Twenty-seven artists from around the world will be hitting the road in 2023 to head to Green Mountain Falls.

The artists will set up shop at the Green Box arts center for two- to four-week periods, using that time to create and showcase their work with the community. The 27 participants will be divided among eight residencies, including individuals, duos and larger teams.

“Some artists are working on a new process of their work, some are hoping to create a final product during the month,” said Scott Levy, executive director of Green Box.

Larry Keigwin and Chris Keesee co-founded Green Box, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The arts and culture hub is known for its two-week Summer Arts Festival that started in 2009. Now, it’s expanding with the residency program, which began around three years ago.

A committee of local and national artists selected this year’s participants from an applicant pool of just under 200 — the program’s largest yet. The artists practice in a variety of disciplines, including dance, music, visual art and literature.

“We encourage artists to use the time for their creative process, but also to engage with the community and they do that in different ways,” Keesee said.

In addition to serving as a resource for creators, the residency program is committed to community engagement. While the form of community engagement varies from artist to artist, it is a requirement of the program.

“Community engagement is imperative to the work,” Levy said. “An artist can come here and nobody needs to know they’re here — it can be totally isolated — or we can let the world know they’re here, but they’re definitely going to engage the community in multiple ways.”

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The community engagement pillar is tailored to the artist — musicians may give a concert, performers may present at local schools, and visual artists may provide an open studio.

Sometimes, an artist’s work actually involves the community.

“There are other artists who actually need the community to help them to realize their project and make it come to life,” Levy said.

When all is said and done, some works will be added to Green Box’s public art collection for residents and visitors to enjoy year-round.

Colorado-based bluegrass band Stillhouse Junkies will be breaking in the 2023 residencies at the start of the year. The trio will be working on their next album while in residence, titled “The Ballad of Charlie Avalon,” and ending their time here with a performance in Colorado Springs to showcase their work.

As for the festival, which will take place during the first two weeks of July, Keigwin and Keesee are excited to continue a tradition started last year. At the previous festival, children made and released water lanterns to close out the celebration. The pair found that parents and kids alike enjoyed the moment as a calm send-off to the summer festival.

“Green Box has always been something where there’s lots of celebration, and not so much about quiet moments, and we were so pleased at how well this water lantern festival worked out,” Keesee said. “We found so many people that related to this because their children or their grandchildren released the lanterns and it became a very special family thing, very meaningful.”

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