The Movement Research Festival finds its roots in the Improvisation Festival/New York (IF/NY), initiated in 1992 by Sondra Loring (a MR Artist-in-Residence at the time) and Julie Carr. In 1999 IF/NY became a programs of Movement Research, under the curation of Programming Director Amanda Loulaki. In 2004, Movement Research created an artist-curator format, and, beginning in 2006, Movement Research established the festival as a twice-annual event.
The Fall Festival is shaped by Movement Research's programming staff in collaboration with Festival Curators, who bring their own interests and ideas to specific festival events. The Spring Festival is produced by a group of artist-curators who determine the emphasis, shape, and programming. Together, these two approaches allow for a varied investigation and exploration into current artistic concerns and reflect Movement Research's mission of valuing artists, their creative process and their vital role within society.