‘Night of 1,000 Candles’ to debut during Valentine’s weekend

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An upcoming production sponsored by Lawrence’s Free State Film Society, “Night of 1,000 Candles,” will incorporate live music and experimental films in a candlelit environment.

The sit-down concert experience will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Cider Gallery in Lawrence. It will feature singer and harpist Calvin Arsenia and works by filmmaker Maya Deren.


“This will be an atmospheric evening marrying music and film in a unique way just in time for Valentine’s weekend,” said Marlo Angell, Free State Festival director and director of new media at the Lawrence Arts Center. “We hope that by filling the Cider Gallery with ambient lighting from soft LED sources like candles that people will enjoy an escape from the world around them.”

Arsenia, of Kansas City, was voted Kansas City’s Best Musician in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. His gospel- and classical-inspired sound has been described as “angelic” and his stage presence as “visually striking.”

Arsenia’s live performance will be paired with a backdrop showing films by the late Deren. Deren was a Ukrainian-born American filmmaker who specialized in avant garde, or experimental, styles in the 1940s and 50s.

Four of Deren’s black and white films will be featured: “At Land,” “Meshes of the Afternoon,” “Ritual in Transfigured Time” and “The Very Eye of Night.” Read more about the artists at this link.

Patrons are encouraged to buy tickets before the event date as they are only available online. Tickets are $15 each and are available for purchase at this link. Members of the Free State Film Society get free admission to this event.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. Saturday, and those who bought tickets ahead of time will not have to worry about bringing a physical ticket as their names will be on a list ready for them to check in when they arrive. Patrons may also purchase tickets online when they arrive so long as the event is not sold out.

Masks and proof of vaccination are required to attend, and organizers ask that those who feel ill at the time of the show do not come. To view the Lawrence Arts Center’s full COVID-19 policies for ticketed events, visit this link.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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