A Conversation with Artists from the Exhibition “Drawdown: Pathways Out of Global Warming”

On February 18th, KickstART Gallery & Shop Curator Molly McNeece led a conversation with the artists who participated in the exhibition “Drawdown: Pathways Out of Global Warming”.

View the conversation below.

Youth Autumn Art Fair & Plein Air Event

Support youth artists at the Youth Autumn Art Fair on October 10th from 9:00 am until 2 pm. The fair will feature work by young artists in the community and a portion of sales from the event will benefit C.A.R.E.S. and KickstART Farmington.

Following the youth art fair, from 2 pm – 5 pm, join us for a fall plein air event. Artists from the area will display paintings they’ve created the prior week of outdoor scenes from across Farmington and Farmington Hills. The art will be available for sale and many of the artists will be on hand to discuss their work and answer questions. The fall plein air event is a collaboration between KickstART Farmington and the Farmington Art Foundation.

Both events will take place in the parking lot between the Sunflour Bakehaus and KickstART Farmington


Arts Education: Benefiting the Classroom and the Community

Art is a force that unites people, inspires them, drives their creativity, and adds beauty and culture to the world. It plays an important role in creating a community, and perhaps an even more significant role in our schools.

For years, funding and time for arts, music, and theater programs in education have been dwindling, pushed out in favor of more rigorous academic curriculum; this happens despite the knowledge, backed by science, that arts education is loaded with important benefits for children.

It’s this knowledge that’s the driving force behind National Arts in Education Week. Passed by the senate in 2010, every second week in September is devoted to celebrating art’s benefits in the classroom and advocating for the importance of keeping art alive in our schools.

The benefits being referred to aren’t just artistic! Sure, they’re honing their technique and learning to use new tools and mediums, but that expansive thinking extends far beyond the school art studio.

  • Time spent in art class is associated with improved coordination, including greater fine and gross motor skills and better hand eye coordination. It also encourages boosts in spatial, temporal, and visual reasoning.
  • Academic performance outside arts education can see improvements, including growth in math and literacy skills, improvements in creative writing, greater ability to comprehend stories, a reduced chance of dropping out, and a greater likelihood of being recognized for achievements in academia.
  • Studying art can play a role in the development of character, helping children to reflect on their feelings and behaviors, use empathy, have a more nuanced understanding of their world, use emotional regulation, and practice social tolerance. Art classes also naturally encourage collaboration and are a safe space to practice taking constructive criticism.

The personal growth doesn’t stop there. As this infographic reveals, there’s a great deal to love about arts education.

The National Arts in Education Week site is loaded with information on partner events, including guidelines on how to get involved in this important advocacy effort within your community.

Call for Artists for Plein Air Event in October

KickstART Farmington is collaborating with the Farmington Art Foundation (FAF) on a Plein Air event tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 10, 2020. Area artists are invited to participate in this event. There is no fee to enter.

Artists will bring blank canvases to the KickstART Gallery & Shop on October 3, 2020, between 11:00 AM and 3:00PM to be stamped prior to work beginning. Artists will have until October 10, 2020 at 12:00 to complete and return finished paintings. Artists should bring an easel to display one of their art pieces outside between KickstART Gallery & Shop and Sunflour Bakehaus. Easels will be spaced six feet apart.

Only art created in Farmington/ Farmington Hills will be accepted. Residents could work safely within their own yard.

Finished work must be for sale. A commission of 20% will be charged for any works sold, and the commission will be split between FAF and KickstART Farmington. Artists will pick up unsold art at conclusion of the show on the evening of October 10th.

This event is dependent on interest and participation. Please contact FAF President Richard Adams at if you are interested in entering. The deadline to enter is September 18, 2020.

Join us for the Virtual Edition of the 2020 Greater Farmington Film Festival

We are taking the 2020 Greater Farmington Film Festival online this year. Our virtual festival takes place May 28-31 and you have the opportunity to view some great films from the comfort of your home.



Normie Directed by Kurt Neale (Documentary Feature, 74 Minutes)

When Annemarie looks in the mirror, she sees Down syndrome. She hates it. To her, the diagnosis is a giant barricade keeping her from the independence and intimacy she desperately desires. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to understand what it means to be normal.

“NORMIE is an incredibly powerful film about love and the fundamental, universal truth that despite our differences, we all have something special and unique to contribute to this world. Every life has value and I firmly believe that the true beauty of this world lies in us all being exactly who we are. This film will inspire meaningful, deeper conversations about inclusion and disrupt the status quo as we know it.”

Anthony K. Shriver – Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International

Driveways Directed by Andrew Ahn (Narrative Feature, 83 Minutes)

Kathy (Golden Globe® Nominee Hong Chau), a single mother, travels with her shy eight-year-old son Cody to Kathy’s late sister’s house which they plan to clean and sell. As Kathy realizes how little she knew about her sister, Cody develops an unlikely friendship with Del (Golden Globe®, Tony® winner and acting legend Brian Dennehy), the Korean War vet and widower who lives next door. Over the course of a summer, and with Del’s encouragement, Cody develops the courage to come out of his shell and, along with his mother, finds a new place to call home.

NYICFF Kid Flicks One Catch the best short films from around the world for ages 3-7! Presented in partnership with the New York International Children’s Film Festival

Children young and old will enjoy KID FLICKS ONE, brimming with fun and clever stories of growth and transformation.

If you’ve ever been the youngest of the group, you’ll sympathize with the little tadpole who always falls a tad behind in the charming KUAP. Catching up on penmanship is the name of the game if you want to graduate from pencils in the winning doc Pen Licence. Then little ones are in charge and grown-ups get to play when the hilarious Flipped reworks the script. These shorts and so much more await you!

AND A SPECIAL BONUS: NYICFF Kid Flicks Two Catch the best short films from around the world for ages 8 and up! 72 mins, In English or with English subtitles

These short films from the New York International Children’s Film Festival show that playfulness, big ideas, and feelings small and large are all just fine! With these great films for slightly older kids, you’ll have plenty of inspiration to continue the conversation with your kids long after the screening is done. 

Take a wild ride and harness the (cat) power of the cosmos with the quirky film Catmos. If you’re curious about more earthly matters, take a page out of a Field Guide to Being a 12-Year-Old Girl. And whether their tastes lean umami or sweet, the duo in Mogu & Perol just might convince you there is simply nothing more delish than a warm friendship.

For great films for kids ready to grow in experiences and ideas, NYICFF’s Kid Flicks Two is just the ticket!

Skid Row Marathon Directed by Mark Hayes (Documentary Feature, 85 Minutes)

When a criminal court judge starts a running club on LA’s notorious skid row and begins training a motley group of addicts and criminals to run marathons, lives begin to change.

SKID ROW MARATHON follows four runners as they rise from the mean streets of LA to run marathons around the world, fighting the pull of homelessness and addiction at every turn.

Their story is one of hope, friendship, and dignity.

By the Grace of God  Directed by François Ozon (Narrative Feature, French with English Subtitles, 137 Minutes)

François Ozon’s gripping drama follows three men who band together to dismantle the code of silence that continues to protect a priest who abused them decades ago. Based on events from the 2019 conviction of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon for concealing the conduct of Father Bernard Preynat, BY THE GRACE OF GOD compassionately illustrates the varying effects of trauma on survivors and their families in this urgent portrait of resistance, the power of mobilization, and the mysteries of faith.

The Euphoria of Being Directed by Réka Szabó (Documentary Feature, Hungarian with English Subtitles, 83 Minutes) Human Rights Award, Sarajevo Film Festival, 2019

“Throwing all caution to the wind, I asked a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor to create a dance theatre piece with me. I wanted everyone to see Éva Fahidi and to provide a space for her traumas in a dialogue with a young dancer, Emese. Where would the boundaries of understanding, of finding common ground lie? Would they be able to slip into each other’s skin? Can we ever learn from the past? This rehearsal period was one of the most profound periods of my life. The film takes us on a journey through the history of the 20th century, through loss, the power of dance, the ageing body, love, a relationship across a 60-year age gap, and life’s hidden strengths.”  — Réka Szabó, Director

ADDED BONUS FILM! The Infiltrators (Purchase here: Directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra (Docu-Drama, English and Spanish with English Subtitles, 95 minutes)

THE INFILTRATORS is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, THE INFILTRATORS tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language.

Celebrate Earth Day with a Virtual Film Screening

To celebrate Earth Day, the Greater Farmington Film Festival and KickstART Farmington present a virtual screening of EARTH.

Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans – with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Nikolaus Geyrhalter observes people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet.

The New York Times noted: “Despite its apocalyptic visions, it feels curiously optimistic because Geyrhalter hasn’t given up on us.”

The film will be available for streaming for $12 from April 22-26. For more information or to watch the film go to