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The Green Box Arts Festival turns a tiny Colorado town into an 'arts oasis'
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Green Mountain Falls is home to less than 700 year-round residents. But each summer, it turns into an "arts oasis."
Green Mountain Falls is home to less than 700 year-round residents. But each summer, it turns into an "arts oasis."

GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS, Colo. — Bruce Munro. Steve Turrell. Janet Echelman. Patrick Dougherty.

These are just a few of the internationally renowned artists who have created installations in downtown Green Mountain Falls, home of the Green Box Arts Festival, since the annual festival began in 2009. The town, with a year-round population of less than 700, transforms during four summer weeks into an “arts oasis,” explained Green Box Arts Deputy Director Scott Levy.

“I could try to describe it all day long — but it is an experience,” said Levy.

Green Mountain Falls hosts annual Green Box Arts Festival
Colorado Voices

Green Mountain Falls hosts annual Green Box Arts Festival

World renowned arts opportunities come to Green Mountain Falls

The festival includes movies and concerts on the lawn, all-ages dance classes, a Pooch Parade, and upwards of 50 educational arts events and community gatherings comprise the festival. Small businesses open along the town’s one-block Main Street, bringing people from near and far.

Programming, classes and camps serve hundreds of students each year, and an artist in residence program offers local and international artists the opportunity to create a new work while living in Green Mountain Falls.

Green Mountain Falls (Photo: Green Box Arts)

As this year’s artist in residence, acclaimed choreographer and retired New York City Ballet principal dancer Silas Farley worked with the American Ballet Theatre Company to create a new work for Green Mountain Falls’ Green Box Arts Fest.

The dancers, along with Farley, came to Green Mountain Falls for a month to study, rehearse, and perform during the Festival. Connecting to the outdoors has been a welcome change of pace for many company members, Farley said.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Farley, 27. “And so restful. So contemplative. So different from the work I’ve done in the past in New York, and in other cities that are really bustling, where it takes a little more effort to quiet your mind and enter into the creative process.”

Levy agrees.

“The ability to get out of New York City and the urban environment, and to feel free to create — and then walk out of the studio and be engulfed by this natural work of art — only feeds the soul,” he said. “This place is part and parcel of the work we are presenting and creating.”

The American Ballet Theatre Company performs a new work choreographed by Artist in Residence Silas Farley

“Because it’s such a tranquil environment, there’s an ability to go deep into the creative work without distraction, and to really plumb the depths of creative ideas,” said Farley. He will go on to serve as Dean of the Colburn School’s Dance Institute in Los Angeles this fall

“Whether you are an artist creating in this environment, or an audience member that is participating,” said Levy, “the air, the breath, the sky, the mountains, the creek — it all feeds into the whole.”

See Green Box Arts’ full schedule of year-round events here.


Kate Perdoni is a multimedia journalist for Rocky Mountain PBS and can be reached at kateperdoni@rmpbs.org.

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