Festival of Ideas - Sponsored by Brighton Central PTSA

  • Description

    This annual event, first held in 1990, is an educational "fun day" for Brighton students in grades 3 through 8. Each year, roughly 700 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 33rd year! This year's mind-boggling array of topics included returning favorites such as Circus Arts, Cake Decorating, Clay Creations, SCUBA Diving, Bavarian Pretzels, and Archery. For 2023, the lineup included exciting new entries such as Magic, Chocolate Falafel, Kali Warrior Martial Art, Marbled Paper, Watercolor Fun, and How to Grow Plants With Poop! Want the whole story? Click here to download the Idea Catalog in PDF form!


    Festival of Ideas was last held on Saturday, March 4, 2023. In 2024, Festival will be held on Saturday, March 2nd!


    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 presenters are volunteers, 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 (585) 746-6818, or send her e-mail at marthascire@gmail.com.

    Idea Catalog and Festival Registration

    Idea Catalog 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.

    2023 Photo Album

    Want to get a little feel for Festival? Visit the 2023 Photo Album!

    Our photos this year -- over 260 photos in all! -- came to us courtesy of Dan Goldman (BCSD Communication Coordinator) and Eric Gruner (BCSD Digital Media and Video Production).

    Festival in the News

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


    Fresh Ideas for Families

    While COVID kept us from having a real Festival of Ideas in 2021, we still had plenty of opportunities to learn new things and have some fun! Several of our great Festival workshop presenters helped us assemble a collection of online resources that anyone could use to #BrightonYourMind. Click here to have a look.


    With 2021's Festival of Ideas cancelled, we challenged families to try something new on "Festival Day" and we received some awesome responses! Click here to see what folks got up to!

    Questions about Festival?

    Contact Martha Sciremammano, our Festival committee chairperson, at (585) 746-6818 or marthascire@gmail.com.

Chocolate Falafel
Circus Arts