New York, NY, February 13, 2020. For immediate release.
NEXT Festivals LLC today announced the completion of its acquisition of Creative Tech Week, the leading festival showcasing the intersection of creativity and technology in New York City. NEXT Festivals will acquire the assets, team, and customer contacts of Creative Tech Week for an undisclosed sum and merge them with its existing property, the Open Source Music Festival, founded in 2017. Together these two events will combine to form a new entity, called CTW, that will feature performances and conferences throughout the year, focused on new frontiers in the arts, culture, innovation and technology.
Creative Tech Week, founded in 2015, is an international festival bringing together the interdisciplinary developers, designers, executives, artists and academics in the creative technology field from across a diversity of industries and institutions. Creative Tech Week’s Founder and Executive Producer, Isabel Walcott Draves, will be shifting into an advisory role at CTW in order to pursue new professional opportunities in the technology industry. Draves is a long-time Internet entrepreneur and technology industry executive known for starting the first social media website for teenage girls, SmartGirl.com, in 1995. She has maintained an interest in artistic and creative pursuits throughout a career encompassing a decade of strategic marketing and operations consulting to Internet start-ups and tech-forward corporations, including work for Bertelsmann, Digitas, Edelman, Gartner and ElectricSheep.com.
Joel Fan, Director of NEXT Festivals, will take on the role of Artistic Director of CTW. Fan is a groundbreaking concert pianist with a deep interest in exploring the arts, culture, and innovation, in his own artistic work and in the work of others. Fan’s goal in acquiring Creative Tech Week is to bring together a vibrant community to enjoy discussions and performances about the future of the arts and culture with leading artists and innovators. As a pianist, Joel Fan is critically acclaimed as possessing a “probing intellect and vivid imagination” (New York Times), and he has released multiple Billboard-charting solo virtuoso piano albums. Fan has given numerous world premiere performances of new works by eminent living composers, and has performed over 50 different piano concertos as a soloist with orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, and the London Sinfonietta. A “champion of new music, explorer of world music” (Boston Globe), pianist Joel Fan has performed and recorded with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble. The New Yorker Magazine, in its writeup of Fan’s Open Source Music Festival, noted that his Festival “certainly embraces a range of top-rate talent”.
Said Isabel Draves: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to have created this amazing community. The people I have met and the brilliant talks and works I have seen have been beyond compare. I want to send a huge thank-you to all the experts from around the world who have helped make Creative Tech Week what it became over the first five years, and I’m looking forward to experiencing its next phase as CTW.”
“I look forward to working as Artistic Director of CTW, and exploring the future of creativity and beyond,” said Joel Fan. “As CTW and the Open Source Music Festival join forces and expand, we will reach ever larger audiences with top talent and inspirational ideas. Our new entity, CTW, will foster a leading community for the arts and creativity, and provide opportunities for creators to meet with their peers and innovate across disciplines, industries and institutions.”
Upcoming CTW events include a fireside chat and cocktail at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York City on February 28, 2020; the CTW 2020 Conference at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, New York City on April 29, 2020; and accompanying CTW events from April 28th – May 4th citywide.
CTW 2020, the conference to be held April 29th at the 266-seat Beatrice Theatre at SVA, will be hosted by the MFA Computer Arts Department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) headed by Terrence Masson. The focus of the April conference explores how technology is changing the future of music and art, and features a live evening performance with graphics rendering and sound creation by Camille de Dieu and Laurent Novac of the Z1 group out of Switzerland, presented in collaboration with Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center.
Tickets for CTW 2020 and other CTW events can be purchased at CTW.nyc and include need-based discounts.