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Night of Ideas 2024

Night of ideas 2024 (c) Des Signes

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.  

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