River Tales | Flussgeschichten | 2017 | street art festival

RIVER TALES: The current of Life through Art

RIVER TALES is the redesign of city, countryside and river through contemporary urban art with street art and mural art.

The RIVER TALLEY Street Art Festival aims to create a new access to the river and raise awareness of the important lifeline “Our rivers and streams”.

Far too long already, we are using concrete to obstruct river regions.

Far too long already, we are polluting waters, animals and nature.

For too long already, we are dealing carelessly with the precious resource of water.

We want a rethinking of industry, consumers and politics in dealing with our waters.

Each of us should deal cautiously with the element water and appreciate our rivers. Originally, the mankind had settled in river regions and river mouths because he appreciated the lifelines. Today, we have narrowed the water veins, taken them the oxygen and regard them in many places as a threat of flooding. But the river was and has always been a source of life.

With the RIVER TALES slogan “The Current of Life through Art” – the flow of life through art shall spread in our cities. Art should bring forgotten places back to life, change urban spaces and give people joy.

The mission of RIVER TALES is “The River of Life”: Our water – where it springs, where it flows, where we use it.


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“Already as children, we cared passionately for a creek near our parents’ house for years. We cleaned the creek of garbage and put the emphasis on the flora and fauna. We, the team behind the RIVER TALES festival, always wanted to become rock stars to save the world. Today we start with a small festival.” – 3Steps

The RIVER TALES festival takes place since 2012, with steady growth. The idea came in the year of 2011. A first prequel was the OPTICAL CONFUSION mural art festival in Wetzlar in 2006. RIVER TALES wants to strengthen the connection between rivers and cities and to highlight their importance, to increase the quality of life in the city and to stand for the element of water. The RIVER TALES artworks shall create visually perceptible a closer combination of city, person and nature. Anecdotes and cultural backgrounds of the region are included in some of the artworks. Contemporary art and urban street art reinterpret the interplay of city, countryside and river.

With regard to urban art and street art, Giessen already played a pioneering role in the development of German street and urban art in the 1990s, and was one of Europe’s major cities alongside Berlin, Dortmund, Munich, Paris and London. One aim of the RIVER TALES festival in Giessen is to strengthen this culture in Giessen and make it visible in the current flow of art. The RIVER TALES creates a platform for artists and regional creatives to make their works permanently and free of charge accessible to the public.

The event promotes the exchange between artists of different backgrounds and from different countries. The festival creates a dialogue with citizens and those interested in urban art and street art. Beside the art events, RIVER TALES cooperates with local institutions, associations and groups on environmental protection, local creative industries and our rivers.

The RIVER TALES sfestival and its initiators were honored by the Federal Government of Germany with the title “Cultural and Creative Pilot Germany” in 2014. The project received a grant from cultural funding Giessen-Wetzlar in 2011/2012. In 2014 it was supported by the city of Giessen and other supporters during the State Garden Show in Giessen. In 2017 and 2018, the festival and the organizing team were awarded and honored with the “Ab in die Mitte” award by the Hessian Ministry of Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. In 2017, the team also achieved a successful crowdfunding via Startnext to realize the third episode of the festival.

In addition to street and mural art, the festival always offers a varied program. In recent years, people could participate at drum or mindfulness-based stress reduction workshops, artist talks, the “Culture Jam” with German rock music, beat box at its best and acrobatic break dance, a creative market and guided city tours. Highlights in past years included the special film screening with the director of the film “Hello My Name Is” Stephan Pohl and a skate contest in the middle of the pedestrian area of Giessen.

RIVER TALES is a NON-PROFIT-PROJECT. The organizing team of the RIVER TALES festival does the organization and realization in many parts voluntarily. RIVER TALES is initiated and curated by the 3Steps collective.