Lectures & Conversations

Ideas have enormous power: They inspire, they provoke, they delight.

Enjoy FREE lectures and conversations from a wide variety of speakers and thinkers in the Festival's Ideas series.


All Ideas events are free, but many reach maximum capacity. Make sure you get a seat with an Ideas Fast Pass, which allows you to enter the venue first and grab your spot! Each venue opens 30 minutes before the program’s scheduled start time for Ideas Fast Pass holders only. The public is admitted 15 minutes before start time.

Get your fast pass

Ideas on Foot- Dixwell’s Roots

Explore the Dixwell neighborhood of today, recalling the importance of its historical African American sites.

Sun, June 4, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

Survival of the Fittest: Youth, Guns, and the Culture of Violence

The Arts & Ideas high school Fellowship students are teaming up with Citywide Youth Coalition to present a Town Hall discussion as part of "Activate (Be)longing."

Thu, June 8, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
2 hrs

Ideas on Foot- The Changing Roles of Downtown

Stroll through history learning about the people and institutions that shaped old New Haven.

Mon, June 12, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century

Identifying and understanding the parallels between our current reality and that of 20th century Europeans.

Tue, June 13, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min


In association with WNPR and New England News Collaborative

John Dankosky in a lively discussion recorded for broadcast, that looks at the new economic reality under Donald Trump.

Wed, June 14, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

Imaging New Haven: Candy/A Good and Spacious Land

Explore the concept of the “model city” through the lens of New Haven.

Thu, June 15, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

Imaging New Haven: Engaging the City

Presented in conjunction with the newly published, Candy/A Good and Spacious Land, and an exhibition of Goldberg and Wylie’s work.

Fri, June 16, 2017, 1:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

American Cuisine, New England Cuisine, New Haven Cuisine

A history of American eating preferences and how we got to where we are.

Sun, June 18, 2017, 3:00pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

Citizenship: An Exploration

Who has it, who grants it, and why?

Tue, June 20, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

Ideas on Foot- Wooster Square: The Immigrant Experience

The historic buildings of Wooster Square tell stories of the diverse groups that settled in this neighborhood.

Wed, June 21, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

Talking Around the Back Porch: Stories on August Wilson

A conversation with Constanza Romero and Harry J. Elam, Jr.

Wilson's wife Romero and Scholar Elam discuss the playwright's art and engage his famous ten-play history cycle.

Thu, June 22, 2017, 5:30pm  Details
1 hr 30 min

A conversation with Taylor Mac and Bassem Youssef

Building community through humor and art during our current times

Sat, June 24, 2017, 3:00pm  Details
1 hr 30 min