A New Chapter for York Festival of Ideas

by Editorial Team
Published: Last Updated on

This year’s York Festival of Ideas programme marks a new chapter in its evolution as one of the largest and most compelling free events of its kind in the UK.

Michael Morpurgo in York Minster

Festival tickets are available for more than 150, predominantly free, online and in-person events on the theme of The Next Chapter. The Festival, which runs from 11 to 24 June, is led by the University of York and supported by a range of sponsors, including the Holbeck Charitable Trust as Headline Sponsor. It celebrates human ingenuity and imagination, and the power of education and ideas to change lives for the better.

Dame Harriet Walter

The programme features historian and author Alison Weir telling the story of Elizabeth of York, England’s first Tudor Queen, and Pakistani-American artist and illustrator Malihi Abidi celebrating 100 remarkable women of colour from more than 40 countries. Canadian scientist and public health expert, Timothy Caulfield, will explore ways to reduce individual stress in an anxiety-filled world and former NHS team leader, Wendy Mitchell, will debunk some of the myths around dementia.

To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, 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. Film and TV writer Graham McCann will look at the life of comedy legend, Frankie Howerd, as seen through the comedian’s archive, housed at the University of York’s Borthwick Institute.

The Festival will showcase contributions from 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, Professor Michael Ignatieff. The programme also features quantum physicist and broadcaster, Professor Jim Al-Khalili; dog behaviourist and TV presenter Louise Glazebrook; 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.

In the run-up to the Festival, on 28 May, families are encouraged to get into the Festival spirit by taking part in a series of fun events in public libraries, aiming to give children the opportunity to experience hands-on creative and scientific activities.

To see the full Festival programme and book tickets visit yorkfestivalofideas.com.

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