Festival of Ideas - Saturday, October 7, 2023 Banner

Festival of Ideas - Saturday, October 7, 2023

Saturday, October 07, 2023

09:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Liberty Common High School

2745 Minnesota Drive, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Festival of Ideas is a colloquium at which content experts and secondary students lead diverse and vibrant conversations of intellectual curiosity and brilliance. Speakers from a variety of disciplines, including mathematics, literature, philosophy, science, art, music, and history aim to give participants a taste of what true leisure feels like: a gateway to the good life—a life in pursuit of beauty, truth, goodness, and perfection. These presentations are intended to inspire great conversations filled with wonder, passion, and discovery.

How You Can Help

Festival of Ideas is an enriching and inspiring day, worthy of everyone's support. In an effort to keep it free to the school community as well as other Colorado classical schools, please consider a donation in the amount of $25, $50, $100, $500 (or more) to help defray the costs of such a beautiful event. Funds are needed to purchase:

  • Breakfast items (coffee, pastries, fruit, etc.)
  • Catered lunch for all attendees
  • Honorarium for our keynote speaker(s).

Every dollar will be put to good use, so please consider how you can be a proud partner of Liberty Common School to host the Every dollar will be put to good use, so please consider how you can be a proud partner of Liberty Common School to host the

Schedule of the Day

9:00AM - 9:30AM | Breakfast

9:30AM - 10:00AM | Welcome & Student Performance

10:00AM - 11:00AM | Keynote Address (Mr. Jim Weiss)

11:05AM - 12:05PM | Breakout Session I

12:05PM - 12:50PM | Complimentary Lunch

12:55PM - 1:55PM | Breakout Session II

2:00PM - 3:00PM | Breakout Session III or Educator Roundtable

Keynote Speaker, Mr. Jim Weiss

This year we welcome Mr. Jim Weiss as our keynote speaker. Weiss is a world-renowned author and professional storyteller who has been bringing joy to listeners of all ages for over 30 years. Our teachers laud his collaborations with the Core Knowledge Foundation, and he has amassed an anthology of recordings to enrich any listener for a lifetime. His stories range from retellings of classical myths and tales such as Aesop’s Tortoise and Hare to illuminations of history where you may find yourself time-traveling to meet the likes of Ancient Egyptians, Madam Curie, Michelangelo, and so many more. Come to Festival of Ideas and allow Weiss to transport you to his world of wonder. CLICK HERE to learn more about Mr. Weiss.

Jim  Weiss

Educator Roundtable

At our symposium, we offer educators a place for guided reflection and rich philosophical conversation. In honor of Keynote Jim Weiss, this year’s roundtable discussion will center around storytelling in the classroom. Our own master storyteller, Mr. Jared Dybzinski, will moderate the discussion. For over a decade, Dybzinski has used stories, not only to teach content in his literature classes, but to inspire goodness and a quest for truth and beauty in the hearts of our staff and students. We encourage teachers and school leaders to attend for what we promise will be an enlightening experience.

Jared  Dybzinski

Questions? Contact us HERE.

Map of Event Location


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Session 1 - How and Why to Write or Tell Stories; Jim Weiss, Author, Storyteller, Recording Artist


Session 1 - Rise of the Machines; Dr. Ian Stout, Executive Director, Loveland Classical Schools


Session 1 - Henry VIII and His Three Thomases; Dr. Joel Penning, History Instructor, LCHS


Session 1 - Changed in Translation: The Effect of Choices in Translated Works of Literature; Renee Perschau, English Instructor, LCHS


Session 1 - Unequal Exchange: Nonverbal Communication in Early Modern Anglo-Islamicate Relations; Cassie Auble, Latin Instructor, LCHS


Session 1 - The Order of Musical Loves; Nancy Hoyer, Music Instructor, LCS


Session 1 - Exit Pursued by Bear: Discovering Stage Directions Embedded in Shakespeare's Texts; Natalie Scarlett, English Instructor, LCHS


Session 2 - Nostalgia: The Curse of Modernity or the Path to a New Future?; Emily Maeda, Director, Paideia Classical Community


Session 2 - Gravity and Grace in Nemerov's "The Loon's Cry"; Dr. Matt Post, Assistant Dean, Honors College, University of Tulsa


Session 2 - The Grammar of Musical Creativity; Dr. Eliot Grasso, Vice-President and Tutor, Gutenberg College


Session 2 - Anti-heroism in Children's Literature and Beyond; Paige Gowing, Librarian, LCS


Session 2 - The Seed... A Story of Hope; Dawn Karr, Science Instructor, LCHS


Session 2 - Looking Along the Beam: St. Augustine's Use of Narrative in His Confessions; Jared Dybzinski, English Instructor, LCHS


Session 2 - One Thousand and One Years of Arabian Nights; Kathryn James, Amy Clemens, and Erin Grandprey; Elementary Instructors, LCS


Session 3 - Educators’ Seminar; Facilitator: Jared Dybzinski, English Instructor, LCHS


Session 3 - Mr. Orwell Had a Farm, e-i-e-i-OH!; John Herndon, History Department Head, Ridgeview Classical School


Session 3 - Gifts of Words, Ghosts of Meaning: Dana Gioia's Criticism and Poetry; Dr. Robert Jackson


Session 3 - Chest Day: The Moral Imagination and Physical Education; Chris Reynolds, Assistant Principal, and Frank Russel, Athletic Director, LCHS


Session 3 - War on Ukraine: History and Conflict on Europe's "Borderland"; Bob Schaffer, Headmaster, LCHS


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