Imagine New Leaders

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas High School Fellowship Program offers qualified New Haven public school sophomores and juniors a unique, fully funded opportunity to learn about the arts. The semester-long college-level course is designed to develop students’ skills in communication and critical thinking by immersing them in all aspects of the Festival, including performances, lectures, community engagement, production, and management.

This year's 2021 Fellows cohort combined the Festival theme of "Imagine" with ideas from the NEA Big Read book, An American Sunrise, by US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, the global climate of vocal social justice, and their own personal relations and experiences to social justice issues. From their experiences with visiting artists, community interactions and class-wide discussions with their instructors, they began to understand more of how the arts are a weapon of social justice.

Using their newfound filmmaking and song making skills and the confinements of distance learning, our Fellows began to shape their voices to stand up as budding artist-activists. Using their collective voice our Fellows produced their final virtual town hall project for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas on topics ranging from youth empowerment, dual identity, cultural representation, body positivity, feminism, racism & immigration.

2021 Graduation Ceremony

The Festival Fellowship Program creates the next generation of community leaders. Join us to celebrate their graduation at a live ceremony on Zoom.

Joselyn Hernandez

Joselyn Hernandez is an 11th grader in Coop High School. Born in El Salvador and raised in New Haven, she’s a public performer in the art of theater and looks forward to continuing the art at College. Her future goal is to become a professional actress.

Christopher Cazarin

Christopher Cazarin is an upcoming actor and director who seeks to create art for the people. He has performed in school musicals such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, The Wiz, In the Heights, Rent, and Fame the musical. He has also participated in showcases to the public for his high school. He looks forward to graduating and taking the next steps into college to major in the arts.

Nelson Colon

Nelson Colon is a 17 year old junior at Cooperative Humanities Arts High School. Nelson is a musician, artist, and future entrepreneur. He plays 3 instruments-- violin, viola, and cello-- and has played many concerts in his school. He started his own business called Open Arts, based on art therapy.

Myles Anderson

Myles Anderson is an honor student at Hamden High School. Outside of school, Myles enjoys reading, watching, and drawing Anime, building go-karts, refurbishing bicycles, and riding his electric skateboard on the local trail.

Ariana Krebel

Ariana Krebel is a 15-year-old high school sophomore attending ESUMS. Ariana was born and raised in New Haven and has been an active member of the performing arts community since she was seven years old. Her art forms include singing and acting, which play an important role in her day-to-day life. In the future, she hopes to become either an aeronautical engineer or a linguistic analyst.

Angelina Landolfi

Angelina Landolfi is a 17-year-old high school junior at Wilbur Cross High School. She was born and raised in New Haven and has grown to love the city. She has been doing ballet since the age of three at the New Haven Ballet and has had exposure to different styles of dance, including ballet, contemporary dance, Latin dance, and more.

Janaiea L. Morrison

Janaiea Morrison is a 15 year old sophomore who attends Hillhouse High School. She is a dancer, choreographer, and entrepreneur, and she studies dance at ACES Educational Center for the Arts. At ACES, she studies ballet and modern technique, hip hop, contemporary, and jazz. One of her goals is to be an entrepreneur and collaborate with different companies all around the world.

Ka'Niyah Parker

Ka'Niyah Parker was born and raised in Rochester, New York, before relocating to New Haven, Connecticut. Her name is Ka'Niyah Parker, and she is a very ambitious young woman who strives to be at the top of her class. She is always curious and pushes herself to learn new talents while continuously discussing strategies to ensure her and others' success.

Skylar Takacs

Skylar Takacs (she/her) is a 16 year old 10th grader at New Haven Academy. She was born in Vermont and has lived in New Haven for 13 years. She is an artist and entrepreneur. She is also creative, curious, and a hard worker. She loves drawing, painting, and crafting, and additionally appreciates arts of all types.

Young In Kim

Young In is a sophomore at Wilbur Cross High school, and loves learning about all different art forms. His main form of art is music. He plays cello, which he started learning in 3rd grade, and soprano saxophone, which he started learning in middle school. He loves playing his instruments in school, in church, and in various ensembles in New Haven.