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Festival of Ideas

Festival of Ideas


SCUBA Diving

Expert instructors from Pisces School of Dive had kids in the water, learning the basics. At Festival, we don't TALK about scuba diving, we GO scuba diving in the high school pool!


Marbled Paper

Rich colors in swirling patterns? Oh yeah! Artist Ashley Rehler taught kids to make their own marbled paper using Ebru, the traditional Turkish paper marbling technique.


Circus Arts

Instructors from Roc City Circus taught kids how to swing on an aerial hammock, hang from a hoop, balance on a Rolla Bolla, walk a tight wire and more!


Paper Flowers

Create beautiful flowers from paper and wire? You bet! Fiber artist Pamela Frame shared her incredible skills at Festival for the first time.


TV Studio Production

Led by the Brighton High School Morning Show crew, kids learned how to operate cameras, mixers, lights and recorders to produce their own live program in a real TV studio.


Music and Sound Exploration

Jim Dewitt and Travis Rankin from the Rochester Music Lab brought an incredible collection of modular synthesizers and music recording software to Festival for the first time, so that kids could experiment with music and sounds.


Knitting Creations

In a one-on-one lesson with an experienced knitter, kids learned the fundamentals of knitting. Everyone went home with needles, yarn and a project in process.


Emoji Cookies

Julene Gilbert and Julie Kashtan helped kids turn plain cookies into their favorite emojis using basic cookie decorating techniques. Tasty fun for everyone!


This annual event, first held in 1990, is an educational "fun day" for Brighton students in grades 3 through 8. Each year, over 600 students participate in about 70 workshops led by members of the community. Most presenters are adults, but some of our workshops are led by students or clubs from Brighton High School and some are led by student organizations from local colleges.

This was Festival's 34th year! This year's mind-boggling array of topics included returning favorites such as Fencing, Cake Decorating, Circus Arts, Clay Creations, Pretzel Making, and SCUBA Diving. For 2024, the lineup included exciting new entries such as Create a Comic, Taekwondo, Music and Sound Exploration, and Spinning Yarn. Want the whole story? Click to download the Idea Catalog in PDF form!


Festival of Ideas was last held on Saturday, March 2, 2024. Planning for the 2025 edition is already underway, and Festival of Ideas will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2025!


Brighton High School


Three sessions of 50-minute workshops. While most workshop presenters lead three sessions, some choose to lead only one or two. Workshops can be limited in size or restricted to a specific age group if the presenter wishes. In addition, the Festival committee and the school district collaborate to provide volunteer helpers, supplies and audiovisual equipment as required.


The Festival of Ideas is sponsored by Brighton Central Parent-Teacher-Student Association, but is not a PTSA fund-raiser. Most of our presenters volunteer their time, and the registration fee ($5 per student) is used to pay event costs.

Festival could not happen without the generous support we receive from the Brighton Central School District, Wegmans, and the Pisces School of Dive.


The Festival of Ideas committee is composed of Brighton parents and community members. The committee is chaired by Martha Sciremammano. Working on Festival is good clean fun! If you'd like to join the committee, please call Martha at 746-6818, or send her e-mail at

Idea Catalog and Festival Registration

About six weeks before Festival, registration materials are distributed at FRES and TCMS. The packet comes home in kids' backpacks, so parents are asked to watch carefully for its arrival!

Kids read the Idea Catalog and pre-register for the six workshops that most appeal to them using a registration form included in the packet. If a student is registering for SCUBA Diving, his or her parents must complete and sign the included SCUBA Permission Form.

The Festival committee assigns each student to three workshops, based on space availability and other constraints. The kids receive their assignments -- a very exciting moment! -- on the day of the Festival.

Volunteers Needed!

Parents and friends, adults and teens are invited to join the fun. Festival simply couldn't happen without the help of many many volunteers, and we recruit volunteers at the same time that we register students for the event. Look for our Volunteer Signup Form, included with the event registration materials.

Festival T-Shirts

Each year, a student artist provides a cool new design for our official Festival of Ideas T-shirt. Download our T-Shirt Design Contest Form for all the details.

To order a Festival T-shirt, return your T-Shirt Order Form with your Festival registration materials.

Festival in the News

BCSD videographer Eric Gruner provided a great feel for the event with this video detailing 2016's Festival of Ideas:

Questions about Festival?

Contact for more information.

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