Back to All Events

Festival for the People

  • Cherry Street Pier 121 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard Philadelphia, PA, 19106 United States (map)

OCTOBER 13 – 28 — Including participants such as Michel Auder, Andrea Bowers, Bread Face, Brewerytown Beats, Cece Pokes, Creos, Emory Douglas, El Sol Latino Newspaper, First Person Arts, jean-jacques Gabriel, Colette Gaiter, Ocean Gao, Doreen Garner: Invisible Man Tattoo, Sedakial Gebremedhin, Erlin Geffrard, Glitter Slimes, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Hiwa K., ImmorTality (Tajmah Linder), Autumn Konopka, Jasmine Morrell: Spirited Tattooing Coalition, Jennifer Levonian, Lily Whispers ASMR, Warren Longmire, Maider López, Lyrispect, Jazz Attack Swings, Malidelphia, Milkcrate Cafe, Trapeta Mayson, Sanyu Nicolas, Yoshua Okón, People’s Paper Co-op, Philly Typewriter, Robert Pruitt, Cindi Ruka, Second State Press, Frank Sherlock, Hito Steyerl, Damian and Sarah Tango, Aryanna Tischler, Two Squares Forward, Jacob Winterstein, Tintin Wulia, and Ulises, with selections from Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance (Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Marilyn Minter, Jayson Musson, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, and Rirkrit Tiravanija).


Spread across Race Street Pier and the newly opened Cherry Street Pier, Festival for the People features dynamic participatory programs and events, sculptures, installations, videos, and banners from October 13 – 28. 

In addition, each weekend will have additional programming tied to a thematic focus, celebrating popular analog, digital, and embodied cultures with fairs, talks, installations, and screenings created in collaboration with arts and community groups from across Philadelphia and beyond. 

The festival celebrates the rich subcultural forms across Philadelphia, from comics to tattoos to internet culture, while also offering a fun and critical perspective on populism and expanding the public conception of what contemporary art is and can be.

“The Festival for the People is exactly what it sounds like: a festival celebrating the art forms of everyday people. In these fractured political times, it’s important to remember what brings us together as well as to reflect on the forces that divide us,”
— Philadelphia Contemporary Artistic Director Nato Thompson

Festival for the People is co-presented with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Support for Festival for the People has been provided by the William Penn Foundation.

/////////// FULL SCHEDULE ///////////

Open October 13 – 28, 2018
with programming on Saturdays & Sundays.

Pier Hours
Sunday– Thursday: 11 AM – 10 PM
Friday–Saturday: 11 AM – 11 PM


Launch Event: 
Hito Steyerl: Festival for the People Kickoff Lecture
Sunday, October 7, 5 PM
Stewart Auditorium, Moore College of Art & Design
1916 Race St, Philadelphia PA, 19103


Pier Installations:

— Two interactive sculpture installations in collaboration with the Montreal-based group Creos: Impulse, an installation of seesaws designed by CS Design and Lateral Office, and Prismatica, a group of colorful spinning prisms by Raw Design.

— Typewriter Poetry: Interactive poetry installation inside Cherry Street Pier with Philly Typewriter featuring live activations by Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Autumn Konopka, Warren Longmire, Trapeta B. Mayson, Frank Sherlock, and Jacob Winterstein.

— Erlin Geffrard: 'Banners for the People' 

— Video Installations by Michel Auder, Andrea Bowers, Hiwa K., Yoshua Okón, Jennifer Levonian, Maider Lopez, and Tintin Wulia.

— Selections from Creative Time's 'Pledges of Allegiance' (Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Marilyn Minter, Jayson Musson, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, and Rirkrit Tiravanija).


Weekend Events:


Oct. 13 – 14 The People's Analog Culture Weekend

Oct. 13–14, 1-7pm
Festival of Analog Technology & Printed Material
A two-day Festival of Analog Technology and printed material, highlighting everything from comics to artist zines, vinyl, antiques, and art-making stations. Featuring workshops by Sedakial Gebremedhin and Second State Press, artist books from Ulises, records and DJ sets by Milkcrate Cafe and Brewerytown Beats, and more vendors like El Sol Latino Newspaper, ImmorTality (Tajmah Linder) and People's Paper Co-op

Oct. 14, 5 PM
In Conversation: Emory Douglas & Colette Gaiter
A dialogue between Colette Gaiter, Professor at the University of Delaware’s Department of Art and Design, and Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, and the art director and designer of the movement’s newspaper, The Black Panther.


Oct. 20 – 21 The People's Embodied Culture Weekend

Oct. 20, 1 – 7 PM
Tattoo + Body Art Fair
Live tattooing featuring women and gender non-conforming tattoo artists, as well as opportunities for visitors to receive temporary and Henna tattoos. Accompanying the fair will be a story slam in partnership with First Person Arts. Artists include: Jasmine Morrell of Spirited Tattooing Coalition, Cece Pokes, Ocean Gao, Sanyu Nicolas, Doreen Garner of Invisible Man Tattoo, and Aryanna Tischler.
Temporary Tattoos
Mirror Photo Booth 
Henna by Cindi Ruka

5 PM
First Person Arts: Tattoo Edition

October 21: 
1 – 7 PM
Day of Movement

Featuring warm-up yoga and poetry session Verse and Vinyasa, with jean-jacques Gabriel and Lyrispect as well as social dancing with local performers.

1 PM
Verse & Vinyasa with jean-jacques Gabriel and L.Y.R.I.S.P.E.C.T.
BYO Yoga Mat!

3 PM
Malidelphia: African Drums & Dancing
Featuring Ira Bond (Malidelphia Performing Arts, West African Style).

4 PM
Social Dancing: Lindy Hop & Blues
With Jazz Attack Swings.

5 PM
Social Dancing: Tango
With Damian & Sarah Tango


Oct. 27 – 28 The People's Digital Culture Weekend

October 27 – 28, 1 – 7 PM
Oddly Satisfying Film Festival

A two-day ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) Film Festival featuring film submissions by local teenagers and performances by ASMR stars. Learn more about submitting to the ASMR Open Call here:

October 27:

OPEN CALL: Oddly Satisfying Film Festival screenings

2 PM
ASMR Open Call Award Ceremony and Live Performances with ASMR stars Bread Face, Glitter Slimes, and Lily Whispers ASMR

October 28:

OPEN CALL: Oddly Satisfying Film Festival screenings

1 – 3 PM
Slime Workshop with The Free Library of Philadelphia



SATURDAY, October 27

Featuring live performances by Naeem (formerly Spank Rock), Dave P., and Oluwafemi 

No Cover - FREE

Earlier Event: October 12
Talk: Memory Drum
Later Event: October 13
Studio Tours with CraftNOW Philadelphia