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WTF 2016

Written by Sophia Lebowitz • Photography by Chello Cruz

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The Knockdown Center • Queens, NY

A gathering of artists, the manifestation of an online collective; the first annual HauteNovi festival was everything and more. Everyone that showed up to the beautiful Knockdown Center in Queens left feeling uplifted by the art that surrounded them and most importantly, they left feeling inspired to keep creating. HauteNovi has proven itself as a community through this festival. Everyone there, be you a performer, a vendor, an artist, or simply a spectator, was just as much a part of the artistic experience as anyone else. There was collaboration in the air and connections were being made as the HauteNovi vision came to life on that day and the community is now stronger than ever.

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Noy Markel performing "Owning the Night"

"I always wanted to meet people who were just as passionate as I was about art, music, and just bringing people together" - Noy Markel

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Middle Child performing "Georgia"

"One of our biggest advantages at this point is that we are unheard of, and I think when you're operating behind the scenes there's a lot more creativity and a lot more time to get what you want done. I'm very grateful for the fact that we are up and coming, and that we have chances like this" - Danny Silberstein, Middle Child

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Schilly and Wes Walker performing "Jordan Belfort"
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Wes Walker

The artists featured at the festival were not polished robots who knew exactly what to do and exactly what to say when on stage; they were young, they were spontaneous, and they were working out the kinks in the most beautiful and exciting way. Just as HauteNovi is coming into its own identity as a brand and as a collective, the artists featured are still coming into their own as well. To be around this energy of growth and creativity was truly inspiring. Although we may all be starting out, this group of underdog talent will surely meet at the top.

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Little Stranger performing "Easier or Harder"
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Jeremy Zucker performing "keep your head afloat"
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Jackson Breit

Back to back musical acts illuminated the warehouse space while fine artists created live paintings and fashion designers sold their products. Those there to witness the festival watched and mingled. It was clear that this event was the start of something special. Although HauteNovi is relatively new, the vision of its' founder, Tamara, rang clear throughout the entirety of the festival. That vision is to give young, independent artists a platform to showcase what they can do, and, just as importantly, to learn from others doing the same. Watching Tamara witness the HauteNovi artists perform was like watching a proud mentor see success in those they have helped. As the artists lit up the stage and showcased their work, it became incredibly clear that all of the underdog talent that Tamara believes in would not be underdogs for long.

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Good Karma Hats
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AlexMika Jewelry
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The Snittö
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Gabrielle Benak's makeshift business cards
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Klever

WTF 2016 was, in all definitions of the word, a success. The artists were able to showcase, observe, and collaborate. The spectators were able to learn, be inspired, and participate in a collective that will continue to grow and evolve with the artists it represents. HauteNovi is more than just an online platform, it is a community that enriches the lives of those who are apart of it.

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