Marketplace of Ideas festival held in Winston-Salem

Piedmont Triad News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The IdeasCityWS Outfoor Festival was held in Winston-Salem over the weekend.

Musical performances, interactive exhibits and panel discussions were featured in downtown Winston-Salem as Wake Forest University, New Museum and dozens of local community partners celebrated the culmination of a year of creative collaborations.

The festival, which was free and open to the public, ran from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Bailey Park at 445 Patterson Ave. in the Innovation Quarter.

“We’ve worked with local organizations to make this happen,” said Donovan Livingston, assistant dean of the Office of University Collaborations at Wake Forest University. “We wanted to really tap into the creative entrepreneurial ecosystem that already exists in Winston to highlight the beauty of what’s already here, to highlight folks who are already doing work in the art, design, tech space that solve community needs, to really amplify the work they do and to inspire new collaborations among our artists in the city.”

Karen Wong, a Winston-Salem native and former deputy director of New Museum who was instrumental in planning the festival, said in a news release that it has been gratifying for New Museum to be in partnership with Wake Forest.

“We’ve been introduced to and collaborated with local partners who are leading the way on how Winston-Salem can lean into its entrepreneurial community and support a growing creative economy,” Wong said. “Winston-Salem’s IdeasCityWS festival will be a day to share the homegrown talent, the innovation and create a space for civic joy.”

New Museum started its IdeasCity program that “views intersections among art, culture, design and technology as essential to the future vitality of cities” in 2011.

The museum has held festivals in cities around the world, including Athens, Greece; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Singapore; New York and New Orleans. Winston-Salem became a host city in 2020.

Wake Forest said that IdeasCityWS partners have held a variety of events over the past year “to explore creative approaches to improve health and well-being, economic development and justice and equity for members of the Winston-Salem community,” including virtual “Beta Bonfires” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These virtual events paired New Museum’s NEW INC incubator partners with Winston-Salem creatives to explore artistic and entrepreneurial solutions to current issues.

The marketplace of IdeasCityWS Marketplace of Ideas festival is described as “‘an outdoor living room’ with interactive exhibits from two dozen local creative organizations representing progressive contributions in art, tech, design and culture.’”

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