THANK YOU FOR 18 YEARS…
As an alum of the Dumbo Arts Festival (2011-2014), I was heavy hearted, yet not too surprised to hear about the powers that be’s decision to say goodbye. Though people might not understand, as someone who worked closely with the organizers over the years, it should only be said that this has been an astonishing feat for the organizers to accomplish every year. DAF became more massive than people probably know, reaching a high mark of 220,000 people reportedly attending at its height. There is something to be said about going out on top. I also know this is not the last one can expect to hear from the people who have made Dumbo Arts Festival the amazing event it had become. I’m sure all artists and visitors are sad to see it go, but there is the promise of new things to come. -Kim Holleman
Read on…from the DUMBO Arts Festival website…
After an amazing 18-year run, the annual DUMBO Arts Festival will not be returning this year. It is with heavy hearts that we bring you this news, which was not an easy decision to make.
Founded in 1997 as the Art Under the Bridge Festival by DUMBO residents Joy Glidden and Tyson Daugherty, the festival was initially established as a grass roots artists’ initiative designed to attract people to experience art in DUMBO in order to preserve the neighborhood as a springboard for new art and ideas. Glidden went on to found the DUMBO Arts Center, which was steward to the festival from 1998-2009. With DAC’s announcement to end the festival in 2009, founding sponsor Two Trees Management Company stepped in and took over lead sponsorship and organization of the festival.
Over the past five years, with an incredible team of supporters, artists, dedicated staff, and volunteers from around the world, we worked to showcase extraordinary art from a growing list of local and international artists. We’ve had an incredible run and brought beautiful moments of art to a huge audience. At the very least, we hope we have pushed artists and the public to think more broadly about art and to find it in the most unexpected of places. It has been an honor and a thrill to oversee such a massive celebration of art.
But as the festival grew and grew–more than 220,000 visitors flooded the neighborhood for the festival weekend last year–it became clear that we could no longer mount the festival ourselves without commercializing it in a way that didn’t feel right. We were getting too far from the original mission of the festival. As a result, in consultation with the organizing team, we have elected to end the festival and refocus on how best to allocate resources to support an active, year-round DUMBO arts community.
Thank you all for your support and participation over the years, and we hope to see you soon–not just for one weekend of the year. Stay tuned for news of future events and projects and be sure to visit the artists, galleries and cultural groups that keep DUMBO an arts destination year round.
Lisa Kim, Festival Director
Frank Riley, Executive Producer