Villa Albertine today announced the lineup for the US edition of Night of Ideas, a free annual nocturnal marathon of philosophical debates, performances, readings and more, hosted in 19 cities across the country this May. The US joins the international community in celebrating this global event, which is being hosted in over 100 countries and is coordinated by the Institut français.
In this period of intense geopolitical upheaval in Europe and around the world, compounded social and political challenges are producing deep crises, particularly in Ukraine. The Night of Ideas creates a rare and powerful forum, enabling 250+ artists, researchers, and community leaders to engage with each other and the public on these core issues of our time. The theme, “Where Are We Going?” sparks conversation about war and the future of global democracy, on the stage of pandemic recovery and economic turmoil. It also leads to important discussions about community-based climate action, about concrete steps toward equity and racial justice, and more.
Night of Ideas is the continuation of a long-running successful collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library, alongside both new and returning partners in 18 other cities. The bespoke programming will welcome a wide diversity of speakers and performers, including participants in Villa Albertine’s inaugural residency program. Highlights include: musician, author, and poet Patti Smith, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Goncourt Prize-winning Franco-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani, Lenape Center Director Joe Baker, philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist Bruno Latour, resident musician and composer Sélène Saint-Aimé, author and urban thinker Ryan Gravel, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center Rama Yade, Poetry Foundation President Michelle Boone, Director of the Umass Energy Transition Initiative Erin Baker, resident numerical analyst Aurélie Jean, Los Angles Chief Sustainability Officer Lauren Faber, political scientist Claire Sagan, food author and chef Adán Medrano, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Erin Harkey, ethologist, neurologist, and psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik, resident multidisciplinary artists Loo Hui Phang and Joseph d’Anvers, and Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist at Meta.
The US edition of Night of Ideas is organized by Villa Albertine, in partnership with 50+ institutions, including the Ukrainian Institute of America. Alongside its public programs, Villa Albertine, a new cultural institution launched by the French Government in fall 2021, is pioneering a new model for customized artist residencies – hosting more than 60 artists, thinkers, and cultural professionals across 10 major US cities annually.
“Night of Ideas is an act of global solidarity, with the conviction that problems are best solved when we collaborate across institutions, disciplines, and countries. I am very proud that this is the first major event of Villa Albertine,” said Gaëtan Bruel, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the US and Director of Villa Albertine. “We are honored to welcome such an impactful lineup of speakers and performers across the country, including some of Villa Albertine’s first artists and thinkers-in-residence. It’s a rare opportunity to gather so many creative, socially-conscious projects under one roof, in the service of philosophical exploration and cross-cultural connection.”
Embark on an original on the road happening from Villa Albertine headquarters in Manhattan to Brooklyn Public Library, where 60 members of the public will enjoy a private 1:1 discussion with the artist or speaker sitting next to them on the bus. All will then gather for a marathon of talks, musical performances, screenings, and lively forums, headlined by a performance from Patti Smith. Programming includes Goncourt Prize-winning novelist Leïla Slimani, Director of the Lenape Center Joe Baker, Chief AI Scientist at Meta Yann LeCun, political scientist Claire Sagan, and more.
Other U.S. Cities and Dates, which began on May 5th, include Houston, Texas on May 5th; Boston, Massachusetts on May 6th, Los Angeles, California on May 9th, Washington, D.C. on May 11th, Chicago, Illinois on May 12th, Atlanta, Georgia on May 14th, San Francisco on May 17th, New Orleans, Louisiana on May 18th, and Miami, Florida on May 19th,
This year’s U.S. program, the largest yet, is made possible with major philanthropic support from the Judy and Peter Blum over Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Don’t miss ‘Films on the Green’ this summer, presented by Villa Albertine.