Local connections deepen for Door Kinetic Arts Fest

BY ALAN KOPISCHKE

MAY 29, 2017

The Door Kinetic Arts Festival returns for its second year, and the success and connections built the first time around have allowed us to connect more deeply with the Door County community this year.

One example — our new Wisconsin block of short films attracted several quality films with local ties that made the cut.

DKAF was founded last year by Oscar-winning filmmaker Eric Simonson, a part-time Fish Creek resident, after numerous conversations he and I had about how Door County is an ideal place for artistic retreat, contemplation, collaboration and invention. Natural beauty, a supportive community of intellectually curious people and a rich population of creative individuals combine to inspire artists to reach new frontiers.

We decided to harness that unique combination of assets. Simonson was among the first Lawrence University student summer employees when Björklunden first hosted classes more than 35 years ago. Throughout his impressive career (Academy Award, Tony Award nomination, Princess Grace Award, developer of major new works in film, television, theatre and opera), Simonson has returned to Door County and Björklunden for quiet contemplation and inspiration.

We chose to build our festival around the 'kinetic arts' — theater, dance, film and kinetic sculpture. At the 2016 festival, hundreds enjoyed films, plays, a dance piece, artwork and classes; four important new artistic pieces were developed; dozens of professional relationships were forged; and audiences and artists left inspired and exhilarated by their experiences. Every event was followed by discussion with the creative artists.

We hope to inspire and educate Door County residents and visitors through peeks behind the scenes at the creative process in workshops, performances and artist discussions. We will expand collaborations with local arts organizations and build the festival to the level of Wisconsin's unique version of the Sundance Festival Robert Redford founded in Utah.

The arts festival kicks off with the film festival June 13 and 14, beginning with the Wisconsin block Tuesday.