Ground decal for 2018 International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Two Weeks‘ Notice

The two-week 2018 International Festival of Arts & Ideas starts tomorrow with 18 opening-day events, from a 9 a.m. bike tour of the East Coast Greenway to the first of four free headline concerts at 6 p.m. on the Green. Unlike organizers, we may not be ready to use “festival” as a verb just yet, but we are ready to dance, bike, listen, engage, celebrate and otherwise experience over the next 15 days.

As always, the festival’s website guides the way. Click on the Events tab—and be ready to scroll around—for a breakdown of ticketed shows, headline concerts, lectures, conversations, tours and more. Try the Calendar tab for a complete day-by-day breakdown of festival fun.

Or find yourself among our set of five themed itineraries below.

For Adventurers
You’re not one for sitting in a lawn chair; you’d rather have your hands on a paddle or your feet on two pedals. Learn some new dance moves, from salsa to modern. Get in your 5,000 steps on an art walk through Yale and downtown New Haven. Or, for a lower-key alternative, take a “ramble” around a “dairy farm-turned-organic vegetable operation.”

For Patriots, Old and New
You’re a lover of our nation with all its fortes and flaws. If the sight of Mount Rushmore moves you, you’ll want to hear from the grandson of its chief carver. Closer to home and not unlike the presidents, the larger-than-life faces of immigrants are on view as part of the We Are: A Nation of Immigrants public art exhibit. Hear stories from its photographer and his take on “why public art matters.” Or get the lowdown from New Haven’s own Chris George on “Refugee Resettlement: A Noble American Tradition Under Attack.” “Citizenship” is the theme of this festival, and what better way to celebrate that than witnessing a naturalization ceremony as you tour the US District Courthouse?

For Powerful Women (and Admirers Thereof)
Can you “[twist] solid metal, [snap] steel chains” or even carry “the weight of two gigantic men” like Betty Brawn? Can you fight poverty like Mothers (and Others) for Justice? Whatever your powers, you’re inspired by being in the presence of awesome women. Hear Kaki King, “one of the greatest guitar players of her generation.” Read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, then attend one of the Big Read events. Take in some of the favorite films of Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, as part of the New Haven Documentary Film Festival, including the story of a starlet who kissed Elvis, then left the movies to become a nun.

For Homebodies
For you, there’s no place like home—New Haven, that is. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams has some insights for you on “How to Make Your Town Somewhere Everyone Wants to Live.” Take a closer look at New Haven’s industrial past and possible future or visit one of its “pioneering historic preservation” projects. Learn more about local organizations working on fair housing and reducing homelessness among your neighbors. Or take in the homegrown sounds of local music acts like Haven String Quartet and teenaged Toxic Holiday.

For Dreamers
Your head is in the clouds, whether you’re conjuring new ideas or creating alternative worlds. Playing with oversized “portable and location-responsive blocks” or experiencing a marionette performance of “an underwater fantasy based on Chinese folklore” will give your imagination a workout. Dream of peace by learning how “choral music can be used as a bridge between communities in conflict.” Or simply sit and listen to the global lullabies of “virtuoso guitarist” Aaron Larget-Caplan.

No matter your type, some of the events on the Arts & Ideas schedule are bound to rev your engine. Ready, set… (oh, all right) festival!

23rd International Festival of Arts & Ideas
Saturday, June 9, to Saturday, June 23
Website | Calendar | Contact

Written by Kathy Leonard Czepiel. Photographed by Dan Mims.

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