What is Festival UnBound?
Festival UnBound is a 5-day hyper-local, arts-infused community celebration and conversation for those who call the Lehigh Valley home.
Its mission is to engage our diverse community–through art and civic dialogue–in the radical act of envisioning our future together.
A BRIEF HISTORY…
In 1998, after an almost 150 year history building this nation, Bethlehem Steel finally shut down steel making here in Bethlehem. It was a traumatic event, and Touchstone, to help the community work its way through it, created and assembled several works of art and cultural projects into a festival called Steel Festival: The Art of an Industry.
In October 2019, twenty years after that extraordinary event, we began to explore questions of a different and perhaps more daunting nature. Who are we, now that the Steel is gone? What are the challenges ahead, and what are the values that will hold the community together as we face the task of shaping our future? Out of these questions came our first year of Festival UnBound, a collection of arts and community dialogue around concerns of diversity, sustainability, health, youth leadership, and interconnectedness. You can recap more of the 2019 festival here.
In an extraordinary 2020, the festival resumed, with performances distanced outdoors and live-streamed online, continuing the discussion and bringing audiences together in a time when loneliness and isolation were the norm. In 2021, with COVID safety measures in place, we welcomed guest artists from across the U.S. and abroad, as well as new and longtime local partners, to dig deeper into the questions at hand.
Now, in its fourth year, Festival UnBound continues to change what it means to bring a community together and innovate new ideas to move us all in the right direction.
FESTIVAL UNBOUND 2022 SPONSOR LIST
The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation
Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation
Rich & Maria Thulin
Ron & Sharon Yoshida
Kevin & Emma Ackerman
St. John’s Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church
Stanley & Judy Woloff
Support received after 9/15 is not listed but greatly appreciated.