The Younger Set
Shaky Bugs brings learning, fun to Firefly Fling
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!”
Jules Taylor smiles as she performs with Shaky Bugs during a First Thursday on the Fayetteville square.