Fri 8/05-Sun 8/07
Known for its affordability, authenticity and accessibility, Weapons of Mass Creation (WMC) is a three-day festival developed by creative agency Go Media. Started in 2010, WMC is now in its seventh year. The festival will take place at Playhouse Square in the newly renovated Ohio and State Theaters.
Weapons of Mass Creation has gained significant popularity across the country by way of word-of-mouth in the creative industries. We caught up with Heather Sakai, co-event director at WMC, to learn more about what this year’s festival has in store for all of us.
CC: What are you most excited about this year’s event?
HS: This year, we are most excited for bringing our community together. We’re excited to be reunited with creatives who have attended in the past and meet those who are attending for the first time. We’re also excited for the incredible line-up of speakers we have this year. These include Grammy award-winning designer Stefan Sagmeister of the famed design company Sagmeister and Walsh, Mark Brickey of the Adventures in Design Podcast, and Cleveland hero Lily Rose Lee (formerly known as Michelle Knight). We’re sure to find these stories not only inspirational, but transformational.
Other exciting events include our engaging workshops, our live illustration battle entitled Ink Wars, the Cleveland design studio tour sponsored by the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, a Dribbble meetup, the Jakprints After Party, our vendor village and seven live podcasts.
CC: What is WMC known for in the creative industry?
HS: Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is known for its affordability, authenticity and accessibility. Almost all of our attendees are gained by way of word-of-mouth, as we do little advertising. At Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, the attendees leave any notion of competition aside for the weekend. We share secrets of our success, disclose our struggles and challenge one another to view the world differently.
CC: Why do you think WMC has experienced such big growth so quickly?
HS: WMC Fest started as a 50-person conference. Now we’re looking to see about 1,000 attendees turn up over our three-day weekend. We attribute this to our attendees. After they experience the event, they’ve done a great job of spreading the word.
CC: What is different about this year than prior years?
HS: WMC Fest has always been about our community. It’s a time for us to come together, reconnect and recharge. This year, our focus is on the educational component of our programming.
CC: What would you like those attending to know?
HS: This conference is not only for seasoned professionals, freelancers and students of design, but for anyone who loves art or who expresses themselves through creativity of any kind.
CC: Why are we so lucky to have WMC right here in our backyard?
HS: Cleveland has such a rich history of art and we’re happy that Weapons of Mass Creation Fest can contribute to that. Since 60% of our attendees come from outside of our city and state, we’re still trying to gain more support from Cleveland and surrounding areas. We call ourselves a “hidden gem” for our city. We hope that will change soon.
CC: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about Weapons of Mass Creation?
HS: We truly believe that anyone who appreciates art or creativity of any kind to experience Weapons of Mass Creation Fest once in their life. We call it “three days that will change your life,” and truly believe that is the case. If you approach the fest with an open mind and an open heart, you can leave more confident, ready to take the leap of faith you’ve always wanted and ready to take on the world. We suggest that you open yourselves up to the other attendees. Start conversations, take notes, truly listen and experience every moment.
To learn more about the festival, connect, volunteer, get tickets or donate, click the link below.
[Written by: Kendall Embrescia-Hridel]