Imagine RIT Festival Attracts Thousands of Visitors

Inaugural festival showcased more than 400 examples of innovation and creativity

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A. Sue Weisler

A portion of the estimated 17,000-20,000 people who attended the first Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 3.

The ‘right brain’ and ‘left brain’ collided at Rochester Institute of Technology May 3, and an estimated 17,000-20,000 people turned out to see it happen.

RIT President Bill Destler has deemed the inaugural Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival a rousing achievement.

“Last Saturday’s festival was a success beyond my wildest expectations,” Destler says. “I was so proud of both the great turnout for the event and of the quality of creative and innovative work displayed by our faculty, staff and students. Saturday was, indeed, a great day for RIT.”

Student Government President Ed Wolf, who was also an exhibitor at the festival, agrees: “There was definitely an electricity in the air. You could tell that a lot of people just didn’t know about all of these cool things that exist at RIT. The festival was a huge success.”

Visitors witnessed a robot that served hot dogs, a concrete canoe that floats and dozens of musical and theatrical performances. Children made freeze-dried ice cream, test drove Roomba Robots and took a spin on a Ferris wheel.

And it’s all happening again next year. The second Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival will be held May 2, 2009, on the RIT campus.

To relive the event through a photo slideshow, visit Visitors are encouraged to add their own photos from the festival to the collection.

Visit the RIT University News Web site to listen to special editions of the RIT news podcast “Studio 86,” recorded on location at the festival.

Note: Audio available for this story