Arts & Ideas 2018 Brings Culture, Expression, and Art to New Haven

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IFAI . All opinions are 100% mine.

The days are stretching out and getting longer. The warm summer air is wafting into our houses and apartments. You can feel the energy every time you walk through downtown New Haven. The city buzzes with life as we leave our (too) long, winter hibernation.

As summer approaches, so, too, does the crown jewel of New Haven’s artistic and culture events: the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, bringing a smorgasbord of culture, art, and expression.

Headline Concerts

The Headline Concerts feature world-class artists with deep local roots and artists from around the world and are often some of the highlights of the New Haven summer, as thousands gather to share in a single experience as they lay down picnic blankets and share snacks and, maybe a tiny bit of wine (shhhh).

On June 9th, 6pm, Barbados-born saxophonist Elan Trotman and New Haven’s own Rohn Lawrence join The Rahsaan Langley Project to bring some sexy, smooth jazz to the Green. Bring a date, some wine, and some cheese.

Congrats, you’ve set the bar impossibly high for your next date!

On Sunday, June 10th, Flor de Toloache brings a wide variety of influences into traditional mariachi music and Las Cafeteras “traditional Son Jarocho sounds, Afro-Mexican rhythms, the traditional dance zapateado” so grab your dancing shoes, cause Sunday is gonna be HOT.

I can feel my hips shaking already!

The next Saturday, June 16th the biggest name of the festival, Ruth B, performs at 7:30. She’s the soulful songwriter who hit the top 40 Billboard charts with the killer piano ballad “Lost Boy.” At age 22.

What were you doing at 22? Probably throwing your Natural Light cans right on the floor like an animal.

Well not Ruth B. She’s just out there makin HITS.

Finally, on Sunday, June 17th, Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer (quit bragging, sheesh) Amir ElSaffar performs with members of Rivers of Sound Orchestra and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (<3) on the Green at 4pm.

His music features “maqams” (modes) and instruments such as oud (lute), santur (hammered dulcimer), and hand percussion, with the rhythm, aesthetics, and instrumentation of contemporary Jazz.

The Chicago Tribune called River of Sound’s last album “some of the most sensuously beautiful large-ensemble work being created today” so, you know… wear loose pants, I guess.

There’s Some Other Cool Stuff Too

Sure, the Concerts on the Green are awesome. And free. (Who doesn’t love free?)

But believe it or not, there’s actually a bunch of other pretty awesome stuff being put on by Arts & Ideas and yeah, some of it costs money. I know, I know.

“But Josh, why should I buy a ticket to some cultural event?”

I don’t know, cause you want Arts & Ideas to actually continue forever cause it’s rad?

Also, there’s just some really cool stuff going on this year. One thing in particular which caught my eye is A Billion Nights on Earth, in which a father and child enter a portal through their kitchen featuring “puppetry and Kabuki stagecraft animates larger-than-life penguins, milk cartons, astronauts, and squirrel.”

Who ate all the cheese?!

Well, I’m convinced.

If you’re thinking, “Whoa, Josh, I love some weird metaphysical stuff as much as the next guy, but $35! That’s 1/4th of a night out,” well I’ve got you covered.

For only $20 for a “Value” ticket (whatever that is), you can check out Mark Morris Dance Group’s Pepperland, a new work choreographed to the classic Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I don’t know what they’re going to do for A Day In the Life, but I want to know.

Not sure if they’re disabled gravity or what.

But seriously, I know it’s easy to support Arts & Ideas by just showing up and watching free stuff on the Green, but if you have a little extra income this year, the Festival could surely use the support.

But Wait! There’s Also More Free Stuff!

Arts & Ideas isn’t just the free Concerts on the Green and fancy Beatles dancing (though everybody says that).

There are also a variety of lectures and conversations all across New Haven featuring a wider variety of speakers.

Plus, y’know, other, smaller acts.

For instance, my man John Dankosky is speaking about the changing demographics of New England and immigration. And any time you can listen to his sultry voice, you pretty much have to.

Another one I have my eye on is The Chasm and the Prism: Deploying Magic Strategies in the Sorted-Out City. Featuring Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD and her colleagues, they discuss “urban divides caused by serial forced displacement” and look at how we can move forward as a city.

Who Doesn’t Love Documentaries?!

Finally, there’s the NHDocs Film Festival. It features New Haven Documentaries, in case that was not at all obvious to you.

Feature films include Pizza, A Love Story (have you heard we like pizza?), This Is Home: A Refugee Story, and Best Video presents: The Village: Life in New Haven’s Little Italy. (You think they could get a few more colons in there if they tried?)

The film festival is totally free. Though you can buy a Fast Pass, which I assume lets you get to the start of the Bizarro roller coaster at Six Flags.

(I might be a little wrong on that one.)

Either way, Arts & Ideas is right around the corner. I hope to see you there, whether it’s on the Green for one of the awesome free concerts, or at a lecture, or checking out some cool metaphysical play, or just walking around and enjoying the city.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IFAI . All opinions are 100% mine.