2022 Visionary Leadership Award

In-person tickets unavailable for online purchase. To inquire about availability, please contact Finn at fhenry@artidea.org.


Join us as we honor Sahraa Karimi, Independent Film Director & Screenwriter, at our 12th Annual Visionary Leadership Award Luncheon—taking place April 6, 2022, in-person and streamed live on our virtual stage. 

Luncheon attendees will enjoy a plated lunch while hearing Sahraa Karimi discuss her work and vision for the future, culminating in the award acceptance and a special artistic performance. This is an exciting opportunity to re-connect with your friends, network with philanthropic, academic, and business community members, and be inspired by Karimi’s words as we move forward together as a global community.

Poet, facilitator, and doula Yexandra "Yex" Diaz will also perform during this luncheon. Yex brings powerful rhyme and word to every performance- see just a sample of the treat in store below! 

We are proud to feature a vegetarian meal, a tradition we began at the Visionary Leadership Award Luncheon in 2019 in the spirit of environmental sustainability. Guests with other dietary restrictions should contact us for accommodation. 

Please consider the purchase of a premiere ticket, which provides leadership support of the event and an invitation to an intimate post-Luncheon reception at the Omni to connect personally with Karimi. 

Virtual access includes livestream of the program, which you can enjoy simultaneously and—for greater flexibility—on-demand through April 15th.  

All tickets include exclusive, on-demand access to Sahraa Karimi’s feature film debut Hava, Maryam, Ayesha. View the trailer below.

As our largest fundraiser of the year, your attendance supports the International Festival of Arts & Ideas’ Jean Handley Fund for community-based programming, free performances on the New Haven Green, family-focused programs, and US Premieres. 

We are also proud to be partnering with local organizations to ensure access to this event and Karimi’s Hava, Maryam, Ayesha to community members. For more information about how to support a community member’s attendance, please contact Finn Henry at FHenry@artidea.org or 203.498.3709 or give to the Jean Handley Fund online now.


Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for in-person attendance. Guests will be asked to wear a mask when not eating or drinking. Additional precautions may be required based on public health guidance and City of New Haven policy effective April 6, 2022. 

Premiere Tickets $300.00 

  • Preferred seating at luncheon 
  • Exclusive access to post luncheon reception  
  • Recognition of your support in the luncheon program 
  • Exclusive, on demand, access to virtual film screening 

General Tickets $175.00 

  • General seating at luncheon 
  • Exclusive, on demand, access to virtual film screening 

Virtual Premiere Ticket $125.00  

  • Access to livestream of Sahraa Karimi Conversation & Award Presentation  
  • Access to performance by local artist Yex
  • Exclusive access to a virtual meet and greet with Sahraa Karimi  
  • Recognition of your support in the luncheon program 

Online View Only $75.00 

  • Access to livestream of Sahraa Karimi Conversation & Award Presentation, Performance 
  • Access to performance by local artist Yex
  • Exclusive, on demand, access to virtual film screening 

Flexible ticket pricing available to ensure access to our full community. Contact Finn Henry at FHenry@artidea.org or 203.498.3709 for more information. 


A trailer for HAVA, MARYAM, AYESHA, by Sahraa Karimi. Three Afghan women from different social backgrounds, living in Kabul, are facing challenges in their lives that they have to resolve on their own. Hava, a traditional pregnant woman, Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, and Ayesha, an 18-year-old girl, try to find solutions to their problems for the first time in their lives in the patriarchal society of Afghanistan.
Yex performing with Finn Henry. Yex's style uplifts Afro-Indigenous culture while evoking radical spiritualism to rewrite the dangerous singular narratives which plague stigmatized peoples.

Sahraa Karimi

A university lector, independent film director and screenwriter from Kabul, Afghanistan, Sahraa Karimi immigrated to the Slovak Republic at Age 17 as a refugee. Here she received her PhD Degree in the field of Cinema (Fiction Film Directing & Screenwriting) from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Film and TV Faculty. Karimi then returned to Kabul and established her own Film Production Company, Kapila Multimedia House, to support Afghan independent filmmakers and artists.  She was forced to leave Afghanistan due to the sudden and unexpected fall of Kabul and the return of the Taliban to power and is currently a visiting- professor at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematographia  (Rome National Film School) in Rome, Italy.   

Yexandra "Yex" Diaz

Yexandra 'Yex' Diaz is a multi-disciplinary artist and professional whose oeuvre is her sobering expression of what it is to exist in a world of resistance, resilience and revolution during a new era of renaissance rooted in healing. Chicago born and New Haven raised, the polarizing reality of oppression juxtaposed alongside privilege inspires Yex, an Oral Narrator to employ the art of spoken word as a vehicle for messages that raise awareness around social and environmental injustices. Yex's voice is an instrument utilized to highlight, heal and honor by marrying thought with speech to convey the pain and plight turned purpose of those negatively impacted by oppressive systems. Yex's style uplifts afro-indigenous culture while evoking radical spiritualism to rewrite the dangerous single narratives which plague stigmatized peoples. As an overall Community Advocate, Yex serves many roles ranging from a Birth Doula and Educator to a Facilitator developing and delivering trainings rooted in addressing racial inequities. all of which are displayed through her body of work.

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