Let the festivities begin!

The 2014 International Festival of Arts & Ideas kicks off with a weekend of music, film, tours, family-friendly activities, and a tribute to three Connecticut artists.

Actor Christopher Plummer, sculptor Tim Prentice, and author Luanne Rice — recipients of the Connecticut Governor’s Arts Awards — will take part in a panel discussion about the state of the arts in the state at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 14 in the Yale University Arts Gallery. Admission is free.

The opening weekend will also feature two free concerts on the New Haven Green. Grammy-winning vocalist and pianist Lalah Hathaway and American Idol winner Ruben Stoddard will present an evening of R&B and jazz at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, and Martha Redbone Roots Project and Cry You One will present the music of Appalachia and the Louisiana coast, respectively, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 15.

The weekend will also include music and drama by cellist Erik Friedlander, the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, performance artist Lemon Anderson, and the String Quartet Truck.

The French comic duo Compagnie Baralosolo will make a splash — literally — when they bring their aquatic antics to the New Haven Green at noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Reserved seats are $35; standing room is free.

Youngsters can test their architectural creativity at Box City and enjoy short films aimed at young audiences at the Children’s Film Festival, among other family-oriented activities.

Click here for information about the array of other activities highlighting the festival’s opening weekend.

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas will continue through June 28. For more information, visit the festival website.