Cloud City coming to Green Mountain Falls

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Christian Keesee has outdone himself this time. Founder of the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Keesee is bringing the 20-ton 16-module sculpture to the little town of about 900 people next month.

The piece, by Tomas Saraceno, is titled “Cloud City” and, for six months last year, was displayed on the roof garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, a temporary donation by Keesee.

Viewed by more than 500,000 people, “Cloud City” is expected to jazz up the local economy, particularly during the 10-day festival in late June and the first part of July.

While not every art collector switches from loaning pieces to a museum in New York City to a small lot in Green Mountain Falls, Keesee is not the average collector.

With a generational attachment to the mountain town, Keesee spent summers with his family in the community.

In 2006, Keesee emerged as a major force in the sleepy little town, buying and razing the motel on Ute Pass Avenue and establishing a park in its place. As well, he bought The Outlook Lodge and completely refurbished the historic building as a guest lodge, once the parsonage for Church in the Wildwood.

In the former motel next to The Pantry, Keesee established a center for the festival which will eventually include an outdoor

market.

As a result of Keesee’s adoption of the town, Green Mountain Falls has become a place of enhanced cultural vitality, with dance, art, literature, theatre, music, craftsmanship, photography and the culinary

arts.

This year’s festival is momentous, coming a year after the Waldo Canyon Fire in June when the entire town and the performers were forced to evacuate. “Despite the loss of the festival last year we realized how much we had to be thankful for,” said Ross Powell, marketing director for the festival. “This year’s will be the celebration we were not able to have; there will not be a dull moment.”

This festival lineup includes a kick-off concert by the Haunted Wind Chimes from 7 to 9 p.m. June 26 on Ute Pass Avenue. Other performers are fiddler Kyle Dillingham and Keigwin + Company.

The festival is sponsored by the Kirkpatrick Family Foundation, in partnership with the town of Green Mountain Falls, Church in the Wildwood and the Pikes Peak Library District.

For a complete list of events and times, check www.greenboxarts.org. Registration is required for some classes and forms are available at the internet site.

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