Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
avatar for Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Founder of Urban Zen, Board Member, Fashion Design '87
Donna Karan’s desire to address people, not just dress them, led her to establish The Urban Zen Foundation in 2007. This lifelong traveler and yogi, mother and grandmother is dedicated to adding the missing link – mind, body and spirit – to healthcare and education, while preserving the wisdom of ancient culture.  Karan works with established organizations such as the Clinton Foundation, Grief and Nomad Two Worlds. The Clinton Global Initiative was Karan’s inspiration for Urban Zen: to bring like-minded people together in a place and space – the Urban Zen Center – to affect change through collaboration and creativity.

Inspired by the illness of her husband Stephan Weiss, as well as close friends suffering with disease, Karan founded the groundbreaking Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) Program, which integrates eastern healing modalities with western science. The Program has partnerships with UCLA, Beth Israel Medical Center, Kent State University and YogaWorks.

For Karan, Haiti is where Urban Zen’s health, education and culture initiatives come together. Alongside The Clinton Global Initiative, Karan helps develop and support sustainable opportunities as part of The Foundation’s Haiti Artisan Project. Donna works directly with artisans to elevate design, provide vocational education, job creation and raise awareness to the global market as part of her Philanthropic and Commerce model for the Soulful Economy mission.