Halcyon’s inaugural By the People festival took place across Washington, DC June 21-24, 2018. The festival touched every quadrant of the city, focusing on the themes of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Over four days, our festival staged a full-on arts takeover of the city, with interactive visual art installations, performances ranging from ballet to go-go, high profile speakers, and an augmented reality art hunt. While events were concentrated at our five festival hubs, 18 other spots around town participated as satellite locations or hosted a one-time By The people event.
In the end we logged over 26,000 visits to official By The People festival events, over 50,000 visits to Smithsonian museums during the affiliated Smithsonian Solstice events, and a local economic impact of over $2.6 million.
In the words of the festival's curators:
"The talents I assembled for the visual arts exhibitions at this inaugural By The People have embraced the opportunity to create work in response to the inspiring and often complicated sites. Their works transform these historic spaces, sacred spaces, vacant spaces, and art-ready spaces, ultimately heightening our awareness of their significance." Virginia Shore, Founding Curator (View Virginia's full curatorial statement here.)
"Welcome to BY THE PEOPLE. By bringing our city together surrounding our nation’s founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we hope to provoke dialogue about what it means to be American in today’s world. Many things unite us as a community—certainly our shared national experiences, our special mix of diverse cultural expressions and our delight in simple pleasures and pastimes. And just as many things threaten to divide us. By gathering as a community to talk, listen and experience exciting new things together, we will understand and appreciate each other more deeply. We hope the program you are about to be part of will spark a new thought, emotion, or question about the world we all share." Septime Webre
- See the map of By The People 2018 festival locations.
- Review the schedule from our 2018 festival.
- Check out the artist and speakers who participated in the inaugural By The People.
- Learn more about the festival beyond 2018.