Celebrate Bethlehem in Culture , Justice and Faith
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Short Summary
The third edition of the Bet Lahem LiveFestival takes off again this year from August 6th – 9th 2015, in Bethlehem’s Old City! Once more, it is time for Bethlehem to celebrate its city with the rest of the world. The festival will link local communities to global action with an extensive list of local and international performers in four full days of activities — including workshops, conferences with speakers from around the world, movie screenings, and international and community panels. We will celebrate culture and challenge our local and international notions of justice, faith and community in a globalized world through a multitude of events. The theme of this third edition is “Mayyel Talana”, which means come by here… 

What We Need & What You Get

Help us make Bet Lahem Live the festival of the Middle East by attracting thousands of visitors each year in celebration of peace and hope for the future. 

Bet Lahem live is brought to you by the Holy Land Trust, in cooperation with the Bethlehem Municipality and Governorate, Ministry of Tourism, and in partnership with the world renowned Greenbelt Festival in the UK.  The festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year and is held in cooperation with the community of Bethlehem and the Committee of Star Street’s inhabitants. 

The Impact

As the only festival of its kind in Bethlehem, the event serves to empower a Bethlehem identity both locally and internationally. The festival’s impact will work in five main areas: community empowerment, Star Street development, tourism, identification of Bethlehem’s world renowned art and culture, and to create a platform for local artists and musicians. 

Community Empowerment: Several local committees have been organized to help design the festival and to organize extended projects. The festival also encourages locals to start micro-businesses because they saw their success in the marketplace during last year’s festival. (We have several such success stories to date.) 

Star Street Development: The festival works to rehabilitate a specific section of the Old City, Star Street. Each year we expect a 30% increase of the 98 potential stores on Star Street to open during the festival and more than a 5% increase after each festival. 2014’s festival had a significant impact on attracting investments to Star Street including at least 3 potential cafes, a bookshop, Star Street Art Gallery, and a farmers market, as well as other investments which are currently in the works. 

Bethlehem City: Organizing a festival in arts, culture, justice, peace, and faith attracts many different visitors to Bethlehem, each who will spend several days visiting the city.  The festival will attract leaders in peace and people of faith initiatives which will bring Bethlehem increased visibility. This year, the festival is expecting to welcome more than 20,000 visitors and of that more than 30% are expected to be internationals. 

Platform for Arts & Culture: The festival seeks to continue its impetus of being a platform for local artists to increase their exposure by creating two artistic avenues on Star Street – both previously launched in 2014’s Festival. The Creative Hub offers a space for local artists to expose their work and to create exchanges between Palestinian artists and international artists.  It also provides a possibility for local artists to generate income by selling their works.  Star Street Art Gallery, is a new project being developed for the 2015 festival and will receive works from international and local artists. The gallery will be the third such space in the West Bank.  It will be open to the community to promote local artists and culture, to offer a platform for an international exchange, to create a space to potentially sell their products, and to continue the momentum of the festival. 

Our goal is to create an annual festival that can challenge the local and international community in envisioning an ideal for the future of Bethlehem. To further these goals, the objectives of the festival are 1) to create a program that engages, promotes and celebrates the religious diversity in Bethlehem; 2) to create a cultural platform for the arts and heritage of Bethlehem’s communities to engage, expose exchange, and enrich their creativity; 3) to create, inspire and raise awareness to engage the community role in social justice; 4) to empower and encourage the Star Street community to achieve its potentials; and 5) to create a sustainable festival that presents a model for peace and justice – locally and globally. Additional features of the festival are reviving Star Street, youth empowerment and participation, and lastly supporting sustainable tourism. 

Program & Activities include Cultural, Artistic and Musical Performance; Nonviolence Workshops; Faith Panels; Community Activities; Tours and Awareness; Social Justice and a Handicraft Marketplace.

Local Audience: Bethlehem, cities in Palestine and 1948 territories, youth between the age 16 – 28, families and children, intellectuals, artists, artisans, faith leaders, local businesses, Muslim and Christian communities, local organizations, and NGO’s.

International Audience: Tourists, peace-activists, network of our partner organizations and our network of 22,000+, youth and adults 21-35, intellectuals, artists, faith leaders, diplomatic entities, international media, twin cities around the world, network of sister festivals, Palestinian Diaspora Committees. Main target countries: US, UK, Italy, Brazil, Chile, United Arab Emirates, and France.

Beneficiaries: Star Street inhabitants, local artists, artisans, handicraft associations, stores and restaurants along Star Street, local NGO’s, local museums, youth, and the Bethlehem population with a special focus on families.

  • 70% of attendees will be between the ages of 21 and 45;
  • 45% of attendees will return for a second day;
  • 30% of our audience will be international;
  • 70% of our audience will be local;
  • An estimate of  25,000 viewers of the festival through Live Stream organized by Palestinian Diaspora Committees in specific locations around the world (8 countries in Europe, South America, and the United Arab Emirates are potential places to display the festival in public spaces)
Other Ways You Can Help

Bet Lahem LiveFestival is first and foremost a community event supporting social responsibility in Palestinian society, specifically of Bethlehemites to their city and their community.  Social responsibility is an important value for the future of any community and involves every level of society, particularly the corporate world.   

Bet Lahem LiveFestival is a grassroots, non-profit initiative that is possible due to the generous support of actors in our community.  Help us ensure the sustainability of the festival as an open-access, inclusive festival. 

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Bethlehem (Beit Lahm), Palestine
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The Holy Land Trust is neither a political nor a religious organization; we aspire to learn from the spiritual teachings and values of all faiths and traditions that bring unity to the human family and closeness to the Creator of…

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