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Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the resources they need to make a living and a life.
Press Contacts:
Michele Anderson, Springboard for the Arts
(218) 770-3485; Michele@springboardforthearts.com

Ashley Hanson, PlaceBase Productions
(952) 486 0533; Ashley@placebaseproductions.com
 
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5 August 2014

 

Announcing The Kirkbride Cycle:
A site-specific bicycle-theater production based on the history of the
Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, 9/6/2014

 
Fergus Falls, MN – Get on your bike for a one-of-a-kind theater production!  On Saturday, September 6th, PlaceBase Productions in partnership with Springboard for the Arts and Imagine Fergus Falls, will present The Kirkbride Cycle on the grounds of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center. This new musical, bicycle-theater production with a cast of over 50 local residents will be the highlight of the Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend. There will be three chances to see the production on September 6th at 1:00pm, 3:00pm, & 5:00pm, with an epilogue in front of the building at 7:00pm, followed by a street dance.

Ashley Hanson & Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase Productions, have spent the last eight months researching the history of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, also known as The Kirkbride, by collecting historical documentation, holding Story Swap Workshops, and conducting interviews with groups and individuals that have a connection to the building. The stories collected have informed the script and music for the original, site-specific theater production that explores the history of the building, its relationship to Fergus Falls, and the history of mental health practice in Minnesota.

"Ashley and Andrew couldn't be a more thoughtful, visionary duo to transform this complex community topic into an unforgettable work of art," says Springboard for the Arts Rural Program Director Michele Anderson. "The Kirkbride Cycle explores a broad range of emotions, from the heartbreaking to the comical, about the hospital's history and daily life. Combined with art installations, music and activities that our local artist teams are working on, as well as the events that our local partners have arranged to go hand in hand with the performance, this weekend will give anyone interested in the Kirkbride a unique chance to reflect and interact with one another about mental health, historic preservation, art and economic development."

This one-of-a-kind production will be staged on the grounds of the former Regional Treatment Center in Fergus Falls. The audience will move around the building from scene to scene on bicycles or “people movers” in a style of mobile theater PlaceBase has coined “bicycle-theater.” In addition to the over 50 local performers and musicians cast in the production, local artists are working with PlaceBase Productions and Springboard for the Arts to design installation art works related to the themes addressed in the production that will be on display on the grounds.

Theater artists Ashley Hanson and Andrew Gaylord of PlaceBase Productions will produce the Imagine Fergus Falls Theater Project in partnership with Springboard for the Arts, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant.


Artists and community members gather for a creative placemaking workshop in February 2014 to discuss and learn about the Kirkbride Building. Photo credit: Holly Diestler

Other events taking place throughout the weekend include a Bike Ride for Mental Health, an Imagine Fergus Falls festival featuring interactive art projects by local artists, and a Cemetery Ceremony honoring patients who were buried in unmarked graves. Local community partners for the weekend festivities include the Otter Tail County Historical Society, PartnerSHIP 4 Health, Remembering With Dignity, Friends of the Kirkbride, the Fergus Falls Space Station and A Center for the Arts. Visit www.imaginefergusfalls.com for a full schedule of events.

Please direct production questions to Ashley Hanson - ashley@placebaseproductions.com; 952.486.0533; all other inquires, please contact Michele Anderson – Michele@springboardforthearts.org; (218) 770-3485.

Event Details (at a glace):
Join PlaceBase Productions and Springboard for the Arts for The Kirkbride Cycle – a new musical and bicycle-theater production with a cast of over 50 local residents on the grounds of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center on September 6, 2014 as a part of the Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend.
 
What: The Kirkbride Cycle: Bicycle Theater on the Grounds of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center
Where: 1400 North Union Ave. Fergus Falls, MN 56537
When: Saturday, September 6, 2014. Shows at 1:00pm; 3:00pm; & 5:00pm – final scene and Street Dance at 7:00pm
How much: Performance is free, but space is limited. Register here: http://bit.ly/KirkbrideCycleReservations

Tickets and full schedule of weekend events at: www.imaginefergusfalls.com 


 
About PlaceBase Productions
PlaceBase Productions works with local communities and commissioning partners to create unforgettable site-specific theater around Minnesota. We aim to mobilize people who see the potential power of theatre to achieve community goals. Our work begins with the history and stories of a significant place. From this place we develop an original script to tell those stories. Using this script we collaborate with the community to make a play.  Audiences are invited to rediscover the beauty and power of a place they may have known their entire lives. Our greater goal is to foster creativity, a sense of wonder and, above all, a sense of place by engaging local communities in their unique history and culture and promoting a deeper appreciation for the essential role of the arts in community life. Learn more at www.placebaseproductions.com.
 
About Imagine Fergus Falls
Imagine Fergus Falls (IFF), is a creative placemaking initiative designed to foster community interaction about historic preservation and economic development in Fergus Falls through innovative arts programing and community storytelling. This project mobilizes artists as community leaders and has resulted in the creation of dozens of artist-led placemaking projects. IFF uses these methods to develop a vibrant narrative for the community of Fergus Falls by creatively and collaboratively sharing and documenting its stories about the past, and ideas of its future. In addition, this unique program will increase artists’ ability and skills to integrate community issues into participatory art projects and experiences that the public can enjoy. IFF is a partnership between Springboard for the Arts, the Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission, the Friends of the Kirkbride, and the Otter Tail County Historical Society. IFF is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant and ArtPlace America. Learn more at www.imaginefergusfalls.com.
 
About Springboard for the Arts
Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization based in St. Paul and Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life. Their work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies, and supporting artists to be an important leverage point in that work. Learn more at www.springboardforthearts.org.

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