“Twenty-first-century arts festivals ask the audience to be a player, a protagonist, a partner, rather than a passive spectator,” says David Binder, a Tony award-winning theater producer, known for star-studded on and off Broadway productions. He has also produced festivals and events, including the High Line Festival, which was curated by David Bowie. In his TED Talk earlier this year, he explains the new face of arts festivals, which break the boundary between audience and performer and help communities express themselves.

This is something we’ve been doing for 13 years, with the 21st century festival we call How Weird. The How Weird Street Faire is an experiment in creating peace, in bringing strangers together and enabling them to form a common bond of understanding and appreciation.

“Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being.”

As Binder explains, “Artists are explorers. Who better to show us a city anew?”

“Festivals make cities better places to live.”



21st century art festivals