Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Festival of Ideas for the New City: Sustainability, Art, & Our Future

"What makes the city worth living in? How can we encourage and preserve the positive qualities of the city? How can technology be used to improve city life? Are there places or elements of the city that can be repurposed and re-imagined to serve new needs and populations? When we talk about sustainability, what do we mean? And, what can each of us do to contribute to a healthy, diverse, equitable, tolerant, innovative and fun place to live? Above all, how are the creative arts crucial to the above and how can they move conversation forward?"

The Festival of Ideas for the New City  raises these questions. A first for New York, the Festival will harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore the ideas destined to shape it. The Festival will serve as a platform for artists, writers, architects, engineers, designers, urban farmers, planners, and thought leaders to exchange ideas, propose solutions, and invite the public to participate and is organized around three central programs:

» A three-day slate of symposia, lectures, and workshops with visionaries and leaders
» An innovative, minimal-waste, outdoor StreetFest
» Over eighty independent projects, exhibitions, and performances

I love this idea of artist working with their city to provide solutions for sustainability! One of the conference workshops, Community Board 3 & No Longer Empty: Art in Empty Storefronts talks about bringing local artists and cultural groups together with building owners to revitalize vacant spaces.

Another is FEAST
A recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging art makers. At each FEAST, participants pay a sliding-scale entrance fee for which they receive a supper and a ballot. Diners vote on a variety of artist projects and at the end of the night, the project with the most votes is awarded funds to produce the project. The work is then presented at the following FEAST. Since 2009, FEAST Brooklyn has produced 10 dinners, funded 24 projects and raised $15,756.

This will be an awesome event to attend if your in New York and raises the question, What's happening in your city in regards to art and sustainability?

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