The festival will feature nearly 50 performances, events and exhibits across town from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8.
The new schedule signals a departure from the previous year's festival, which included more than 200 events.
This year's lineup features fewer events but bigger names, more collaborations and one-of-a-kind performances, including several debuts, said Molly McDowell, the artistic coordinator for the festival.
Highlights of the festival include performances by Rosanne Cash and Branford Marsalis.
Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, produced by Public Radio International, will present an evening of essays at Augusta State University.
Art Rosenbaum, the festival's 2011 signature artist, will present his work, lectures and music at an opening event and throughout the week.
Symphony Orchestra Augusta will perform with a 200-voice choir many of the themes by American composer John Williams, known for his work on Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan, Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Peter Teschner, a veteran Hollywood editor, known for films such as Borat and Charlie's Angels, will speak at Augusta State.
The festival also will feature a series at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library that focuses on To Kill a Mockingbird, including a screening of a documentary by Augusta filmmaker Hodges Usry.
Ticketing for the festival opens Aug. 5.