Arts, Culture, and Humanities

New Haven International Festival of Arts & Ideas

  • New Haven, CT
  • www.artidea.org

Mission Statement

Mission Statement The mission of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas is to create an internationally renowned festival in New Haven of the highest quality with world-class artists, thinkers and leaders, attracting and engaging a broad and diverse audience, celebrating and building community, and advancing economic development. About the Festival The International Festival of Arts & Ideas is a 15-day festival of performing arts, lectures, and conversations that celebrates the greatest artists and thinkers from around the world. Each June, the Festival takes over the theaters, museums, classrooms and outdoor spaces of New Haven, Connecticut, attracting an annual attendance of 120,000. Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas is, according to CNN, Connecticut's top tourism destination. Inclusivity Key to the Festival's success is keeping the majority of its programs available to public, regardless of individual income levels. The Festival removes offers 80% of its 170 events free to the public and promotes diversity through programming that connects audiences across generations, continents, and cultures. Engagement The Festival's community engagement programs include the Festival Fellowship Program for under-served youth, which immerses high school sophomores and juniors in an eight-month, intensive, arts-based leadership program and the Pop-Up Celebrations, which bring mini-festivals to historically isolated and economically challenged New Haven neighborhoods. The Festival is dedicated to the presentation of arts performances and context-building events that resonate with our communities and engage the big ideas of our times.

Main Programs

  1. HEADLINE CONCERTS, WEEKDAY CONCERTS, GREEN SHOWS & HEALTHY LIVING (Free)
  2. THEATRE, DANCE, MUSIC (Ticketed Performances)
  3. IDEAS PROGRAMS (Free)
  4. POP-UP CELEBRATIONS (Free)
  5. FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (Free)
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

ruling year

1996

Principal Officer since 2005

Self-reported

Ms. Mary Lou Aleskie

Keywords

Self-reported

IFAI; Arts & Ideas New Haven; the Festival; international; performing arts; community

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Also Known As

International Festival of Arts & Ideas

EIN

06-1444222

 Number

5672287869

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Festival Goals The Festival's overall goals are to present a world-class performing arts Festival; to engage diverse groups of people; to create economic and social vibrancy through targeted community programs and shared celebratory experiences; to be true and authentic to our region by programming culturally relevant artists; and to improve cultural and international understanding. Festival Accomplishments Extraordinary: Each year Festival programming includes 150-200 events of which at least 80% are free, attracting an audience of 100,000. Internationally recognized names - Angelique Kidjo, Bristol Old Vic, Handspring Puppet Company, Rosanne Cash, Little Richard, Elevator Repair Service, Yo-Yo Ma, Druid Theatre, Kronos Quartet, Spike Lee, Salman Rushdie - and dynamic new artists from all corners of the Earth are invited to share their unique talents and world views creating a smart, fun Festival. Free: The most recognizable events are the Festival's outdoor activities on the historic New Haven Green. Concerts, acrobats, family shows, walking tours, kids crafts, bike rides, dance workshops - ALL FREE - are enjoyed by thousands of CT families. The Festival is an early summer tradition with multiple generations gathering on the historic New Haven Green. The Festival presents 80% of all its events free to the public. Vibrant: Each year the Festival creates millions of dollars in economic impact for our state; hires 160 seasonal workers, and generates 600 hotels stays. Of the Festival's 700 artists and speakers, 400 are from Connecticut. The Festival introduces audiences to the history, natural beauty and extraordinary cultural life of our region. In 2014, CNN named the Festival the top tourist destination in our state. The Festival and its community engagement programs bring vibrancy to our region socially and economically making it a more desirable place in which to live and work. Diversity that Reflects Our Region: The 2015 Festival was the most geographically, economically and ethnically diverse audience to date with participants from every Connecticut County, 28 U.S. states and 12 countries. In 2015, 38% of Festival attendees identified as persons of color. This reflects Greater New Haven.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

HEADLINE CONCERTS, WEEKDAY CONCERTS, GREEN SHOWS & HEALTHY LIVING (Free)

The Festival's most recognizable events are the outdoor activities on the historic New Haven Green. Headline Concerts attract thousands of spectators. Artists have included Yo-Yo Ma, Rosanne Cash, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Fendika (Ethiopia), La Santa Cecilia (Mexico & U.S.A), Aaron Neville, Red Baraat (India), Darlene Love, and Angelique Kidjo (Benin & U.S.A). The Green keeps hopping throughout the Festival with afternoon and early evening performance by regional musicians and dance companies. The family fun continues with Green Shows that feature world-class acrobats; interactive storytelling, dance and music performances for families; kids crafts; dance workshops; and a pizza festival! As if this wasn't enough, there are over 20 guided walking tours and 14 bike rides that combine healthy exercise with presentations on public art, history, renewable energy, gardens, greenhouses, parks and waterways.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$560,000.00

Program 2

THEATRE, DANCE, MUSIC (Ticketed Performances)

The Festival offers unparalleled opportunity for our audiences to see the finest in performing arts from around the nation and the world. Art forms include theater, music, dance and special food events! These experiences take place in traditional theater spaces, concert halls, restaurants and nearby farms. At the Festival world-class art and culinary experiences are presented at modest ticket prices with numerous programs that provide free and discounted tickets to underserved demographics.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$875,000.00

Program 3

IDEAS PROGRAMS (Free)

The heart of the Ideas programs is a series of lectures and panel discussion on humanities themes relevant to our community and the performances presented at the Festival. Past speakers include Olu Oguibe, Salman Rushdie, Art Spiegelman, Robert Pinsky, Sebastian Barry, Susan Sontag, Frank McCourt, Ernesto Zedillo, Carl Zimmer and Emily Bazelon. Audience members can watch the talks live or online. The Ideas Program also presents pre and post-show conversations, workshops, and tours that increase the audience's understanding of artistic forms, expand performance topics and enrich understanding of the big ideas shaping our world.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$190,000.00

Program 4

POP-UP CELEBRATIONS (Free)

Pop-Ups give economically challenged New Haven neighborhoods the tools and resources they need to plan and execute their own celebrations. Pop-Ups feature local music, theatre, poetry, walking tours, sports clinics and nutrition workshops. Programming is chosen by neighborhood residents via a steering committee. These events contribute to community health and vitality by expanding arts audiences, strengthening relationships between dispersed neighborhoods, creating partnerships across service organizations and revealing community resources. Pop-Ups also increase self-esteem by making the neighborhoods a more fun and attractive place to live and work.

Category

Public, Society Benefit, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$310,000.00

Program 5

FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (Free)

The Festival's Fellowship Program is an arts-based workforce and education program for low-income high school sophomores and juniors. The program begins in January with weekly seminars designed to improve oral and written communication skills using Festival performance programs and arts management as subjects for essays, presentations and creative expression. During the Festival, Fellows attend performances, write critical responses and interview artists and staff. Fellows have a 90% college attendance rate and 100% high school graduation rate. Through their achievements, Fellows spark positive changes in their families, schools and communities.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$70,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Funding Needs

The Festival is uniquely positioned to create creative opportunities that add to the vitality and economic stability of our region. The majority of its programs are free. State and municipal officials recognize the impact of the Festival on our region's cultural and economic vitality, and they have authorized significant public funding, but every year the Festival faces the possibility of this funding being reduced or eliminated. To achieve its goals and safeguard the future, the Festival must increase the total amount of contributed income. The Festival has built a working capital reserve, which gives it the ability to self-finance operations and occasionally fund deficits. In order to maintain this important flexibility, which gives it the ability to make financial commitments that secure artistic programs, the Festival must increase its reserve to $3 Million. The Festival has launched the - Fund for the Future Campaign - to increase the working capital reserve, fund artistic work, and make critical infrastructure improvements. The Festival is a sound investment. It has operated without a significant deficit for 11 years. It generates $25 million in annual economic activity and it attracts direct investments from foreign arts councils who send dollars into Connecticut with their artists.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NEW HAVEN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND IDEAS INC
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

New Haven International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
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  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Mary Lou Aleskie

BIO

Executive Director at IFAI since September 2005, Ms. Aleskie has provided leadership at the helm of numerous international organizations and projects as an executive, producer and presenter, in the support of landmark premieres as well as masterworks of the performing arts. Prior to the Festival, Ms. Aleskie served as President/CEO of La Jolla Music Society,San Diego's premier presenter of world-renowned orchestras, dance companies, and soloists, as well as the producer of the award-winning chamber music festival La Jolla Summer Fest. Her decade-long tenure as Executive Director of Da Camera of Houston resulted in the company's first major international tours to include the world's most prestigious venues, from the Barbican Centre to the Kennedy Center. As General Manager and Managing Director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, she produced many ground-breaking projects, including the international tour of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" to Russia and the Baltics, as well as the world premiere of Frank Wildhorn's "Jekyll & Hyde", which transferred to Broadway for a long and successful run.Ms. Aleskie has been a frequent speaker and panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, among other organizations. She has guest lectured at Yale University, SUNY - Purchase, and University of Houston. She currently serves as a member of the International Society of Performing Arts' Board and Executive Committees, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' Classical Connections Advisory Committee, and the National Arts Strategies' Chief Executive Program. She is an Associate Fellow of Branford College at Yale University.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"In 2015, we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. For 20 years, the Festival has addressed a fundamental need for a new model of local and international engagement. By leveraging local organizational artistic talent and adding American and international artists of global stature, the Festival creates a synergy of creativity and discourse that sparks new ideas, partnerships and a renewed sense of optimism. The Festival is an important source of economic and community revitalization and a source of pride and joy for 120,000 annual attendees. As philanthropic priorities have shifted, most noticeably in the business community, there has been pressure to prioritize institutional and individual funding for basic needs and education. The challenge we now face is how to continue to articulate the intrinsic value of the arts, while at the same time demonstrating the impact of the arts on community well being. This impact includes, among many other things, the Festival's economic impact, the Festival's role as a builder of bridges between neighborhoods, populations and cultures, the Festival's leadership in community coalitions, the bringing of external funding to the city from national and international funders, and the Festival's role as a broker of relationships with artists and public officials from other countries. Through engagement with the arts, the Festival improves individual and community well being, creates jobs and increases community vibrancy. The Festival has a significant impact in our region. Of the Festival's 170 events, 80% are completely FREE to the public. The most recognizable events are the Festival's outdoor activities on the historic New Haven Green. Concerts, acrobats, family shows, kids crafts, dance workshops - ALL FREE - are enjoyed by thousands of CT families. The Festival has become a driving force in the region's economy. It averages $25M in annual economic impact, employs 160 seasonal workers, and generates 600 hotels stays. Of the Festival's 700 artists and speakers, 400 are from Connecticut. The Festival is a beacon event attracting visitors from every U.S. state and 50 countries. In 2014, CNN named the Festival the top tourist destination in Connecticut. At this point in our history, the Festival has an extraordinary portfolio of artists and we have reached hundreds of thousands of people and lifted the spirits, self-esteem and dreams of a community. Together we form a global stage where regional and international artists can share the spotlight and we can all move forward together. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Gordon Geballe

School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University

Term: Nov 2007 - Nov 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?