Join Our Community
The Festival celebrates and embraces the distinct cultures, voices, and big ideas of our home town of New Haven. Our community makes us what we are—from our amazing volunteers and community ambassadors to local artists to our annual neighborhood festivals, we love connecting with our neighbors to create a Festival that belongs to us all.
Lively one-day neighborhood Festivals—HillFest, Fair Haven Neighborhood Festival, and Dixwell Neighborhood Festival—take place each year just prior to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in downtown New Haven. Community Steering Committees, local arts and business partners, and Festival staff and volunteers host local talent, family activities, and vendors in New Haven’s historic and culturally rich neighborhoods. Learn More >
Are you proud of your community, neighbors, local businesses, and leadership? Are you looking for a family-friendly event? Does your community need programming that brings everyone together? This year, we're seeking a neighborhood interested in developing a festival to reflect their unique community. You bring the ideas, talent, and vision—and we'll help put on the festival in May 2020. Learn More >
Perform With Us
OUTDOOR STAGES: The International Festival of Arts & Ideas offers a number of opportunities for local and regional performers on our stages. We welcome submissions from performing artists for inclusion in the 2020 Festival. All performances will be booked on one of the Festival’s outdoor stages located on the New Haven Green. (Headline and main stage events are curated separately by Festival staff.) Modest performance fees are available; however, these opportunities are typically best suited to performers who reside in and around Connecticut and the Northeast Corridor as we do not offer transportation or accommodations to artists for these programs. Apply here >
NEIGHBORHOOD FESTIVALS: Lively one-day Neighborhood Festivals take place each year just prior to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in downtown New Haven. Community Steering Committees, local arts and business partners, and Festival staff and volunteers host local talent, family activities, and vendors in New Haven's historic and culturally rich neighborhoods. Submissions for the 2019 Neighborhood Festivals are closed. Please check back for 2020 Festival submissions.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Connect with Creative Ground, an initiative from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) that connects New England presenters and artists with one another and with opportunities to perform or present. Learn more >
Work With Us
EMPLOYMENT: See open positions >
INTERNSHIPS: Arts & Ideas accepts intern applications year-round, welcoming high school and college students to gain real-world work experience working with a fast-paced, multi-faceted arts organization. Learn More >
VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers are the lifeblood of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. For two weeks in June and throughout the year, more than 300 volunteers from the greater New Haven region and beyond bring the Festival to life. As 85% of our events are free to the public, we rely on the passion, commitment, and support of community members. Volunteer today! Learn more >
AMBASSADORS: Our most dedicated community supporters and advisors help us grow our programs, facilitate community conversations, and invite new audiences to participate in the Festival downtown. If you are interested in participating as an Ambassador, please contact our Community Engagement Manager Aleta Staton at email@example.com or (203) 498-3744.
FELLOWS: The International Festival of Arts & Ideas Fellowship Program offers qualified New Haven public school sophomores and juniors a unique, fully-funded opportunity to learn about the arts. The Fellowship Program is a semester-long college-level course designed to help students develop skills in communication and critical thinking by immersing them in all aspects of the Festival: performances, lectures, community engagement, production, and management. Learn more >
Arts & Ideas relies on local and regional partner organizations to help bring people together and provide the most enriching and exciting opportunities to our community. If you are interested in participating as a Community Partner, please contact our Community Engagement Manager Aleta Staton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 498-3744. Learn More >
NEA Big Read
Arts & Ideas partners with NEA Big Read to host a series of community events focused on a single book as a point of departure for conversations throughout New Haven. As part of the 2020 Festival, Arts & Ideas will partner with the community to create free events highlighting the book's themes; past events have included book club discussions, panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions, and poetry readings. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The 2020 Big Read selection is Stephanie Burt's poetry collection Advice from the Lights, a candid exploration of gender and identity that's part nostalgia, part confusion, and part questioning. Learn More >
If your organization would like take part in the 2020 Big Read, please Submit an Event Here >
We will be accepting applications to vend at the 2020 Festival and at the Neighborhood Festivals beginning March, 2020. We require all food vendors to hold a current Food Vendor License from the City of New Haven. We require all craft/non food vendors to hold a current Peddler/Hawker License from the City of New Haven OR to have a valid Photo ID, a CT Sales tax number and proof of Comprehensive General Liability Insurance.
Information on licensing can be obtained from:
New Haven Department of Buildings & Permits
200 Orange Street, Fifth Floor
New Haven CT 06510
(203) 946 8388
Learn more >
Unlike some county fairs or festivals, we don't offer booths or other tables for organizations to distribute literature to our audiences, but here are other opportunities to consider:
LITERATURE: Festival performers and teaching artists are welcome to pass out literature. October or November is the best time to submit applications.
SPONSORS: Sponsors (there are a number of sponsorship levels) receive visibility benefits and might choose to display literature; as one part of their benefits package. Learn More >
CONTENT PARTNERSHIPS: The Festival develops content partnerships with organizations and individuals to provide activities at the Festival. Please contact our Community Engagement Manager Aleta Staton at email@example.com or (203) 498-3744.
TABLES AT NEIGHBORHOOD FESTIVALS: Lively one-day Neighborhood Festivals take place each year just prior to the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in downtown New Haven. Community organizations can set up tables at of any or all three of the Neighborhood Festivals.
NEW HAVEN DAY: We solicit vendors and community organizations to set up a tables on New Haven Day on the New Haven Green. Please contact our Community Engagement Manager Aleta Staton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 498-3744.