13 SEPTEMBER 2018 / Summer Nostos Festival // June 23 – 30, 2019: An Eight-Day International Multifaceted Arts, Sports and Education Festival

The Summer Nostos Festival 2019 is nine months away. From June 23rd to June 30th, 2019, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, host, organizer and exclusive supporter of the SNFestival, will return, for a large celebration to the “home” it created for all people, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). Eight days full of music, festivities, intellectual stimulation, sports activities, and many other surprises for all!

As SNF’s Co-President, Andreas Dracopoulos, mentioned in his closing remarks of the 2018 SNFestival, “Despite the highly polarized times in which we live, and perhaps because of them, people have an enduring desire to come together and connect. People appreciate quality, and show respect when and where respect is shown to them. The creation of the SNFCC sought to provide both short- and long-term positive disruption in Greece. This week, we are returning as a Foundation to our “home”. Thank you all for embracing the SNFCC as your own and for integrating it into your daily lives. You are the soul of this project.”

The Summer Nostos Festival is about openness, inclusion, co-existence, creativity, and disruption, evoking memories of past summers and anticipating exuberant tomorrows. It presents an imaginatively curated, eclectic mix of music, dance, sports, original performances, discussions, games, and contemporary art, including the SNF Run: Running into the Future, the SNF International Conference on Philanthropy and the SNF Agora Institute Workshop.

Joyce DiDonato, John Cale, Seu Jorge, the Athens State Orchestra, Kronos Quartet & Sam Green, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Alexi Murdoch, Stereo Nova, The Barr Brothers, the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the Theater of War are just some of the great artists that performed in the Festival this past June. For eight days, over 186.000 visitors came to the SNFCC to experience the Festival, including the 4,000 runners of the 2018 SNF Run: Running into the Future evening race.

The video below provides a glimpse into the festivities of last June.

5th SNF RUN: Running into the Future - June 23rd, 2019

The 2019 Summer Nostos Festival will open on June 23rd, 2019 with the 5th SNF RUN: Running into the Future, celebrating the World Olympic Day. The evening race has by now become a popular feature in the city’s athletic calendar.

SNF Conference and SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University Workshop — June 24th - June 26th, 2019

The SNF International Conference on Philanthropy begun in 2012 and has since emerged as an open, global ideas forum, hosting speakers from around the world, and welcoming over 1,000 attendees last year alone. 

The 2018 Conference  included among its distinguished speakers, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, Dr. Timothy Shriver, President of the Special Olympics International movement, Mike Lazaridis, Founder of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Konstantinos Daskalakis, Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MIT, Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, Nicholas Christakis, Director of the Human Nature Lab at Yale University. 

Over the past seven years, the conference has debated and examined a variety of critical topics, such as the economic crisis, the emergence of a social welfare society, ethics, the significance of creative assets, sustainability, the local and global consequences of the refugee crisis, the importance of ethical public spaces, the impact of polarization, and last year’s theme, disruption. As we embark upon the preparation of the eighth annual conference, we believe that we have reached a seminal moment. The conference has been attracting participants that transcend the defined boundaries of the philanthropy sector, inducing in us the need and desire to reach further out and explore broader themes, to open ourselves up and pose broad, critical, and all encompassing questions, keeping in mind, at the same time, the Foundation’s core activities.

To reflect this broader approach, the conference is now titled The SNF Conference.

In 2019, the SNF conference will take place for two full days from June 24th to June 25th, with proceedings commencing early in the morning and concluding in the evening. Our goal is to engage and bring together high caliber speakers from various backgrounds, and diverse disciplines and spaces, “forcing” them to engage into conversations and debates about subject matters outside their areas of expertise. Our driving force is the desire to transcend traditional, linear, and comfortable modes of thinking , and in the process redefine, hopefully, the way we have been approaching and contemplating current complex issues.

The theme of the 2019 SNF Conference is: [Untitled]

We hope to move past labels, boundaries and conventions and invite unexpected and unconventional thinking from speakers from distinct areas, approaches, cultures, ethnicities and geographical spaces, in order to examine issues not as experts but as thinkers.

The agenda will include discussions and sessions on subjects such as the Environment, Borders, Failure, Religion, Women, Identity, Character, Emotions and Media among others. Upon the completion of the proceedings, we will invite participants to vote for the conference’s title.

In addition to the conference, on June 26th, 2019, Johns Hopkins University will co-organize the 2nd SNF Agora Institute Workshop as part of the SNF’s monthly DIALOGUES  series. The first workshop, which took place during the 2018 Summer Nostos Festival, focused on social and political polarization and the different ways to address it. The SNF has supported the establishment of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University with a grant totaling $150 million. The mission of the SNF Agora Institute is to enhance civic engagement in democratic processes, to promote civil discourse, and to help address polarization in our societies.

As always, the Summer Nostos Festival will include a multitude of cultural, educational and athletic events aiming to bring together people of different ages and interests, and to renew its original promise to “take us back to our favorite summers!”

In the following weeks and months we will be sharing more information on the program of the Summer Nostos Festival as well as the agenda of the SNF Conference and the SNF Agora Institute Workshop.

Stay tuned!