Night of Ideas 2024 is Bigger than Ever


San Francisco Public Library, KQED and Circuit Network partner with Villa Albertine for its signature marathon of talks, performances, art, and collective imagination on  
March 2, 2024 at the Main Library  

Drag performer in Main Atrium NOI Celebration 2023

San Francisco, Feb 13, 2024 – Villa Albertine, San Francisco Public Library, KQED and Circuit Network announce the full program for San Francisco’s 2024 Night of Ideas on March 2, 4 p.m.– 1 a.m. Free to the public, the Night of Ideas features programming on all seven floors of the Main Library. Philosophical debates, talks, performances, screenings and more encourage attendees to engage together around the pressing issues of our day while also celebrating the City’s vibrant culture and heritage. New this year is the very first Afternoon of Ideas, a family program ahead of the main event welcoming younger generations to participate in crafts, performances and workshops with award-winning children’s book authors, artists and educators. 

A global event, Night of Ideas returns across 20 US cities. This year’s theme, “Fault Lines: Outside the Lines”, is the jumping off point for presenters and participants to engage with the points of rupture and connection within urban life. Leading thinkers, scientists, writers, activists and artists will delve deep into the impacts of climate change, new technologies and social and cultural shifts while also offering a heavy dose of civic pride. To counter the negative-news blues, the evening will feature programs that are solution-focused and that celebrate the City’s natural wonders, cuisine and unique history. In addition to the heady topics, there will be plenty of levity with stand-up, improv, drag, cabaret, zine-making and a lounge and late-night dance party with DJ Beatific and Giants' Resident DJ Umani, hosted by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and Value Culture.    

Program highlights include: 

  • Two live tapings of KQED’s Forum with hosts Mina Kim and Alexis Madrigal, featuring fascinating guests like musical artist Kishi Bashi, Berkeley “deepfakes” researcher Hany Farid and more. 
  • Talks about the emergence and pitfalls of AI, including a keynote by world-renowned AI expert and Siri co-inventor, Luc Julia. 
  • Take an adventure through San Francisco’s history with San Francisco Chronicle’s Culture Critic Peter Hartlaub and founder David Gallagher.  
  • Award-winning author Maggie Tokuda-Hall joins author/illustrator Sendy Santamaria for a special interactive workshop on writing family stories. Tokuda-Hall will also deliver a keynote about the state of book-banning in the US later in the evening.  
  • Food lovers will not want to miss a discussion between French pastry chef and Villa Albertine artist-in-residence Corentin Poirier and Azikiwee Anderson, founder of Rize Up Bakery and a panel featuring Bryant Terry (4 Color Books), Fernay McPherson (Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement), Dontaye Ball (Gumbo Social) and Marcia Gagliardi (Tablehopper). Plus, a panel on wine with Lisa N. Brown (Boisset Collection), Terah Bajjalieh (Terah Wines) and Christopher Renfroe (The 280 Project).  
  • For nature lovers, we have a screening of Judy Irving’s latest documentary, Cold Refuge; a discussion about rewilding our habitats with San Francisco’s Senior Biodiversity Specialist Peter Brastow and Eric Lenoir, a self-identified “punk gardener” and expert in the interactions between social, urban and natural ecosystems. There is also a talk about returning elk populations to California with author Mary Ellen Hannibal.  
  • Award-winning author Eric Klinenberg (Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life) will be in the house to discuss his latest book, 2020: One City, Seven People and the Year Everything Changed.  
  • Keynotes by Scott Shigeoka of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and the world’s first Drag Laureate D’Arcy Drollinger.  
  • With the support of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the evening will feature a bonified celebration of our beloved and idiosyncratic Muni with a panel led by Jeffrey Tumlin; an interactive trivia game by Muni is My Ride author Lia Smith and artist Keith Ferris; a bookmobile/recording booth where participants can share personal transit tales with Muni Diaries and KQED Bay Curious and a Muni Raised Me showcase featuring performances curated by Meymey Lee and Celi Tamayo-Lee centered around Altared SF, a decommissioned Muni bus turned art installation.  
  • Panels tackle issues important to our Indigenous community: artist Kalie Granier will screen A’ai Beyond: Coast Conservancy followed by a discussion with Ohlone Costanoan Esselen representatives; Ramayatush Ohlone Tribal Chair Jonathan Cordero will join UC Berkeley’s Chandra Laborde for a discussion on dismantling structures of power and the American Indian Cultural District’s Executive Director Sharaya Souza and Director of Community Development and Partnerships Paloma Flores will join documentary and radio producer Aude Emilie Judaique for a talk about borders.  
  • Climate change presenters include: Dr. Adrien Burlacot, algal physiologist (Carnegie Institution for Science), Jeanne Everett (Blue Climate Initiative), author and documentary filmmaker Guillaume Pitron, Lindy Lowe (ERG Blue Earth Team) and Violet Wulf-Saena (Climate Resilient Communities), the ClimateMusic Project, among many others. 
  • Award-winning sound artist Bill Fontana transforms the Library’s teen center into an immersive soundscape.  
  • Night of Ideas 2024 features an all-star lineup of local artists who will perform throughout the night including: Sara Toby Moore's Atomic Comics; Richard Marriott's Bahaya with Dewa Berata; All The Way Live Hip Hop Dance Troupe; Simon Melrose & the Get Down; The Strutters Room; Tenderloin Queens Drag Show; Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Balitrónica of La Pocha Nostra; David James' GPS Jazz Sextet; The Residents, a late-night burlesque cabaret hosted by Kitten on the Keys and an electronic music “sound garden” with bran(...)pos, Cheryl Leonard, Kal Spelletich, Laetitia Sonami, Jorge Bachman and Ava Koohbor.   
  • The evening will also include a small marketplace featuring San Francisco businesses: The Daisy Refillery; handmade by pmaccay; colors4love; Ember + Fog; Shop Acker Curated Vintage; Good Junk; ThatmakescentsCo; House of Agatha Handmade and York Street Cafe.

Link to full program lineup.

Night of Ideas 2024 
March 2, 2024, 4 p.m.– 1 a.m. 
San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street 
For more information and to reserve a ticket visit 

Night of Ideas 2024 is presented by Villa Albertine and Albertine Foundation thanks to the leadership support of the Judy & Peter Blum Kovler Foundation, and with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is coordinated worldwide by the Institut Français.

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, 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 fashion. 

Event partner logos

About Villa Albertine 
Villa Albertine is a cultural institution with the mission to deepen cultural connections between the United States and the French-speaking world through a shared exploration of arts and ideas. With hubs in 10 US cities, Villa Albertine’s national programs, like Night of Ideas, 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 the annual bookazine States – issue two out now. 

About Albertine Foundation 
Albertine 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, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, Albertine 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. Albertine Foundation focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. 

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. 

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.   

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. 

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. 

The consulate general of France in San Francisco. France is represented in the United States by its embassy in Washington D.C. and 10 consulates general.  The consulate general of France in San Francisco extends its competence over 10 states in the northwestern United States. The Consulate reports on political, economic, technical, scientific and cultural issues in its constituency and builds partnerships between French and American companies, institutions, universities on both sides of the Atlantic. Through the Villa Albertine and its residency programs, the consulate supports and promotes the artistic, educational and academic communities.

Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library (Friends) is a diverse community of individual and individuals, families and institutions who love our San Francisco Public Library and work to make it exceptional. We champion free public access to information, resources and opportunities for all people.  We envision the future of our libraries as robust centers of 21st Century literacy, economic opportunity, life-long learning, discovery and community life. Our mission is to strengthen, support and advocate for a premier public library system in San Francisco. 

The mission of Value Culture is to produce and support artistic, educational, charitable, and spiritual events to inspire individuals to give back to their communities. 

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. 

Mellon Foundation Logo  

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.  

 Carnegie logo


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

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

Romane Guéchot 
Press and communications Officer – Consulate General of France in San Francisco I Cell: (415) 516 0604 

February 13, 2024