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Imagine RIT festival is a virtual event this year

RIT holds its Imagine RIT Creativity and Innovation Festival Saturday, May 1, but it will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year it was not held at all.

Festival Director Ann Miller said that starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, the RIT website will have links to videos of the exhibits that have been put together by students and staff.

The festival, which has attracted nearly 300,000 visitors since it was first held in 2008, is a campus-wide event that showcases the creative and innovative spirt of RIT students, faculty and staff. She said there will be some live interaction as well.

“There are though, for the pre-recorded exhibits, some live components, so the video of the exhibit itself is pre-recorded, but the student exhibitors will be available for live Q and A,” Miller said.

There is alsoa Futurists Symposium from noon to 1:30 p.m. online, which will be live, with a panel discussing the latest innovations in technology, art and design. The panel will be moderated by WXXI Connections talk show host Evan Dawson.

Miller said that one advantage of the virtual format this year is it allows for participation from all over the world, including RIT campuses in Kosovo, Croatia, Dubai and China. Miller said another plus about the virtual format is that many of the presentations will be accessible long after this year’s Imagine festival.

“So not only can folks engage with it after the official festival date but the students as well can include these links on their resumes and refer back to their projects in their time at RIT for future employers or just future reference in general,” Miller noted.

Miller said while no decisions have been made yet about the 2022 festival, she would not be surprised to see some virtual components continue even after the pandemic eases.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.