When and where is the festival held?
We are hosting two upcoming events: a one-day "preview" event, the New Story Experience on Saturday, November 3, 2018, and the full, three-day New Story Festival, March 29-31, 2019.
Both events will be held in Austin, Texas, on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU in the heart of Austin's historic east side and just blocks from downtown and Austin's most popular entertainment districts.
The New Story Experience will open at 10am on November 3, and end around 10pm that evening. Registration for the New Story Festival in March will open at 4pm that Friday, March 29. Closing ceremonies will be around 10pm Sunday evening.
Who is the New Story Festival for?
We dream of something unique for these events... we imagine a space where people from segments of society that don't often overlap, but who share similar values and hopes for a more just, life-giving, and harmonious world, can gather in a way rarely seen anywhere else. A space to bring together artists, musicians, and performers, social activists and social innovators, open-minded folks within traditional religions and guides for newer forms of spirituality, health, and wholeness, alternative lifestyle "life-hackers" and socially engaged soccer moms to forge new community and share their unique gifts with one another - creating a better story for better lives and a better world.
Our hope is that, no matter where you start from, at the New Story Festival you will find experiences that speak to your current passions, and others that expand your horizons and enable you to grow in new ways. If that sounds appealing, then the New Story Festival is for you!
Is this a Storytelling Festival?
While formal storytelling performances will be one piece of what happens at the New Story Festival, this is not a "storytelling" event per se. We use the term "story" in a broader sense, to denote the underlying cultural narratives (aka, "social paradigms" or "worldviews") that shape our values, identities, communities, society, and ways of interpreting the world - stories that too often are ones of domination, victimization, purification, isolation, violent revolution, or mere accumulation. At the New Story Festival we want to gather together for art, music, ideas, practices, and conversations that will help step into a new and better "story" (again, underlying cultural narrative) that emphasizes liberation, reconciliation, harmony, and wholeness. A story based not on the assumption that it must always be "us vs. them," but instead with a call to live as "some of us for all of us."
Is this a religious event?
Yes and No. If by "religious" you mean engaged with spirituality in a life-giving way, and if by "spirituality" you mean something like "our lived relationship with mystery", and if by "life-giving" you mean "life-giving", then maybe it is a religious event. But if you are looking for dogma, tribalism, and harsh judgement, we hope you won't find that here. Space will be made for folk from different religious and spiritual traditions to share their gifts, and the main programming at the festival will aim to include folk from multiple traditions and perspectives.
The festival is informed and energized by the progressive Christian tradition which recognizes the transcending presence of love everywhere. Because of this, we seek to be spiritually inclusive, inviting anyone who shares these values, from any religious tradition or none at all, to join in this community co-creating a better world.
Is this for all ages? Is there kids' programming?
Yes! All ages are welcome at the New Story Festival next March. Children 14 and under are free and teens aged 15-18 can attend at a reduced price. Our Kids program will be run by the Whole Life Learning Center, which provides holistic and alternative education in south Austin. The Kids area will be in a secure space, allowing parents the option to drop off their children in a safe, fun environment so that you can enjoy other aspects of the festival without your children in tow. There will also be a more free-flowing Youth tent offering teenagers opportunities for connection, creativity, and curated, youth-specific content.
Unfortunately we are not able to offer programming for younger kids during our one-day preview experience this November, but we do encourage interested teens to come check it out!
Where can I stay? Is there housing on-site? What about camping?
Though there are no on-site accommodations, our urban festival is just blocks from downtown Austin and close to many affordable hotel, motel, airbnb, and RV camping options. More information about these options and any reserved festival blocs will be posted in our Travel section as it becomes available.
If financial concerns are a barrier to travel, we may also be able to offer free couch-surfing options to those in need - contact us at email@example.com and we'll let you know. And if you are local to Austin and have a couch or spare room you'd like to offer to those in need, please get in touch with us as well!
Will there be food available?
Yes. We will have food vendors on site, with an emphasis on local, sustainable, healthy, tasty, and imaginative food!
What about accessibility?
We are doing everything possible to make sure this event is fully accessible for people of all abilities. We will post more details as they become available.
We'll add more Frequently Asked Questions here as people ask them!
If you have a question that wasn't covered above, please feel free to submit it below.