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News article

York Festival of Ideas 2016

Published: 02 June 2016

  •   Community
  •    Events

With free events across the city, featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, performances and interactive experiences, the annual festival aims to educate, entertain and inspire people of all ages and interests.

The events will delve into some of today’s most complex global challenges, including the forthcoming EU Referendum, the causes and consequences of the refugee crisis, living with floods, securing sustainable food sources, and health and wellbeing.

Headline speakers will include: former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Lawson; former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Yvette Cooper MP; composer Sir Karl Jenkins; and the Director General of Amnesty International Italy, Gianni Rufini.

Encompassing broader ideas around time - past, present and future - the Festival programme will also explore themes such as York Pathways to the Past, Performance Through Time, Science: The Final Frontier, The Future: What’s Next?, and much more.

Now in its sixth year, the Festival has grown to become one of the largest free festivals in the UK, last year attracting over 31,500 people to 170 events.

The Festival is led by York University in collaboration with more than 60 city and national organisations, including York St John. The full programme of events can be found on the Festival website.

Joan Concannon, Director of York Festival of Ideas, said: “Each year, the Festival showcases the power of ideas and research by York academics and brings fantastic speakers and performers to York. We are really proud that the Festival has become a key part of the cultural and intellectual life of our city and region and thanks to our incredible sponsors is able to provide so many wonderful free events.

"I would like to encourage everyone to come along and help us celebrate the rich and diverse strengths of our amazing city and the incredible power of ideas.” 

Events based at York St John University include:

  • Tlatelolco (Song for Three Voices), Saturday 11 June, 1 – 3pm
    This is a three-voice poem reading set to music which commemorates the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City in 1968. The reading will be preceded by a brief presentation about the history of the event.

  • Time Out Of Mind: Stories of Mental Health in York, Tuesday 14 June, 7 – 9pm
    Out of Character Theatre Company present the history of the treatment of Mental Health in York. The performance includes stories that range from the darkly comic to the traffic and it also includes dramatized accounts from the past and present.

  • Story Zone: Voices in the University, Tuesday 14 June (6.30 – 7.30pm) & Saturday 18 June (1.30 – 4.30pm
    An interactive display that shares tales about the role York St John has played in the life of the city over the past 175 years. It is based on interviews and research by a team of historians and includes anecdotes and narratives from residents, alumni, staff and students.

  • Writing Without Time, Saturday 18 June, 2 – 4pm
    In the hectic modern world, lack of time is one of the most frequent excuses for not doing more creative work. This set of lightning workshops, led by Creative Writing lecturers, will challenge the assumption that all good writing takes time.
  • Play Me! Saturday 18 June, 12 – 4pm
    In a set-up similar to that of an arcade, York St John and the International Centre for Community Music invite you to play with sound and make a whole lot of noise by triggering live performance, interactive electronics and playback.

Contact us

Communications team

York St John University, Lord Mayors Walk, York, YO31 7EX

01904 876 466

To contact us out of hours, phone 07812 365 499

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