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World's Fair 2018

The World’s Fair 2018 is a six-month fair to build utopia that culminates in a week-long Utopia Expo in June. Artists, activists, teachers, musicians, and people of all kinds have been invited to submit an awesome proposal for a project that builds community for a free world. The applications are rolling, and we’ve already accepted several proposals.

The World’s Fair is the third festival we’ve organized around the hashtag #NoMoneyNoBorders. The first festival, PERFORM/TRANSFORM took place in various locations around Chicago over two days and included art workshops, musical performances, open mics, health workshops, guided yoga, and meditation, among other activities. The second, PERFORM/TRANSFORM 2, took place on a community garden called the Cooperation Operation in Pullman and included a similar range of activities, but centered around community gardening and food access in Chicago. Each festival seeks to combine community organizing with art.

In addition to the Utopia Expo in June, the World’s Fair has several ongoing initiatives, including a network for music venues seeking to prevent sexual violence and an initiative to support ten new community gardens with an arts focus. As the World’s Fair looks to a more fair and free future, it also looks back at the history of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. While that fair was largely about displaying an urban utopia, it excluded African-Americans from the planning committees and put people from non-Western places, such as Egypt and Turkey, on display as exhibits. Through the fair website, we explore that history and ask what a more inclusive fair can look like.

So far the fair has been supporting itself through donations from the community and the proceeds from benefit events. However, as we get closer to the June Utopia Expo, we’ll need more funds for space rentals and marketing. We intend to hold most of the Expo events in Hyde Park, where the 1893 fair took place.

Funded by Chicago, IL (March 2018)