This is a sponsored post written by Connecticut Lifestyles on behalf of IFAI. All opinions are 100% our own.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas will be held between June 9 and June 23 in New Haven, Connecticut. This 15-day event will feature a wide array of performances as well as free events around New Haven.
The Festival will include world-class musicians, breathtaking circus, ground-breaking theatre, internationally acclaimed dancers and engaging speakers. This city-wide Festival boasts over 170 events and at least 85% of the events are free. Food tours, special town-hall events, concerts, and lectures are just a few of the free events you can enjoy.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas is more than a single spectacle or an event. It’s an immersive experience that brings people from all over the world together through an acclaimed display of culture, perspective, and diversity of artistic expression. It transforms the mid-sized, Northeastern city of New Haven into an epicenter of artistic empowerment, social advancement, and a place of boundless possibility, all the while enriching, building up, and unifying the community.
International Festival of Arts & Ideas Free Events
Here are just some of the free events you may choose to attend. Click here for the full list
Wednesday, June 13 at 3:00 pm: Free Master Class: A Billion Nights on Earth
Join Michael Fegley, co-creator of and the parental star of A Billion Nights on Earth for a master class in developing theater for Kids and Parents. This session features simple yet dynamic theater games that involve parents and kids in creating multi-generational theater that expands both the imagination and the notion of what can actually happen on a stage.
This Free Master Class is offered in conjunction with the Billion Nights on Earth family show (see more below)
Elm City Cycling’s bike tours are always a popular part of the Festival. Join one of the free bike tours to see the sights, explore trails and paths, and experience a piece of local history in New Haven. Bring a bike, properly fitted helmet, water, food, and sunscreen. Here are a few to get you started and then click here to see the full list.
- Saturday, June 9: Farmington Canal Trail Bike Tour
- Sunday, June 10: City Point to Lighthouse Point Bike Tour
- Wednesday, June 13: East Shore History Trail Bike Tour
- Saturday, June 16: East Coast Greenway South Bike Tour
- Thursday, June 21: International Make Music Day Bike Tour
- Saturday, June 23: Pet Friendly Bike Tour
Free Open Air Concerts
Easily one of the most popular Festival offerings, are the open-air concerts that have become a family tradition. Warm June weather and the historic New Haven Green are the perfect backdrop for unforgettable nights with family, friends, and great music. Grab a blanket and a picnic because they are all free!
Saturday, June 9: Elan Trotman with Rohn Lawrence
Barbados-born, Berklee-educated saxophonist Elan Trotman and Elm City’s own Rohn Lawrence are joined by The Rahsaan Langley Project to kick-off our headline series on the New Haven Green.
Sunday, June 10: Flor de Toloache & Las Cafeteras
New York City’s Flor de Toloache brings the fireworks every time they perform, combining influences from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Colombia, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. to create an edgy, versatile, and fresh take on traditional mariachi music. This all-woman band has won hearts around the world, captivating crowds at The Grand Ole Opry, Coachella, and more. Bring your dancing shoes and get ready to fall in love.
Las Cafeteras is a band with things to say and a vibrant way of saying them. Las Cafeteras brings together traditional Son Jarocho sounds, Afro-Mexican rhythms, the traditional dance zapateado, and inspiring lyrics – in English, Spanish, and Spanglish – to serve up a music both unique to East LA and universal in its appeal.
Saturday, June 16: Ruth B
JUNO-award winning singer-songwriter Ruth B stunned the world with the success of “Lost Boy”. Inspired by The Beatles, Carole King, Lauryn Hill, and Taylor Swift, Ruth B combines a soulful voice with powerful lyrics that are both universal and unmistakably her own.
Sunday, June 17: Amir ElSaffar
Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra brings together musicians from a broad spectrum of musical worlds, creating a musical language that combines Middle Eastern “maqams” (modes) and instruments such as oud (lute), santur (hammered dulcimer), and hand percussion, with the rhythm, aesthetics, and instrumentation of contemporary Jazz.
Friday, June 15: Free Gospel-Fest Concert
Back again this year is the 2nd Annual New Haven GospelFest, featuring some of New Haven’s richest talents. Performances will include a 100-person choir, various soloists, a dance troupe, male and female vocal quartet, drill team, and more!
Secret Code #1 is festival
Featured International Festival of Arts & Ideas Ticketed Events
Thursday, June 14 – Saturday, June 16: A Billion Nights on Earth
Celebrated director Thaddeus Phillips and visual artist Steven Dufala take audiences on a remarkable adventure in which a parent and child travel the world through a portal in their kitchen. Astonishing puppetry and Kabuki stagecraft animates larger-than-life penguins, milk cartons, astronauts, and squirrel before our eyes in this celebration of the wonders of childhood that you will want to experience with your kids and your parents.
Tuesday June 19 – Saturday, June 23: The Merchant of Venice – New England Premiere
In a utterly unique theatrical event, the Festival brings one of Shakespeare’s most well-known and controversial plays, The Merchant of Venice, to the Yale Law School Courtyard. First staged in Venice to commemorate the establishment of the Jewish Ghetto 500 years ago, the Compagnia de’ Colombari’s new production, directed by Karin Coonrod, features a cast of five multi-ethnic actors to explore Shylock’s complex humanity as a father and merchant, villain and victim.
Wednesday, June 13 – Saturday, June 15: Yale International Choral Festival
Conveniently located off both I-95 and -91, New Haven is a walkable city with shops, outstanding restaurants, museums, boutique hotels, and parks, with the famous Yale University right in the center of it all. There is public transportation from New Haven’s Union Station, featuring connections from Amtrak and MetroNorth.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas Festival has so much to offer for anyone interested in arts, music, theater, or community culture. Arts & Ideas is a non for profit year round, with goals to bring artistic enrichment to the surrounding community as well as promote social advancement and empowerment.