Mary Lou Aleskie, Executive Director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven since September 2005, has provided leadership at the helm of numerous international organizations and projects as an executive producer and presenter in support of landmark premieres as well as masterworks of the performing arts. During her tenure, the Festival has been recognized among the top arts presenters in the nation by the National Endowment for the Arts and has become a founding member of the New Cities Foundations Global Cultural District Network.
The hallmark of the festival under her leadership has been the deepening of local community roots while expanding the profile of the festival internationally. The marriage of local and international engagement has resulted in distinctive programming connecting critically acclaimed performances with insightful dialogue. Recognition of the Festival as a major cultural tourism destination and proven driver of economic impact for the region has placed the International Festival of Arts & Ideas firmly among the world’s well respected cultural festivals.
Ms. Aleskie is a frequent speaker and panelist as well as invited international delegate to numerous arts and culture forums. She is a Chief Executive Global Fellow of National Arts Strategies; serves on the Arts Advisory Committee of the Yale-China Association and is the Board Chair of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA). Appointed by the Connecticut State Senate Majority Leader, she serves on the State’s Planning Commission for Higher Education and is an Associate Fellow of Branford College at Yale University.