Destination Kent: Scenery and Study in Litchfield County

An Ideas Festival in Northwest Connecticut

Which panel discussion to choose? For one particular session, the options were the pros and cons of a guaranteed income for every American, “Hamilton” and non-profit theater, and the 21st century challenges of feminism ― plus there was the outdoors draw of beautiful Litchfield County on a splendid sunny day.  For over 300 participants who have traveled to the campus of the Kent School in scenic northwest Connecticut for the second annual year of “Kent Presents” the dilemma, seven times a day, is choosing one of three juicy topics to focus on for the next fifty minutes.  

The Kent School campus is the setting for Kent Presents
The Kent School campus is the setting for Kent Presents
Kent School's Mattison auditorium awaits a panel discussion
Kent School's Mattison auditorium awaits a panel discussion

For the second year in a row, Litchfield county’s verdant hills were the setting for northwest Connecticut’s answer to Davos World Economic Forum and the Aspen Institute. Three Nobel laureates, four former US ambassadors, directors of four major museums, the former head of British intelligence, the scientist who helped confirm Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves  were among over 85 authors, doctors, technicians, artists, and other experts assembled to share their expertise with people who have traveled from New Mexico, Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, Louisiana, and the surrounding towns to attend.

Panel of Ambassadors discussing China and Russia, Henry Kissinger, J. Stapeton Roy, Jack Matlock, Thomas Pickering and modera
Panel of Ambassadors discussing China and Russia, Henry Kissinger, J. Stapeton Roy, Jack Matlock, Thomas Pickering and moderator James Hoge
A discussion of non-profit theater held in a Kent School lecture hall
A discussion of non-profit theater held in a Kent School lecture hall
Museum directors Colin Bailey of the Morgan, Gary Tinterow of Houston's MFA, and the MET's Thomas Campbell discuss Museums an
Museum directors Colin Bailey of the Morgan, Gary Tinterow of Houston's MFA, and the MET's Thomas Campbell discuss Museums and Collectors with author and professor Pepe Karmel
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former head of British Intelligence Sir Richard Dearlove reveal What the Wise M
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former head of British Intelligence Sir Richard Dearlove reveal What the Wise Men See moderated by author Michael Kramer
Nobel Laureates David Baltimore and Harold Varmus discuss Precise Gene Alteration -- the Final Frontier
Nobel Laureates David Baltimore and Harold Varmus discuss Precise Gene Alteration -- the Final Frontier
LIGO co-founder Kip Thorne explains the detection of gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein. Aspen Institute Director W
LIGO co-founder Kip Thorne explains the detection of gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein. Aspen Institute Director Walter Isaacson moderates
Arts writer Dodie Kazanjian discusses When Is a Painting Overcooked with artists Dana Schutz and Julian Lethbridge
Arts writer Dodie Kazanjian discusses When Is a Painting Overcooked with artists Dana Schutz and Julian Lethbridge
Boston Dynamics demonstrates skills of Maxwell the robot
Boston Dynamics demonstrates skills of Maxwell the robot
Students of the National Dance Institute performed in a surprise event
Students of the National Dance Institute performed in a surprise event

Organized by local resident philanthropists Ben and Donna Rosen, the festival not only disseminates great ideas but also benefits the local community. Each year proceeds are donated to local charitable organizations boosting local efforts such as Kent’s Historical Society and Library, Village Housing for the Elderly, Education Center and Nursery School.  This year local galleries and businesses opened their doors for Kent Arts Night to help express the community’s thanks.  Broadcasts of all the sessions are due to be posted on the festival website

Co-founders Ben and Donna Rosen with Kent School Headmaster Richard Schell
Co-founders Ben and Donna Rosen with Kent School Headmaster Richard Schell
At Kent Arts Night  participants visited local galleries
At Kent Arts Night  participants visited local galleries
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