Come to the next Free State Festival
June 22 thru 28, 2015!

Enjoy new independent films, innovative outdoor art installations and performance events, live music, and thought-provoking discussions about art, film, technology and politics throughout downtown and along the 9th Street Corridor in the Lawrence Cultural District.

The Lawrence Arts Center’s 2014 Free State Festival was a five-day celebration of film, music, art and ideas.


Free State Festival Awards

Best Narrative Film:
The Sublime & Beautiful

Best Documentary:
Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty

Best Short Film:

Best Youth Film:
Black Rock Creek

Jury Award for Original Music:
And You’ll Be Navigator

Best Larryville Short:
Somewhere Between Freedom and Protection, Kansas

Major film sponsors:

the eye doctors

Prairie Fire Entertainment

Johnny Winter

Live musical performances:



Johnny Winter
Samantha Fish

Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart
Kliph Scurlock
Kirsten Paludan and the Key Party
The Cave Girls
KU Jazz Quartet
St. Luke AME Gospel Choir
Drakkar Sauna
Midday Ramblers
DJ G-Train
The Barefoot Boys
Redder Moon
Monta At Odds
Cruzline Percussion (Topeka Drumline)

Johnny Winter concert sponsored by:







Other support for music provided by:









Featured main stage performances:

An Evening with Marc Maron (podcaster, actor, writer, comedian)
Story Slam with Kevin Kling (storyteller, writer)

Kevin Kling sponsored by: KPR_3C_White Letters_Chico


Performance stages also featured:

August Gilbreath (Street Magic)
Theatre Lawrence (Robin Michael, 2014 Diva, with Andrew Ramaley & Company)
Brian Wendling (Juggling, comedy, energy!)
Rod Sipe (Magician and Fire Eater)
Americana Music Academy (Students and faculty playing folk, bluegrass and American music)
Lawrence Arts Center (Summer Youth Theatre and Lawrence Ballet Theatre)
Sarah Glass (hip-hop poetry/music)
Aim Dance Company (Point B Studio)

Performance Stages sponsored by: Cider Logousbankcolor




When the sun goes down, the buildings light up! Talented artists illuminated the Cultural Art District skyline with a dazzling display of colors and movement. Innovative outdoor digital media projections made you see familiar buildings in ways you’ve
never seen them before. Several of the artists also participated in an Ideas panel on digital art.

2014 Visiting Artists:

Barry Anderson
Michael Arthur
Tiffany Carbonnaeu
Luke DuBois
Fresh Produce Collective
Nick Hallett
Nina Katchadourian
Lawrence Percolator
David Loewenstein
Ali Momeni
Brock Monroe
Miles Peyton
San Façon
Jenny Schmid
Maddy Varner
Nicholas Ward
Perrine Wettstein
Yuri Zupançic





Outdoor art installations sponsored by:





We celebrated the best thinking about important topics from some of the brightest minds around, hearing insights from artists, writers, scholars, filmmakers, futurists, journalists, scientists and many more.

Panel guests:

Dr. Perry Alexander, Director of the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas.

Rob Arnold, Information Security Officer at the University of Kansas

Scott Stanford, General Manager, Lawrence Journal-World

Jay Wachs, The Briarcliff Group

Daryl Bugner, Design Brilliance

Michael Taylor, Pix Ninja

Mark Potts

Chris Blunk, Through A Glass Productions

• Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey

• Sarah Hill-Nelson,  Bowersock Mills and Power Co.

• Tristan Surtees, artist with Sans Façon

• Corrine Brinkerhoff (The Good Wife, Elementary, Boston Legal)

• Joel Feigenbaum (Dallas, Knot’s Landing)

• Joshua Wille

• Jeremy Neely, a professor of history at Missouri State University, who will share stories of the Border Wars.

• Luke Wohlford, a KU grad turned Topeka lawyer, who will talk about the history of populism in Kansas.

• Audrey Coleman, senior archivist at the Dole Institute of Politics, who will share insights on one of our state’s most notable figures, Bob Dole.

 Luke DuBois, a composer, artist and performer

• Ali Momeni, an artist who works with kinetics, electronics, software, sound, light, people, plants and animals

• Nick Hallett, a NYC-based composer, vocalist and impresario who works across genres and media to create innovative, multidisciplinary music-based performance

• Jai Nitz (Dream Thief, Green Hornet, Blue Beetle)

• Dennis Hopeless (X-Men Season 1, Avengers Arena, The Answer)

Josh Dysart

Ideas panels sponsored by: ku

Special thanks to the Olive Oil Shop, The Merc, Hot Box Cookies Bakery Sweet Shop, Party America, and Starbucks!