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Neon Worms, Festival of Ideas to Take Over the Bowery in May

Would New Yorkers hate street fairs less if they were held in fluorescent worm tents? That's just one of many questions that will be answered by the New Museum's Festival of Ideas, set to take over much of downtown Manhattan from May 4 to 8. The Festival of Ideas is all about harnessing the power of the creative community to imagine the future of the city, a future that apparently includes art on every surface, sustainable everything and those aforementioned creepy-crawlies.

Besides the conference keynote speech by Rem Koolhaas (local starchitect Elizabeth Diller is also a panelist), we're most excited by the stuff that will be taking over the streets. Projects will be popping up from Canal Street up to 10th Street, from Sixth Avenue to the East River. The Bowery, home to the New Museum, will be the spine of the Festival, and one of the cool site-specific works will be "After Hours: Murals on the Bowery.” Seventeen artists have been recruited to give the roll-down security gates along the Bowery major facelifts. The Times has a bit more on that. Let's get back to the invertebrates!

On May 7 from 11am to 7pm, StreetFest will take over the area around the New Museum. It's a free street festival that will feature over 75 grassroots organization, non-profits and vendors. The New Museum, Storefront for Art & Architecture and the Department of Transportation collaborated on a design competition for the StreetFest tents. The winner is "The Worms," by local design studios Family and PlayLab, forever famous to Curbed for + Pool. The modular accordion forms are skinned in waterproof nylon, and each unit is 10' tall and 20' long. Eight raspberry and cyan-blue works will be used for StreetFest, and according to the organizers, the tents will be used by the DOT at other summer street events. Take a look through the gallery above for some Festival of Ideas previews.
?Reporting by Maggie Shaw
· Festival of Ideas [festivalofideasnyc.com]
· Artists to Transform Bowery’s Roll-Down Gates [NYT]

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