Creativity: The Core of Change


IdeasCity Winston-Salem Festival to Bring Community Together to Celebrate Innovation from Within



From movers and shakers to musicians and makers, Winston-Salem is no stranger to bringing together and providing a platform for ideas and innovation. On Saturday, October 2nd, Bailey Park will be home to the “IdeasCityWS Marketplace of Ideas Festival” hosted by Wake Forest University, New York City’s New Museum, and a plethora of local partners with one purpose: to celebrate the creative ideas leading us out of a pandemic and identifying the synergy that’s here in our amazing community.

New York City’s New Museum launched the IdeasCity concept in 2011 with a Festival which brought together the worlds of art, culture, technology and design to celebrate their essential roles  in the vitality of the City.  Since that time, New Museum and NEW INC, the first museum-led creative incubator in the world, have chosen cities around the globe as IdeasCity host partners.  In 2020, Winston-Salem was honored  to be chosen as an IdeasCity host joining past sites such as Athens, Detroit, Singapore, Istanbul, New Orleans, Toronto, São Paulo, Shanghai,  Arles, and New York City.

The challenge of “How do you keep a community moving forward?” is one that IdeasCityWS has already begun immersing itself in finding the solution.

In early 2020, a diverse working group composed of members of  Winston-Salem’s artistic, educational, tech, and design communities, the Mayor’s Office, and entrepreneurs from the local creative economy assembled  to imagine an IdeasCityWS year which would highlight Winston-Salem’s distinctive community.  In true creative fashion, when the pandemic caused most things to come to a screeching halt, the working group pivoted and  began offering virtual events called “Beta Bonfires.” These wildly successful events curated community while fostering innovative  thinking through case studies with solutions-based discussions. Each virtual gathering, featuring local creatives paired with New York’s NEW INC creative entrepreneurs,  explored subjects such as “Rethinking Norms,” “Workforce Development” and “Scale.” A virtual workshop on “ Developing Ideation Skills For Life After COVID – Imagining a Post-Pandemic Winston-Salem” drew a lively and diverse  audience of artists, teachers, and entrepreneurs.

The “IdeasCityWS Marketplace of Ideas Festival” is the culmination of over a year of exploring Winston-Salem’s tremendous resources and creativity poised to move our city forward. IdeasCityWS celebrates those diverse “thinkers and makers”  working in areas such as  environmental sustainability, health and well-being,  education, scientific research, tech and design, equity and economic mobility.

The October 2nd Festival  will feature an “outdoor living room” that will include interactive exhibits from two dozen creative organizations representing progressive contributions in art, tech, design, and culture. There will also be working “ideas” on display poised to move our City forward as we reimagine a post-pandemic Winston-Salem.  In addition to the Marketplace, the Festival will include panel discussions featuring Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows, prominent figures in the Winston-Salem music and arts scene, and mayors from cities across the country.  Throughout the afternoon and evening,  performances from well-known local musicians will highlight the diverse musical community in Winston-Salem. A live performance of “The Martha Bassett Show” will conclude the Festival on Saturday evening.

If you are interested in more information about the “IdeasCityWS Marketplace of Ideas Festival” on Saturday, October 2nd you can head to for all the details.

IdeasCityWS is grateful for its corporate sponsor, Flow Automotive and Inmar Inc. and local media sponsor, WGHP as well as  for their community partners which include : The Office of the Mayor of Winston-Salem,  Creative Center of North Carolina, The Arts Council, Innovation Quarter, Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts- University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Flywheel, The Center for the Study of Economic Mobility at Winston-Salem State University, HUSTLE, Forsyth Technical Community College Small Business Center, Wake Forest Center for Entrepreneurship, MIXXER Makerspace, Greater Winston-Salem Inc., Center for Creative Economy, and Media+Emerging Technologies Lab-UNCSA.


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