Call for proposals for the IDEAS CITY Festival street activities

We invite your organization to submit a proposal for the IDEAS CITY Festival street activities taking place on Saturday May 30, 2015. We welcome collaborative projects if you choose to apply in partnership with other groups. Your project must relate to the theme of The Invisible City.

Click: to submit your proposal.
for more information about IDEAS CITY.

Festival of New Ideas_NYC_2013_Benoit PailleyOPEN HOUSE
Wednesday December 10, 6–8 PM
New Museum Sky Room

Interested participants are invited to an Open House at the New Museum on Wednesday December 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. to learn about plans for the 2015 Festival and meet other neighbors. Space is limited. Please RSVP by December 5 to

IDEAS CITY explores the future of cities with culture as a driving force. Through talks, panels, workshops, projects, performances, and exhibitions, IDEAS CITY investigates key issues, proposes solutions, and seeds concrete actions. Founded by the New Museum in 2011, it is a major collaborative initiative between hundreds of arts, education, and civic organizations. A biennial IDEAS CITY Festival (2011, 2013, 2015, etc.) takes place every other May in New York City, while Global Conferences are organized in cities around the world. Both New York Festivals brought over fifty thousand people to the Bowery neighborhood in 2011 and 2013, respectively. In 2013, IDEAS CITY explored the theme of Untapped Capital. We are excited to announce the next IDEAS CITY Festival in New York City, which will take place May 28–30, 2015.

2015 Theme: The Invisible City

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
—Italo Calvino,
Invisible Cities

Welcome to The Invisible City. It is composed of invisible citizens with invisible problems, supported by invisible infrastructures, and run by invisible officials.

Invisibility is not a state of being but rather a product of perception. It is both self-elective blindness and a deliberate escape from a culture of insistent surveillance. Self-imposed invisibility can offer the illusion of privacy but there are levels of invisibility that are absolute and absolutely exclusionary. The desire for invisibility is often driven by a rebellion against victimization, of being reduced to a cipher—of becoming data without privacy or intimacy. However, when invisibility is not a choice, one is alone—unseen and unheard.

Fear is one of invisibility’s most important allies. Anxiety about the invisible creates an atmosphere of paranoia and an unwillingness to provide contexts and names for what we don’t want to think about or be touched by. How do we respond to The Invisible City? Expose it. Map it. Question it. Try to understand it. Change it (or not). Interact with it!

This is an open application; please feel free to share it with other downtown NYC organizations.


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