In a summer of cancellations, the Green Box Arts Festival will continue the annual weeklong tradition in Green Mountain Falls, albeit, without the classes and workshops.
Most of the 10-day event, which in the past has included performances by internationally known dance companies and musicians, making s’mores under the stars, hikes, cooking classes and a Fourth of July block concert, is canceled. Remaining are the installations and five virtual conversations called “Happy Hour with Chris and Larry,” with festival co-founders Christian Keesee, a New York City-based philanthropist and chairman of Kirkpatrick Bank and Kirkpatrick Oil & Gas Co., and Larry Keigwin, a New York City-based choreographer and artistic director of Keigwin + Co.
The modified festival will be in town from June 26 to July 4.
A letter written by the festival’s co-founder, Christian Keesee, and posted at greenboxarts.org hints about what’s to come.
“The 2020 Green Box Arts Festival will not be canceled, but will be smaller,” Keesee writes. “You’ve come to know Green Box as an organization that thinks creatively and innovatively. Our 2020 Festival offerings will be no different. Our Board of Advisors and Staff are reimagining the Green Box experience our friends love in a safe way that follows all mandated precautions.”
In accommodating guidelines mandated by the Colorado Public Health and Environment Department, the organizers will switch focus and try new things.
In the meantime, the board provided an online performance of “Bolero Juilliard,” directed and choreographed by Green Box Arts’ cofounder Larry Keigwin.
“Such artistic collaborations have often started at Green Box Arts Festivals, where the creative process is on full display,” Keesee writes. “It is my hope that you will join us for the 2020 Green Box Arts Festival, which may have a new structure, but will still have the same passion for arts and our community.”
Colorado Springs native Pard Morrison will bring one of his colorful, totem pole-like installations to the tiny town. “Heartmouth” will be up at Gazebo Lake on Lake Street from June 26 through Sept. 7.
“With the anonymity of our social media-based culture, too often people use the platform for less than genuine ideals and self-aggrandizing,” says Morrison. “’Heartmouth’ was created to convey that we are always stronger together, and if you are going to open your mouth it better be coming from your heart.”
Oklahoma painter Chad Mount will display his “Pondering Ponderosas with Purpose” on the Lake Street billboard from June 26 through Sept. 7.
“I aspire to inspire an audience to actively reconnect with nature, using art and modern mechanics as the medium,” says Mount. “The results are as delightfully unpredictable as nature itself.”
The free “Happy Hour” episodes will be available around July 4 and take the place of the festival’s previous in-person ArtDesk conversations, which covered the areas of music, art, dance and animal well-being. This year’s conversations will feature artists Morrison, Mount and Spencer Finch, musician Kyle Dillingham and others.
The festival began as an artist-in-residency program featuring Keigwin’s troupe, and expanded after the town and surrounding communities expressed high interest. The event has attracted up to 1,000 people in past years, and has broadened to include music, the culinary arts and scores of classes and activities, including yoga, stargazing, conversations with artists, wine tasting and bingo.
The Gazette’s Jennifer Mulson contributed to this report.