Counterpoint Festival brings passion and preservation to the prairie

Bob Delk And Steve Hanneman

Bob Delk and Steve Hanneman practicing their setlist. // Photo by Counterpoint Festival

The Counterpoint Music, Art & Conservation Festival on June 4, aims to help citizens of Marion County, KS, and the surrounding areas foster a relationship with land conservation efforts.

The festival, organized by Cyan Meeks and Susan Mayo, will feature headlining artists, musicians, and speeches from ecology organizations.

With four-time Grammy Award-winning composer and cellist, Eugene Friesen, at their disposal, the concert series will not be one to miss.

Eugene Friesen Photo By Maureen Edward

Composer and cellist Eugene Friesen. // Photo by Maureen Edward

From 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the Flint Hills Counterpoint Home Base in Peabody, KS, will come alive to host eager minds and those with a passion for nature, in collaboration with the arts.

Even with the fun and games for all ages, the event focuses on land stewardship concerning tallgrass prairie habitats.

After all, Kansas is known for its prairies and wide-open space.

Cyan Meeks and Susan Mayo, organizers of the festival, are not native Kansans but happened to fall in love with the state, and all of its flattened scenery.

While Mayo is a composer, and Meeks a filmmaker, they’ve utilized their combined talents to emphasize art that is experienced visually and audibly. Their occupations led them to idealize the involvement of art within nature and accentuate the beauty within the remaining prairie areas.

“We’re getting people to look at the land again as a sacred place,” Mayo says.

With educational opportunities being the main attraction, the pair still hope to add a little bit of fun.

Even with the food trucks and concerts, the driving cause of the festival is not to be forgotten. As a part of the preservation effort, Mayo bought 14 acres of land to start a wildlife reclamation project, which is the same space where Counterpoint will be held.

Mayo and Meeks’ dedication has helped develop a rapport with larger organizations such as Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, and Forest Services.

Meeks focuses mainly on art and music immersion for the event. “I’m an outlier in the urban core of KC, so I’ve been acting as a bridge between the art and music communities to Marion County,” Meeks says.

Woodfest Symphonia

WoodFest Symphony of the Flint Hills. // Photo by Counterpoint Festival

While bringing the topic of wildlife and nature conservation to the foreground, the festival also aims to draw attention to Marion County and impact the views of surrounding communities.

The art and music scenes run deep within the city, and some forget that just outside of suburbia there’s an entire prairie ecosystem waiting.

Combining food and music is never a bad idea, and the chance to learn something new about nature seems like icing on the cake.

As a bonus, there will be a goat petting zoo. Who doesn’t love goats?

We don’t know about you, but goats, food, music, and nature equal a good time in our heads. Come rain or shine, the festival will still take place. So, feel free to tap into any predisposed pioneer instincts you may have, and go learn something about the prairie.

Categories: Culture