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Arts & Crafts Festival keeps improving a winning formula

Rev Gusto is one of seven bands that will play at this weekend’s Arts & Crafts Festival at the Screenland Armour.
Rev Gusto is one of seven bands that will play at this weekend’s Arts & Crafts Festival at the Screenland Armour. JTOYOSHIBA@kcstar.com

The first two Arts & Crafts Festivals were big successes, but that hasn’t stopped organizers from tweaking a few things for the third.

The two-day festival runs Friday and Saturday at the Screenland Armour, 408 Armour Road in North Kansas City. It will still celebrate music, film, visual art and craft beers, but a few components have been modified, said Adam Roberts, a co-owner of the theater and co-founder of the festival.

“We’ve always had a charity element,” Roberts said. “The first two years, we had more like competition between charities. This year, it’s all for one charity, the KC Pet Project.”

The beer component was a big part of the first two festivals; it will be a bigger part of this year’s. Beers from nearly two dozen brewers will be available each day.

“Our so-called beer school was really popular last year, so it has grown,” Roberts said. “We are showing a craft-beer documentary and doing a big Q&A with local brewers, distributor reps and brewery owners.

“And because we’re such a small festival, we can buy a lot of really limited beers, cellar them and age them. We’ve done that and will be sampling those. And my partner, Brent (Miller), and I have brewed three beers exclusively for the festival.”

The festival will showcase five movies over two days. One is “Being Evel,” a documentary about Robert “Evel” Knievel. Another is “People, Places, Things,” a film about a graphic artist and father dealing with the unexpected end of his marriage.

Roberts is most excited about “Digging for Fire,” a film he calls “a murder mystery without a murder” by Joe Swanberg. “He’s a regular in this festival,” Roberts said. “We’ve had something with him in it each year, either as a director or writer or actor.”

There will also be a short-film competition. The winner receives a chance to make a short film that will be played before major films for six months at the Screenland Armour. Roberts said last year’s winner was seen by about 45,000 people.

Seven local bands will perform over two days in the loft area of the theater. That area will also house the art component of the festival, where artists, photographers and other artistic types will display and create their wares. Tables of beers will also be dispersed around the room.

Admission is $35 each day. A Saturday VIP ticket is $45; a two-day VIP pass is $65. Roberts recommends buying tickets in advance online. Ticket sales are limited to 300 per day. Crowds were good both years, Roberts said, and the venue is part of the attraction, something that hasn’t changed.

“It’s a controlled environment, really intimate. You can walk around, drink craft beers, talk to artists, buy their artwork, listen to music or see movies and not have to worry about rain, bad weather or too much heat.”

ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL

Admission to this year’s Arts & Crafts Festival at the Screenland Armour theater, 408 Armour Road in North Kansas City, is $35 each day; a Saturday VIP ticket is $45; a two-day VIP pass is $65.

Doors to the festival open at 5:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, doors for VIPs open at 1:30 p.m. Doors open for single-day ticketholders at 5:30 p.m. Tickets and more information are available at ArtsaAndCraftsKC.com.

Music

Seven bands will perform. Music starts at 7 p.m. each night. The schedule, in order of appearance:

Friday: Rev Gusto, Deco Auto, Onward Crispin Glover, New Riddim

Saturday: Electric Lungs, Rev Gusto, Hillary Watts Riot, Kodascope

Movies

Five films will be screened. The schedule:

Friday: “People, Places, Things,” 7 p.m.; “Being Evel,” 9 p.m.

Saturday: “Crafting a Nation,” 2 p.m.; short-film festival, 4:30 p.m.; “Being Evel,” 6:30 p.m.; “Digging for Fire,” 8:15 p.m.; “People, Places, Things,” 10 p.m.

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