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International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Check out what our friends at the Festival have planned each day!

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas celebrates its 25th anniversary with a variety of online artistic experiences, virtual food experiences, cell phone-guided walking tours, and various NEA Big Read activities. The virtual Ideas programming centered on the theme "Democracy: We the People" features interactive events and conversations with vital thinkers, including 2012 Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, award-winning scholar Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, NEA Big Read Author Stephanie Burt, and renowned writer Anand Giridharadas. All programming is free.

This year’s Festival is very different from any they’ve done before. This isn't the 25th Anniversary they imagined, but it's a Festival we can all take part in – and love.

Just click here for a day-by-day calendar or click on the ongoing events for information on each:

Walking Tour: Shubert Theatre
The Shubert’s backstage tour is the perfect activity for any theater or history enthusiast. You’ll be amazed by the incredible history of this 100+ year old theater set in the heart of downtown New Haven. Enjoy the virtual tour here.

Virtual Box City
Box City has a long history at the Festival. During this annual event, children of all ages help create a visionary, temporary, recyclable model city of the future. This year, for the first time ever, Box City is going virtual in Minecraft. Find out how to participate and check out our growing city.

Activist Songbook Virtual Choir, "There Will Be Joy"
Virtual Choirs, made up of musicians and non-musicians, record songs from the Activist Songbook repertoire and perform together from the safety of their own homes. With a single Zoom rehearsal under their belts, performers use guide tracks to record their parts separately, singing along and improvising.

Arts on Call
Gift someone you love with a—socially distanced—arts performance! Choose an artist from our website and select a time for that artist to perform at an outdoor location of your choice. Book a juggler to perform on your grandchildren's front lawn, send a guitar player to strum beneath your girlfriend's window—the possibilities are endless. All proceeds go straight to the participating New Haven Artists.