Life Is Beautiful Festival - Art Motel, Las Vegas, NV - September 25th-27th, 2015

Life Is Beautiful is an inspirational festival in nature. We’re trying to inspire people to build a better community and to follow their dreams, overcome their fears and to ideally choose a life of passion instead of a paycheck.
— Rehan Choudhry (Founder LIB Festival)
The Mystic Midway Gameboard at the Art Motel in the Life is Beautiful Festival

The Mystic Midway Gameboard at the Art Motel in the Life is Beautiful Festival

Scott Levkoff's preliminary sketch of Art Motel Mystic Midway Game Board

Scott Levkoff's preliminary sketch of Art Motel Mystic Midway Game Board

Daytime at the front of the Mystic Midway Game Board

Daytime at the front of the Mystic Midway Game Board

Avoid this Epic Self Doubt Space!

Avoid this Epic Self Doubt Space!

The Mystic Midway, a non-profit community arts organization from San Francisco California, was invited by Art Motel Curator John Doffing to transform the courtyard of an abandoned 2 story motel in downtown Las Vegas as part of the 3 day LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL Festival with a highly engaging, immersive experience.

Professor Mondo invites guests to SPIN THE WHEEL

Professor Mondo invites guests to SPIN THE WHEEL

Inspired in part by the words of Life is Beautiful festival co-founder Rehan Choudhry, Mystic Midway Director Scott Levkoff gratefully accepted the challenge of transforming a derelict patch of urban decay. “Our intention was to create a bespoke, immersive, carnival-themed environment that invited festival guests to step onto a living game board of whimsy and discovery,” he said.

Grimaldi greets guests as they step into The Art Motel courtyard

Grimaldi greets guests as they step into The Art Motel courtyard

The Mystic Midway Art Motel immersive environment consisted of gorgeous over-sized props, carnival sets, spinner wheels and multiple paths of game board squares painted directly on the ground. This setting was brought to life by a trained ensemble of in-character improv performers, stilters and circus folks who guided thousands of delighted guests around the gameboard. Over the three days of the performance, the Mystic Midway and all the participants invoked a magical space of playful possibility that facilitated social connection and deeper engagement with themselves and each other.

A few examples of the activities the Midway Ensemble players hosted:

  • In Midway Alley, the Hobo Kings invited guests to leave behind ‘something old’ by writing down something from their lives they wanted to let go of and attach it to the inner walls of shantytown shack where other guests could see them as they passed by.
  • Guests were also invited by the Hobo King  take a moment together to tune into the spirit of INSPIRATION and bring back something inspiring, “something gold” from the Midway; be it an experience, a discovery, or overcoming a fear.
  • The Hobo Queen invited guests to go for “a spin with her” into the FUN zone as she wheeled off on roller skates.
  • Bellagina, our stilt-walking Princess invited guests to give her the highest “Hi-5” in The Kingdom
  • Trixie invited guests to spell out BEAUTIFUL with over-sized sparkly letters and then yell it out together.
  • At the FUN Gates of The Mystic Midway, guests were challenged to do something fun, silly or bold in order to gain access inside-once inside, they were asked to spin around and choose one of three pathways that led deeper into the game.
  • Down The Mystic Path - guests would encounter Lady Fortuna in her Oracle Booth and receive Story Card readings that gave them insight into their own stories and permission to dive into the magic and possibilities of their lives.
  • On The Mythic Self Stage The Incredible Feelzo instigated large groups of guests to gather together to take mass ‘selfie’ photographs in flashmob moments he called “Us-iees”.
  • In Mr. Nobody’s Swamp Shack our most skeletal cast member Mr. Nobody invited guests to name a fear they wanted to let go of and offer it up to him to EAT.
  • If guests made it to The Temple of Secrets, they could either offer up a secret or step up onto the ornate Temple float and peer behind to glimpse a “final secret” only revealed to those that played the game!
A festive scene greeting guests as they stepped onto the Mystic Midway game board with Rocketgirl, Professor Mondo and The Producer

A festive scene greeting guests as they stepped onto the Mystic Midway game board with Rocketgirl, Professor Mondo and The Producer

A surreal cosplay corral and social theater ensemble…
— Fest300.com
The Hobo Queen greets guests in Midway Alley

The Hobo Queen greets guests in Midway Alley

The Mystic Midway is a community, a performance troupe, a roving carnival, and a strategy for connecting people in a whimsical, playful and creative way. It’s made up of professional actors, dancers, clowns, mystics, social activists, musicians, costume designers, graphic artists and more…
— Shareable.net
The Hobo King invites guests to 'dig for their gold'

The Hobo King invites guests to 'dig for their gold'

The Mystic Midway is social theater dedicated to enlivening communities, social spaces, and events with a blend of ensemble performance, engaging social games, whimsical production values, and a passion for creating deeply immersive, entertaining, and meaningful experiences…
— ArtsVegas.com
The Mystic Midway 'Mythic Stage' where guests took group selfies called 'us-sies'

The Mystic Midway 'Mythic Stage' where guests took group selfies called 'us-sies'

Stepping into the Art Motel, attendees are transported to a world that is filled to the brim with imagination and creativity…
— VergeCampus.com
A guest whispering her fears to Mr. Nobody

A guest whispering her fears to Mr. Nobody

The Mystic Midway employs classic Circus, Carnival, Sideshow, Medicine Show imagery, narratives and archetypes as means for flirting with possibility and permission. Wonder, curiosity, and a sense of adventure open the doors as guests explore the Midway and its odd characters…
— ArtsVegas.com
Lady Fortuna gives Mystic Midway Storycard readings to guests from her oracle booth

Lady Fortuna gives Mystic Midway Storycard readings to guests from her oracle booth

The Art Motel stood as the multicolored crown jewel of the weekend. This hands-on, multisensory installation is composed of various rooms showcasing the work of dozens of artists and creators using every media imaginable. From the second floor art walls to the zany chalk drawings under your feet, every inch of the Art Motel was covered in beautiful imagery and more colors than a jumbo Crayola box.
— Insomniac
Midway ensemble players Lil Gitsy and Trixie taking a break in the high 90's nightime heat

Midway ensemble players Lil Gitsy and Trixie taking a break in the high 90's nightime heat

The Mystic Midway was very gratified to work with such a stellar group of artists, musicians and event producers at the Art Motel. Moments like collaborating with Meow Wolf on a transitional environment or working with improvisational actors from Las Vegas's own Cockroach Theatre was an absolute thrill.  Every square inch of the Art Motel had an incredible artistic intention to it, creating an utterly unique environment that we were privileged to be a part of.

A cooperative game where guests self-organized to spell the word BEAUTIFUL - with extra participation for one person as the 'L'!

A cooperative game where guests self-organized to spell the word BEAUTIFUL - with extra participation for one person as the 'L'!

Posted
AuthorScott Levkoff
CategoriesNewsletter