Pay It Forward

“You give mostly to those organizations you have a passion for… I give my time, I give my funds...there is so much that this Festival means to me, so I support it.”

Elsie Chapman, Founders Society Member

The Festival is made possible through the support from donations. In addition to supporting the Festival’s general operations, you can also choose to participate in a variety of special funding opportunities that give you the ability to direct your support to a part of the Festival that means the most to you.

INCLUSIVITY: Festival Ticket Fund

The Festival prides itself on being a Festival for Everyone and thrives on the fact that we are open and inclusive for our entire community. The Festival’s ticket fund ensures that the Festival remains as inclusive and accessible as possible by giving us the ability to offer discounted and free tickets to students, community members, and groups that would not normally be able to attend ticketed performances.

Consider making a donation in support of our effort to provide discounted and/or free Festival tickets to community groups and students. Besides offering the majority of our programs for free, the Festival donates thousands of tickets to community programs. A donation is a ticket for a friend you haven’t met.

PROGRAMMING: Jean Handley Fund

The Jean Handley Fund was established in 2010 in honor of one of the Festival's co-Founders, Jean M. Handley. Jean was a person of extraordinary wisdom and exceedingly high standards who was generous with her time and talents.

The Jean Handley Fund supports programs that represent the values and passions of our co-Founder, Jean M. Handley. Over the years this Fund has supported many different programs at the Festival, including community-based programming, free performances on the New Haven Green, family-focused programs, and US Premieres.

To make a gift to the Jean Handley Fund please contact the Festival’s Director of Development Tom Griggs at (203) 498-3705 or

EDUCATION: Sponsor a Fellow

The Festival Fellowship Program is the only arts-based, career development program in the State of Connecticut, with a particular focus on low-income high school students from New Haven. Using the Festival program and planning as a curriculum, each Festival Fellow develops and expands their communication and critical thinking skills through a program of weekly seminars and full immersion during the Festival in June. Over the past 7 years, this 6-month program has developed an incredible list of Grand Fellows that have gone on to attend colleges and universities, some of whom are the first in their families, and return to the Festival as interns and in paid staff positions. The success of this program is not just about building communication and critical thinking skills but is also about building a community of individuals that will be the leaders of the industry tomorrow.

For more information please contact the Festival’s Director of Development Tom Griggs at (203) 498-3705 or

PROGRAMMING: Impresario Support

As an Impresario, you directly support specific programming and themes that are of interest to you. These types of directed support are vital to maintaining the diversity and depth of programming that our audience is accustomed to. As an impresario you are giving us additional funds to enhance these programming and themes with events and speakers that fall outside of the Festival’s budget of operations.

  • Activism & Politics: The Power of One
  • The Makers Movement: How Tinkering has become the New Norm
  • Building a World for Tomorrow: The Environment & Sustainaiblity
  • 150th Anniversary of the Bicycle
  • Race and Democracy: Engaging in the Conversation

For more information please contact the Festival’s Director of Development Tom Griggs at (203) 498-3705 or


As a Founding Board Member, serving since 1996, the driving force behind Louise Endel’s remarkable life has been in connecting people to create positive change. In honor of all of the work Louise has done for both the Festival and the community at large, the Festival established the Louise Endel Fund. The Fund which specifically has funded the creation of a new staff position, the Louise Endel Community Engagement Manager, has made a firm commitment by the Festival to engage in the work that was so important to Louise’s service.

To underwrite this position and support other Community Engagement activities in Louise’s honor, please contact the Festival’s Director of Development Tom Griggs (203) 498-3705 or

COMMISSIONING AND SUSTAINABILITY: The Festival’s Fund for the Future

To advance all of the long-term goals and sustainability during the 20th Anniversary Festival, the Festival’s leadership has established the Fund for the Future. This special fundraising campaign goals to raise funds to establish a Creative Fund giving the Festival an ability to invest in commissioning and access special creative opportunities; replenish the Working Capital Fund which stabilizes Festival operations; and to advance and enhance the Festival infrastructure into the next decade.

Thank you to all of the donors who have already made extraordinary commitments to the Fund for the Future. For more information about this campaign or to participate please contact the Festival’s Director of Development Tom Griggs (203) 498-3705 or