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New World Festival of the Arts

New World Festival of the Arts is an annual juried outdoor festival featuring fine art and fine craft. Hosted by Dare County Arts Council and the Town of Manteo, the Festival provides local and regional artists an opportunity to display and sell their creative work. This is a family-oriented outdoor show, which takes place on the Manteo Waterfront during August of each year. Originally started 1981 by Manteo business owner Edwards Greene, the Festival not only provides awareness of the current trends in visual arts, but also acquaints visitors and locals alike with the town of Manteo. NWFA is now in its 36th year of presenting a show of the regions finest artists in an outdoor, festival atmosphere.

2017 Festival Information

Dates & Hours:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 10 am to 5 pm

Thursday, August 17, 2017, 10am to 5 pm

Location: Downtown Manteo Waterfront, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Media: Fine art, including painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, wood design and leatherworks

Attendance: 5,000-6,000 visitors over the two-day festival

Admission Fee: The Festival is free and open to the public. Application and booth fees apply to exhibiting artists

Festival Events: Awards Reception, Wednesday, 5pm to 7pm at DCAC, free and open to artists and visitors

Information: Map of the site and artist locations will be available at the DCAC Information Tent, located beside Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop

Parking: On-street parking is available. A free shuttle bus to downtown is available from the COA Roanoke Island Campus.

2017 Participating Artists: A full schedule of participating artists will be available after April 15, 2017

Sponsors: Sponsorships not only provide excellent exposure for businesses, they also support artists and the arts within our community. Sponsorships are available at many different levels. If you are interested in being a corporate or prize sponsor for New World Festival of the Arts, please contact Chris Sawin at or call (919) 608-0691.

Artist Awards: Awards are made available by sponsorship and entry fees. We are pleased to expand our awards for the 2017 festival to the following prizes:

1st Place: $1,000

2nd Place: $500

3rd Place: $250

Merit Awards: 4 ribbons total

Judge: Lisa Beth Robinson is the proprietor of Somnambulist Tango Press where she makes artists books (letterpress, papermaking, printmaking), broadsides, fine art, curates exhibitions, and is an assistant professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. In the summer of 2015 she began working in kiln-fused glass on a collaborative project with sculptor Kristin Thielking. Robinson is a mixed-media artist who is transforming materials physically and psychologically in the pursuit of understanding the idea of reading alongside interpersonal, spiritual, and environmental relationships and their global impact. Her innovative processes employ principles of physics, botany, and Jungian psychology. She holds a B.A. from the Johnston Center at the University of Redlands and both an M.F.A. and M.L.I.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Recently, her work has been purchased by institutions such as the New York Public Library, Emory University, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Artist Application Information

Click here to download an application form: 2017 NWFA Application Form (3)

Artist applications will be accepted for the 36th Annual New World Festival of the Arts beginning January 17, 2017. The application deadline is March 31, 2017. No applications will be accepted after that date. Notification will be made by April 15, 2017.

Each application must be accompanied by five (5) high quality digital images of your work, one (1) image of your display booth, and your bio/artist statement. Digital submissions should be in jpg format. All artists, either those wishing to return or new, must submit images and an application. If you are interested in applying and would like more information, please contact Dare County Arts Council at (252) 473-5558 or email

Application Fees

Nonrefundable Application Fee: $25

Booth Fee: Single tent: $125 (10’x10’)

Double tent: $250 (10’x20’)

Number of available booth spaces: 100

NWFA Rules & Standards please read carefully

  • ALL artists applying to show in the 2017 NWFA – new AND returning – must submit the requested images and information.

  • Only artists displaying their own original work may participate.

  • Original work in the following categories are eligible: painting, mixed media, drawing, printmaking, pastel, photography, ceramics, sculpture, fiber, wood, glass, jewelry, metalsmithing, and leather.

  • No commercial molds or kits will be accepted. No mass produced items, manufactured apparel, commercial displays, or novelty crafts will be permitted. This is a show of fine art and fine craft only, and not for commercial products or dealers.

  • Professional presentation is a must. All framable artwork must be framed or presented in a manner appropriate to the piece.

  • Reproduction prints may not compose more than 10% of any artist’s exhibit and must be labeled as reproductions. These may be displayed in a spin rack, bin or on one section of a wall, whichever is the lesser. Reproductions must be clearly labeled.

  • Each space is either 10’x10’ or 10’ x 20’. Racks cannot exceed 8’ in height and must be strong enough to withstand wind and crowds.

  • Display of ribbons and awards from previous shows will not be permitted.

  • Each artist must comply individually with all pertinent State of North Carolina sales tax (6.75%) regulations.

  • The work of only one exhibitor may be displayed in each assigned space. A two-person team producing a single product may qualify as a single exhibitor. Please explain this arrangement on the application.

  • Spaces will be numbered. Use of space is restricted to the artist whose name appears on the registration form. Subletting, selling or giving of space to anyone is not allowed. Any breach of this rule forfeits the rights of the artist

  • All spaces assignments are final.

  • Artists accepted for the Festival should confirm their space assignments no later than Wednesday, August 17th by 9am at Dare County Arts Council. If desired, artists may set up on Tuesday, August 16th between 10am & 5pm, regular DCAC hours.

  • Exhibits must be set up no later than 9:30am on Wednesday and Thursday. Exhibits must remain in place until 5pm on Wednesday and Thursday. No booth may be dismantled before closing time each night unless by permission of the chairman.

  • It is thanks to the courtesy and cooperation of the downtown merchants and the Town of Manteo that this Festival is possible. Artists should cooperate in working out common problems pertaining to unloading and loading. Be sure to keep your exhibit space clean.

  • Once artists have unloaded their vehicle, that vehicle must be moved to the authorized parking area. If you have an official state issued handicap license and would like to request special parking privileges, please make this known in your application.

  • The decision of the Festival Committee will be final as to which works of art shall be exhibited. Please acknowledge your understanding and acceptance of these rules by signing and returning the application form.

  • No application will be accepted after the closing date.

  • A welcome packet with additional information will be made available to all accepted artists.

Artists' Reception: A free artists' reception with live music takes place at Dare County Arts Council on Wednesday evening, August 16th. The party happens immediately after the show ends for the day, and lasts from 5 to 7 pm. We encourage the festival artists to attend, along with sponsors, volunteers, and the community. Midway through the reception, the Festival judge announces the award winners and distributes prizes. This is a great party for the artists and art lovers to enjoy food, music, air conditioning, and fun!

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