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Aricka Lewis was recently recognized as one of the 2019 UX Designers to Watch by Adobe. Aricka is passionate about inclusive design and helped launch the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the largest membership organization promoting the advancement of design⁠. Check out her take on the region below.
TITLE: Senior UX Designer at Ad Hoc, Vice President of Inclusion & Initiatives at AIGA Northwest Arkansas
CITY: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Tell us about yourself.

I’m a UX Designer working remotely (probably from my couch or a coffee shop) by day and a musician (amongst various other hobbies) by night! Outside of work, I volunteer on the local AIGA board and teach a UX Design course at the School of Art at the University of Arkansas.

What are some of your favorite things about the region?

A few of my favorite things about Northwest Arkansas include going to Crystal Bridges (highly recommend signing up as a volunteer), eating all the vegetarian delights from Moonlight Cafe (a new place and I’m already a regular) on the trail, and walking my dog Pippa around Wilson Park! I love that there are so many local events to attend like the Jazz Showcase every Tuesday at West and Watson.

Describe NW Arkansas in 3 Words

Smells like nature.

Aricka Lewis
Someone that has never been to the region is coming for 24 hours, what should they do, where should they go?

Ok. 24 hours. First things first, get coffee and a baked good from Little Bread Company. Then take a nice morning walk on one of the many trails or even in downtown Fayetteville! Then I’d drive to Bentonville and eat at Sushi House before visiting Crystal Bridges. I’d walk around downtown Rogers and stop into a few shops like Dandy Roll and then head down 71 and eat dinner at El Cuñado! Maybe grab a cocktail at Vault or catch some live music in Fayetteville.

Option two is what I did this weekend: Grab coffee and early lunch at Moonlight Cafe — Head to Eureka Springs and go to Turpentine Creek for a walking tour of the sanctuary. Visit the little shops on Main street and then grab a bite at Ermilio’s before heading back to catch a late movie in Fayetteville.

Aricka & friends in the Fly's Eye Dome at Crystal Bridges
Aricka and friends in Fly's Eye Dome at Crystal Bridges
Someone that has never been to the region is coming for 24 hours, what should they do, where should they go?

Ok. 24 hours. First things first, get coffee and a baked good from Little Bread Company. Then take a nice morning walk on one of the many trails or even in downtown Fayetteville! Then I’d drive to Bentonville and eat at Sushi House before visiting Crystal Bridges. I’d walk around downtown Rogers and stop into a few shops like Dandy Roll and then head down 71 and eat dinner at El Cuñado! Maybe grab a cocktail at Vault or catch some live music in Fayetteville.

Option two is what I did this weekend: Grab coffee and early lunch at Moonlight Cafe — Head to Eureka Springs and go to Turpentine Creek for a walking tour of the sanctuary. Visit the little shops on Main street and then grab a bite at Ermilio’s before heading back to catch a late movie in Fayetteville.

Aricka's dog Pippa
What advice would you have for someone thinking about relocating here?

Living in Northwest Arkansas is relaxing. The best advice I could give to someone thinking about relocating is: don’t take the access to all things nature for granted.

What local causes are you passionate about?

I am passionate about educating underrepresented young people interested in design, but I’m also always interested to know what local work is being done. I’ve been involved in local projects like Repaint Hate and most recently, I’ve been following Simone Cottrell’s work with Veterans in the area.

Editor’s note: Simone Cottrell is a multidisciplinary theatremaker who recently devised an original theatre performance with local veterans from the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks. Cottrell is continuing her advocacy for veterans by working with the Arkansas Arts Council to introduce more arts programs to active military and veterans in the area.

NW Arkansas tagline

It's fun and everything's close!

Aricka Lewis
What else do you do with your free time?

In my free time I love to practice music, cook, exercise, and play with Pippa!

Editor’s note: Aricka is the lead singer for a local hip-hop/funk/jazz band, the Honey Collective.

Lastly, what is your hope for the future of the region?

My hope is that the region grows more and more into an inclusive and accessible space for everyone.

What else do you do with your free time?

In my free time I love to practice music, cook, exercise, and play with Pippa!

Editor’s note: Aricka is the lead singer for a local hip-hop/funk/jazz band, the Honey Collective.

Lastly, what is your hope for the future of the region?

My hope is that the region grows more and more into an inclusive and accessible space for everyone.

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