GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS • During this past year of the pandemic, the Green Box Arts Festival was able to hold only a token few events – most of them virtual. But now, with a significant new hire, the organization is roaring back for 2021.
Last week, the board of directors hired Scott RC Levy as the Green Box Deputy Director, a new position for the nonprofit organization.
“Scott’s reputation and extensive experience in the arts in the Pikes Peak region will be of great value to Green Box as our organization continues to improve and expand our annual festival, arts education programming, and artist-in-residence program,” said Christian Keesee, who founded the festival in 2009 with Larry Keigwin.
The deputy director position reflects the growth and reach across the region of the arts festival that started in Green Mountain Falls, a town of 563 residents. Levy’s new role begins March 1.
“After 12 years, the founders have really put their roots down and are expanding the activities, not just from the festival but through the other year-round activities they do,” Levy said. “And they have never had leadership here in Colorado.”
Since its beginning, the festival has been a program of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, which is in Oklahoma City.
“Scott’s reputation and extensive experience in the arts in the Pikes Peak region will be of great value to Green Box as our organization continues to improve and expand our annual festival, arts education programming and artist-in-residence program,” said Keesee.
To accept the offer of deputy director, Levy, 45, resigned his position as producing artistic director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company, where his work won statewide acclaim. Throughout his tenure, FAC productions won numerous Pikes Peak Arts Council & Colorado Theatre Guild Henry awards, including the 2018-2019 award for outstanding season by a theatre company.
For Levy, the opportunity with Green Box came at the ideal time. “I don’t know whether it was because of COVID, or whether I’d feel like this way even without it, but to be able to produce arts activities mostly outside is going to be the wave of the future,” he said. “At least for the next three to five years.”
Leading the organization aligns with Levy’s interest in the development of new works. “I see Green Box as having the capacity to be at the forefront of arts organizations that are considered incubators,” he said.
While the festival features dance, the culinary arts, conversations, music, art, an art walk and hiking, theatre has not been a defining feature. “But everything they do is theatrical,” Levy said.
He has quite a background in the theatre. Levy has produced, directed and/or performed on, off and off-off Broadway, for the New York International Fringe Festival, at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and in over 60 cities across North America.
He has taught for several institutions including New York University, the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, the Guggenheim Museum, and the University of Maine. He is also a recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and other recognitions, serves on national grant and adjudication panels, and presents regularly at conferences. Levy holds a BFA in Acting and a Master’s in Educational Theatre, both from New York University, and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
This year’s three-week Green Box Arts Festival is planned to begin June 21. New for this summer, Green Box will host the American Ballet Theatre for three weeks and unveil a coveted James Turrell Skyspace — a permanent, immersive art installation on Red Devil Mountain described as a proportioned chamber with an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky.
Levy anticipates the Green Box activities as a bridge to collaborating with other organizations in the region. “It’s my job to execute those artistic visions so I’m not going to be directing a play up there in the immediacy,” he said.
With the immediate future unknown as it related to COVID restrictions, Green Box is well positioned. “The whole operation of Green Box allows it to be flexible enough to change as needed based on our current realities,” Levy said.
The fresh-air ambience of Green Mountain Falls was part of the attraction for the new deputy director, whose former office was a window-less room in a basement, he said.
“Just to be in that beautiful environment is like a dream come true,” he said. “As I’ve gotten more gray over the years, it’s the kind of change I need for my own soul, to be able to feel continually fulfilled.”
Levy and his wife, Joye Cook Levy, who runs the Green Box Arts Camps, have two children, Gabe and Ellie.