The tiny, picturesque town of Green Mountain Falls was established as a resort destination in the late 1800s; however, in recent years the town became a relatively unknown locale, known only to locals and the families who have visited for generations. Christian Keesee, a businessman, philanthropist and art collector, is part of one such family, having vacationed in Green Mountain Falls his entire life.
After watching the town become increasingly anonymous throughout the years, Keesee began to reinvent it as an arts destination with the creation of the Outlook Lodge, the nationally acclaimed Green Box Arts Festival, an artist-in-residence program and more.
“I jumped on the opportunity to celebrate and bring more attention to two things I appreciate very much: The arts, and this town,” says Keesee. “The goal is to bring nationally-acclaimed artists to this small community, and provide workshops and studio for those who are not-so-well-known, while at the same time create a draw for visitors to come and discover this beautiful town and all it has to offer.”
The Green Box Arts Festival was officially launched in 2009 to provide artists and visitors an opportunity to nurture the creative process and explore new artistic directions in the region’s natural beauty. The foundation for the festival was laid in 2006 when Keesee sponsored a dance residency program by New York’s Keigwin + Company, under the leadership of company founder Larry Keigwin.
Keigwin + Company has returned to Green Mountain Falls every year since. Their summer residency provides a unique opportunity to create work that is performed around the country during their regular performing season. As the residency program progressed from year to year, an interest in diversifying and expanding activities quickly grew in the community. This interest culminated in the formation of the Green Box Arts Festival, which now seeks to celebrate the best of today’s innovative creators.
The festival’s goal is to provide artists and visitors an opportunity to nurture the creative process and explore new artistic directions in the picturesque small-town setting. It’s the kind of festival where you can take a sommelier class and hone your silver-smithing skills, all in one day.
If you go: Registration for the festival opens June 1, and the festival itself runs July 4–12. Click here for a full calendar of events.
Lodging: The Outlook Lodge is a handsome and historic retreat tucked away in small-town Colorado. Originally constructed in 1889 and -made up of six suites, The Outlook Lodge has been re-imagined as a private, bespoke escape providing all the necessary creature comforts while maintaining a rustic simplicity. While the exterior woodwork and detailing have remained, preserving the timeless charm of its Victorian style, original and contemporary pieces from American artists are displayed throughout the lodge, and in each suite, a nod to the owner’s passion for art. To learn more, visit www.outlookgmf.com.