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Connecticut Forum announces Upcoming Season, Featuring Though Leaders, Artists, and Cultural Icons

Courtesy image

Jon Batiste, José Andrés, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Heather Cox Richardson and James Stavridis headline the 33rd season of The Connecticut Forum, which will feature conversation about America’s complicated history, global affairs, and our common humanity.


The Connecticut Forum has announced its 2024-2025 season with a star-studded lineup of accomplished and renowned artists, writers, and one very famous chef-turned-humanitarian.

Jon Batiste. Courtesy photo

Suleika Jaouad by Beowulf Sheehan. Courtesy photo

The season kicks off with An Evening with Jon Batiste and Suleika Jaouad on Sept. 28, 2024, who will share their life experiences, the joy they have gained through their music, poetry and creative processes, and their storied careers. Batiste is the winner of five Grammy Awards, an Academy Award and an Emmy Award, among many others. Jaouad is the author of Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted. The couple is featured in the award-winning 2023 biographical documentary, American Symphony.

Nicole Hannah-Jones. Courtesy photo

The season continues with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and historian Heather Cox Richardson in Conversation: Reflections on a Complex America, on Oct. 24, 2024. Hannah-Jones, a New York Times Magazine writer and Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University, is the creator of the 1619 Project, which follows the history of enslavement alongside the history of the nation’s founding. Cox Richardson, a professor of history at Boston College and the author of seven books on American history and political movements, writes the daily “Letter from an American”, ranked among the most popular Substack newsletters with more than 1.3 million followers. In a conversation moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart, the two will discuss America’s complicated history as it prepares to mark its 250th anniversary.


Heather Cox Richardson. Courtesy photo

The third Forum of the season, Global Affairs: Perspectives on Today’s Changed World and Looking Ahead to 2050, will feature Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.) alongside an expert panel of global observers who will explore current challenges around the world on March 6, 2025. Stavridis, a highly decorated Naval officer, who retired after 37 years of service, was the 16th Supreme Allied Commander for NATO. He is the author of seven books on various subjects including the geopolitics of the world’s oceans, leadership and the life of the sailor. The panel of global experts will dissect the many challenges in a shifting and uncertain world: national security, trade and the economy, energy and environmental issues, immigration and human rights, and more. NBC News Washington Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor will moderate this important discussion.

James Stavridis. Courtesy photo

The Forum’s season finale, An Evening with José Andrés: Renowned Humanitarian, Founder of World Central Kitchen, Chef, and Restaurateur, on April 3, 2025, will serve as an uplifting discussion on the beloved chef-turned-humanitarian’s life and how any one person can change the world. Decades into a storied career as an award-winning chef and entrepreneur, Andrés founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 to provide meals after natural disasters and in war-torn areas of the world.

Jose Andres photo credit: Blair Getz Mezibov. Courtesy photo

“We are over-the-moon excited to host so many bright creative minds and thinkers who will educate, enrich and uplift us for our upcoming season,” said Mana Zarinejad, executive director of The Connecticut Forum. “We hope audiences across Connecticut will leave The Forum with soaring hearts, inspired to improve the worlds around them.”

The Connecticut Forum season is located at The Bushnell in Hartford, with Forums starting at 7:30 p.m. Season subscriptions feature all four Forumevents of the 2024-2025 season and start at $130. Season subscriptions can be purchased online at www.ctforum.org or by calling 860-509-0909.

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