IDEAS CITY explores the future of cities with culture as a driving force. A collaborative, civic, and creative enterprise, it builds on the New Museum’s mission of “New Art, New Ideas” by expanding the Museum beyond its walls into the civic realm. 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. The theme for 2015 is The Invisible City. In 2013, IDEAS CITY explored the theme of Untapped Capital.


In 2011, the first IDEAS CITY Festival took place over several days and included conferences, workshops, and a street fair that brought over fifty thousand people to the Bowery neighborhood. In 2013, IDEAS CITY was reprised in New York City and explored the theme of “Untapped Capital.” The theme for the next IDEAS CITY: NY in late May 2015 is Invisible City. Click here for more information on the upcoming 2015 Festival.

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Alternatively, you can browse the archives of the 2011 and 2013 edition of the Festival.

Global Conferences

Global Conferences take place in key cities around the world, focusing on the unique situations of each city as well as its context in relation to global urbanism. The Conferences are organized in association with regional partners and are dedicated to growing a global community focused on the importance of culture in urban growth and innovation. IDEAS CITY: São Paulo took place in 2013 and IDEAS CITY: Istanbul in 2012.

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