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When you hike Iowa Hill Trail in the White River National Forest, you expect to find lush aspen groves, burbling creeks, and perhaps a passing deer. This month, you might also happen upon a cellist. Trail Mix, a series of 24 miniconcerts along the trails near Breck, is part of the inaugural Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) from August 12 to 21. “A festival needs to be fun and entertaining, but I also think it needs to be relevant to a community,” says Robb Woulfe, president and CEO of BreckCreate, a year-old nonprofit dedicated to promoting arts and culture in the mountain town.
BIFA certainly accomplishes that. Its multidisciplinary programs—from dance to music to workshops, the majority of which are free—explore the merger of high-elevation culture and the environment. “The Blue Trees,” for example, is a temporary public art project in which locals and artist Konstantin Dimopoulos paint trees with a safe, water-based pigment to start a conversation about deforestation. The only difficult part for visitors will be deciding how to fit everything in—and still make it to happy hour at Oscar’s.