Bethel Woods Center for The Arts Introduces Traveling Woodstock Pop-Ups
Woodstock, the infamous three-day peace-toting music festival revered for standing up during a time of oppression and war, is hitting the road with a pop-up oral history traveling museum later this year. With five upcoming locations, including Columbus, OH from April 4-8, 2023; San Diego, CA on April 25-26, 2023; Los Angeles, CA from April 27-30, 2023; San Francisco, CA on May 8-12, 2023; and tentative New York City, NY dates in August.
Bethel, New York hosted Woodstock 1969 after the festival bounced around between locations before cementing itself in Max Yasgur’s dairy farm. Forty years later, the festival grounds transformed into the award-winning Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a non-profit just two hours shy of New York City and Boston, focused on spreading awareness and history about the cultural relevance of Woodstock 1969 and the historical landscape of the past.
“Realizing the average age of Woodstock attendees is 75 years old, now is the time to find the lost stories of the festival and save their place in history,” said Neal V. Hitch, Senior Curator of The Museum at Bethel Woods. “In order for the impact of Woodstock to be felt 100 years from now, collecting oral histories of this iconic festival is critical. It is our goal to find as many attendees as possible and document their firsthand experiences, which will also inspire the next generation of young artists, musicians, and music lovers.”
The first iteration of the Oral Histories Project emerged in October 2020, with 1200 Woodstock attendees divulging their experiences at the monumental event. Two years later, the project launched a traveling edition in Santa Fe, New Mexico, home to the Hog Farm Commune—a commune with heavy ties to the Woodstock community. The Museum Association of New York (MANY) and The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) keep the traveling pop-ups alive with grants and partnerships.
“We are very honored to receive this grant from MANY and NYSCA,” added Hitch. “As a non-profit organization, every dollar goes a long way in helping preserve the memories of Woodstock. This grant will help us reach attendees across the country we otherwise would not have.”
The traveling museum started in October of 2022 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The pop-ups educate audience members on the oral histories and experiences of lucky individuals who attended one of the most notorious music events in festival history. Those interested in sharing their experiences can contact email@example.com or OralHistory@BethelWoodsCenter.org to arrange an in-person or virtual interview.
For more information or to book an interview, please contact OralHistory@BethelWoodsCenter.org with your desired location.
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