Night of Ideas 2023: Nocturnal Marathon of Debates, Programs and Performances Returns to San Francisco Main Library


Hula hooper in atrium of Main Library

San Francisco Public Library, KQED, SFMOMA and Circuit Network partner with Villa Albertine for free annual art and philosophy super-event March 4, 2023, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

SAN FRANCISCO, February 9, 2023 – Villa Albertine, San Francisco Public Library, KQED, SFMOMA and Circuit Network today announced the 2023 Night of Ideas, Villa Albertine’s flagship annual nocturnal marathon of philosophical debates, performances, readings and more, coordinated worldwide by the Institut Français.

This year, Night of Ideas returns across an unprecedented 22 US cities and more than 100 countries worldwide. The nighttime gatherings enable the public to engage with leading thinkers, scientists, novelists, activists and artists around 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?

In San Francisco, Night of Ideas kicks off March 4, 2023 at San Francisco’s Main Library, with headliners: Juanita More!; SF Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin; Oakland Poet Laureate Ayodele Nzinga; Assessor-Recorder Joaquín Torres; rising star French environmental philosopher Baptiste Morizot; celebrated Animal Orchestra composer Bernie Krause; Mary Ziegler, one of the nation’s leading experts on reproductive health history, politics and law; Gilda Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood, Northern CA; award-winning children's book authors Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris; A.I. expert Gregory Renard; inventive electronic musician and composer Pamela Z; legendary surf band The Mermen and many more.

Free to the public, the Night of ideas takes place from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. with programming 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.  For more information and to reserve a ticket visit 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, art historian Estelle Zhong Mengual 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 Strong and Latino Task Force; 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.  
  • 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, Pascal Lee, Franck Marchis and Clement Vidal from the Berkeley 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.

Villa Albertine, launched in fall 2021, is a new kind of cultural institution across 10 U.S. cities, with the mission to deepen cultural connections between the United States and the French-speaking world through a shared exploration of arts and ideas. National programs like Night of Ideas are part of Villa Albertine’s public event programming that make up one of the organization’s core pillars. The other three pillars are: exploratory, bespoke artist residencies in multiple cities across the US, grants and professional programs, and magazine entitled States that launched its inaugural issue in January.

Night of Ideas 2023 is presented by Villa Albertine, in partnership with FACE Foundation. The national program in the US is made possible with major philanthropic support from Presenting Partner the Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institut français.


Kate Patterson
Director of Communications – San Francisco Public Library
Tel: (415) 557 4252
Cell: (415) 312 9685

Peter Cavagnaro
Director, Marketing and Communications - KQED
Tel: (415) 553-8451

Clara Hatcher Baruth
Director of Communications – SFMOMA
Tel: (415) 357-4177

Margo de Fayet
Project Manager, Cultural Affairs – Villa Albertine San Francisco
Tel: (415) 591-4822

Sponsor logos

San Francisco Public Library ​is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

The​ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ​is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and a thriving cultural center for the Bay Area. Our remarkable collection of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design and media arts is housed in an LEED Gold-certified building designed by the global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta. In addition to our seven gallery floors, SFMOMA offers 45,000 square feet of free, art-filled public space open to all.

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS member station based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source, leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Villa Albertine is a new kind of cultural institution whose mission is to create a community that links France and the United States in a shared exploration of arts and ideas. With a team of 80 people deployed in 10 major cities—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—Villa Albertine presents its innovative programming nationwide. These include 60 customized residencies for artists, thinkers, and cultural professionals; a series of cultural and humanities initiatives and events; a magazine; and resources and convenings for professionals in the cultural sphere. Villa Albertine is an institution of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, with support from the French Ministry of Culture.

Circuit Network, founded in 1984,  is a non-profit producer and artists’ service organization dedicated to fostering the development of contemporary dance, theater, music and performing artists who are creating work of high artistic caliber, deep social import and wide cultural impact. Circuit implements its mission by developing partnerships between artists and communities, booking engagements, providing project development and management services, and producing events locally in San Francisco with our roster artists and ensembles. The current roster includes Culture Clash, Ruben Martinez, Miya Masaoka, Dan Wolf and Bay Area Theatre Cypher, Kristina Wong, and Pamela Z.

Presenting Partner: The Judy and Peter Blum Kovler Foundation
The Foundation’s work has included underwriting of such public spaces as Washington’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Holocaust Museum; and in New York the new Statue of Liberty Museum. In connection to French culture and history, it has underwritten efforts at Notre Dame restoration, the Louvre Endowment, and to Holocaust studies including the 1988 Academy Award winning documentary, Hotel Terminus, the Life and Times of Klaus Barbie.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations, established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy. 

About FACE Foundation
FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE Foundation administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE Foundation focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language.

About the Institut français
The Institut français is responsible for France’s international cultural program. Supervised by both the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Culture, it promotes French culture abroad through cultural exchange initiatives. Operating in a space where the arts, intellectual exchange, cultural and social innovation, and linguistic partnerships interact and intersect, it is also responsible for promoting the French language and the sharing of works, artists, and ideas all over the world. The Institut français is one of Villa Albertine's main French partners.

About Night of Ideas
Initiated in 2016 during an exceptional evening that brought together in Paris foremost French and international thinkers invited to discuss the major issues of our time, Night of Ideas has quickly become a fixture of the French and international agenda. Every year, on the last Thursday of January, the French Institute invites all cultural and educational institutions in France and on all five continents to celebrate the free flow of ideas and knowledge by offering, on the same evening, conferences, meetings, forums and round tables, as well as screenings, artistic performances and workshops, around a theme each one of them revisits in its own




February 9, 2023