Arts Center announces free film series lineup

Bedlam film still


Septemer 25, 2019
Sheboygan, WI

Contact: Patricia DuChene

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Independent Lens announced today the launch of the new season of Indie Lens Pop-Up in Sheboygan. The series of four free film screenings brings people together for community-driven conversations about documentaries from the award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on Milwaukee PBS

This season’s films are centered on the question: What’s your vision for your neighborhood? All films are shown in the theater at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Ave., Sheboygan. Each screening is followed by an open discussion of the issues raised.

The First Rainbow Coalition, Thursday. Nov. 21, at 2 and 6:30 p.m., tells the story of citizens banding together in the 1960s and 70s to address critical issues in their neighborhood and city. Although short-lived, the coalition broke down barriers between communities, created a permanent shift in Chicago politics and provided an organizing model for future activists and politicians across the nation.

Eating Up Easter, Thursday, Jan. 23, at 2 and 6:30 p.m., takes viewers to the island home of iconic statues and sensationalized mysteries. Easter Island’s indigenous population is working to save their fragile environment from the burden of too many tourists. Native Rapa Nui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu explores the stories of four islanders and their actions to preserve their culture and environment amid rapid development.

Always in Season, Thursday, Feb. 13, at 2 and 6:30 p.m., delves into the 2014 death of an African American teen found hanging from a swing set. Local officials ruled his death a suicide, but the boy’s mother believes it was a lynching. As the film unfolds, the case intersects with stories of other communities seeking truth and reconciliation. 

Bedlam, Thursday, March 12, at 2 and 6:30 p.m., presents intimate stories surrounding the care of the severely mentally ill. The film goes inside one of America’s busiest psychiatric emergency rooms, jails where psychiatric patients are warehoused, and the homes of mentally ill members of our communities.

“We are excited about the films in our tenth season of free documentary screenings. This series has provided a unique space for community to come together, watch films and talk about issues that are at the center of American life,” said Angela Ramey, Performing Arts Coordinator.

“The Arts Center will be working with local partners and leaders such as Maywood Environmental Park and Mental Health America in Sheboygan to explore issues rarely seen on the big screen and create Indie Lens Pop-Up events that will spark conversation and connect people to resources in our community,” she added.

For more information, visit or call (920) 458-6144.

About the John Michael Kohler Arts Center: Founded in 1967, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is dedicated to making innovative arts programming accessible to a broad audience that ranges from artists and academics to families and youth of all ages. Central to its mission is promoting understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts programs, community arts initiatives, and publications.

The Arts Center’s collections focus primarily on works by artist-environment builders, self-taught and folk artists, and works created in the Arts/Industry residency program. Since the 1970s, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center has preserved, studied, and exhibited artist environments. Today, with well over 20,000 individual works of art by 30 different art-environment builders in the collection, the Arts Center is the world’s leading center for research and presentation of this work.

Looking to the future, the Arts Center continues to generate new explorations in the arts that foster creative exchanges between an international community of artists and a diverse public. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center is supported by corporate and foundation donors, government grants, and its many members. The Arts Center is not an entity of Kohler Co. or its subsidiaries. More information about the Arts Center can be found at


Admission to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is by voluntary donation. Arts Center members receive a discount on performance and other event tickets, classes and camps tuition, purchases at ARTspace gift shops, and free or discounted admission to many special events. Memberships are available at the Arts Center, by visiting, and/or by calling 920-458-6144.

Arts Center Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Arts Center is open at other times for special events.