AIF Blog - Arts

January 22, 2018
Comedian Pete Dominick speaks with writer Susan Orlean at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2017.New York Times best-selling author Susan Orlean says ignorance about a subject is a powerful ignitor of curiosity. As someone who has written about bullfighters, orchid fanatics, and an African king who drives a taxi in New York City, she knows a thing or two about delving into far-flung topics. How can we learn to take in the...
January 09, 2018
Walter Isaacson speaks with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a filmmaker, Harvard professor, and Aspen Institute Trustee, at the Aspen Ideas Festival. How far have we come toward racial equality since the civil rights era? What does it mean to be black today? How can we have had a black president while events like Ferguson continue to occur? Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard professor and filmmaker, says progress in the...
December 28, 2017
Writers Dani Shapiro and Jess Walter speak at Aspen Summer Words.How is creativity cultivated in childhood? And, does a creative culture at home result in a creative career later on? Authors Jess Walter, Dani Shapiro, and Jericho Brown explain how their early years contributed to a life of writing. Such a life isn’t easy, with rejection, confusion, and disappointment making the pursuit an uphill battle. The writers...
December 21, 2017
 Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned professor of economics, is featured in one of our most popular podcast episodes. He spoke at Spotlight Health in 2017. Podcast listeners in 2017 heard about technology, politics, loneliness, and creativity in our Aspen Ideas to Go podcast. The weekly show features onstage discussions from Aspen Institute events, including the Aspen Ideas Festival. Sit back, and enjoy our...
October 17, 2017
David Rubenstein speaks with Aspen Institute CEO and author Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Biographer Walter Isaacson says Leonardo da Vinci, the subject of his latest book, was much more than a famous artist. Sure, da Vinci is best known for the two most famous paintings in history: the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. But, Isaacson says, da Vinci also thought of himself as a scientist and engineer...
June 23, 2017
 The Aspen Ideas to Go Podcast TAKEOVER is back for its second year! In the spirit of a diverse exchange of ideas, we’ve handed over the mic to a handful of Festival presenters to take over the show! During the week of the Aspen Ideas Festival—going on now through July 1st—six Takeover Hosts—Julie Rovner, Perri Peltz, Michele Norris, Joshua Johnson, Pete Dominick, and Susan Page...
June 22, 2017
Kelly Leonard is the executive director of insights and applied improvisation at Second City Works. He will be speaking at the Caregiving track at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Below, he describes how lessons he learned as he was training in improv at Second City can help one navigate life's challenges. In mid-May, I found myself on stage at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City with my Second City colleague Kate...
June 07, 2017
Former Vice President Al Gore stars in the riveting and rousing follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth, Truth to Power. It's part of our flim lineup for the Aspen Ideas Festival.Public tickets for flims go on sale June 16.  SPOTLIGHT HEALTH LINEUP James Beard: America's First Foodie (June 23) Today's American food movement can be traced back to one man: cookbook author, journalist, television celebrity, and teacher...
June 06, 2017
Jane McGonigal, author of Super Better, speaks at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2016.Thinking about the far-off future isn’t just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, as new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism. In this session from master game designer and acclaimed futurist Jane McGonigal, you’ll learn three...
May 30, 2017
Netflix releases the fifth season of House of Cards today (5/30/17). In this encore episode Katie Couric interviews House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. The interview, from the Aspen Ideas Festival, took place before the show’s third season in 2015. The two have a lively conversation about Willimon’s career (he studied painting in college and later worked on political campaigns), and the turbulent lives...

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