New Emory Ideas Festival to launch Sept. 20-22

Plans are underway for the inaugural Emory Ideas Festival, the flagship event of the recently-launched Center for Public Scholarship and Engagement (CPSE). Held on the university’s Oxford College campus Sept. 20-22, the festival will feature more than 45 speakers — including noted Emory faculty and nationally recognized guests such as two-time Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple, James Beard award-winning cookbook author Virginia Willis and acclaimed writer and editor John T. Edge.

In addition to a robust line-up of speakers — the full list of which will be released later in the summer — there will also be panels, exhibits, music, food, children’s programming, collaborations with local high schools and many other opportunities for community engagement.

“We’re excited to share that we’ve already secured a number of impressive guest speakers for the first-ever Emory Ideas Festival this fall,” says Ken Carter, founding director of the CPSE. “Everything is coming together, and we have developed a program that highlights the importance of public scholarship and engagement on the deepest levels. I look forward to seeing these speakers engage with our students and the greater Atlanta community.”

The CPSE was launched earlier this year to help faculty and students proactively engage in public conversation and increase confidence in the value of scholarship. In addition to the festival, the center has already begun working with on-campus partners and is developing additional programs for the future — including a public scholarship academy coming spring 2025.

With the festival now just on the other side of summer, CPSE assistant director Daren Wang is focused on creating a one-of-a-kind experience that is beneficial to scholars and the public alike.

“Where else can you see a Pulitzer-winning poet, a transformative business leader, one of the most lauded music photographers in the country and a leading toy designer for Mattel?” Wang says. “I can’t wait for people to see this roster of speakers, and I can’t wait for everyone to have the chance to meet and talk. And the music is going to be great, too!”

In April, the CPSE shared a number of programming updates, including an announcement of the festival’s lead sponsor: Lumina Foundation. Lumina’s mission is to prepare people for informed citizenship and success in a global economy. They also work with governmental, nonprofit and private-sector organizations to open educational opportunities and redesign post-high school learning for adults, especially those of color.

Atlanta’s National Public Radio affiliate, WABE 90.1, is the festival’s media partner, and will support the center’s goal of engaging individuals and families across the metro Atlanta region in Festival programming, Carter says.

Those interested in sponsoring the festival can visit the CPSE’s sponsorship page for additional information.

Registration for the festival will open in early August. Visit the CPSE website for more information.

Story by Daniel Christian