International Festival of Arts and Ideas announces summer 2024 lineup

Article Contributed by Stacy Graham-Hunt PR | Published on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The 29th annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas (IFAI), recently featured in the New York Times, is excited to announce its summer line-up to take festival-goers on an unforgettable journey from tonight through June 29.

“We are excited to offer more than 150 events this year - 85 percent of which are free to the public - which include a curated series of plays, films, exhibitions, food events, tours, talks and world-class musicians,” said Shelley Quiala, Executive Director of IFAI.

Some of those musicians include Grammy Award-winning and nominated artists including:

Vocalist Samara Joy, bringing old-school jazz (Wednesday, June 26. College Street Music Hall, 238 College St.)

Stokley Williams, former front man of Mint Condition and current star of “Super Freak – The Rick James Musical” (Friday, June 21, New Haven Green, 250 Temple St.)

Brazilian bossa nova artist Caro Pierotto (Thursday, June 27. New Haven Green, 250 Temple St.)

Afro-Pop sensation Dobet Gnahoré on (Friday, June 28. New Haven Green, 250 Temple St.)

In our speaker series, Amy Tan, National Humanities Medal winner and author of “The Joy Luck Club,” which was adapted into a 1993 film, will discuss her new book, “The Backyard Bird Chronicles,” with Emmy-nominated and veteran news anchor Ann Nyberg Tuesday, June 18 at Yale University’s Peabody Museum.

Film screening of “Farming While Black,” which highlights the journey of young Black farmers and features Leah Penniman, award-winning Black Kreyol farmer, food justice activist and IFAI’s 2023 Visionary Leadership Award winner (Tuesday, May 21. Southern Connecticut State University, 345 Fitch St.)

Indigenous cooking demonstration led and narrated by James Beard awardee for Best Chef Sherry Pocknett (Tuesday, June 25. Gateway Community College, 20 Church Street)

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities (Saturday, June 15, Yale University, 320 York St.)

A discussion on the science, history, and philosophy of happiness with Laurie Santos, host of the “Happiness Lab Podcast,” and Tamar Gendler, Yale University Professor of Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature (Saturday, June 22. Yale University, 320 York St.)

Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo), Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Jason Mancini, Executive Director of Connecticut Humanities, will discuss the critical role the humanities play in tackling society’s toughest contemporary challenges. (Saturday, June 29. Yale University, 320 York St.)

“This year, we are going to thrill our audiences with dazzling performances for all ages to enjoy,” said IFAI Board Chair Rev. Kevin G. Ewing. “It’s exciting to bring world-recognized talent to Connecticut for everyone across the northeast to experience.

Performances include:

7 Fingers, an arts collective, redefines the circus experience by performing “Duel Reality," an interpretation of “Romeo and Juliet” (June 21-23. University Theatre, 222 York St.)

CONTRA-TIEMPO’s activist dance theater will perform “Azúcar”, inspired by the late Celia Cruz, while exploring the effect of sugarcane farming on migration (June 27-28. University Theater, 222 York St.)

Director Karin Coonrod will premiere Compagnia de Colombari’s King Lear (June 14-16. University Theatre, 222 York St.)

Anne Cubberly’s colossal, colorful Giant Puppets (June 14-29. New Haven Green, 250 Temple St.)

The Red Trouser Show will bring circus stunts, precision acrobatics and comedy (June 22-23. New Haven Green, 250 Temple Street)

The summer lineup opens with a Juneteenth Celebration and closes with the New Haven Caribbean Festival.

“We are so proud of the diversity of our community and the different cultures that are reflected in this year’s programming,” Quiala said.

Visit for a full list of programs and to purchase tickets.

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The International Festival of Arts & Ideas is a year-round non-profit organization that culminates with an annual celebration of performing arts, lectures, and conversations each summer in New Haven, Connecticut. The Festival convenes leading artists, thought leaders, and innovators from around the world for dynamic public programs to engage, entertain, and inspire a diversity of communities. More than 85% of Festival programs are free to the public, including events that feature some of the most influential jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists of our time. Keep updated about our future events at