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On Saturday, April 20, NYC’s New Museum presents a free festival at Bell Artspace Campus

Katy Red, Imani Perry, Black Thought and Mayor LaToya Cantrell give talks; Make Music NOLA, Washitaw Nation and other groups perform

The Great Hall at Bell Artspace Campus in Tremé.
Photos courtesy Artspace

IdeasCity New Orleans, a five-day residency program spearheaded by The New Museum, culminates with a free festival at Bell Artspace (2111 Dumaine Street) from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 20.

Local and international artists converge at the former Bell School’s 7th Ward campus to discuss the role of art and culture in a city, especially when it comes to social change. The event is part conference, part poetry slam, and part music festival. If you spend a lot of time thinking about what New Orleans can—and should—look like, you will probably find a lot of food for thought here.

Themed “Everyday Festival,” the event features talks on topics that range from public urban data to waterfront preservation.

“As New Orleans knows well, a festival is a site of intense re-imagination of bodies, streets, space, and time,” IdeasCity curator V. Mitch McEwen stated in a press release. “Through the logic of the festival, we are looking for ways of opening ourselves up to radically new ideas.”

Black Thought and Imani Perry are the keynote speakers. Other presenters include dream hampton, Katey Red, LOT-EK, Kate Orff, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Franklin Leonard, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Gia Hamilton.

Each talk is followed by a performance. Artists include free feral, Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes, Make Music NOLA, Kesha McKey, Jeremy Guyton, and Washitaw Nation with Big Chief David.

IdeasCity started in New York in 2011 and has traveled to Istanbul, São Paulo, Arles, and Toronto. The complete schedule is available here.

IdeasCity Toronto (shown here) took place in September 2018 and was centered on the theme of Toronto as a “City of Cities.”
Photo courtesy Gabe Gordon/IdeasCity