Aspen Ideas Festival: Events that Inspire All Ages

June 25, 2008  • Institute Contributor

Aspen Ideas Festival:
Events that Inspire All Ages 

Aspen, CO, June 25, 2008––With a number of sessions focused on youth, music, and films, the Aspen Institute encourages teens, young adults, and families to attend many of the events open to the public at the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30-July 6. Although full festival passes are sold out, a number of sessions—from film screenings to an evening event featuring the music of Steve Earle to a talk with resilient teens who survived the toughest of circumstances—are open to the entire community, starting at just $15 per ticket.

“At the Aspen Ideas Festival, we strive to engage and inspire minds of every age,” said Kitty Boone, Vice President and Director of Public Programs at the Aspen Institute. “By including everyone in these stimulating and thought-provoking public events, there is no better way to spark a dialogue across generations.”

Public sessions at the Ideas Festival include:

  • An evening of music and engaging conversation with singer and songwriter Steve Earle, actor and playwright Sarah Jones, and Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen
  • A film screening of Two Million Minutes, a look inside the schools, homes, and hangouts of students in China, India, and the United States, where time allocation, intellectual aspirations, and academic effort during their high school years – two million minutes of time – vary widely
  • A film screening and discussion with Stephen Sotor and Trace Gaynor, two Chicago-area teens who wrote, edited, and produced Genie in a Bottle Unleashed, a remarkable short that has been translated into several languages and which catalyzed additional projects, including one that engages youth in Africa on the subject of peace
  • A talk entitled “Against All Odds” with four young, resilient survivors of genocide, war, and gang violence who have transformed heartbreaking tragedy into inspiration and action, moderated by playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith
  • An evening of breathtaking photography and storytelling with adventurer and National Geographic photographer James Balog whose latest project, “The Extreme Ice Survey,” captures an unprecedented look at retreating glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, the Alps, and the Rockies

A full schedule for these public events is available at, and tickets are on sale through the Wheeler Opera House at (970) 920-5770 and, or in person at the Wheeler box office.

Run in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival convenes more than 250 leaders from the fields of arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics and politics in a deep and inquisitive public discourse on the most invigorating ideas and issues facing the world today—and our youth tomorrow. For more information about other events open to the public, a complete list of confirmed speakers, and passholder information, please visit Sponsors for the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival include Allstate, Altria, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chevron, Ernst & Young, Intel, JPMorgan, Mercedes-Benz, and Thomson Reuters.

The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership initiatives in Africa, Central America, and India.

Since it was founded 150 years ago, The Atlantic has helped shape the national debate on the most critical issues of our times, from politics, business, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic’s parent enterprise, Atlantic Media Company, is a Washington, D.C., based publishing company whose flagship properties include The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive. With more than 3 million readers among the ranks of business, politics, government and academia, the publishing properties of Atlantic Media enjoy a prestigious reputation, acquired through 150 years of publishing top-quality American literature and journalism.


View Comments