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SF’s “Night of Ideas” Free Late Night Festival at the Main Library (2024)

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Saturday, March 2, 2024 - 4:00 pm to 1:00 am | Cost: FREE*

San Francisco Main Library, | 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Free / RSVP

Villa AlbertineSan Francisco Public LibraryKQED 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 SFMemory.org 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 nightofideas.org/san-francisco

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.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.

Cost: FREE*
Categories: *Top Pick*, In Person, Lectures & Workshops, Literature, Live Music, Political Activism, Weekend Events Guide – March 1-3, 2024
Venue: San Francisco Main Library,
Address: 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102