International Festival of Arts & Ideas Enters Final Week in New Haven

There are still plenty of more concerts, shows and exhibits at this year’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, which runs through June 24.

For three weeks in June, the festival is one of the largest cultural events in New England.

Crews spent Friday afternoon putting the finishing touches on setting up New Haven’s new city-owned stage before a Saturday afternoon teen dance competition and an evening concert with Mexican band TROKER and the funky Latin soul group Fulaso.

“There's something that anybody can go to,” Graeme Swank from New Haven said. “There’s a myriad of things that you can choose from.”

Swank visited a photo exhibit Friday at the Yale University Art Gallery.

“It’s about the infrastructure of New Haven and a lot about the evolution of the city and how its people are intertwined in it,” he said.

Susan Davidson from Woodbridge said she tries to attend an event each day of the festival.

“Last night we heard the performance of 'Black Girl: Linguistic Play',” Davidson said. “That was phenomenal.”

With her husband and friends, Davidson observed a Friday afternoon panel discussion called “Imaging New Haven: Engaging the City.”

“We belong to the New Haven preservation trust and we’re familiar with some of the panelists,” she said.

The annual festival generates a big boost to the downtown New Haven economy.

“Last year the festival brought in over $15 million over the course of June to the area,” said Chad Herzog, the festival’s Interim Co-Executive Director.

This year Arts & Ideas is the first event to utilize a new City of New Haven investment.

“Tomorrow is a huge concert night,” Herzog said. “We get to christen our new city stage.”

With all the shows, art exhibits and idea discussions, Davidson said the festival is the highlight of the summer season on the shoreline.

“Many, many cities of this size do not host something like the Festival of Arts & Ideas,” she said. “We are fairly unique and it’s something New Haven should be enormously proud of.”

Saturday afternoon in the festival’s family day on the New Haven Green. NBC Connecticut and parent company Comcast are proud sponsors and will have a booth from noon until 3 p.m. with free giveaways like beach balls and key-chains.

You can find more information on the festivals remaining events here.

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