Anyone who’s visited Tulum, the hippie-chic coastal hotspot on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, knows that there’s a special magic to it—a magic in that every stylish hotel, restaurant, and shop seems to live up to the area’s natural beauty. And even despite Tulum's rapid growth in recent years, that magic has remained—and the town's resident tastemakers are looking to keep it that way.
“What if there could be a way I could work on a creative project that could provide solutions to deal with Tulum’s rapid growth?” says designer David Graziano, who has opened boutique hotels Ahau, Alaya, and Villa Pescadores since moving to Tulum in 2013. His solution? Art With Me, an all-encompassing culture festival with an environmental agenda, which will take place for the first time from May 10-13.
Founded by Graziano and several other entrepreneurs (including Sebastian Saas of Be Tulum, Eduardo Castillo and Kfir Leve of Habitas, and Alfonso Garrido of Tulum Art Club), the immersive four-day event will bring together more than 25 local businesses to showcase the town’s cultural cache while also seeking to educate visitors and residents on issues plaguing the area through thoughtful art initiatives, workshops, and panel discussions. “This is a learning process for all involved,” says Graziano, “and what better way to learn how to protect something than celebrating it?”
The events—spanning music, art, food, and culture—will include a set from electronic music duo Thievery Corporation; special dinners from Nu Tulum, Wild, and Casa Jaguar; a sustainability workshop with chef Daniella Hunter of the hotel Sanara; and art installation IK LAB by Tulum local (and great grandson of Peggy Guggenheim), Santiago Rumney Guggenheim. That’s not to say that the festival won’t represent its locale, though: forty-percent of the arts and cultural programming will be open to the public, while 60-percent of the talent are from Mexico. Tickets from $350; artwithme.org.