April 4th, 2014 | Culture

Lineup announced for International Festival of Arts & Ideas

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, listed by CNN on its “50 States, 50 Spots for 2014” travel guide, will return to New Haven this June.

Over 50 people gathered at The Study on Thursday night to hear the festival’s executive director Mary Lou Aleskie announce the official lineup of artists and speakers for this year’s festival, whose theme is “Transformation and tradition.”

“These artists are deeply interested in their history and heritage but also wildly in pursuit of making new from it,” Aleskie said.

Notable acts in the festival include performances by Grammy-winning vocalist Lalah Hathaway and former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard as well as the U.S. premiere of David Greig’s play, The Events at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

The number of visitors to the festival has seen a general increase over the years, according to Quinnipiac University economics professor Mark Gius, who has analyzed the festival’s economic impact for the past 19 years. The festival’s Board of Directors announced in September 2013 that the 2013 Festival generated unprecedented levels of revenue for the city of New Haven — an estimated $34 million.

The festival was established in 1996 and has been held in New Haven every year.