Ideas Festival Lineup Announced


The 2017 Maplewood Ideas Festival, celebrating the talent and creativity of our community, will take place March 18 – April 1. All programs are free and open to the public. Here’s this year’s lineup:

Download the Ideas Festival Poster

Khalil Muhammad

March 18: Khalil Gibran Muhammad in conversation with Angie Thomas. Muhammad is Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Thomas is the author of the powerful and gripping new novel The Hate U Give, which has already been optioned for a major motion picture. 2 pm at The Woodland 






Frank Rimalovski

March 20: Frank Rimalovski, Executive Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute. Rimalovski leads an initiative to spur and support entrepreneurship and technology commercialization, and directs a seed-stage venture fund formed to invest exclusively in startups. His talk will focus on how ideas are developed and the process of seeing them through to fruition. 7 pm at the Main Library



Joel de la Fuente


March 23: Maplewood actor Joel de la Fuente has worked across the globe on stage and screen. Most recently he can be seen in The Man in the High Castle and Hemlock Grove.  7 pm at the Main Library



NJ Makers Day

March 25: NJ Makers Day. Space, Tech, and Maker projects for kids, teens & adults. Create moon craters in a kinetic sand landscape or with 3D software. Watch a battling robot demo, create a balloon-powered vehicle, and much more! 10 am -1 pm at the Hilton Branch Library


Samar HussainiMarch 25: Art & Music Reception. Ideas Festival artist Samar Hussaini is an Arab American fine artist and graphic designer. She seeks to visualize the layered challenges and enriching distinction of being a Palestinian-American while striving to create thought-provoking ideas of dialogue and hope.   Live music will be provided by Columbia High School’s a cappella group Unaccompanied Minors. 3 pm at the Main Library  Unaccompanied Minors




Holly McGhee photo credit Kamille Snell


March 28: Children’s author Holly McGhee will talk about her newest book, Matylda, Bright & Tender, a story of how we can take the most difficult experiences and create art in the face of great challenges. For ages 8 and up. 4 pm at the Main Library


Jennifer Sage



March 29: Architects Jennifer Sage and Peter Coombe, award-winning principals of Sage & Coombe Architects, will discuss the big thinking and practical details of what makes a 21st Century Library. 7 pm at the Main Library Peter Coombe






Ilysse HogueMarch 30: Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is an expert in organizing and mobilizing grassroots support around social-justice issues, including human rights, media reform and representation, and reproductive freedom. 7 pm at the Main Library




Pamela ErensApril 1: Maplewood Literary Award: The Maplewood Ideas Festival concludes with the presentation of the 4th Annual Maplewood Literary Award to Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours, The Virgins and The Understory. Ms. Erens will be interviewed by library director Sarah Lester. A book signing will follow. 2 pm at the Main Library



The Ideas Festival is funded by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts (supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts), The Friends of the Maplewood Library, The Maplewood Library Foundation, The Maplewood Woman’s Club and [words] Bookstore.