Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

San Francisco’s Favorite Evening of Talks and Performances, Night of Ideas, is Back In-Person for the 2022 Edition

Nancy Hatamiya Arts & Humanities Fund

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San Francisco Public Library, KQED, SFMOMA and California Humanities partner with Villa Albertine for annual in-person event May 17

SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2022 -Villa Albertine San Francisco, a new cultural institution dedicated to the exchange of arts and ideas between France and the US, and local partners San Francisco Public Library, KQED, California Humanities and SFMOMA today announced the 2022 Night of Ideas, an annual evening of philosophical talks, performances and more. Registration is live at

This year Night of Ideas returns in person, across a record-breaking 19 US cities and more than 100 countries, coordinated worldwide by the Institut Français. The public will join leading thinkers, authors, activists and artists around the theme (Re)building Together: Where Are We Going? The evening’s program celebrates our collective resilience while interrogating the path forward for a world in crisis.

San Francisco’s Night of Ideas takes place May 17, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at KQED’s new state-of-the-art headquarters in the Mission District. Designed to spur dialogue on this year’s theme, the evening will invite participants to consider a world that is still reeling from the disruptions wrought by the global pandemic and to find hope in the future. How do we heal ourselves and our communities from this collective trauma? How can we dismantle systems of oppression and (re)build our institutions to meet the pressing challenges of our time? How do we fortify our democracies and stave off authoritarianism? What ideas will carry us forward to a brighter tomorrow? This unforgettable evening of talks, art, music and community features presenters that include:

What ideas will carry us forward to a brighter tomorrow? This unforgettable evening of talks, art, music and community features presenters that include:

  • Bay Area Theater Cypher
  • Bruce Cain, Ph.D, Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West ·
  • Jeff Chang, Senior Advisor at Race Forward and award-winning author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Who We Be: The Colorization of American (St. Martin’s Press) and Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (Picador)
  • Jacqueline Fabius, Chief Operating Officer, Quantitative Biosciences Institute at University of California San Francisco
  • Mathieu de Fayet, Chief Innovation Officer, SUPERBLUE
  • Anuradha Mittal, Founder and Executive Director of the Oakland Institute
  • Lil Milagro Henriquez, Founder and Executive Director of Mycelium Youth Network
  • Julie Owono, Executive Director of Content Policy & Society Lab – Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières
  • San Francisco Girls Chorus
  • San Francisco Community Music Center
  • Sharaya Souza, Executive Director & Co-Founder of the American Indian Cultural District
  • Deanna Van Buren, Design Director at Designing Justice + Designing Spaces & Co-founder of BIG Oakland
  • Debbie Lum, Filmmaker and Director of TRY HARDER! and Rachael Schmidt, documentary participant

“This year’s edition of Night of Ideas is especially important as we reconnect with our partners and communities, finally reunited in person,” says Frédéric Jung, Consul General of France in San Francisco. “Together, we will spark a promising dialogue between France, the European Union and the United States by addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our times: democracy, freedom of speech and health. By innovating, (re)building together, using art as a visionary tool, we aim to contribute to paving the way to our common future.”

This iteration of the Night of Ideas will be a more intimate affair, compared to previous in-person events at the Main Library, which drew more than 5,000 people. The program will seat 200 in KQED’s new theater, The Commons and will be streamed live online. The event will also feature a sampling of SFMOMA’s Soapbox Derby cars created by local artists and a bar in the station’s lobby for those who want to watch on the lobby media wall and imbibe at the same time. Before the main program, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., join Creativity Explored for tours of artwork installed at KQED featuring neurodiverse and disabled artists working in their San Francisco studios.

“We are delighted that Night of Ideas is back in-person, and we can’t wait to see everyone at KQED’s new headquarters,” says City Librarian Michael Lambert. “San Francisco Public Library looks forward to this event every year, and I want to thank our incredible partners for convening this very special community event for a fourth consecutive year.”

“We’re thrilled to host Night of Ideas in our new KQED headquarters,” says KQED President & CEO Michael Isip. “We’ve been honored to collaborate on this event over the years in order to highlight the intellectual and cultural dynamism of the Bay Area in a uniquely entertaining way. The theme of ‘(re)building’ is particularly resonant for this moment, and we look forward to bringing our community together in person so we can explore ideas and find common ground.”

Night of Ideas 2022 is the first major public event of Villa Albertine, a new kind of cultural institution across 10 US cities, with the mission to create international community through a shared exploration of arts and ideas. Launched in fall 2021, Villa Albertine coordinates more than 60 exploratory residencies and 15 professional programs annually, curates local and national events, and publishes a magazine – each aimed at deepening engagement with the greatest issues of our time.

The San Francisco edition of Night of Ideas is made possible by the support of the City and County of San Francisco, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the Consulate General of France in San Francisco and the French American Cultural Society. La Nuit des Idées is a project of the Institut français.

Event Details

Night of Ideas 2022 – San Francisco
Date: May 17, 2022, 6:30 p.m.
Location: KQED, 2601 Mariposa Street
Cost: FREE Register:
Follow: #NightofIdeas


Villa Albertine logoVilla Albertine San Francisco is a cultural institution uniquely characterized by its exceptional artist residence in Cole Valley, a villa designed to welcome artists from all over the world and promote exchanges in Northern California. It is a branch of Villa Albertine, a new kind of cultural institution whose mission is to create a community that links France and the United States in a shared exploration of arts and ideas. With a team of 80 people deployed in 10 major cities—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—Villa Albertine presents its innovative programming nationwide. This includes 60 customized residencies for artists, thinkers, and cultural professionals; a series of cultural and humanities initiatives and events; a magazine; and resources and convenings for professionals in the cultural sphere. villa-albertine.orgNight of Ideas is co-presented by Villa San Francisco, KQED, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Public Library and California Humanities.

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.


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and a thriving cultural center for the Bay Area. Our remarkable collection of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design and media arts is housed in an LEED Gold-certified building designed by the global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta. In addition to our seven gallery floors, SFMOMA offers 45,000 square feet of free, art-filled public space open to all.

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.

California Humanities logo

California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities—focused on ideas, conversation and learning—as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit, or like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Media Contacts

Kate Patterson
Director, Communications & Public Affairs – San Francisco Public Library
Tel: (415) 557 4252
Cell: (415) 312 9685

Clara Hatcher Baruth
Interim Director of Communications – SFMOMA
Tel: (415) 357-4177

Peter Cavagnaro
Director, Marketing and Communications – KQED
Tel: (415) 553-8451

Margo de Fayet
Project Manager, Cultural Affairs – Villa Albertine San Francisco
Tel: (415) 591-4822

Cherie Hill
Communications Manager – California Humanities
Tel: (415) 391-1474 ex 303

National Sponsors

About the Institut français
Institut Francais logoThe 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 Judy and Peter Blum Kavler FoundationLead Sponsor: 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 Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation NY logoCarnegie 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.

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

About Night of Ideas
A grey circular logo.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, on the last Thursday of January, 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.

International Media Partners

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