The Atlantic announced today the first slate of interviews for The Atlantic Festival, happening September 21–24, 2020. As the United States looks to rebuild amid the coronavirus pandemic and our racial reckoning, The Atlantic Festival will explore the events of 2020 and venture to understand who we are as a nation and what we might become.
The festival will feature conversations with leaders across politics, activism, business, and the arts about the effects of the coronavirus on our health, the economy, education, work, and life; a tipping point for racial equity; the election and democracy at risk; and possible paths forward.
Among the interviews to take place during daily prime-time programming: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci; Stacey Abrams, the founder of Fair Fight Action; CEO of Delta Air Lines Ed Bastian; the principal at Black Futures Lab and a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza; and the chef and humanitarian José Andrés.
The festival will also feature conversations with Samantha Bee, the host of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee; Ayesha Curry, a best-selling author and the founder of Eat. Learn. Play.; the actor and producer Chris Evans, along with Mark Kassen and Joe Kiani, co-founders of the civic-engagement website A Starting Point; the Global Citizen co-founder Hugh Evans and the actor, producer, activist, and Global Citizen ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas; The Good Lord Bird author and National Book Award winner James McBride and the actors Ethan Hawke and Joshua Caleb Johnson, who star in a forthcoming television adaptation of the novel; Padma Lakshmi, the host and producer of Taste the Nation; and the actor Billy Porter.
The Atlantic Festival will take place virtually and is free to attend—offering four days of news-making interviews, performances, film screenings, and conversations about the seismic challenges the country is facing, and what comes next. A preliminary list of speakers and a schedule of events are available at The Atlantic Festival website, and will continue to be updated in the coming weeks.
Editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg will moderate conversations across the festival, and there will be appearances by many of The Atlantic’s journalists, including executive editor Adrienne LaFrance; managing editor Gillian White; staff writers Emma Green, Adam Harris, Peter Nicholas, and Ed Yong; senior editor Ronald Brownstein; and contributing writer Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research.
The Atlantic Festival will be anchored by highly produced 90-minute evening-headliner programs that will be streamed live. The festival will also include specific topical forums on race and justice, education, small business, the future of work, and health equity, along with the annual “Women of Washington” event.
The Atlantic Festival is supported by Facebook as the Founding Level Underwriter; Genentech as the Presenting Level Underwriter; Allstate, Eli Lilly and Company, and U.S. Bank as Supporting Level Underwriters; and AARP, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Nestlé Waters North America, and PayPal as Contributing Level Underwriters.