About KentPresents Ideas Festival

What You Need to Know When Attending KentPresents


The dates for KentPresents 2018 are Thursday through Saturday, August 16-18.


  • Thursday, August 16: Light lunch followed by afternoon sessions and reception on campus.
  • Friday, August 17: Breakfast, followed by morning sessions, lunch, afternoon sessions and reception on campus.
  • Saturday, August 18:Breakfast, followed by morning sessions, lunch, afternoon sessions and reception on campus. Kents Arts Night, sponsored by the village, open to all in town in the evening.


All presentations take place at the Kent School, the highly-regarded New England boarding school in scenic Kent, Connecticut, one hour forty minutes north of New York City. Address: Kent School, 1 Macedonia Road, Kent, CT 06757. Kent has been chosen by Smithsonian Magazine as one of The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2017. For more information including restaurants and accommodation in Kent, Connecticut, please visit here.


Sharing and disseminating great ideas, and supporting local charities that serve people in need. KentPresents, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt organization and a Connecticut state charitable organization.


Topics for KentPresents 2018 will be added in the coming months. Among those discussed in 2017 were Alzheimer's disease, art, China, economics, dance, education, energy, environment, Europe, food, global issues, healthcare, income inequality, literature, mass incarceration, medicine and health, Middle East, national affairs, North Korea, performing arts, politics, racial divide, Russia, Supreme Court, science and technologies breakthroughs, tax policy… and many more.


What Comes Next


KentPresents has a distinguished 29-member Board of Advisers (see below), including such luminaries as Stephen Sondheim, Jasper Johns, Henry Kissinger and Harold Varmus.


The speaker roster for KentPresents 2018 will be filled out in the coming months. Previous years' speakers may be found on the home page.


Talks, discussions and conversations. Most sessions last 50 minutes and include Q&A with the panelists and audience.

42 speaker collage


Opportunities to relax, regroup and to circulate informally with speakers and fellow attendees at coffee breaks, cocktail parties and meals.


The surrounding Litchfield Hills offer additional recreations – a wealth of scenic, physical and cultural attractions. Before and after KentPresents, you can explore galleries and museums, fishing and kayaking, covered bridges and waterfalls, golfing and tennis, antiquing and shopping, and farm-to-table restaurants. Click here.


For updates and news, click here. Also, follow along on social media. Please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.


KentPresents reserves a large number of rooms in Litchfield County within 30 minutes of the venue. When you purchase a ticket to KentPresents, you will receive a list of associated inns and bed-and-breakfasts that are holding rooms for attendees.


By car, the Kent School is 1 hour 40 minutes from Manhattan and 3 hours from Boston. Metro North trains run from Grand Central to two nearby stops, with shuttle service available on request to the event.

The closest commercial airports to Kent are: Westchester Airport (HPN) at White Plains NY – 1:05 drive time; Bradley International (BDL) at Hartford CT – 1:15; LaGuardia (LGA) – 1:30; and Kennedy (JFK) – 1:40.

1 Macedonia Road, Kent, CT

Board of Advisers

  • Anne Bass
  • Roger Berlind
  • Flora Biddle
  • Kenneth Cooper
  • Mia Farrow
  • Charles Goodyear
  • Elizabeth Goodyear
  • Agnes Gund
  • Jasper Johns
  • Dodie Kazanjian
  • Henry Kissinger
  • Michael Kramer
  • James Lapine
  • Julian Lethbridge
  • Paul Marks
  • Edmund Morris
  • Sylvia Jukes Morris
  • John Novogrod
  • Nancy Novogrod
  • Chase Robinson
  • Ken Roman
  • Scott Rothkopf
  • Richardson Schell
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Edward Stolper
  • Calvin Tomkins
  • Harold Varmus
  • Adam Weinberg
  • Jerry Weissman


Julia Benedict, Executive Director

Set and sound designer; former writer for Ireland's drama series, Fair City

Benjamin M. Rosen, Co-founder

Former venture capitalist; chairman emeritus of Compaq Computer; chairman emeritus and current life trustee of the California Institute of Technology; boards have included Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (emeritus) New York Philharmonic (emeritus); former Met Opera board member; former Columbia Business School board chairman.

Donna Rosen, Co-founder

Longtime contemporary art gallery owner in New Orleans, and now active in philanthropy, the visual arts, and a board member of the Whitney Museum of American Art, American Friends of the British Museum and Third Way.


KentPresents, Inc., is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. It is also registered as a Connecticut state charitable organization.

Board of Directors

Benjamin M. Rosen
Donna Rosen
Hiram Williams