Fine Arts and Fest

Weapons of Mass Creation Festival

Cleveland Public Theatre: Aug. 16 - 18

Chad W. Lutz
We all know the song "War" by Edwin Starr. If not, you've been living under a rock. But regardless of whether you keep up with antiquated pop culture, the sentiment portrayed in Starr's song represents what many feel about the idea of war. Most living generations have seen, either first-hand or on screen, the brutal effects of war. At times throughout history, war has led to the creation of new lands, offered the promise of freedom and purveyance of new ideals, but never without creation's ugly cousin, destruction.

It goes without saying that war is a costly endeavor. And yet, it stands as one of the most time-honored human traditions. Of the countries most heavily invested in war, it's arguable that the United States of America probably stands atop the gathering, smoldering heaps left behind throughout history. American governments have backed, begun, and involved themselves in conflict after conflict dating back to the French and Indian War and through the current occupations in Afghanistan and the Middle East. With as prevalent as war is in human history, it almost seems like we take pride in conjuring up new ways to kill each other.

The antithesis to the seemingly celebrated human pastime of destruction has been creation; the arts. Through outlets like literature, painting, philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, music, and theatre, human beings have developed an answer to brute forms of exhibition and force in the expression of emotion, including indifference, in intelligible, peaceful, but more specifically entertaining manners.

On August 16, The Weapons of Mass Creation Festival, now in its fourth year, takes aim at the collective consciousness of Midwest minds, not with rifles and bayonets or atom bombs, but with word, sound, vision, and thought. Running August 16 through August 18, Weapons of Mass Creation boasts an eclectic yet thought-provoking lineup of designers, speakers, and musicians gathered to entertain, inform, and enrich. Hailed as a premier arts and music festival, Weapons of Mass Creation features more than 20 up-and-coming entrepreneurs, thinkers, and artists speaking on topics ranging from bucking the system, social media, pursuing passions, happiness, and the word "Fuck".

Weapons of Mass Creation also showcases 20 designers of various trades like print and web design, visual communications, illustration, fashion, and fine art. Booths will be set up for festival-goers to peruse and engage with designers. And for the music lovers (which should be everyone?) Weapons of Mass Creation totes a staggering bill of more than 40 bands. Catch Cleveland acts Harvey Pekar, Muamin Collective, ShiSho, and The Modern Electric or take in music spanning all genres from all corners of the United States.

The event takes place at Cleveland Public Theatre. Tickets are on sale now through the Weapons of Mass Creation website or through Eventbrite. Single-day passes cost $35, while 3-day passes run $75. Tickets will be sold at the door, but the Weapons of Mass Creation staff urges people to buy tickets in advance as availability is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: www.wmcfest.com