The head and torso of a woman bathed in blue and purple light with hair made to look like a jellyfish faces the camera with the word Imagine imposed over her

Imagine with the Festival May 14 - June 27, 2021

In 2020, The International Festival of Arts & Ideas reinvented its summer Festival at the last second, launching a 2-month virtual extravaganza of 200+ events that drew more than 120,000 people from throughout the world. Now, the Festival is taking what it learned from its 2020 virtual programming and stepping into the future, listening to their local and global communities to Imagine 2021 together.

A predominantly virtual festival, Festival 2021 will take place May 14 - June 27, 2021, and its 200+ events—80% free—will feature such luminaries as Jacob’s Pillow-awardee choreographer Ronald K. Brown, Indigenous playwright and Forbes “30 under 30" theater director Madeline Sayet, as well as a high drama, high fashion Hair Art show. The Festival will share the full May and June programming line-up this spring when events are open for reservation. More information is available at

Director of Programming & Community Impact Malakhi Eason is eager to bring his first season with the Festival to life. “I’m extra excited for this year’s Festival not just because the theme is Imagine, which allows us to think beyond the borders that have been placed on the arts, but also as my first year experiencing the International Festival of Arts & Ideas as its programmer.” To him, Imagining is all about connection. “Imagine is a great way to connect community, life, and dreams to the world of Art and Ideas.”

Imagination, to Festival Executive Director Shelley Quiala, is hope in action. “There’s an aspirational and uplifting nature to the theme Imagine—it's a future that we don’t yet have in our hands but are working toward.” She is excited to do this work of imagining—together: “It’s collective. It allows people to weave the new reality together. It’s not just one person’s vision; it’s expansive, and it creates room for voice and dreaming in a way that we really need right now.”

Imagine New Haven. Imagina un mundo sin fronteras. Imagine music. Imagine theater. Imagine a better world. Imagine yourself--at Festival 2021.