den of the Ozarks as “the sum­mer fes­ti­val for fam­i­lies.”

“Shaky Bugs comes from an early mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram I was part of in Chicago at the fa­mous Old Town School of Folk Mu­sic,” she ex­plains. “It’s de­signed specif­i­cally for the un­der-6 crowd. While the mu­sic may seem repet­i­tive and sim­ple to the adults — that’s be­cause it is! But it’s not for them. Chil­dren this age are learn­ing and rec­og­niz­ing through rep­e­ti­tion. When a 4-year-old rec­og­nizes a song, or re­mem­bers a lyric, they are very ex­cited and proud.

“An­other part of this mis­sion,” she goes on, “is to help to pass down some of the tra­di­tional mu­sic we have in our col­lec­tive con­scious­nesses, like ‘She’ll be Com­ing Around the Moun­tain’ and ‘This Land is Your Land.’ It’s won­der­ful to see fam­i­lies singing to­gether, and chil­dren are thrilled when their adults al­ready know and can sing the songs, too.”

Tay­lor will also be shar­ing her Wish Weav­ing project at Fire­fly Fling.

“Wish Weav­ing is sim­ply that — writ­ing down a wish and ‘weav­ing’ it into other wishes,” she says. “I have put this up at sev­eral events over the years and have hun­dreds of wishes. I feel like a ‘keeper of wishes,’ as I re­ally do go through ev­ery one of the wishes and keep them neatly and safely to­gether. I am so hon­ored by this.

“Some­day, after I have col­lected hun­dreds more, I hope to pub­licly dis­play them as a com­mu­nity piece so oth­ers can read them and add to them and give them even more power!”

FILE PHOTO ANDY SHUPE

Jules Tay­lor smiles as she per­forms with Shaky Bugs dur­ing a First Thurs­day on the Fayetteville square.

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