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Press Office Event

The French Consulate, San Francisco Public Library, SFMOMA and KQED Team Up to Present the Second Night of Ideas in San Francisco on February 1, 2020

FREE event features speakers from more than 30 Bay Area organizations and a live broadcast of KQED’s Forum with Mina Kim

Released: January 08, 2020 · Download (1263 KB PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 8, 2019) – The French Consulate in San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and KQED jointly announce the second San Francisco edition of the global marathon event Night of Ideas on February 1, 2020, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the San Francisco Main Library. Presented in collaboration with the City of San Francisco and a vibrant ecosystem of local cultural, science, tech and academic partners, this FREE seven-hour marathon of debates, keynotes, panels, performances, screenings, music and a special live broadcast of KQED’s Forum with host Mina Kim features top thinkers from San Francisco and beyond. Its format is designed to spur dialogue and participation on the 2020 theme Living on the Edge, an adaptation of the international theme Être vivant.

With keynotes, panels and presentations by more than 30 organizations and diverse voices, the second San Francisco edition of Night of Ideas expects thousands to participate in the evening’s exchange of ideas and creative dialogue. More than 6,000 people attended the inaugural event at the Main Library in 2019.

Multiple stages throughout the Main Library will host concurrent programming, screenings, breakout sessions and opportunities for engagement and debate amongst the attendees. More than 30 topics relating to Living on the Edge will be explored over the course of the evening with each of the Main Library’s floors devoted to a separate theme including: Chaos + Creation, Wonder + Worry, Exclusion + Belonging, Truth + Doubt and Circulation + Borders. The atrium will host Sights + Sounds, a series of performances over the course of the evening including circus artists, DJ sets, drag performances and music. For a full program with list of speakers, panelists and performers, visit nightofideassf.com.

Artist JR delivering his keynote remarks in the atrium of the San Francisco Main Library at Night of Ideas 2019. Image: Matthias Carette.

“I’m delighted that San Francisco has a new annual tradition of bringing together leading thinkers, artists and the community to imagine new futures and solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “I hope San Francisco and Bay Area residents come out to participate in this dynamic cultural exchange and share their ideas for making our future even brighter.”

“After the success of the first edition of the Night of Ideas in San Francisco last year, I am delighted that we are embarking on this incredible adventure again,” said Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Consul General of France. “On February 1st, 2020, we will explore what Living on the Edge means in our contemporary societies by giving voice to the artistic, tech and scientific communities of the Bay Area, and also by encouraging people to engage as much as possible through a variety of participatory formats. Our ambition is to envision together new ways of creating dialogue and sharing ideas, because it is essential to not only speak to people, but to also speak with them. This is what the Night of Ideas is all about.”

“Art inspires and connects us every day, offering us new ways to see the world. In a sometimes fraught and divisive time, we need more places where people can come together as a community, to listen, participate and connect around ideas and culture. Through our extraordinary partners, the San Francisco Public Library, KQED and the French Consulate, Night of Ideas is a celebration of the vibrant ecosystem of the city and its people,” said Neal Benezra, the Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA.

“I hope everyone marks their calendar, because, on February 1, the Main Library will be the place to be. Last year’s Night of Ideas was a tremendous success; this one promises to be even more amazing. We can’t wait for the public to experience the Main like they’ve never experienced it before and to have an opportunity to commune with leading artists, scholars and thinkers from the Bay Area and beyond. See you there!” said City Librarian Michael Lambert.

“We’re thrilled for KQED to again join this night of civic spirit, spirited dialogue and inspiring creativity. Bringing together individuals from around the Bay Area to share their ideas, listen to different perspectives and to envision – together – bold solutions for a more hopeful world builds community – this night captures what KQED stands for,” said Michael Isip, KQED’s President and CEO.

 

ABOUT NIGHT OF IDEAS

Co-produced in the United States by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Institut Français and local partners, Night of Ideas has been presented in New York City since 2015 and in Los Angeles since 2017. Last year, more than 7,000 guests attended Night of Ideas at the Brooklyn Public Library in New York and more than 6,000 attended the inaugural event in San Francisco. This year, Night of Ideas begins in Paris on Jan. 30, 2020 and will be presented in more than 150 cities around the world. The 2020 U.S. cities are:

  • Norfolk – January 25
  • Miami – January 30
  • Chicago – January 30
  • Los Angeles – January 31
  • Boston – January 31
  • San Francisco – February 1
  • Brooklyn – February 1

 

NIGHT OF IDEAS PROGRAM OF EVENTS

 

Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s Forum, broadcasting live from Night of Ideas 2019. Image: Jason Doiy.

With a marathon of philosophical debates, keynotes, panels, open mics, interactive experiences and performances, Night of Ideas is designed to spur dialogue and creative participation amongst panelists and attendees on the theme Living on the Edge. The evening will ask participants to consider a world balanced on immense challenges and even grander possibilities – how will we reckon with these tensions and use them to create new visions for how we live together going forward?

Using a new format this year, each floor of the Main Library will be devoted to a separate theme exploring the different edges on which contemporary life in the Bay Area balances:

Chaos + Creation – how do we cope with disorder and disruption to fashion new ways to think and be?

  • Features a special two-hour live broadcast of KQED’s Forum hosted by Mina Kim, and a keynote by science fiction artist, filmmaker, inventor and body architect Lucy McCrae.
  • A panel exploring catastrophe through artists and history will be offered by the Townsend Centre for Humanities, UC Berkeley.
  • Enjoy a live performance by pioneering Afro-Jazz, urban funk band Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids.

Wonder + Worry [Floor 2] – what anxieties about the future weigh on us the most and what fascinations will transform the way we live?

  • Speakers include Isha Clark, youth climate activist, author and naturalist Obi Kaufmann, and renowned performance artist and founder of the Media Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and Mayor’s Art Award recipient Rhodessa Jones.
  • Play a participatory interactive game animated by the Institute for the Future.
  • Watch short films followed by filmmaker talks presented by California Humanities.

Exclusion + Belonging [Floor 3] – how do we find belonging and identity while making space for differences of lived experience?

  • Speakers include Reverend Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.
  • Two panels curated by French media L’Obs on transhumanism and artificial intelligence.
  • Keynote address by Dominique Nora, editor-in-chief of the French magazine L’Obs.
  • Enjoy a performance by Black Benatar’s Black Magic Cabaret featuring local Trans artists of color.

Truth + Doubt [Floor 4] – with consensus about history and facts increasingly fractured, what narratives should we affirm?

  • Speakers include Pulitzer Prize–winning historian T.J. Stiles.
  • Panels on Fake News curated by French Tech San Francisco.
  • Kathryn Olmsted will give a keynote on the destabilization of truth by conspiracy theories.
  • Participate in an interactive workshop “Don’t deepfake me!” by the European cluster Eunic Silicon Valley.

Circulation + Borders [Floor 5] – how do we transcend limits on movement for a healthy economy and a just society?

  • Speakers include Barbara Belvisi of Intersellar Lab and artist Caleb Duarte.
  • Panel “Transportation: the future of the 3rd dimension in the city” presented by World Economic Forum.
  • Readings and talks by American poets and writers curated by the French magazine America and its French editor-in-chief, Julien Bisson.

Night of Ideas presenters and performers will include diverse voices and talent from community organizations including:

ACLU, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, America Magazine, Asian Art Museum, Art in Action, Aurora Performers Bay Area Theater Cypher, Black Benatar (aka Mx. Beatrice Thomas), Business France, Burning Man, CAAM, California Humanities, Capoeira Ijexá, Circus Bella, Cultural Odyssey, Destiny Arts, Duniya Dance and Drum Company, Equal Justice Society, French Tech San Francisco, Friends of SFPL, Goethe Institute San Francisco, Institute for Arts and Science at UC Santa Cruz, Institute for the Future, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, KQED, L’Obs, Litquake, LoudSpring, Lycée Français de San Francisco, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, Noise Pop, OX/Vivvy, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, Open Austria, Presidio Trust, Rebecca Grossbard, SETI Institute, Stud Collective, Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, UC Davis Department of History, World Economic Forum… and more!

Performances will be interspersed throughout the night. Food and drink will be available for purchase. The evening culminates with a midnight performance by Noise Pop, DJs and dancing in the Atrium, and bingo/drag performances with free giveaways hosted by the Stud Collective.

Night of Ideas is free to the public but guests must register online on Eventbrite to guarantee a spot. The doors of the Main Library at 100 Larkin Street (between Grove and Fulton Streets) and Fulton Street (between Hyde and Larkin Streets) will open at 7 p.m. for check in. Seven hours of programming will conclude at 2 a.m.

For a complete list of presenters, performers and a schedule, visit: nightofideassf.com

No large backpacks or bags allowed – please plan accordingly.

The Main Library is wheelchair accessible. American Sign Language interpreters will be provided. To request other accommodations, please contact marti.goddard@sfpl.org.

Fou Fou Ha pose before their performance at Night of Ideas 2019. Image: Jason Doiy.

NIGHT OF IDEAS CONTEST – Win roundtrip air tickets to Paris

Guests at Night of Ideas have the opportunity to win one pair of roundtrip tickets to Paris during the event by participating in an Instagram contest sponsored by airline French bee. Participants may simply post a picture of any of the activities of Night of Ideas on their Instagram account and tag it #NOIFrenchBee2020. Winners will be randomly selected at the end of the night and must be present to win. A complete list of contest rules will be available on the website.

 

PRESENTERS AND SPONSORS

Night of Ideas is co-presented by the French Consulate in San Francisco, KQED, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and San Francisco Public Library.

The event is made possible by the support of the City and County of San Francisco, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, 836M, French bee, Microsoft, Open Society Foundations, Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the French American Cultural Society. La Nuit des Idées is a project of the Institut Français and Fondation de France.

 

Co-presenters:

The General Consulate of France in San Francisco, the Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy represent France’s cultural, scientific, political and economic interests in Northern California and ten other states (Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). While providing various consular services to French nationals, the General Consulate is a platform which promotes cooperation, innovation and mutual understanding between France and the U.S.

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.

SFMOMA is dedicated to making the art for our time a vital and meaningful part of public life. Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, a thoroughly transformed SFMOMA, with triple the gallery space, an enhanced education center and new free public galleries, opened to the public on May 14, 2016. Since its inaugural year, the expanded museum has welcomed more than one million visitors annually.

KQED Public Media for Northern CA, the first ranked radio station in the Bay Area and one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the United States will organize a live broadcast of Forum, hosted by Mina Kim, on the San Francisco Public Library stage at the event.

 

Curating Partners and Performers

Numerous renowned local institutions worked together to create the content for Night of Ideas. Among them:

ACLU, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, America Magazine, Asian Art Museum, Art in Action, Aurora Performers Bay Area Theater Cypher, Black Benatar (aka Mx. Beatrice Thomas), Business France, Burning Man, CAAM, California Humanities, Capoeira Ijexá, Circus Bella, Cultural Odyssey, Destiny Arts, Duniya Dance and Drum Company, Equal Justice Society, French Tech San Francisco, Friends of SFPL, Goethe Institute San Francisco, Institute for Arts and Science at UC Santa Cruz, Institute for the Future, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, KQED, L’Obs, Litquake, LoudSpring, Lycée Français de San Francisco, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, Noise Pop, OX/Vivvy, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, Open Austria, Presidio Trust, Rebecca Grossbard, SETI Institute, Stud Collective, Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, UC Davis Department of History, World Economic Forum.

 

In-kind Partners

Our thanks to French bee and The Park Central San Francisco for their contributions.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Jules Caron

Press Officer – French Consulate in San Francisco

Jules.caron@diplomatie.gouv.fr

Tel: (415) 616 4907

Cell: (415) 516 0604

 

Kate Patterson

Director, Communications & Public Affairs – San Francisco Public Library

Kate.patterson@sfpl.org

Tel: (415) 557 4252

Cell: (415) 312 9685

 

Jill Lynch

Communications Director – SFMOMA

jlynch@sfmoma.org

Tel: (415) 357 4172

Cell: (415) 680-8352

 

Follow Night of Ideas!

www.nightofideassf.com

A Media Kit with images, video and more is available.

#nightofideas

 

IMAGE CREDITS

All images from the 2019 Night of Ideas at the San Francisco Public Library’s Main Library.