Three of Cleveland’s most inspiring days came to a close in mid-August. In an attempt to put some structure to three days of creative overload, see the five most noteworthy parts of WMCFest below.

1. The WMC Race Panel

One of the more powerful panels of the festival, the Race Panel shed some light on diversity in the art space. It’s a good reminder that, even in a field where we might think we’re already diverse, there’s always room for positive conversation and improvement.

2. “Do the Things That Scare You”

In one of my favorite talks of the evening, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge spoke about doing the things that scare you. Her talk was relatable and captivating as she powered through her presentation, encouraging the audience to embrace the power of the word “no”. The fear of rejection, Bonney elaborates, stops us from doing so many things. The main takeaway was to put yourself in silly situations where you’re guaranteed to face rejection, and you’ll not only overcome that fear, but potentially overcome a challenge.

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3. The WMC Gender Diversity Panel

Somewhere in between all of that was the Gender Panel, held in the auditorium adjacent. A panelist of five speakers spoke to the audience about their personal experiences with gender identity and being inclusive in the design industry.

4. Midwestern Music

Early in the afternoon, Texas Plant played. The warm, summer setting seemed to fit their overall aesthetic, as they washboarded their way through their performance. The outdoor stage was home to traveling and local musicians alike, including Briar Rabbit and Ashley Brooke Toussant, among others. WMCFest housed a variety of musical stylings, ranging from the soft acoustics of Kevin Devine to the post-hardcore The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die.

5. The Marketplace

If I ever found myself with some spare time, I wandered to the Marketplace upstairs and had no problem filling it. Arranged in two rows were poster artists, crafters, printers, entrepreneurs – all sorts of sellers that supported the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest mission and creative spirit. The photobooth gave everyone the opportunity to throw money around and wear giant hats, and the vendors offered up great conversations and even better bodies of work. We left each day with a tube full of gig posters.

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What was your favorite part of this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation, and what are you hoping next year holds in store? Each year it gets better and better, and more and more inspiring, and we’ve got the highest of hopes for the years to come.

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