Arts & Ideas festival kicks off with concerts, screenings, talks and more

Here is a look at what is happening Friday-Sunday, June 14–16 during the opening weekend of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which runs through 29. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

Aaron Neville will present a free performance on the Green and talk about his work on Saturday, June 15.

Opening Evening Concert on the Green: Aaron Neville & The Connecticut Governor’s Arts Awards, a presentation and a performance by one of this year’s award winners, Jimmy Greene, and a concert of classic doo-wop numbers by Neville, who will present a talk earlier in the day. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a new adaptation from Bristol Old Vic in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Saturday & Sunday, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. (Also: June 18, 8 p.m.; June 19, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; June 20 & 21, 8 p.m.; June 22, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; June 23, 2 p.m.) Info.

“L’homme Cirque,” a one-man circus featuring everything from a human cannon ball to a climactic high-wire act. Saturday & Sunday, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. (Also: June 18, 7:30 p.m.; June 19, 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; June 21, 7:30 p.m.; June 22 & 23, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.; June 25: 7:30 p.m.; June 26, 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; June 27, 7:30 p.m.; June 29, 1 p.m.; June 29, 5 p.m.) Info.

“Freewheelers,” about the effect of two coinciding events in New Haven: the patenting of the bicycling and the opening of the country’s first corset factory. Saturday, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. (Also: June 19, 8 p.m.; June 22, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.; June 23, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.; June 26, 8 p.m.; June 29, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.) Info.

Calexico and Susana Baca on the Green, featuring a duo that plays country music with a Latin twist and the Afro-Peruvian singer-songwriter. Sunday, 7 p.m. Free. Info.

“Open Rehearsal: Yale Institute for Music Theatre,” a chance for theater and music lovers to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the creation of new music theater. Saturday & Sunday, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Info.

“Weekend Showcase” on the Green, an afternoon of performances by community artists. Sunday, beginning 2:30 p.m. Info.

Acrobatics, knife and fire juggling, and a high-altitude stunt will highlight “The Red Trouser Show” on Saturday, June 15.

Children’s Film Festival. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Free. Info.

“The Red Trouser Show” on the Green, an acrobatic, juggling and comedy duo. Saturday, 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. Free. Info.

“Box City” on the Green, a craft activity in which young city planners construct buildings and neighborhoods out of craft supplies and boxes. Saturday & Sunday, 1 p.m. Free. Info.


Note: The Ideas Fast Pass offers ensured seating at these events.

“Aaron Neville: Artistic Home,” the performer (who is presenting a free concert on Saturday), talks about his music and his artistic heritage. Free. Info.

“Made in Connecticut,” recipients of the Connecticut Governor’s Arts Awards will discuss their work. Yale’s Elizabeth Alexander is one of the recipients. Saturday, 3 p.m. Free. Info.

“Post-Katrina New Orleans and the Documentary Film,” a panel of experts discussing Spike Lee’s “If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.” Saturday, 4:15 p.m. Free. Info.

“Preparing for 2050: The Changing Face of Race in America,” a panel on the nation’s increasingly diverse and multicultural society. Panelists include Yale faculty members Harlon Dalton and Tisa Wenger. Sunday, 1 p.m. Free. Info.

“Q&A: Spike Lee,” after the screening of the director’s “Bad 25.” Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Free. Info.


“4 Little Girls,” Spike Lee and Sam Pollard’s first documentary collaboration about the bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four African-American girls lost their lives. A Q&A with producer Pollard will follow the screening. Director Lee will discuss his films on Sunday.  Friday, 7 p.m. Free. Info.

“If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise,” Filmmaker Spike Lee’s look at the post-Katrina rebuilding and the impact of the 2010 BP oil spill on New Orleans. Saturday, noon. Lee will discuss his films on Sunday. Free. Info.

“Bad 25,” Spike Lee’s recent Michael Jackson documentary. A Q&A with Lee will follow the screening. Sunday, noon. Free. Info.

“Slavery by Another Name,” Sam Pollard’s look at the “neoslavery” from 1865–1945. A Q&A with director Pollard will follow the screening. Sunday, 3:30 p.m. Free. Info.

A bike tour on Saturday, June 15, will bring cyclists to the Strawberry Festival at Hindinger Farm in Hamden.

Bike Tours:

“Poetry on Wheels.” Saturday, 9 a.m. Free. Info.

“Ride to Hindinger Farm: Strawberry Festival.” Saturday, 2 p.m. Free. Info.

“The Glory of Connecticut’s State Flower: Broken Arrow Nursery.” Sunday, 9 a.m. Free. Info.

“Smart Cycling: Ride the Designated Bike Lanes Through the City.” Sunday, 2 p.m. Free. Info.

Walking Tour:

“Library Architecture at Yale: Past and Present.” Saturday, 10 a.m. Free. Info.

Food Tour:

“Ninth Square Delights: Skappo, Thali, and Yolande’s Creperie.” Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Info.


Master Class with A Broken Umbrella Theatre. Sunday, 10 a.m. Free. Info.