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Celebration: Night of Ideas 2023

Saturday, 3/4/2023
7:00 - 1:00
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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Night of Ideas schedule - links to PDFSee Full Program

The Bay Area's biggest celebration of creativity and critical thought is back at the San Francisco Public Library's Main Branch.

This year's edition brings together dozens of local cultural organizations, leading thinkers and artists to contemplate the theme "More?" In a world driven by the logic of growth, what does it mean to have "more"? What do we need "more" of: More material abundance, connection, creativity? More justice? More joy? Can we share "more" -- and can we sustain it? Will "more" ever be enough?

Join San Francisco Public Library, KQED, SFMOMA, Villa Albertine San Francisco and Circuit Network for another inspiring marathon of talks, performances and art on all seven floors of the Main Library. Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and Value Culture host a lounge and DJ dance party. The evening will also feature pop-up performances and a small marketplace featuring San Francisco businesses.  Following is the full lineup of presenters:  

  •  San Francisco drag legend Juanita More! and performers from the House of More! will kick off the evening with a land acknowledgement by Landa Lakes and a fashion show featuring designs by Mr. David, Juanita More!’s long-time collaborator.
  • San Francisco’s 8th Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin will give a keynote on justice.
  • Poet Matthew Zapruder will perform “From the Canyons to the Stars”, a new work commissioned by Villa Albertine.
  •  Food activist Raphaelle Moatti, artist and philosopher Jonathon Keats and impact investor/life coach Seth Miller discuss crafting a delicious future of food that works for 100% of life.
  • Environmental philosopher Baptiste Morizot discusses the wisdom of the natural world with celebrated musician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and sound artist Suzanne Husky.  
  • Artists Rayyane Tabet and Windy Chien, author of A Year in Knots, weave personal stories with unique insights into their artistic practices.
  • Attendees can get in touch with their inner child with a special storytime for adults with award-winning children’s book authors Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris who will read from their graphic novel The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza
  • One of the nation’s leading experts on reproductive freedom law, history and politics, Mary Ziegler, UC Davis, will talk about our new post-Dobbs reality with Gilda Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern California.
  • Listen in on Oakland’s Poet Laureate Ayodele Nzinga and playwright Cat Brooks as they discuss art’s call for more police accountability and equal justice for Black women in their play Tasha.
  • The Department of Public Health’s Deputy Director of Equity and Community Engagement Isela Ford, MPA leads a panel with community leaders Nancy Hernandez, Excelsior Works; Carlos Izaguirre, Instituto Familiar de la Raza's Indigena Health & Wellness Collective & Mercedes Garcia and Dairo Romero, Mission Economic Development Agency on how we can achieve more health justice.
  • NPR correspondent Chloe Veltman discusses the state of media content with fellow reporters D. Scot Miller, East Bay Express and Oscar Villalon, Zyzzyva.
  •  Executive Director of the Institute for the Future Marina Gorbis explores the current state of the workplace with novelist Jérôme Baccelli.
  • UC Berkeley Professor of Sociology Marion Fourcade unpacks the state of education in the A.I. era with Azadeh Jamalian, PhD in Cognitive Science,TED resident and founder of The GIANT Room.
  • Local favorites, ecosexual artists/activists Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle invite the audience to participate in a ritual celebrating earth, air, fire and water with guest performers: Veronica Hart, Lady Monster, Courtney Desiree Morris, Saul Villegas, Kaytea Petro, Julian Barber, Jeff Brown, Faerthen Felix, Sam McGinnis and more. 
  • SECA award-winning artist Marcel Pardo Ariza explores the future of Trans leadership with a rock-star panel of trans activists including Honey Mahogany, SF Democratic Club & Transgender District; Anjali Rimi, Parivar Bay Area and Nicole Santamaria, El/La Para Trans Latinas; and Pau Crego, Executive Director, Office of Transgender Initiatives.
  •  Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres will offer a keynote on housing inequity and the legacy of neighborhood segregation in San Francisco.
  • Get the latest on the search for extraterrestrial life with Molly Bentley, the host and producer of the radio show Big Picture Science, Pascal Lee, Franck Marchis and Clement Vidal from the SETI Research Center.
  • What does more wealth redistribution look like? Find out from UC Berkeley Department of Economics scholars Eva Davoine, Amory Gethin, Wouter Leenders and Ségal Le Guern Herryuc.  
  • Local performance and hip hop artist Dan Wolf presents a new model for remembrance, healing and intergenerational learning with fellow artist Rubén Martinez.
  • Bellastock Collective founder and Villa Albertine artist-in residence Mathilde Billet shares community initiatives for building tomorrow’s cities. 
  • In December 2022, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory made headlines with its groundbreaking advancement in nuclear fusion. Nuclear physicist Steven Ross tells us what this all means for the future of energy.
  • Psychedelic therapy has hit the mainstream with Michael Pollan’s popular Netflix series, How to Change Your Mind. Local practitioners Dr. Paul Ryder, Congregation of Sacred Practices; Julie Megler, NP, Rabbi Zac Kamenetz of Shefa: Jewish Psychedelic Support  and author Jahan Khamsehzadeh, Ph.D. offer a deeper look at beyond the psychological to the spiritual power of psychedelics as a religious practice.
  • Attendees are invited to share their vision for San Francisco Public Library’s future with Margaret Sullivan Studio and Gensler. Local hip hop sensation, Bay Area Theatre Cypher, will then interpret this interactive panel into a one-night-only performance.
  • Attendees can chill out and catch screenings by Kadist San Francisco and local filmmaker Hélène Goupil, The Seed and The Mission.
  • Night of Ideas 2023 features an all-star lineup of local artists who will perform throughout the night, including: acclaimed composer, performer, and media artist Pamela Z; composer, pianist and composer Allison Lovejoy who will perform excerpts from her opera The Best Bad Things (music and lyrics by Lovejoy and Candace Forest) featuring bad-ass women from San Francisco’s history with singers Allegra Andrea Bandy, Alexis Lane Jensen and Angela LaFlamme;  SF Circus Center’s DeMarcello Funes & Ceara Walton; Richard Marriott’s Club Foot Bibliothèque; instrumental surf trio The Mermen and cabaret performances by Renée Lubin, Roy Brown, Maureen McVerry and Ken Brill.


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This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

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The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.