Bethlehem Live is a global movement of art, community, and cultural power.
This is the one free event that ensures there is a space for everyone.
Our market opens up new markets for new, aspiring businesses.
Our workshops provide new opportunities to develop resiliency.
Our comedy lined up provides the much needed moment of light-heartedness.
At the heart of Bethlehem Live is the pursuit of social justice.
In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and Bethlehem Municipality, Holy Land Trust organizes an annual summer artistic and cultural festival in the heart of Bethlehem. The reason this program was initiated is, despite the critical importance of the city both historically and religiously, Bethlehem previously lacked any annual cultural festival. Given that Bethlehem is one of the primary tourist attractions in all of Palestine, this seemed like a significant oversight.
This first-of-its-kind festival is called "Bet Lahem Live" because most of its activities will be held live on Star Street. Star Street, the main street running through the heart of the old town of Bethlehem, was once an area of robust economic activity. Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in the year 2000, however, the economic situation for those who worked and lived on Star Street deteriorated. More than 80 shops out of 98 were eventually closed. Now, it remains in place mostly as a historical artifact. The street does not maintain any semblance of life or the commercial and touristic activities that it once did, despite being listed as a world heritage site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO).
Due to the street’s closure, and its neglect by authorities, pilgrims do not pass by the road that has always been the only path toward the Church of the Nativity. The road is, according to Christian tradition, the route taken by Joseph and Mary on their way to the Grotto of the Nativity.
The purpose of the festival is to give this street the opportunity to revive its cultural and artistic spirit, tourism, and commerce. Most of the four-day festival’s events will be held on Star street. These events include: