breckenridge international arts festival 2017 birdmen

Breckenridge International Festival of Arts August 11-20, 2017

Adventure + Play + Creativity

One of Breckenridge's newest Summer Installations, the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (informally referred to as BIFA) has joined the ‘cultural fray’ by presenting one of the newest multidisciplinary arts festivals in the U.S.! Back for its third year, this multi-arts program of extraordinary events in spectacular places and spaces across Breckenridge is a 10-day festival inspired by the themes of environment and mountain culture in Breckenridge. This remarkable event brings together a variety of performances, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, talks and collaborations along with an eclectic mix of music, dance, visual arts and family entertainment.

The event definitely has a ‘Breckenridge feel’ with art exhibits that link closely with the natural environment. From a number of free outdoor musical performances in the new Breckenridge Arts District campus to an exciting lineup of local, national and global talent as well as a truly unique program entitled Trail Mix. Quickly becoming a significant addition to the state’s festival landscape as well as a premier destination event, BIFA promises to be a one of a kind experience that you will not want to miss this Summer!

Overview of Events 2017 :

  • Featured Art Exhibits
  • Ongoing Art Exhibits
  • Visual Art & Theatre
  • Music
  • Film
  • Environmental Installations
  • Activities for Kids
  • Activities for Adults

Featured Art Exhibits

2017 breckenridge festival of arts monuments

August 11-20 8:30p-11p | Blue River Plaza

Internationally acclaimed projection artist Craig Walsh creates a haunting synergy between the human form, natural environment and the act of viewing. Moving images transform trees into sculptural portraits surveying the immediate surroundings. For his Breckenridge engagement, Walsh will create tree projection portraits featuring three local subjects—historian Maureen Nicholls, biking enthusiast Jeff “Westy” Westcott and dancer Zoe Gallup—that will travel to a series of in-town locations throughout the 10 nights of BIFA.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts monuments artist craig walsh

Artist Talk with Craig Walsh
August 13 7-8p | Old Masonic Hall

Internationally acclaimed projection artist, Craig Walsh, will talk about Monuments, a BIFA installation in which trees are transformed into sculptural portraits, surveying the immediate surroundings. Immediately following his talk, Mr. Walsh will accompany participants to his projection site in downtown Breckenridge.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts luminaries tour

Local Luminaries Lecture with Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
August 20 11a-12p | Welcome Center

Join Heritage Alliance tour guides in an outdoor lecture on Local Luminaries. Inspired by Craig Walsh’s “Monuments,” guides will discuss the characters that have shaped Breckenridge to date.

Ongoing Art Exhibits

2017 breckenridge festival of los trompos

Los Trompos, Héctor Esrawe + Ignacio Cadena
August 9, 2017 – October 23, 2017 | Arts District Campus

Los Trompos, or ‘the spinning tops,’ is a joyful interactive art installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. Inspired by the popular children’s toy, each woven top has a unique shape inspired by nature and traditional Latin American design, architecture and folk art. Five of these colorful, large-scale sculptures will be on display on the Arts District campus through October.

Visual Art & Theatre

2017 breckenridge festival of arts contemplative environments

Contemplative Environments, by Pamela Olson + Kelly Yarbrough
August 11, 2017 – August 20, 10a-5p | Old Masonic Hall

A mixed media exhibition by Pamela Olson + Kelly Yarbrough that brings the outdoors in, creating a space to contemplate the fragility of our environment and how it resonates with our consciousness.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts ephemeral pathways

Ephemeral Pathways, by Kia Neill
August 11, 2017 – August 20, 10a-5p | Breckenridge Theater

An exhibition by Kia Neill of photo based collage inspired by the Rocky Mountains that hints at an ephemeral experience that is not only seen, but felt.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts birdmen

Birdmen, by Close-Act Theatre
August 16, 18 & 19 5p & 8.30p | Blue River Plaza

Large, illuminated pterodactyl-like creatures descend upon Blue River Plaza and roam through the streets of downtown Breckenridge. Created by Dutch artists Close-Act Theatre, Birdmen is a spectacular piece of street theater that features stilt-walkers outfitted as strange, enlightened beings that inhabit and animate our public space.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts driftwood

Driftwood, by Casus Circus
August 18 & 19 7.30p and August 20 2pm | Riverwalk Center
$20 Adults, $10 Kids | Purchase Tickets

Performing seemingly impossible feats of brute strength, Casus Circus is an internationally recognized Australian company that has traveled worldwide with their mesmerizing acrobatics and aerial stunts. Having received stellar reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and winning Best Circus at Festival d’Avignon, this highly skilled quartet makes their Colorado debut at BIFA, where they will test the limitations of the human body in stunning displays of flexibility.


2017 breckenridge festival of arts itchy-o

August 11 6p-10p | Riverwalk Center

Itchy-O is a 30-plus-piece marching band that draws its inspiration from many cultures that include Japanese Taiko drumming, Chinese Lion dancing, Mexican street processions, ancient esoteric symbology and American drum corps. A blazing aural assault from the darkest depths of Colorado, Itchy-O is a wholly immersive, musical experience on a massive scale. Special musical guests DJ f-ether and Ned Garthe Explosion open.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts rhiannon giddens

Rhiannon Giddens: The Freedom Highway Tour
August 17 7.30p-9.30p | Riverwalk Center
Tickets $35 | Purchase Tickets

With soulful musicality, singer, violinist and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens is considered one of the most promising voices in American roots music. After helming Grammy Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens broke out as a solo performer and continues her mission to create a vibrant new life for old-time music. She appears at BIFA in support of her newest album, Freedom Highway.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts PerQ

PerQ, by Close-Act Theatre
August 15 & 17 11a & 1.30p | Blue River Plaza

A choreographed drumming show featuring percussionists dressed as 19th century soldiers.


2017 breckenridge festival of arts charlie chaplin gold rush

Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush
August 12 7.30p-9.30p | Riverwalk Center
Tickets $30-$45 ($7 Youth) | Purchase Tickets

Charlie Chaplin’s classic 1925 silent comedy, The Gold Rush, is screened with live music, performed by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra. A story of the race for gold and hope for a new life illuminates the four destinies of an adventurer, a dancer, an outlaw and a tramp in the great North. Co-presented by Breckenridge Music Festival and Breckenridge International Festival of Arts.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts gold rush lecture with rick hague

Breckenridge and the Gold Rush: Lecture with Rick Hague
August 12 6.30-7.15p | Old Masonic Hall

In conjunction with BIFA and the Breckenridge Music Festival’s presentation of “Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush”, local historian, Rick Hague, will provide a short background of the social, political and technological significance of various gold rushes in the 19th century. Hague’s presentation will illuminate the historical context of Chaplin’s film, which will be screened with live music performed by the Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Riverwalk Center after the lecture. Presented in partnership with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.

Environmental Installations

2017 breckenridge festival of arts tree-o

Aug 10, 17, 18, 19, 20 12-12.30p
Illinois Creek Trail

Elevating music to new heights, Tree-o features three musicians — cellist Russick Smith, violinist Karen Lauffer and mandolinist Kevin Larkin – in a series of free concerts held in the forest, high among the pine boughs and branches. A performance art installation, each musical session features instrumental melodies performed with the trio perched aloft upon the trees.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts aurous trove

Aurous Trove
August 11-20
Iowa Hill Trail

Aurous Trove subtly interrupts the landscape to remind us of the history of the gold rush at the Iowa Hill Mine. The Trove invites viewers to consider the value of resources as they are naturally in juxtaposition of conquest and the consequences of extraction.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts peoples puzzled place

Peoples’ Puzzled Place
August 11-20
Illinois Creek Trail

Created using rings made by the Breckenridge community, Peoples’ Puzzled Place demonstrates how individual elements supporting one another can reinforce the larger whole. Each piece, arranged or puzzled like a wooden mosaic are linked together amongst the trees creating a unique, defined space to investigate and explore.

By Sarah Langsam

2017 breckenridge festival of arts theres always something here

There’s Always Something Here
August 11-20
Moonstone Trail

There’s Always Something Here is a space meant to modify our perceptions of the forest setting. The intent with the work is to encourage visitors to briefly pause and downshift their focus, to inhabit another scale, and try on a new perspective.

By Michael McGillis

...Health + Wellness...

2017 breckenridge festival of arts trail mix

Trail Mix

Combining art, music, hiking and biking along the trails of Breckenridge through free outdoor concerts and environmental installations, featuring 27 pop-up performances over the 10 days of BIFA. Featuring artworks by Sarah Langsam, Michael McGillis and Nikki Pike.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts acoustic flow

Acoustic Flow

combines music, nature and wellness along the relaxing shores of the Blue River with free outdoor classes in yoga, meditation and healing arts, featuring five sessions with live music over the 10 days of BIFA. Co-presented with Breckenridge Music Festival.

Interactive Activities

...For Kids...

2017 breckenridge festival of arts ants

Blue River Plaza
Aug 10-13
11a, 12p, 2p & 3p

Ants, by Polyglot Theatre

An interactive roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in a gentle and intriguing landscaping project. Ants is an enchanting investigation into the nature of work and children’s relationship with their environment.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts rocking garden gnomes

Quandry Antiques Cabin
Aug 11

Rocking Garden Gnomes,
with Kia Neill

Gnomes are dwarf like creatures that are believed to help in the garden at night. Paint your own rock gnomes to place in potted plants or outdoor garden.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts folky figures

Quandry Antiques Cabin
Aug 11

Folky Figures, with Kia Neill

Folk art is the playful art of the everyday, conveying shared community values, aesthetics and culture. Create your own folk art figure from items such as pine cones, feathers, bottle caps or string, and finish off with colorful paints.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts beeswax art

Hot Shop
Aug 12 | Aug 13
9a-4p | 9a-12p

Making Art with Beeswax + Sap, with Victoria Eubanks

2-day workshop. Class will begin by making the encaustic medium by combining beeswax and pine sap. After complete, participants can then paint, fuse and scrape colored medium to create beautiful artwork.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts build a bug home

Quandry Antiques Cabin
Aug 12

Build a Bug Home for Kids,
with Lynn Drager

Children ages 5 and up will construct a creative bug habitat and learn about some of the insects we have up in Summit County.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts family zumba

Arts District Lawn
Aug 12

Zumba Among Los Trompos

Allow the Latin and World rhythms to guide your movement in Zumba Kids, an outdoor dance and fitness workshop. Recommended for ages 8 to 12, but all are welcome to join.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts upcycled bird feeders

Quandry Antiques Cabin
Aug 12

Upcycled Bird Feeder,
with Lynn Drager

Children will use upcycled materials to make a functional home for birds.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts cultivate a herb garden

Quandry Antiques Cabin
Aug 12

Cultivate an Herb Garden,
with Lynn Drager

Children will paint and plant their own herb garden for cultivation. Growing your own food helps reduce waste and benefits the environment.

Exploring Insects Large & Small, with Mountain Top Children’s Museum

Inspired by Polyglot Theater’s “Ants,” children will investigate the creatures beneath our feet. Through the lens of a microscope they’ll be able to appreciate the tiniest of details!

Mountain Mosaics,
with Lynn Drager

Kids ages 5 and up will create a mountain mosaic using dried seeds and beans.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts bird watching

Blue River Plaza
Aug 13

with Keystone Science School

Kids will learn to identify local birds on the trail with Keystone Science School instructors by concentrating on field identification, bird behavior and ecology. *First come first serve. Limited to 15 participants.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts nature discovery walk

Carter Park
Aug 19

Nature Discovery Walk, with Mountain Top Children’s Museum

Discover the Moonstone Trail Mix Installation on foot with the Mountain Top Children’s Museum. Start at Carter Park and embark on a light hike to find this hidden treasure.

Nature Printmaking, with Joanne Stolen

Children will create prints using natural materials such as leaves, pinecones and even a fish!

2017 breckenridge festival of girls writing club

Carter Park
Aug 20

Girls Writing Club,
with Kathleen Willard

Tween Girls (ages 11-14) are invited on a creative outdoor journey where they will learn about female authors inspired by nature & have the opportunity to compose on the trail.

...For Adults...

2017 breckenridge festival of arts landscape drawing

Fuqua Livery Stable
Aug 12

Landscape Drawing,
with Ben Pond

This workshop will introduce students to techniques for drawing landscapes. Using traditional drawing tools to create atmospheric landscapes full of depth and mood.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts writing workshop

Fuqua Livery Stable
Aug 14

Writing Workshop: Nature + Mountain Culture, with Kimberly Nicoletti

Using inspiration from the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, participants will write nonfiction or fiction revolving around nature and our mountain lifestyles.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts moving mountains mixed media

Old Masonic Hall
Aug 19

Moving Mountains: Mixed Media Landscapes, with Suzanne Jenne

Create loose abstract landscapes where you move mountains by letting the paint and media do the work for you by focusing on shapes, values and manipulating materials. All levels are welcome.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts crafting herbal elixirs

Old Masonic Hall
Aug 19

Crafting Herbal Elixirs,
with Erica Ragusa

Students will make an herbal elixir focusing on the bitter and astringent qualities of herbs. Learn about herbs that have these energetics, including ones that grow locally and how to take bitters and blend them into a tasty elixir.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts sunset sounds

Carter Park
Aug 19

Sunset Sounds on the Trail,
with Andrew Dengate

Observe sounds on a local trail and create a map to document your experience.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts new moon magic

Old Masonic Hall
Aug 19

New Moon Magic,
with Leslie Glenn

Spark your creative energy and align with the energies of the August new moon. Step into awareness and ignite your intentions with yoga, meditation, mudras, pranayama (breathwork) and mantra (sound).

2017 breckenridge festival of arts zen painting

Old Masonic Hall
Aug 20

Zen Painting,
with Suzanne Jenne

De-stress and get into the zone with the experience the flow of “Zen Painting”. Simple, elegant brush strokes on paper have a way of taking you to another place. Learn a relaxing method for expressing yourself with minimal setup and fuss.

2017 breckenridge festival of arts herbal smudge sticks

Fuqua Livery Stables
Aug 20

Herbal Smudge Sticks,
with Erica Ragusa

We will discuss herbs traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies. Participants will then make an herbal smudge stick with locally and sustainably sourced herbs and gemstone crystals.

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