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New Haven International Festival Of Arts & Ideas

Rating: 5 stars   2 reviews 906

Nonprofit Issues:

Arts & Culture


195 Church Street, 12th Floor New Haven CT 06510 USA



Our mission is to create an internationally renowned Festival in New Haven of the highest quality with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders, attracting and engaging a broad and diverse audience, celebrating and building community and advancing economic development.


We envision a flourishing city and state in which a Festival of arts and ideas plays a vital role in enriching lives and leading people to understand how their futures are intertwined.


The Festival’s staff and Board believe that the following values are central to its identity:

·        excellence in performance and leadership

·        collaboration

·        embracing diversity

·        inclusiveness – bringing people together

·        openness to new ideas, new arts, new cultures, new individuals

·        stewardship

·        integrity

 Fundamental Aspirations:

 ·       attract and present world-class artists

·        provide a wide range of artistic experiences

·        provoke the mind

·        spur economic revitalization

·        attract a diverse audience

·        involve and integrate the community

·        provide enriching experiences for the young

·        aid in the development of new works

·        support regional arts

·        create a celebratory atmosphere with lasting memories

·        showcase the riches of New Haven to visitors

·        enhance the image of New Haven and of the State of Connecticut



Each year the Festival gathers people from all over the region to hear headline concerts free on the New Haven Green.   Headline performers are chosen to reflect the great variety of cultures and individuals in our region.  In 2010 headline performances included the Blind Boys of Alabama (an African-American a capella singing group founded in 1939, winners of multiple Grammy awards); La Excelencia (a 12-piece salsa orchestra from New York City, which The New York Times described as "the real deal")' and Dan Zanes & Friends, a rock-influenced, family-oriented performing group (described by Chris Arnott of the New Haven Advocate as "an examplar of art that doesn't box itself in.")


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Reviews for New Haven International Festival Of Arts & Ideas

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

The New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas is a remarkable and transformative organization. It started during a very difficult time in New Haven, and I believe it contributed greatly to the city's recovery and current position as a great environment for both arts and creative ideas. I have attended the festival every year but one (I was in the hospital in 2007, and could not attend) and each year has been different. There is such a variety of events: dance, music, theatre - even the written word and visual arts are represented. We have enjoyed Jazz, classical and modern dance, Asian puppetry, Shakespeare, Opera, contemporary world theatre, And street performances. We have seen things outdoors and in. There is a whole weekend devoted to children's events on the city green. But the most remarkable thing about the festival is the Unifying Ideas theme for each year. Events of all kinds are selected to tie in with or complement this theme. The year after hurricane Katrina was devoted to New Orleans' artists, solutions to poverty, and other related topics. These themes have brought us everything from quantum physics to food. I thought the food events would be predictable, cooking show presentations, and was not looking forward to much. I should have known better! They talked about global hunger, how farming in the US impacts our environment and our health, the pros and cons of everything from local food movements to fertilizer use. And they fed us wonderful foods, in a festive environment:food for the soul as well as the body and mind. The festival is always stimulating and mind- expanding, always world-wide in scope, always surprising. Any flaws? Of course. There are too many things happening at the same time, all of which I want to see; and I can't afford all the events. The calendar/brochure put out by the festival is sometimes hard to follow, and the website is even worse. Both are beautiful, but not always logical and clear. I can't imagine New Haven, or my summer, without this festival. It has enriched my life and my city enormously. It's a wonderful way to spend two weeks!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing how it helped my city turn around and made it grow. How it fostered a more creative environment year round. And I have thoroughly enjoyed the many wonderful events during the two weeks of the festival each year!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Probably the 'Ideas' events. they bring this festival beyond a series of wonderful performances, and really make it a mind-expanding event.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful, helpful, fun to work with. There is a real team or family feeling that shows.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to attend events, and if the festival calendar & website were a bit more focused on clear delivery of information.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding, of course. That is always a challenge, but especially now.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

For me, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas has provided some of the most memorable performances I have ever seen and the variety of indoor and outdoor venues has been terrific as has been the variety of the performances themselves. I've been going to this event evry year since it started and enjoy it immensely. Of equal impact is the transformative nature of those two weeks in June when the City of New Haven is at its absolute best - brimming with visitors, artists, along with the local community and people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying this cornucopia of aural and visual delights. And it truly is not just Arts, but also Ideas, and last year I attended several remarkable Ideas events, most notably perhaps was the Community Poetry Project with Frank McCort, in conversation w/ Rose Styron - McCort simply entranced us and we would have gladly stayed for hours if he allowed us to do so (this Ideas event was SRO, as were others), and a dozen community members aged 14 to 80 were all remarkable reading their favorite poems and capturing us all in their varying expressive ways. New Haven truly felt like a community where the notion of ideas and openly sharing ideas was encouraged and embraced. I look forward to what the Fesival will offer up for 2010. They have set the bar high!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

performance venues and lecture halls in and around new haven

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

exposure to some types of performance arts with which I was not very familiar

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

volunteers to paid staff

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

a cultural destination to rival Spoleto

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Was this review helpful?