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An Experiment in Creative Innovation: Manifest at Home

May 8, 2020

HubWeek began in 2014 as a way to showcase innovation — particularly around art, science, and technology. In fact, the very first HubWeek fall festival culminated with a collaborative Illuminus  artwork, lighting up the Pru proclaiming Boston as the “Art Hub.” 

More recently, Manifest Boston has continued the commitment to bringing together creatives, scientists, and innovators as we dream up solutions to tough problems and build towards a brighter future for our region. So, it might not come as a surprise that we thought a global pandemic was exactly the right time to experiment, innovate, and produce with our creative community.

The stay-at-home orders were issued mid-March. Then, the second wave of news started to trickle into our inboxes: cancelled gigs, postponed engagements, projects put on hold. Artists and creatives in the HubWeek family were losing wages and income. We, too, had to cancel live events, quickly pivoting to virtual events and learning the ropes along the way. It started to become clear that maybe there was something at the intersection of these two less-than-fortunate series of events: We had to start going virtual, and our creative friends had some more free time and a need for work.

We quickly proposed the question to you all: What can a creative virtual event look like? We’ll give you the audience, platform, production support, and a stipend. You share your expertise. We’ll experiment. Together. 

And boy, did you guys deliver or what?!


We had all sorts of writing sessions using collaborative web-based platforms where people shared openly and offered ideas to songwriters, beatmakers, cartoonists, and more. 

We had an artist, painting live, slowly unveil and reveal a quarantine-themed still life (we were even surprised by the painting!) and ultimately sent $500 towards local food banks.

Inclusive yoga taught us about how to be sensitive to others’ histories while guiding traditional practices.

A “walking” tour gave us the opportunity to step outside our homes and remember some of the public spaces that make Boston special to so many of us.

An improvisational, game show style music event ended in a tonal meditation that might have scared the local birds nesting near your window.

Our live performance week offered some auditory stimulation at a time when the sound of loneliness is getting a bit tough to bear.

A workshop on jumpstarting a creative career in Boston took the creative energy of this community and helped focus it into concrete steps for making a business of your passion.

We’ve been impressed, awed, comforted, and inspired by these Manifest at Home virtual events. We’re proud to have produced them with and for you, and we’re looking forward to partnering with our artists, creatives, and visionaries for many more to-be-dreamt-up projects.

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