This weekend in Lawrence: Free State Festival screenings, Easter egg roll and more

photo by: Kevin Anderson/Journal-World File Photo

The Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., is pictured in this file photo.

The Free State Festival, an annual arts and culture celebration, began earlier this week and continues through Saturday with film screenings and other events. Tickets for Free State Festival events can be purchased at the festival’s website. Elsewhere in Lawrence, look for dancing, birdwatching and an Easter egg roll this weekend.


• Filmmaker and artist John Waters will be performing at Liberty Hall, 633 Massachusetts St., as part of the Free State Festival. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show, titled “False Negative: An Evening with John Waters,” starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35.


• Two films that focus on Indigenous culture will screen today at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., as part of the Free State Festival. First up is “Home from School: The Children of Carlisle” at 5 p.m. The film centers on the story of three Northern Arapaho boys who were among the many who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. A discussion panel with the film’s director, Geoff O’Gara, and producer Jordan Dresser, chairman of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, will follow. Tickets are $10.

• After that, the Arts Center will screen “Bring Her Home” at 7:30 p.m. This film is about three Indigenous women who fight to vindicate and honor missing and murdered relatives. A discussion with director Leya Hale will follow at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.


• The Jayhawk Audubon Society will be leading its Shorebirds and Waders Field Trip at 8 a.m. Meet at the water treatment plant at the intersection of North 1175 Road and East 1600 Road. Find information on this and future birding trips at

• The Kaw Valley Kickball League will host a Yard and Plant Sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1036 Connecticut St. All proceeds will go to charity.

• The “Easter Egg Roll with Dole” starts at 10 a.m. at the Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive. This family-friendly event will include egg hunts, crafts, games, story time and a White House-style egg roll race. Email or call (785) 864-4900 with questions about the event.

• Several films will be screening at the Free State Festival today. First up is a screening at 12:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center, with the 15-minute short film “Liberate LFK: The Past, Present and Future of LGBTQ+ Activism at KU” and the full-length feature film “Mama Bears.” The feature is a full-length documentary about the efforts of a group of conservative Christian mothers who fight for their LGBTQ children’s civil rights. Tickets are $10 and include both the short and the feature film.

• After those films, the Arts Center will screen “The Stylist” at 4 p.m. It’s a psychological horror film about a lonely hairstylist’s murderous obsession over the seemingly perfect lives of her clients. Lada Salon will provide hair styling demonstrations in the lobby before the show, and director Jill Gevargizian and the cast and crew will take part in a discussion after the screening. Tickets are $10.

• The Lawrence Barn Dance Association will host its first spring Contra Dance at Centennial Park, 600 Rockledge Road. Lessons begin at 5:30 p.m., and the dance will continue from 6 to 8 p.m. Vaccination proof is required. There is a suggested donation of $8 to $15 for adults and $4 for students.

• The Free State Festival will wrap up with a live comedy show featuring Cameron Esposito and Janell Banks. The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center; tickets are $25.


• A vigil in support of the Ukrainian people will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. outside the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. Attendees are welcome to bring signs.


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