Clear Creek Creative officially came to being in 2014 and we began producing events here on the land in 2007. Since then, we've produced dozens of events featuring hundreds of artists of all genres.
Solstice Spectacle (2018)
The Clear Creek Solstice Spectacle was the continuation of a cross-regional dialogue and artistic exchange rooted in themes of extraction, domination and resilience in relation to land, culture and community. The weekend offered performances of Mondo Bizarro's The Way at Midnight (New Orleans, LA), Open Flame Theater's The Wastelands (Minneapolis, MN) and a work-in-progress sharing of Clear Creek Creative's Ezell: Ballad of a Land Man (Disputanta, KY).
The Solstice experience was guided by Nicole Garneau who shared excerpts from her new book Performing Revolutionary between each performance alonside four hand-held courses of farm-fresh food and a variety of local beverages. The weekend also included learning exchanges with artists from Alleged Lesbian Activities (New Orleans, LA) as well as a tour of local eco-homesteads and on-site camping for those visiting from afar. For more details about the experience, visit the event page.
THe Jubilee! (2017)
An ensemble-devised performance and 24-hour artistic exploration and celebration of liberation, Jubilee! was the culmination of a 6-week artist-in-residency exchange on the Creek. The residency and Jubilee! experience were produced by Clear Creek Creative partners Carrie Brunk and Bob Martin and devised with artists-in-residence Joel Karabo Elliott, Nicole Garneau, muthi reed, Walken Schweigert and Oja Vincent along with our communities.
Jubilee! included a performative walk in the woods on a rainy afternoon, an evening of live music curated by Joel Karabo Elliott and Walken Schweigert with local musicians and other artists-in-residence, a dance party spun by Oja Vincent, a visual projection installation by muthi reed, ceremonial work by Nicole Garneau, shared community meals and a light, liberated vibe. Check out a short documentary with footage from the Jubilee! filmed and edited by Blair Johnson and produced as part of the Alternate ROOTS Creating Place series.
Clear Creek Festival (2002-2016)
The Clear Creek Festival was a celebration and cultivation of community, culture, healing and action for 15 years. It began in 2002 as a seed planted by Carla Gover & Mitch Barrett, two amazing artists who held the deed on the land at Clear Creek prior to Carrie & Bob. They transitioned the production of the Festival to Carrie & Bob along with the land in 2007.
Over the years, the Festival grew from a small family-oriented community arts event focused primarily on folk music to hosting 600 people over a long weekend for original art in genres ranging from folk and bluegrass to hip hop and roots, spoken word, theatre, storytelling, poetry, dance, film, visual art and more. The healing, educational, and activist aspects of the Festival also grew over time as more healing artists, workshop leaders, local advocacy organizations and others were drawn to share their talents, skills and wisdom in an environment attuned for community awareness & healing.
Following its twelfth anniversary, we recognized that the footprint of the Festival was becoming too large to sustain. We decided over its last few years to shift to a smaller and smaller scale and to bring the Festival as it had been known to that time to a close in 2016. Its spirit lives on everyday in those who attended for so long and is infused in every event we produce at Clear Creek.
Land, Water, Food, Story (2014-15)
In the summers of each 2014 and 2015, Clear Creek Creative produced an outdoor performative processional which invited people to walk, witness and feast in the woods in celebration of our land, water and food. The performances were inspired by an exploration of Appalachian transition away from fossil fuels and in relation to the resilience of culture, land, and people. Each performance involved a multi-course farm-fresh feast sourced locally, prepared and served on site by performers and crew.
The production of this site-specific piece was supported by Alternate ROOTS through the Partners in Action program which also inspired the development of a regional touring piece, Where's That Power Gonna Come From? which was workshopped at ROOTS Week 2015 and toured to communities in 2016 to support a renewable energy clean power plan for Kentucky and also to raise awareness about the threat of oil and gas fracking (hydraulic fracture drilling) expanding into Central Appalachia and East Kentucky. Read more information about the threat of fracking in Kentucky, the original creation of Land, Water, Food Story and also how the original performance was partially inspired by a multi-year artistic exchange with our friends Mondo Bizarro in New Orleans and the touring premier of Cry You One hosted here on Clear Creek in this article The Land Man & A Love For written by Carrie Brunk and published by Alternate ROOTS.
In addition to what we offer out on Clear Creek, we also collaborate with partners occasionally for off-site productions. Some recent examples include:
First Friday Berea: In its first two years, First Friday Berea coincided with the Clear Creek Festival over Labor Day weekend in September. We partnered with the First Friday organizers to produce a "town-and-country" collaboration that infused Clear Creek values and artists into the First Friday evening and offered our community a model of cooperation and cross-promotional support. First Friday evolved in 2017 to the Levitt AMP music series -- one of fifteen towns in the U.S. to win this national award.
Motherlodge: As two Kentuckians quasi-temporarily exiled in Brooklyn back in the day, Bob met Ray at a Brooklyn bar and knew there was meant to be a Clear Creek - Motherlodge collaboration at some point. The first opportunity came with a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at Union Church in Berea on Good Friday 2016. The pastor and numerous other community members participated in the community choir and they were so enthused that they repeated the show on Good Friday 2017.
A Bayou-lachian Concert: With the support of South Arts, Alternate ROOTS and Berea Tourism, Clear Creek produced a Bayou-lachian concert and cultural experience in collaboration with ArtSpot Productions and Mondo Bizarro in the Berea Old Town Artisan Village. Folks ate soup beans and cornbread alongside gumbo and baguettes, danced the fais-do-do and bluegrass, and participated in story circles designed to explore cross-regional issues of loss and resilience in relation to land, community and culture. The event was part of a multi-week residency between Kentucky and Louisiana artists hosted at Clear Creek.
Watch a beautiful short film and read more about our latest production, the Solstice Spectacle.
Banner photo at page header from the Clear Creek Festival archives.