The Los Angeles Times Fesitval of Books brings more than just books to USC

imageThe Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be held at USC this weekend, on Saturday April 21st from 10:00 am to 6:00pm, and Sunday April 22nd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

In addition to the new and gently-used book drive, the schedule of events also includes the presentation of U.S. stamps designed by USC faculty member Dana Gioia to honor 20th century poets, a “name the dino” contest, and Health Pavillion with demonstrations and free screening from practioners from the USC Health Sciences campus.

Admission is free, and there will be a food trucks and booths set up on Cromwell Field.

The Health Pavilion schedule can be found here.

Click here to get directions from Google Maps.

More information here »

Los Angeles Times book festival comes to USC, not everyone happy

Original reporting by Smitha Bondade. Read by Emily Frost.


Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News story:


image For 10 years, the Festival of Books was held on UCLA’s campus in Westwood. Moving it to USC brings it closer to the city’s center and gives thousands of people a fresh look at South Los Angeles.

Beverly Kenworthy of the LA Chamber of Commerce says attendees will be surprised by how much the area has changed.

“The improvements and all the new construction and the new buildings, the new offerings for food and everything has been tremendous,” Kenworthy said. “It’s going to be positive not just for the businesses but for USC as well.

But some residents don’t think it will mean much for the local community. Clemente Franco at the South Central Neighborhood Council thinks lower-income and Latino families of the area are being excluded from the event.

“I think USC and the LA Times have done a poor job of making it accessible to get those folks involved,” Franco said. “And I don’t think USC is very inviting, although I think they give the appearance that they are, but I just don’t think they are.”

USC’s President Max Nikias expects a crowd of 150,000 to attend.

Festival of Books changes location, honors professor’s son

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:


image The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is opening a new chapter at the University of Southern California. For the first time in 15 years, the event is switching locations, and the change of location brings one of the authors a little closer to home.

The late David Saltzman, son of USC professor Joe Saltzman, will have his best-selling book “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle” featured at the event. His mother, Barbara Saltzman, says the book has an inspiring message.

“The book is a wonderful, joyful happy story about laughter and how it’s always inside of us no matter what is going on in our lives,” she said.

David wrote and illustrated the book his senior year at Yale while fighting Hodgkin’s disease. Before he passed away, his family promised him his book would be published.

“He was completing the book, knowing that he might not survive, and he maintained his optimism and his sense of humor and laughter throughout that process,” Saltzman said. “Any child who reads the book really grasps the message of joy that is contained within it.”

The Saltzmans have continued to honor their son’s memory by starting The Jester and Pharly Phund. It’s a nonprofit dedicated to both helping ill children and encouraging a love for reading among students nationwide.

“The Jester tells Pharley that it’s up to us to make a difference, it’s up to us to care, and we have taken that as the motto for The Jester and Pharley Phund,” Saltzman said. “And that is what inspires children.”

Through programs, more than 150,000 books have been given to hospitals, shelters, underserved schools and other special needs facilities.

“Our programs have been overwhelmingly successful,” Saltzman said. “Our children have read more than 26 million pages in 10 years to help other children.”

This saturday, The Jester and Pharly Phund will have its own booth at the festival. For each book that is sold, the Saltzmans will donate a book to a child in the hospital.

LA Times Festival of Books moves to USC

By Eddie North-Hager for Leimert Park Beat.

The nation’s largest public literary festival drew 140,000 people and over 400 authors last year.

The April 30 – May 1 weekend celebration is moving to USC University Park in order to draw more people, officials said.

The free Festival of Books brings exhibitors, booksellers, publishers, literacy and cultural organizations together with poets, authors of every genre and readers together for readings, book signings, intimate Q&A’s, comedy, children’s activities and more.

Right: USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Los Angeles Times publisher and CEO Eddy Hartenstein. Photo by Steve Cohn.

The Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California made the announcement today.

“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 Eddy Hartenstein in a press release. “Attendees and exhibitors can expect more to see, do and experience in addition to great access and a refreshing change of scenery.”

“We are thrilled that the Festival has a new home here,” said C. L. Max Nikias, president of USC, in a press release. “The Times 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 release said. The Festival of Books was previously held on UCLA’s campus in Westwood.