Woodstock music festival 1969 defined an entire generation, and its effects on music and American culture can still be felt today. It was the pop culture music event of the decade and arguably the single most profound event in the history of music. What began as a paid event drew so many viewers from across the world that the fences were torn down and it became a free concert open to the public. Acts from all around the world met at Max Yasgur‘s Farm in Bethel, NY on August 15-18, 1969 for a celebration of peace and music.
Soaked by rain and wallowing in the muddy mess of Yasgur’s fields, young fans took in the performances of acts like Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to name a few. At Woodstock 1969, 500,000 individuals gathered peacefully making it the largest gathering of human beings in one place in history.
The Museum at Bethel Woods is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Woodstock by allowing visitors to learn more about the history of the concert and perhaps things most people may not even know. However, The Museum at Bethel Woods is much more than an exhibit on the festival itself, it takes an in-depth look at the ways the social climate of the decade led to the Woodstock festival and how this watershed cultural moment helped to define a generation. The Main Exhibit is an award-winning multimedia experience that immerses guests in the popular culture, politics, and social history of the 1960s and one that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and interests.
We are fortunate to provide the promotional materials used by Bethel Woods Museum and are proud to call them a client. We caught up with Liz McKay, Communications Coordinator at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, to answer a few questions with us about what makes The Museum at Bethel Woods such a unique and important place.
PS: In your opinion what did Woodstock teach our country about music etc.?
BW: The Woodstock festival is important for what it symbolizes. It was the first festival of its kind and it showed the country that in the face of terrible conditions (rain, lack of facilities, lack of food, overcrowding), over 500,000 young people were able to gather together peacefully united by a common love of music and desire to change the world for the better. We are proud to have the opportunity to be stewards of this important place in American history while ensuring it remains relevant to future generations by continuing to unite people through music and a desire to contribute positively to their communities.
PS: Can you briefly tell me about the Woodstock exhibit at Bethel Woods and what makes it special & unique in comparison to other exhibits about Woodstock?
BW: Through changing special exhibits and moving film and speaker series, The Museum at Bethel Woods uses the ideals of the 1960s – including freedom of expression, creativity, and acceptance – to inspire a new generation to contribute positively to the world around them.
PS: What are some things about Woodstock that perhaps most people don’y know that you’d like to share?
BW: Woodstock was actually held in the town of Bethel, NY about 50 miles from the town of Woodstock. It is in Bethel that Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is located – a cultural center on 800 acres that includes the original Woodstock monument, The Museum at Bethel Woods, a conservatory for arts education programming, and multiple performance stages including an outdoor amphitheater with seating for over 15,000.
PS: Whats your favorite story/image from the festival?
BW: Many stories of acts of kindness and humanity exist from the Woodstock festival. These tales of individuals helping others and remaining calm and peaceful are definitely our favorite as they represent our mission. It is amazing to see people become inspired, empowered and educated through the arts and humanities. The power of the arts as a means for uniting people of diverse backgrounds was truly visible at the Woodstock festival, and it was a beautiful thing.
PS: Can you tell us a little bit about how your organization uses the promotional materials you order through PinSource?
BW: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is supported by an integral network of donors, members, and volunteers. We used material from PinSource to honor the years of service provided by our team of over 150 active volunteers. Some volunteers have been with our organization since we opened in 2006, and many donate hundreds of ours of their time each year. We use the materials to thank them for their hard work.
PS: What else would you like people to know about Bethel Woods Center for the Arts or the Museum itself?
BW: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a not for profit cultural center that is located at the original site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. In addition to preserving these historic grounds and interpreting the events of the decade of the 1960s, the organization is dedicated to providing rich cultural opportunities for a variety of audiences.
Bethel Woods welcomes approximately 300,000 guests a year offering nearly 300 programs and events, including an award-winning Museum, performances, community festivals, and arts and humanities-based educational programming. We strive to offer something for everyone, and encourage visitors to join us for programming that is offered 9 months of the year.
The Museum embodies the key ideals of the era we interpret—peace, respect, cooperation, creativity, engagement, and a connection to the planet we live on and all the people who inhabit it. In addition to preserving and interpreting an era, the Museum is actively involved in their community—through education, economic development, and historic preservation—to encourage social responsibility among visitors and supporters and to advocate for issues in their local community and the world to make it a better place. To borrow from 1960s ideology, everyone has the power to change the world.
To visit the Bethel Woods center or to find out more visit their website: www.bethelwoodscenter.org Watch the video below for a virtual tour of the Center.
And to learn about how you can design promotional materials for your organization call us or visit our site! We would be happy to help you!