The Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California today announced that the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, one of the Southland’s most cherished and engaging weekend celebrations, will kick off its 16th storied year in a new home at USC’s University Park campus from April 30 to May 1, 2011.
Angelenos of all ages interested in famous authors, celebrity appearances, speaker panels, superstar chefs and local musicians will have something extra special to look forward to as the celebration debuts downtown.
“After 15 years on the Westside, we are very excited to move the Festival of Books to its beautiful new home and have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with USC to ensure we grow bigger and better in the future,” said Times publisher and CEO Eddy Hartenstein. “Attendees and exhibitors can expect more to see, do and experience in addition to great access and a refreshing change of scenery.”
USC President C. L. Max Nikias said, “We are thrilled that the festival has a new home here. The Festival of Books is known for sparking just the kind of intellectual curiosity and energy that are at the heart of USC’s mission. The festival is a great fit for our world-class faculty authors and writing programs, as well as for our literacy work in the community. USC and the Los Angeles Times are two of the oldest institutions in Los Angeles, and it’s fitting that we would be joining together for this event that is so important to the intellectual life of Southern California.”
The move allows for increased attendance due to USC’s central location, proximity to public transportation, abundant parking and newly enhanced campus facilities. The Times and the university will work together to best utilize the University Park campus to expand programming, provide exhibitors and sponsors with the benefit of more useable space and other concession opportunities. The Festival of Books previously was held on UCLA’s campus in Westwood. (Noted the L.A. Times: “UCLA is a bigger campus, but USC spokesman James Grant said his university had plenty of room for the festival’s many outdoor activities and indoor seminars and lectures.”)
Last year, more than 140,000 people enjoyed the nation’s largest public literary festival, where more than 400 authors blended with hundreds of exhibitors representing booksellers, publishers, literacy and cultural organizations. Poetry, mystery, politics, young adult, comic book, graphic novel and manga all flavor the festival’s author readings, book signings, intimate Q&A’s, comedy, children’s activities and more. The event, which is free to the public, delivers a celebration of all the written word inspires.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was created in 1996 to promote literacy, celebrate the written word and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them.
Source: USC News, September 22, 2010 (Used by permission). Information on the L. A. Times Festival of Books will be available at: http://latimesfestivalofbooks.com . Pictured above: USC President C. L. Max Nikias and L.A. Times publisher and CEO Eddy Hartenstein.