Arts and Ideas at the Free State Festival

The many art displays and idea panels of the Free State Festival revolve around ideas of connectivity between the arts, politics, technology and film.

Digital art installations will be displayed throughout downtown. The public is encouraged to interact with local and visiting artists, writers, scholars, filmmakers, scientists and more in a intellectual panels.

Visit the Lawrence Arts Center’s website for a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets.

Story Slam with Kevin Kling, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Lawrence Arts Center main stage, $10

Playwright and National Public Radio’s Kevin Kling will be hosting this month’s story slam, where audience members become storytellers as they share one of their personal tales. Kling is known for traveling to storytelling festivals across the nation and telling heartfelt and hilarious autobiographical stories. In one story he shares his thoughts on the motorcycle accident more than five years ago that left him with physically altered and in need of rebuilding relationships following, catching the audience off guard with jokes while leaving listeners with meaningful messages of patience and loss. Kling will be accompanied by local storytellers Bob Tryanski, Priscilla Howe and Anne Holland.

Kevin Kling

Sans Façon


Digital Art Projections, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, free

It’s going to be worth it to stay out and about during the darker hours on Friday and Saturday night as the walls of buildings in downtown Lawrence will become canvases for digital art. An array of colors and movement, the Cultural Arts District downtown will transform into an outdoor gallery for the many talented artists involved in Free State Festival this year. Many of the artists’ innovative projections will be subject of discussion in the digital art panel at 3 p.m. Saturday with artists in attendance.

Sans Facon, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, Eighth and Massachusetts streets, free

With the conversion of two streetlamps, a public space becomes a stage for any passerby. The lamp heads will be altered to project two spotlights onto the sidewalk where anyone could throw out a few rhymes, sing a little diddy or recite the words from a poem. Any art form is acceptable. It’s intended to get the community thinking about the use of public spaces as art spaces or places to engage with others, and to think of streetlamps in a new completely new light.

Nina Katchadourian, Friday and Saturday, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Lawrence Public Library, free

Nina Katchadourian‘s ongoing Sorted Books Project (since 1993) has been a process of collecting various books and arranging them on shelves in clusters so the titles produce some kind of message when read from top to bottom. For this special Free State Festival display, the sorted books are from William S. Burroughs’ book collection. The well-read beat writer should have a nice sampling of peculiar, if not controversial, books for Katchadourian to work with.

Rorschach Remixed: Fan Edits and the Making of “Watchmen: Midnight”, noon, Saturday, Lawrence Arts Center Black Box Theatre, free

Learn about the behind-the-scenes work of transformative digital artists who use programs to remix Hollywood films, or modify the film to create a new interpretation. At this panel, view before and after clips of award-winning fan edit “Watchmen: Midnight,” created by Kansas University doctoral candidate Joshua Wille. Wille’s revision has won numerous awards at academic conferences and fan conventions, and praised for reimaging the film through the lens of the original comics.

Arts and Technology Panel, 3 p.m. Saturday, Lawrence Arts Center main gallery, free

Three panelists will speak on bringing technology into the arts world from visual arts to music to live performance. Luke DuBois (composer), Ali Momeni (multidisciplinary artist) and Nick Hallett (composer) will show connectivity of two seemingly separate fields by referring to examples of their own work, which will be displayed throughout downtown Lawrence during the festival.

Other arts highlights

Luke DuBois, Wednesday through Sunday, Lawrence Arts Center Front Gallery, free

Artist Luke DuBois will be displaying work inspired by William S. Burroughs’ “cut-up” technique.

Barry Anderson, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, Weaver’s Department Store, free.

View the digital environments Barry Anderson created, inspired by architecture from science fiction films and utopian buildings of the 20th century.

Perrine Wettstein, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 846 Pennsylvania St., free

View a projection adapted from a reading by William S. Burroughs called “Place of Dead Roads.”

“Facing East,” David Loewenstein Studio, 411 E. Ninth St., 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, free

Acclaimed Lawrence artist David Loewenstein and Nicholas Ward will be showing their short documentary “Facing East,” a portrait about the past and present of East Lawrence and the connection between memories and places.

Jazz, Gospel and Real Time Art, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday, St. Luke AME Church, 900 New York St., free.

Pen and ink artist Michael Arthur will create real-time ink drawings inspired by a live jazz combo and gospel choir performance by the Matt Otto Jazz Quartet and the St. Luke’s Gospel Choir.

David Linton, 11 p.m. Friday, SeedCo. Studios, free

Experimental artist David Linton mixes sound and music for collaborative dance, theater and performance settings.

Other idea panel highlights

Digital Media Panel, 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Abe and Jake’s Landing, free.

Four panelists will discuss trends in graphic design, Web design, social media application and digital publishing.

Making Waves: The World of Water, 6 p.m. Friday, Abe & Jake’s Landing, free.

Featuring an artist and professionals in the geology and energy fields, this discussion will focus on the longevity of Kansas water policy and the role of water as an alternative energy source.

From Script to Screen: Writing for Screens of All Sizes, 11 a.m. Saturday, Lawrence Arts Center Black Box Theatre, free.

Television writers Corinne Brinkerhoff (“The Good Wife,” “Elementary”) and Joel Feigenbaum (“Dallas” and “Knots Landing”) will discuss the creative processes of script writing.

Kansas: Not as Flat as a Pancake, 2 p.m. Sunday, Lawrence Arts Center, free.

A historian, a lawyer and a political archivist discuss what makes Kansas special.

Neil Young, Uganda & Teenage Superheroes: A Conversation with Josh Dysart, 4 p.m. Sunday, Lawrence Arts Center Black Box Theatre, free.

Dysart, author of “Unknown Soldier,” will present the intensive research and writing process of his Eisner-nominated and Glyph-winning works.