Utopia Italy in Tuscany

First edition of inter-city “festival for courageous dreamers”

Editorial Staff
February 28, 2018 - 15:43

A new inter-city festival celebrating the power of ideas and past visionaries in building the future will take place across Pisa, Lucca and Florence from April 4 to 8, 2018.


“Utopia Italy” is the brainchild of American transplant Shimon Shemtov, director of Pisa-based school New York English Academy, and is sponsored in part by the Tuscan Region and the City of Pisa, with additional support from the City of Florence and other partners.


The first edition will focus on the example set by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with the theme “Emulating MLK.” Chosen in part to mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination (in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968), the theme aims to encourage reflection on King’s ideals of peace, love and tolerance.


This edition’s tagline of “What is your dream? What will you do for it?” is a call to action inspired by King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.


Events throughout the festival will be divided into three main subsections: Reflection (lectures, workshops, readings of King’s writings), Celebration (film screenings, jazz and gospel concerts, performances, literary events) and Innovation (discussions, brainstorming sessions, and competitions, including one offering a round-trip ticket to New York City as its grand prize). Before the main program begins, jazz group Sun Ra Arkestra will give a preliminary launch concert at Pisa’s Teatro Verdi (9.15pm, March 29; tickets are available via Boxol and in BoxOffice Toscana locations).


A concluding event is set to take place in Florence’s piazza della Signoria on April 8: “dreamers” large and small are invited to launch balloons into the air as a symbolic profession of their own visions and goals, as well as a collective commitment to a brighter and more colourful future.


With the aim of exploring diverse models in building a better world, each forthcoming edition of the festival will focus on an idea or figure from a different culture or nation.


At publication of this article, the full program in each participating city is still being defined. 

This article will be edited as more information becomes available.

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