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Night of Ideas 2024


Night of Ideas 2024 (c) Des Signes

February 23, 2024 - March 3, 2024

Night of Ideas, Villa Albertine’s flagship nocturnal marathon of intellectual debates, performances, readings, and more, is returning to more than 20 cities across the US.

Villa Albertine’s signature late-night festival of debates, workshops, and performances, Night of Ideas will take place from February 23 to March 3 across more than 20 US cities. The event invites thought leaders, activists, performers, authors, and academics to engage the public in discussions addressing major global issues. This year’s unifying theme, “Outside the Lines,” centers urban life and development, raising questions about the impact of climate change, new technologies, gentrification, and social activism, by way of diversity and inclusion, access to education and nature, the future  of  cultural institutions, and the shapes of artistic communities in built environments. 

Our 2024 lineup features an array of speakers and rich cultural programming across the country that will shed new light on the varied issues specific to our participating cities. Each local programming team interprets the annual focus differently, with themes ranging from climate issues to social justice, technology, and beyond. Night of Ideas Atlanta will focus on urban transformation and its impact on the environment and the social fabric of the city, exploring how cities are working to adapt to climate change and making this transition equitable for everyone. Speakers will include environmental scientist Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, writer and urban planner Hannah Palmer, artist Sheila Pree Bright, and French journalist Guillaume Pitron. In Jersey City, the event will celebrate the cultural diversity and vitality of the city, with a performance by former Jersey City poet laureate Rashad Wright; a workshop with designer and educator Prem Krishnamurthy; performances by dancer and choreographer Rimli Roy and her company, Surati; a conversation with Felwine Sarr, the Senegalese academic, musician, and writer; and more. In McAllen, Texas, the event will tackle issues endemic to border cities and communities, asking how cities have grown and evolved along the border, and how dual and bilingual cultures can be supported and thrive in this context. The line up of speakers will include award-winning writer David Bowles, theater producer Karim Oyarzabal, and journalist and Executive Editor of Futuro Studios, Maria Garcia, among others.   

Night of Ideas will be held at various venues across the US, including:

  • Atlanta: Atlanta History Center
  • Chicago: Chicago Architecture Center
  • Cincinnati: Alliance Française of Cincinnati
  • Denver: Tivoli Adirondacks, MSU Campus
  • Detroit: Wayne State University
  • Durham: Durham Main County Library
  • Gainesville: GFAA Gallery (Fine Arts Association)
  • Jersey City, NJ: Hudson County Community College
  • Kansas City: The Miller Nichols Library & Learning Center
  • Los Angeles: House of Cocotte
  • McAllen, TX: McAllen Public Library
  • Miami: Books and Books
  • Milwaukee: Alliance Française Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis: Alliance Française Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Phoenix: ISA – The International School of Arizona
  • Puerto Rico: Alliance Française de Puerto Rico – San Juan
  • Santa Cruz: Institute of the Arts and Sciences
  • San Diego: Institute of Contemporary Art Central Headquarters
  • San Francisco: San Francisco Public Library
  • Saint Louis: Webster University
  • Seattle: Town Hall Seattle

More information is available at

Night of Ideas 2024 is presented by Villa Albertine and Albertine Foundation thanks to the leadership support of the Judy & Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is coordinated worldwide by the Institut Français.

All Night of Ideas events are free and open to the public.  

In partnership with

The Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation

The Foundation’s work has included the underwriting of public spaces. This includes being the largest supporter of Washington’s Franklin  Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the principal donor for the Emmett Till Exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a major donor to New York’s Statue of Liberty Museum and to Washington’s  United States Holocaust Memorial  Museum and an early donor to Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center, its latest effort after decades of assistance on Chicago’s south side. 

In connection to French culture and history, it has long been helping Notre Dame restoration and has only accelerated this work since  the 2019 fire; the Louvre Endowment; and to education on Holocaust and Deportation scholarship including the 1988 Academy Award winning documentary., Hotel Terminus, the Life and Times of Klaus Barbie.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations, established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

Albertine Foundation

Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In close partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and its arts institution Villa Albertine, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries thanks to corporate, foundation, and individual support.

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Institut français

The Institut français is responsible for France’s international cultural program. Supervised by both the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Culture, it promotes French culture abroad through cultural exchange initiatives. Operating in a space where the arts, intellectual exchange, cultural and social innovation, and linguistic partnerships interact and intersect, it is also responsible for promoting the French language and the sharing of works, artists, and ideas all over the world. The Institut français is one of Villa Albertine’s main French partners.

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