Quicker than spring transitions to summer in high country, Breckenridge Creative Arts (BCA, a.k.a. BreckCreate) has assembled some of the most original events ever seen this side of Hoosier Pass, and maybe even all of Colorado. Established in 2014 by the Town of Breckenridge to promote quality visual and performing arts in Summit County, the BCA wasted very little time in introducing bold and relevant programs. Witness BCA’s contribution to the 25th iteration of the Budweiser International Snow Sculpting Championships, the first-ever Fire Arts Festival—fire arts!—which consisted of spectacular displays of pyrotechnics, fire and ice, acrobatics, and electric art and simply wowed audiences.
That “wow” factor is nothing new for BCA president and CEO Robb Woulfe, an entertainment industry veteran of Jim Henson Productions and BBC Television who most recently spent a decade as artistic director of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, one of the country’s leading multidisciplinary arts festivals.
“Breckenridge already hosts many fine art and music festivals throughout the year,” says Woulfe. “So one of the immediate goals of the BCA was to present something completely different—a series of events that push creative boundaries, offer artistic experiences that reflect our current time and place, and help enrich lives in the community, all while promoting Breckenridge as a vibrant, year-round creative destination.”
This summer, Woulfe and his team of creatives at BCA are at it again with many more offerings (see “Arts Abound,” opposite page), highlighted by the inaugural 10-day Breckenridge International Festival of the Arts (BIFA, Aug. 14–23) at the Riverwalk Center and Breckenridge Arts District.
“The focus will be adventure and playfulness,” says events director Heather Pease. “Inspired by themes of environment and mountain culture, the programming for BIFA will be unlike any other festival presented in Colorado—an open-air spectacle in a serene, mountain setting with an eclectic mix of music, art, dance, and film.”
Some of the highlights include Konstantin Dimopoulos’s global deforestation public art project The Blue Trees (Aug. 14), Australian aerial performers the Fruits (Aug. 13–16), an evening with NPR host Ira Glass (Aug. 22), gravity-defying extreme sport-dancing from Diavolo (Aug. 18–19), and a special screening of the Oscar-nominated The Triplets of Belleville, accompanied by live music from Le Terrible Orchestra de Belleville and composer Benoît Charest (Aug. 23). Plus, visitors wanting to mix art with activity will find a unique subseries called Trail Mix that blends art and music with hiking and biking along the Breckenridge trails.
“Having been in the festival world for the majority of my career, I have an affinity for large cultural events like this,” adds Woulfe. “And since one of our key focal areas is eco-themed programming, the concept of an international festival celebrating art, nature, and contemporary culture is aligned with our commitment to high-quality programming and place-based relevancy.”
In other words, an eclectic arts festival that’s tailor-fit for Breck.