Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Decatur Book Festival - 2013!

Congressman John Lewis Announced as Keynote Speaker for 2013 AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical

Hundreds of Authors, New and Improved Tracks, Art Initiatives, and Activities for All Ages and Interests at the Eighth Annual Event

June 18, 2013

Famed American politician, iconic civil rights leader, freedom rider, activist, United States congressman, and Atlanta resident John Lewis will deliver the keynote address at the 2013 AJC Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF).

Lewis will kick off the eighth annual event Friday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University. Lewis will discuss his recently released graphic novel, March: Book One, the first in a trilogy that aims to engage the next generation of readers to keep the lessons of the civil rights movement alive. The timing is perfect, as the AJC DBF begins just two days after the 50th anniversary celebration of the historic 1963 March on Washington.
March is a vivid first hand account of Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. Lewis discusses the roles he played as an integral leader during the March on Washington, as well as the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March. Additionally, March reflects on the distance traveled since the time of Jim Crow laws, segregation, and a divided nation.

In conjunction with Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin, acclaimed graphic novelist Nate Powell collaborated on March to produce an intimate graphic depiction of one of our nation’s most historic moments. Together, the three explore the past, present, and future of racial relations in the United States of America.
AJC DBF Executive Director Daren Wang said he is honored to have Congressman Lewis as the keynote speaker for this year’s event.

“John Lewis is an iconic American figure of equality and freedom, a hero. Additionally, he is a phenomenal author who writes stories of significant events of our nation’s history – events that he directly participated in. Add to that the fact that Congressman Lewis lives in Atlanta, and he’s a perfect fit for the keynote speaker this year. We are very excited to kick off the festival with his powerful presence,” said Wang.

Following the keynote at Emory on Friday, the AJC DBF will kick off Saturday, Aug. 31 with a children’s parade on the Decatur Square. Events and author presentations will continue in downtown Decatur throughout the day Saturday. A second children’s parade will start Sunday’s festivities, followed by another full day of author talks and events suited for all ages and interests.
AJC DBF Program Director Philip Rafshoon exclaimed there really is something for everyone and that he’s extremely proud of the diverse, eclectic lineup at this year’s festival.

“The authors and activities we have planned this year are nothing short of amazing with a record number of authors launching their new books at this year’s festival,” said Rafshoon. “Our mission is to encourage a love of reading and writing for people from all walks of life, and this year’s lineup exemplifies our commitment to that mission.”

AJC DBF will feature lectures and signings from hundreds of international, national, and local authors, including award-winners and bestsellers across a wide spectrum of subjects, topics, and genres.
A few of the internationally recognized authors to be featured include Richard Blanco, Naomi Wolfe, Marcia Clark, Robert Morgan, Dr. Richard Besser, Lily Koppel, and Lev and Austin Grossman.
The speaker for the AJC DBF’s second kidnote address will be veteran picture book creator Tomie DePaola, whose Strega Nona picture books have engaged young readers for more than 35 years. He will be presenting his newest book—Strega Nona Does It Again—which features his long-beloved classic heroine.

Writers Conference
DBF’s Friday afternoon Writers Conference at Agnes Scott College features a keynote address by Clyde Edgerton. He is the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, and numerous short stories and essays. Edgerton has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books.

The AJC DBF continues to grow, flourish, and devise new and diverse programming every year. This year is no exception. Highlights include:

DBF Adds Three New Stages
The beautifully restored Decatur Recreation Center, originally built in 1958, will be open for festival events. Festival venues at the Center include the 200-seat studio and the 750-seat Bill Floyd Gymnasium. Also, after a year away, the AJC DBF is back in the 500-seat Decatur High School auditorium, adding a total of three new stages and almost 1,500 new seats. This means that the AJC Decatur Book Festival will host a total of 18 stages featuring even more world-class authors, panels, readings, and performances.

art | DBF
This year, the AJC DBF has invited a diverse group of arts organizations to engage our imaginations with stories, ideas, performances, installations, films, music, artwork, and photographs in order to connect our citizens more broadly with the arts and cultural opportunities in their local community. Participants will include Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Art Papers, Burnaway, Dashboard Co-op, FilmLove, Flux Projects, gloATL, High Museum of Art, The Lucky Penny, Museum of Design Atlanta, MOCA GA, Serenbe Playhouse, Soul Food Cypher, Straw Hat Press, Staib Dance, Theatrical Outfit, and WonderRoot, among many others.

Additionally, art | DBF will house the Atlanta PlanIt Pavilion—a space where local arts and cultural organizations can build audience support and promote upcoming events—and an Exhibition Emporium where arts organizations and artists can be found doing what they do best—activating space in new and exciting ways and bringing fresh art experiences to new audiences.

Civil & Human Rights Track
The eighth annual AJC Decatur Book Festival begins two days after the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington. In addition to Lewis’ keynote address, this year’s festival includes many readings and talks focused on civil and human rights. Events include a panel featuring Susan Crandall’s new novel, Whistling Past The Graveyard; Mac Griswold’s history of a slave plantation on New York’s Long Island, The Manor; Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit Linda Hirshman’s stunning history of the successful struggle for LGBT rights, Victory; and a panel on the changes in sports and civil rights.

Humanities Track Sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council
The Humanities track will include books and discussions on music and food, as well as William Ferris’ new work, The Storied South, whichfeatures the voices of 26 of the most luminous artists and thinkers in the American cultural firmament, such as Eudora Welty, Pete Seeger, and Alice Walker.