Festival of Ideas for the New City 2011: Streetfest

According to the introductory statement to the Festival’s website, “Festival of Ideas for the New City is a major new collaborative initiative in New York, involving scores of Downtown organizations working together to harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore ideas that will shape it. The Festival will include a three-day slate of symposia; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery; and over eighty independent projects and public events.”

Below, we’ve decided to pick out some of the socially-conscious, community-minded projects people are undertaking for the Streetfest portion of this festival. If you’re looking for our recommended picks for gallery openings, please see this guide.

And here we go!

Art Cart NYC

Art Cart NYC™ is a mobile exhibition space that brings art directly to the people, encouraging them to think imaginatively about exhibiting and experiencing art. They work with many organizations, all which spread art and information via mobile means. Please check out their Tumblr for more information.
Location: Variable throughout Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-2891
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://artcartnyc.tumblr.com/

Art In Odd Places

According to the organization’s mission statement, “Art in Odd Places aims to stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. AiOP reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas.” There is also an the 7th Annual Art In Odd Places Festival, taking place from October 1st through October 10th this year, in New York City, and there is now a call for entries and proposals.
Location: Variable throughout Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-2909
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.artinoddplaces.org/


A free app streams geolocated stories told in the voices of the people who live and work in the neighborhood. The project expands in real time with contributions from visitors. The app brings strangers closer to one another, one story at a time.
Location: Variable throughout Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1186
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.broadcastr.com/


Turn your bicycle into a paintbrush! Contrail is a public art project that celebrates shared spaces, helps make bicycling safer and more fun. Don’t worry; the paints are non-toxic and eco-friendly, of course!
Location: Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1196
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.bikecontrail.com

the drawing center

DrawNow! is a series of artist-led projects that invite the public to join in spontaneous drawing events encouraging social and cultural engagement. All ages—no experience necessary! Similarly, you may also want to check out our recent feature on Screaming Females’ work with Doodledrag. More all-access art, please!
Location: Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1266
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.drawingcenter.org/

goles—good old lower east side

This installation consists of dangling keys, each representing another community member who faced eviction this year along with a description, poem, or story.
Location: Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1211
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.GOLES.org

Draw-Think-Tank: Emerging territories of movement. 15×360 Manifestos.: Storefront for Art and Architecture

Presenting an innovative digital platform for collective drawing and a series of manifestos by emerging and established experts throughout the world to spark new visions for the future of mobility.
Location: Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1257
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.storefrontnews.org/


bushwick art park: trust art

Come kick it at a street-inspired sculpture garden and philosophize on how to transform an under-used street in Bushwick into a community art park, as well as how to raise awareness about the lack of open space in the Brooklyn neighborhood. There will be excellent work on display, from Specter, Leon Reid IV, Olek, and Skewville. Above, a piece by Olek.
Location: Streetfest
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1275
Date: May 7th, from 11:00am to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.trustart.org/posts/39

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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