2019 Ideas Events

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.

Delve into pressing topics both in New Haven’s community and around the world. Explore the topics of community, justice, art, culture, and much more. Join the conversation this June at the Festival!


Park in the 100 College Street Garage for free parking for Ideas Events at Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

Ideas Fast Pass: $55

All Ideas events are free, but many reach maximum capacity. Jump the line and save your seat early at our popular talks, panels, and conversations. The Ideas Fast Pass allows early entry to the venue and guarantees you a seat if you show up within the allotted time frame. Discounts available for Insiders.

Confronting Identity: An Arts & Ideas Fellows Town Hall

It has become a Festival tradition for our high school Festival Fellows to begin our Festival and Ideas program with their own Town Hall. Join them this year as they explore the themes of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, opening up a public discussion examining the importance of one's culture and background, gender, and name.

Living for the City

As a Festival Director in Europe and Australia, Jonathan Holloway has repeatedly reinvented the ways in which festivals explore, reclaim and celebrate their city for all those who use it, from the traditional custodians of the land to the latest arrivals, and all the people in between.

400 Years of Inequality: A People’s Observance for a Just Future

2019 is the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America in 1619 at Jamestown. Mindy Fullilove, MD and representatives of the 400 Years of Inequality coalition share stories of oppression and resistance.

Anthropocene: Staging The Future

An·thro·po·cene: /ˈanTHrəpəˌsēn/ the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Internationally acclaimed theater director and creator Thaddeus Phillips will talk about the underpinnings, the basis and challenge of his new theatrical adventure, ANTROPOCENO - a new work that begins development for the Teatro de La Abadía in Madrid, Spain in June of 2019.

Cities of Peace: Healing the Trauma of Conflict Through Art

Ellen Frank and Luciana McClure

Join visionary and inspiring leaders, Dr. Ellen Frank—founder Cities of Peace, an innovative peace and visual arts program that honors the history and culture of world cities that have suffered trauma and strife and multi visual artist, photographer and educator, Luciana McClure— for a conversation on how healing, dignity and understanding of seemingly different cultures is possible.

Data-Driven Sounds

Together musicians Kaki King, Spencer Topel, and Jay Alan Zimmerman share how they are using data not just to make sounds but to see and experience music.

Stonewall at 50

How do we honor this landmark in a struggle that began before the “first brick was thrown” and still continues? How do we tribute the indignation, outrageousness (fabulousness) and complexity of ALL those present 50 years ago – without retroactively endowing them with certainty or cohesion or de-problematizing their differences?

Author! Author! A Conversation with Michael Childers

presented in partnership with the Beinecke Library

Celebrated photo portraitist Michael Childers will share anecdotes about his work and interactions with notable writers. Childers makes all of his subjects look fabulous, especially his literary friends, who make up a focused show, Author! Author!, on view this summer at the Beinecke Library, along with the exhibition, Life of the Party: Jerome Zerbe and the Social Photograph.

We Knew Haven: A Youth Activist Perspective

featuring New Haven Youth Activists Mia Joseph, Lihame Arouna, Kelly Pinots, and Shawn Murray

Featuring New Haven Youth Activists asking the questions: What do you imagine your New Haven to look like? How do you feel your identity is connected to your activism? What are youth activists doing to combat gentrification, racism, over-surveillance downtown?

Keepers of the Culture

presented with the New Haven Hip-Hop Conference

Supreme Easy A.D. of the Legendary Cold Crush Brothers and Nikki D the first female emcee signed to Def Jam Records engage in an in-depth conversation sharing a rare glimpse into the birth of Hip Hop as a culture & their inside perspectives of Hip Hop's contribution to the world and the music industry.

Habits to Heal: Exploring Practices for Mindfulness and Wellness

Improved resilience and health. Enhanced ability to manage stress and anxiety. Through mindful awareness, we can avoid being on “auto-pilot,” and more often consciously choose how we live. And there is good scientific evidence that mindful practices help us to be more compassionate, toward ourselves and others. Area experts Shirley Chock, Dr.

Keep Dining In

Alison Roman is known as much for her keeper recipes as her wry Instagram voice and effortless style. Roman’s recipes set today’s trends and will show up as tomorrow’s classics: vegetable-forward with quality ingredients, punctuated by standout flavors like hot honey browned butter, preserved lemon, za’atar, and garlicky walnuts.

NEXT Presents The Cities Project: New Life For New England’s Industrial Past

John Dankosky, Elihu Rubin, Cathy Stanton, Nico Wheadon, and John Thomas

New England is filled with old factory buildings and other remnants of our industrial history. This built environment is one of our distinguishing characteristics, but it also provides challenges as our cities grow and adapt. How do we best reuse spaces that contain cultural importance?

Split Tooth

Tanya Tagaq

Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them.
A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents’ love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world.

Without Habits: A Path to Purpose

We spend so much energy trying to cultivate healthier habits. But what might our days feel like if, instead, we question and cut out just one habit for a short period of time? What discomfort might manifest when social media, sugar, or instant self-deprecating thought are gone from our days? How might we face that space? With time, how might our physical, social, and inner lives transform? With insight from experts in neuroscience, psychology, medicine, art, and design, Jacqueline Raposo, author of The Me, Without, guides how reframing habits can lead to healing, happiness, and a purposeful personal path.

Collision: Hong Kong Art in New Haven

Join Yale-China Arts Fellows Sarah Xiao (dance) and Nicole Pun (visual art) as they share how their residency in New Haven has shaped their art.

Ideas talks are going on all Festival long! Read our advice on how to get the most from these explorative conversations >

Words Reclaiming Worlds

featuring New Haven / Northeast writers and spoken word artists Keona-Marie, Duke Porter, Yexandra Diaz, and Paul Bryant Hudson

Poets and other creative writers from the northeastern United States share poems and conversation about the shifting relationship between identity and place. How can poets and other culture creators challenge or shift the identity of a place? How can a place challenge or shift our own intersecting identities?

How The Art of Experience Empowers Culture Change

In the Age of Experience, how can one drive actionable social change through deepened physical and digital live story-sharing systems? A leader in immersive experiences, Mikhael Tara Garver will delve into the combining powers that experience, entertainment, and fandom can have on empowering social change.

Ideas Series

Interactive events and conversations with vital thinkers on the subject of democracy

The Ideas series for the 25th annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas is themed "Democracy: We the People"