by Lisa Freeman
It’s hard to believe there is only 1 day until the 13th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts kicks off. Most people have no idea how much preparation and planning go into this event. As I continue to make lists in the middle of the night and lists during the daytime, thought you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek, so step right in…
Eight months before we sell the first ticket or book, we generate our very first list. Our festival committee, a group of extremely dedicated volunteers, reviews approximately 200 authors and book titles sent to us from the Jewish Book Network. With list in hand, Larry Rothenberg, Director of Arts and Education, and I travel to NYC in late May to attend the Jewish Book Network fair where we spend a very intense 3+ days. We meet with colleagues, but most of our time is spent listening to the 200 authors give a 2-minute presentation about their work. Imagine boiling down all those months of writing and editing to a 2-minute “make it or break it” presentation. Our hearts go out to all of those earnest authors.
We generate our next list shortly after we return from “the Big Apple” and meet with our committee. Together we whittle down the long list of authors to those we wish to invite to our book festival. By mid-July, we know which authors accepted our invitations and then the list-making really takes off. From travel details for our guest authors, to raising sponsorship money to be able to present the fine programs we do, to choosing and ordering books for the book sale, to targeting partners for individual author events, the lists are never-ending.
The Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts is truly a labor of love. We look forward to welcoming all of you at our author, performance and film events as we kick off the festival this Saturday, October 22, at 7 pm and Sunday, October 23 at 3 pm with the “the prince of Kosher Gospel,” Joshua Nelson. Don’t miss this weekend’s performance – you’ll be hearing about how Joshua rocked Laikin on Monday morning!
I hope to see you soon at the festival.
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