Ideas 2024

Innovation & insight meets conversation. Curated talks and workshops with global thinkers and doers.
Our Ideas Series format will consist of 3 days of summits, each having 5 events related to the topic of that day.

Climate Activism and Optimism

Ideas Summit: Environmental Voices

Lucy Nalpathanchil moderates a powerful conversation on Activism and Optimism that features LGBTQ BIPOC activists Adrian Huq, co-founder of the New Haven Climate Movement Youth Action Team, and Kwolanne Felix, Fellowship and Community Manager at Black Girl Environmentalist. This empowering dialogue highlights the potential of emerging climate leaders of color, including Black girls, women, and gender-expansive individuals, in climate leadership. Don't miss this opportunity to be inspired by their stories and insights as they discuss strategies for driving positive change in our communities and beyond.

WORKSHOP: Save the Sound: Reconnected (Restoring the Rivers of Long Island Sound)

Ideas Summit: Environmental Voices

Join us for "Save the Sound: Reconnected," a documentary film screening and panel discussion on the restoration of Long Island Sound rivers through dam removal. Explore the ecological benefits of this initiative and engage with experts in a dynamic conversation on environmental restoration and conservation efforts.

Climate Displacement

Ideas Summit: Environmental Voices

Join us for an enlightening discussion on climate displacement, featuring speaker Tabitha Sookdeo from IRIS, Maya Prabhu from Law at Yale Law School and Yale School of Medicine, and Keshia "Talking Waters" De Freece from Sovereign Science LLC. Delve into the pressing question: Who are the climate migrants, and what challenges do they encounter? Gain insight into the complexities of climate-induced migration and the legal and humanitarian issues involved. Don't miss this opportunity to deepen your understanding of this urgent global issue and explore avenues for support and advocacy.

WORKSHOP: Climate and Migration Resource Fair

Ideas Summit: Environmental Voices

Discover a wealth of resources at our Climate and Migration Resource Fair. Join us to explore essential services and initiatives aimed at addressing climate challenges and supporting immigrant communities in Connecticut. Connect with organizations dedicated to making a positive impact on these vital issues.

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson in conversation with John Dankosky

Ideas Summit: Environmental Voices

Can science save us? Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson of Urban Ocean Lab and John Dankosky from Science Friday, discussing Dr. Johnson's latest book, "What If We Get It Right?" Explore the bold notion of envisioning a future where we act out of love for what's to come, navigating through the complexities of climate change with optimism and determination. This transformative dialogue offers a roadmap for embracing solutions at the intersection of science, policy, culture, and justice, inviting everyone to play a role in shaping a thriving world.

Tempests of the Mind: Exploring Climate Change, Shakespeare, and the Human Experience

Ideas Unleashed

Step into the tempestuous world of Shakespeare's King Lear and explore its profound relevance to our modern climate challenges! No work of English literature speaks more directly to human vulnerability in the face of climate disruption than Shakespeare's King Lear. The old king, thrust into the storm, feels his environmental weakness to his skin. This round-table conversation is led by renowned Shakespearean scholar Steve Mentz. Speakers will include David Sterling Brown, a CT native who currently teaches at Trinity College in Hartford, and actor, writer, and teacher Tara Bradway.

Amy Tan: Backyard Bird Chronicles

Explore the world of birds like you never have before with bestselling author Amy Tan at the newly remodeled Yale Peabody Museum! Join us for a celebration of all things avian as Amy shares insights from her recent book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles. Discover the beauty of nature through Amy’s witty anecdotes, observations, and stunning illustrations. Don’t miss this enchanting journey with a multihyphenate wonder, moderated by WTNH’s Ann Nyberg, as we dive into the hidden wonders of our feathered friends!

Social Connections to End Loneliness

Ideas Summit: How We Live

Join host Catherine Shen on CT Public's "Where We Live" as she moderates an engaging discussion with Deb Bibbins, founder of For All Ages. Discover why social connection is the foundation of our mental and physical health, who the loneliest age group is (it’s not the one you think!), and how we can help one another improve our social connectivity. Learn how intergenerational connection has the power to add years to our lives and help our community feel more connected and livelier. Don’t miss this chance to hear about ways to improve social health, bring different generations closer, and make our society kinder for everyone.

WORKSHOP: Social Connection Art Workshop with Kwadwo Adae

Ideas Summit: How We Live

Participants in the workshop will pair off and describe a vulnerable time where they felt the most lonely in their lives. The person that shares their description will have their opposite partner draw the experience to the best of their ability on half the paper. The two participants will then switch activities and fill the other half of the paper with the other person's experience. Creating a unique vision of loneliness on paper that can have similarities as well as differences evaluated visually and emotionally.

Redefining Aging: Embracing a New Paradigm

Ideas Summit: How We Live

Join author and activist Ashton Applewhite and Donna Fedus from Borrow My Glasses for an enlightening conversation on aging and inclusivity. Discover how aging can be a period of growth and vitality, while exploring strategies to combat ageism and promote fairness. Challenge common beliefs, share ideas for fostering a welcoming society for all ages, and delve into the importance of reshaping perceptions about aging. This discussion highlights the importance of reshaping perceptions about aging and ensuring equitable treatment for everyone!

WORKSHOP: Rethinking Age Discrimination: Your Attitude About Aging Impacts Your Future (with Donna Fedus)

Ideas Summit: How We Live

The experience of aging is drastically different from what it was just one or two generations ago. Yet age bias persists. Age stereotypes and discrimination are harmful for our own self-talk and for any older adult we interact with. Join us for an interactive workshop, where we challenge outdated assumptions and perceptions about aging, and practice responses to common scenarios and thoughts like “I feel old.”

Decoding the Science of Happiness with Laurie Santos and Tamar Gendler

Ideas Summit: How We Live

Join Laurie Santos, host of the Happiness Lab Podcast, and Tamar Gendler, Yale Professor of Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature, for an enlightening discussion on the science, history, and philosophy of happiness. Learn useful tips and ideas on how to live a more positive life. Whether you're curious about what makes us happy or just want some advice on feeling better, this conversation will be packed with helpful information and good vibes.

Voting Rights – Citywide Youth Coalition

Ideas Unleashed

Join us for an exciting community conversation hosted by the Citywide Youth Coalition Inc! We're diving into the topic of expanding voting rights to 16-year-olds for local state elections. Let's empower our youth with knowledge about civic engagement and voting practices. Together, we'll explore ways to invest in the next generation of voters and ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities. Get ready to engage, learn, and make a difference in our democratic process!

Indigenous Cooking with Sherry Pocknett

Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure with Chef Sherry Pocknett, a true pioneer and recipient of the prestigious James Beard award for the Best Chef in the Northeastern United States and the first Indigenous woman to win the award! Join us for an interactive session featuring Chef Pocknett's captivating stories and live cooking demonstration. Discover the rich heritage of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe while savoring the flavors of seasonal bounty with her delicious corn cakes and cranberry strawberry chutney. And don't miss your chance to be one of the lucky six to join in the cooking fun!

Live Broadcast of CT Mirror’s “In The Room” with Erick Russell

Ideas Unleashed

Enjoy an unforgettable evening with John Dankosky, CT Mirror's Director of Events, and Erick Russell, Connecticut’s 84th State Treasurer! With John's charm and expertise as a renowned radio personality and moderator, and Erick's historic achievement as the first Black LGBTQ person elected to statewide office, get ready for an engaging and inspiring discussion.

Changemakers: Ana María Álvarez & Aaron Jafferis

Ideas Unleashed

Join us for an exciting conversation with Ana María Álvarez, Founding Artistic Director of CONTRA-TIEMPO, and Aaron Jafferis, hip-hop poet and playwright, as they delve into the intersection of art and activism. Discover the power of using your creativity as a tool for social change and empowerment. With lively discussion and inspiring insights, this event promises to ignite your passion and spark new ideas.

Perspectives on Cultural Preservation

Ideas Summit: Intersections in the Arts

An enlightening panel featuring esteemed speakers as they share their unique perspectives on the vital importance of preserving cultural identities in our rapidly changing world. This discussion will delve into the reasons why protecting our diverse cultural heritages is crucial not only for maintaining a sense of identity and community today but also for safeguarding these rich traditions for future generations.

WORKSHOP: Midnight Oil Collective: Breaking Barriers: Transforming the Starving Artist Myth into Sustainable Creativity

Ideas Summit: Intersections in the Arts

Artists are passionate catalysts for change, envisioning a world transformed for the better through the power of art. Yet, they often face a persistent struggle: the dream of art inspiring change versus the systemic barriers of scarcity of funding, resources, and support. This tension stifles their creative potential and their role in driving societal progress.

Freedom of Expression

Ideas Summit: Intersections in the Arts

Get ready to be inspired by an important talk about the culture wars happening in the United States focusing on how more and more books are being banned and restricted. Find out about the problems librarians and teachers have to deal with as they try to handle these tricky issues. Delve into the importance of intellectual freedom and the role of education in fostering diverse perspectives. Learn about how to make sure everyone can get information and keep schools' fair.

TRANSforming Shakespeare

Ideas Summit: Intersections in the Arts

Discover the transformative power of creative casting in "TRANSforming Shakespeare." In a rapidly evolving world, delve into how gender concepts shape our interpretations of Shakespearean tales. Join Jennifer Lanier from the Original Practice Shakespeare Festival, alongside esteemed guests to soon be announced, as they explore the dynamic intersection of gender representation and theatrical storytelling. Don't miss this discussion on how diverse casting enhances our understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's timeless works.

Elm Shakespeare’s Building a Brave New Theatre 2024

Elm Shakespeare’s annual discussion and performance series interrogates how Shakespeare serves the 21st Century and amplifies innovative and marginalized artistic voices. This year the series focuses on exploring Gender through Shakespeare. The Festival is thrilled to partner with Elm Shakespeare to present one event in this series as part of the Festival’s June 29 Ideas Summit: Intersections in the Arts. TRANSforming Shakespeare: How Creative Casting Makes Better Plays



Step into a world of creativity and reflection with NXTHVN's 2023-2024 Apprentices as they proudly present "Legacy: What Does it Mean to You?" This dynamic exhibition, housed in the mobile art museum cARTie, showcases original artworks exploring the concept of legacy. From the vibrant pieces by NXTHVN's High School Apprentices to the heartfelt creations by residents of the Hannah Gray Home, prepare to be inspired and moved.

Turning to the Humanities in Challenging Times with Shelly Lowe and Jason Mancini

Ideas Summit: Intersections in the Arts

Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo), Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Jason Mancini, Executive Director of Connecticut Humanities, will discuss the  critical role the humanities play in tackling society’s toughest contemporary challenges. Chair Lowe will highlight new National Endowment for the Humanities initiatives that respond to some of the most pressing issues of our time:  strengthening our democracy, advancing equity for all, and addressing our changing climate.