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Artists Invited To Participate In 40th Annual New World Festival of the Arts

A Celebration of the Festival’s History

The 40th New World Festival of the Arts, which will honor late founders Claire Grieves and Edward Greene, will be held on the Manteo waterfront from 10am to 5pm on Tuesday, August 16 and Wednesday, August 17.

“This year, we are taking the festival back to its roots and focusing on the founders’ original celebration of fine artists,” said Dare County Arts Council Executive Director Jessica Sands. “New World Festival of the Arts has been a Manteo tradition for decades, and we invite local and regional artists to join us for the 40th year of this iconic outdoor art festival.”

The free, family-friendly outdoor festival brings artists from all over the East Coast to downtown Manteo to showcase their fine art, including paintings, photography, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, wood design, leather works, and fiber.

Artists wishing to participate in the New World Festival of the Arts can find an application online here. The application deadline is Sunday, May 1. Notifications will be made by May 15, and a full schedule of participating artists will be available in June.

Greene worked with Grieves to establish a juried outdoor fine art festival that would provide local and regional artists the opportunity to display and sell their creative work, while acquainting visitors with the historic Town of Manteo. In 1982, Greene and Grieves made their vision come to life with the first New World Festival of the Arts taking place in Manteo.

“I remember being excited about being in a new outdoor art show in the summer of 1982,” said 1982 Best In Show Photography award recipient Ray Matthews. “I was impressed with Claire Grieves and her expertise in organizing and promoting shows in Florida, and I knew that if Mr. Greene was on board that it was going to be well done, as well as a showcase for our local artists and artists from far and wide. The turnout was great and sales were very good. It was obvious by the end that everyone was happy with The New World Festival of the Arts, and that we would surely be back the next year. But, I didn't foresee a forty year run! Congratulations to all involved for keeping it going so well and for so long!”

A special awards reception will be held on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 from 5pm to 7pm at Dare County Arts Council’s Gallery in Manteo. In addition to announcing the award recipients and distributing prizes, the reception will honor Grieves, Greene and the artists who participated in the first New World Festival of the Arts.

“Even when it started in the early 80’s, local artists as well as exhibitors from Florida to Virginia to Maryland had to undergo a jury selection,” said Outer Banks artist Rick Tupper, who participated in the first New World Festival of the Arts. “From those early days on, the festival has grown into the number one quality outdoor arts event in Dare County and beyond. A small vision turned into a larger vision, and keeps growing thanks to the remarkable foresight and hard work of the late, great Claire Grieves and Edward Greene.”

The New World Festival of the Arts is the longest-running outdoor art show on the Outer Banks.

Businesses interested in sponsoring the 40th New World Festival of the Arts should contact Dare County Arts Council’s Executive Director Jessica Sands at

The event is sponsored by the Town of Manteo.

This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

For more information about the New World Festival of the Arts, please click here or call (252) 473-5558.

Dare County Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity.

All photos courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center, State Archives of North Carolina.

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