Friday, April 12, 2024

Ampersand International Arts Festival Comes To Williamsburg

The 17th Annual Ampersand International Arts Festival (AIAF) will bring a stellar lineup of guests and over 50 programs to Williamsburg from March 18 to 24. 

The mission of the AIAF is to foster a better understanding of art’s place within the world by showcasing a diverse array of artists and their work. Programming includes special guests, films, author talks, and live music, theater, and dance performances.

The 2024 Spotlight Programs at the historic Kimball Theatre are:

March 21: Live Comedy with Maria Bamford – Stand-up comedian, actor, New York Times bestselling author, and the person Stephen Colbert called his “favorite comedian on earth.”  

Live Comedy with Maria Bamford on March 21st

March 23: A Conversation with Daveed Diggs – Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, producer, and originator of the dual roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the Broadway sensation, Hamilton.

A Conversation with Daveed Diggs on March 23rd

March 23: A Conversation with Cord Jefferson (W&M ‘04) – Academy Award nominated and Emmy award-winning writer/director discusses his career and his latest work, American Fiction, nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

A Conversation with Cord Jefferson on March 23rd

“It’s always exciting to welcome world-class artists and performers to the Ampersand Festival every year. There truly is nothing quite like it in the region,” said Adam Stackhouse, one of the AIAF’s producers. “This year’s Spotlight Programs feature an incredible variety of talented creatives, and all of us at the AIAF are eager to welcome audiences to the City of Williamsburg.”

Local Partners and Talent

Local restaurant Blue Talon Bistro is partnering with the festival on a special program opening night, March 18. Chef Everett will prepare a prix fixe three course meal featuring the signature dish of the French film, The Taste of Things, which will screen at the Kimball Theatre that night after the dinner. Guests may attend this dinner and a movie special event or opt for the film only.   

Local talent will also be featured during Tuesday night’s screening of the 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc with a live score. Musician George Sarah composed an original score and hired eight local musicians, four vocalists and four string instrumentalists, to perform with him. 

Theater Shows, Conversations, and an Industry Summit

The festival’s line up features several theater shows including The Final Seance, an immersive show for ten people. Stage actor and magician James Lopez will get the audience involved in the show as his character tries to conjure a spirit from the great beyond. Attendees are encouraged to dress to impress. 

New York Times bestselling author Kiley Reid will be present on March 23 for a conversation about her creative process followed by an audience Q&A. Her debut novel, Such a Fun Age, was an instant hit and selected for Reese’s Book Club. Come & Get It, her second novel, is a tension-filled story set on a college campus about money, indiscretion, and reckless abandon. It was Good Morning America Book Club’s February 2024 selection. 

The festival also features an Industry Summit, a professional workshop series with sessions facilitated by W&M alumni and festival special guests. These sessions offer a behind-the-scenes look at various career paths in the arts. All sessions are offered with free general admission and open to the public.

Schedule and Tickets

The full schedule and additional information is available on

Tickets are available online and in-person, both at the Kimball Theatre box office the week of the event and at venues 30 minutes prior to each ticketed event.

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