About the Festival

Photo by David Andrews

About NextNOW Fest

NextNOW Fest is an inspiring experience that celebrates imagination, creativity, and community. By amplifying the voices of intriguing, inventive artists from around campus and the country, NextNOWFest creates a forward-looking microcosm where art shapes and transforms our future. Held each September at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, NextNOW Fest provides a student-driven space for UMD students to build community, interact and create together. The festival is presented and produced by The Clarice’s Artist Partner Programs and is co-curated with students and campus departments. 

Mission Statement

The NextNOW Fest at the University of Maryland is an annual campus tradition that welcomes and welcomes back new and returning students in a multi-day, multi-arts festival that celebrates the imagination, creativity and community. By unlocking everyone’s inherent creativity and amplifying the voices of artists, creative innovators and our students, the NextNOW Fest advances the learning and research investigations for our students; enriching the artistic and cultural opportunities for the campus; and actively developing the arts ecology of the community that surrounds and supports the university.


NextNOW Fest’s programming, planning and operations seek to embody the following values:

  • Everyone is creative. Creativity doesn’t discriminate across race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status or field of study: Everyone has the inherent capacity and right to be creative.
  • Discovery is exciting. It’s worth taking the chance on something new, because you never know what you might end up loving.
  • Stories are valuable. Stories allow us to learn about ourselves and how we relate to each other and the world. By listening to each others’ stories, we can find common ground and create a community of respect across difference.
  • We are all connected. It’s important to be aware of how our individual actions and decisions affect the sustainability and longevity of the resources we use, the spaces we inhabit and the communities to which we belong.

Join us on Facebook   Check out our videos on Vimeo   Follow us on Instagram   Follow us on Spotify