THERE'S something for everyone at this years York Festival of Ideas.
Returning next month, the festival, which runs from June 11-24, presents programme of more than 150, predominantly free, online and in-person events on the theme of ‘The Next Chapter’.
Led by the University of York and supported by a range of sponsors, including the Holbeck Charitable Trust as Headline Sponsor, the festival celebrates human ingenuity and imagination, and the power of education and ideas to change lives for the better.
The programme features historian and author Alison Weir telling the riveting story of Elizabeth of York, England’s first Tudor Queen, and Pakistani-American artist and illustrator Maliha Abidi celebrating 100 remarkable women of colour from more than 40 countries who have overcome immense challenges to succeed in science, entertainment, the arts, sport and politics. Canadian scientist and public health expert Timothy Caulfield will explore ways to reduce individual stress in an anxiety-filled world, while former NHS team leader Wendy Mitchell will debunk some of the myths around dementia.
To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, award-winning author Helen Benedict and Syrian writer and refugee Eyad Awwadawnan tell the stories of five people who fled violence and persecution in the Middle East and Africa only to find themselves trapped in refugee camps in Greece.
In contrast, film and TV writer Graham McCann will take an intimate look at the life and career of comedy legend Frankie Howerd, as seen through the comedian’s archive which is now housed at the University of York’s Borthwick Institute.
The Festival will showcase contributions from an array of world-class speakers and performers including author Sir Michael Morpurgo; Oscar-winning film editor of Dune, Joe Walker, actress Dame Harriet Walter and academic, writer and former politician, Michael Ignatieff.
The programme also features quantum physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili; historian and broadcaster Tracy Borman; crime writer Ann Cleeves; evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar; Syrian musician and instrumentalist Maya Youssef; journalist Tim Dowling; writer and historian William Dalrymple; and flamenco and classical guitarist Galina Vale.
Festival director, Joan Concannon, said: “These are volatile times so we are proud that the festival can provide realistic perspective and incisive analysis of some of the most important issues facing the world in the 21st century. In parallel, we seek to make the pursuit of knowledge and discovery both entertaining and life-affirming. Our new fully hybrid programme will ensure that the festival is accessible both to citizens of York and audiences across the world. As ever, we are hugely grateful to all our sponsors and partners, without whose support the Festival would not be possible.”
Copies of the festival brochure are available at the Visit York Information Centre, 1 Museum Street, York and public libraries across the city.