AIF Blog - Arts

June 14, 2018
 Anote Tong, former president of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, prepares to speak in Paris on the future of his nation and rising sea levels. He appears in filmmaker Matthieu Rytz's new film Anote's Ark, which will be shown at the Aspen Ideas Festival.The films screened at Aspen Ideas and Spotlight Health are open to the public. Public tickets for films go on sale 9am (MST) June 15. ...
June 06, 2018
Broadway producer Jeffrey Seller speaks with Kennedy Center Board Chair David Rubenstein at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June 2017.As the producer of the Broadway show Hamilton, Jeffrey Seller helped the play's creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, tell the story of yesterday using the tools of today. The musical about America's founding fathers had a virtually all minority cast and was set to hip-hop. "Lin...
May 17, 2018
 Kitty Boone is the director of the Aspen Ideas Festival, which starts with Spotlight Health on June 21. What We’ve Been Up ToIt's our 14th year of programming the Festival, and we're excited to bring remarkable experts and deep thinkers to our stage once again. The speakers and conversations change every year, but our goal stays the same — to continue to highlight what's important now and what will have far-...
February 14, 2018
US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reads her poetry at Winter Words, an event held by the Institute's literary program Aspen Words. (photo: Nick Tininenko) Last year the US Library of Congress named Tracy K. Smith as the country's Poet Laureate. She follows in the footsteps of notables who have held the position like Billy Collins, Rita Dove, and Juan Felipe Herrera. In January, she read her poetry and...
January 30, 2018
Walter Isaacson sits down with Norman Lear and Khizr Khan at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2017.America's most revered documents, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Decleration of Independence, provided comfort during challenging times to two men on different continents. Norman Lear poured over these texts at public school when his father was incarcerated. “Those words were — they...
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...

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