Families Can Have a Great Time at the Arts & Ideas Festival

Page17 Air Play; Florence Montmare; International Festival of Arts & Ideas 2016_edited

Air Play Photo by Florence Montmare.

By Karen Isaacs

 New Haven Green will be the center for family events during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas which runs from Friday, June 10 through Saturday, June 25. Many of the events include hands-on activities, billed as Do.Make.Create.

Do.Make.Create activities are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday during the festival from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on the Green. Each day includes activities as well as performances that will delight children of various ages. Musical performances are at 5:30.

Chad Herzog, director of programming, said that many of the events on the Green have been reimagined and recreated.  “Many festival events can be experienced by people of all ages; they may experience them in the same way or in different ways,” Herzog said.

“We want families and children to let their imagination take them away,” he added. In addition to the events aimed more specifically for families, many other Festival events are suitable and enjoyable by young people.

Maker Mania opens these activities on Saturday, June 11. It’s described as including interactive activities such as 3D Everything, printmaking with the Green Lights Project and a seed party with Common Ground. Kids can decorate a pot and plant seeds for their own garden, or at printmaking create a block print.  At 5:30, Hartford’s Hot Several Brass Band will perform.  What child doesn’t like a brass band?

Also that day is the Children’s Film Festival at the Yale Center for British Art. This free event features short films for all ages at 10:30 a.m., short films for ages 7 and up at 1:30 and at 3 p.m. Shaun the Sheep the Movie.  This 2015 animated adventure comedy was nominated for an academy award in the best animated feature category.

 Sunday, June 12 is billed as Youth in Action, part of the 2016 Youth Summit. The activities are aimed more at teens and include a Dance Competition, interactive street art, and performances by the New Haven Hip Hop Conference. The day concludes with Yesenia Rubio with the Infusion Evolution; Rubio is a Colombian-American singer-songwriter who creates social impact and poetry through both contemporary and classic musical traditions.

A Youth Ideas Panel at 3 p.m. at Yale Art Gallery discusses youth activism and includes current youth leaders. Panelists include Moderator: Wendy Lesko, executive director, Youth Activism Project, Isabel Bate, LGBTQ Youth Kickback, New Haven; Jeremy Cajigas, community organizer on issues of racism and police brutality, Hamden; and Montrel Morrison, NAACP Juvenile Justice Committee Chair, Southern Connecticut State University. While the event is free, people are encouraged to be early to ensure a seat.

A Cultural Exploration is the theme for Saturday, June 18. Kids can enjoy cultural crafts with a mobile art and film studio including kite making; the New Haven Museum will coordinate games; and the New Haven Free Public Library will have story time. Plus there is Channel 1 Block Party Experience. The day concludes with a jazz concert by the Afro-Semitic Experience.

Juneteenth is the theme for Sunday, June 19 with kids exploring and learning the history of African American emancipation though  cooking demonstrations, hands-on crafts, drumming, dancing, and games with Artsucation’s “Africa is Me”, Kidz Kook, and S.P.O.R.T. Academy presented by the Stetson Branch of New Haven Free Public Library. Branford’s St. Luke’s Steel Band will close out the day with music from reggae, soca, island folk and classical jazz.

On the closing day of the Festival, Saturday, June 25 kids can help construct a model city of the future using cardboard boxes. The kids will be helped by local architects, city planners and others. The day will conclude with the Mary McBride Band and its blend of country, gospel, blues and old style rock ‘n roll.

Yet these are not the only events aimed at families. Every weekday from 1:15 to 2 p.m. except Mondays, musical and theatrical events that children will enjoy are on the Green. The performers range from Kim and Reggie Harris (Tuesday, June 14) playing African-American Spirituals to Orquesta Afinke (Thurs.,June 16) Latin American music to Beethoven’s Wig (Wed., June 22) the Grammy nominated group that sings lyrics set to classical music masterpieces and many others.

Tanglewood Marionettes’ will present The Fairy Circus on Wednesday, June 15 at 1:15. Leland Faulkner: World of Wonders is on Tuesday. June 21 billed as a feast of physical theater, classical conjuring and creative story-telling. The NYChillharmonic on Thursday,,June 23 will let volunteers, encouraged by the audience, learn to conduct a big band.

Even some of the lectures and tours could be of interest to teenagers and older children. Advance registration is necessary as the tours have limited participants. These include walking tours of MakeHaven on Saturday, June 11. The facility on State Street provide space for artists and dreamers to create project. Other walking tours include a tour of the hands-on Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop on Sunday, June 12., tours of Yale Cushing Center (Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17) that included brain speculums and other medial items, the Yale farm tour (Friday, June 24) and more.

On June 19th, there is a bike tour (billed as easy) that visits sites on Connecticut’s Freedom Trail in New Haven –historic homes, monuments, gravesites and parts of the underground railroad.

For more information on all the events during the festival, visit artidea.org.

This content courtesy of Shore Publications and zip06.com

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