Tucson Festival of Books to Transform UA Campus
Volunteers still are needed for this weekend's festival, which donates 100 percent of its proceeds to promote literacy in Southern Arizona.
The free festival, in its fourth year, brings together authors, publishers, a culinary stage, food vendors and the reading public in a family-friendly community event. All of the net proceedes go toward promoting literacy in Southern Arizona.
Key event sponsors include the Arizona Daily Star, The University of Arizona Medical Center and the UA.
The two-day festival, which runs March 10-11 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., will feature 17 stages and 255 exhibitors along the UA Mall. Entertainment stages will host a variety of performances and music and dance genres from mariachi, symphony and jazz to hip hop. See the festival's official guide for program and event specifics or download the Tucson Festival of Books app for Android or iPhone.
More than 400 authors, many of whom are best-selling and recipients of top literary prizes, will participate in the festival in a variety of ways through workshops, panel discussions, readings, book signings and exhibits.
Among the writers who will be present are UA alumni Richard Russo ("That Old Cape Magic" and "Empire Falls") and J.A. Jance, The New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, and four interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Jance will present and sign her books long with other UA alumni authors in the UA Alumni Authors Tent.
Other authors include:
- Sci-fi and fantasy writer Terry Brooks, author of the Landover series, the Shannara series and the Word and Void trilogy. He also wrote the novelization to "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" for George Lucas.
- Former journalist and syndicated columnist Pete Dexter, whose work includes "Deadwood," "The Paper Boy" and, most recently, "Spooner." He received the National Book Award for Fiction for "Paris Trout."
- Michael A. Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, who wrote "The New Deal: A Modern History."
- Larry McMurtry, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1985 novel "Lonesome Dove," co-wrote the adapted screenplay for "Brokeback Mountain." His latest novel is "Rhino Ranch," the fifth and final novel about Duane Moore, whose story began in 1966's "The Last Picture Show."
Luis Albert Urrea will be the keynote speaker at the annual Author's Table Dinner on March 9.
Festival participants also can experience Science City. The UA College of Science and the BIO5 Institute have partnered to offer a diverse array of hands-on science activities and exhibits in Science City located on the UA Mall east of Cherry Avenue.
Science City will encompass 11 tents, three stages, food vendors, a book shop and free admission to the nearby Flandrau Science Center.
Science enthusiasts can sign up for guided tours of the UA Laser Lab, the Museum of Optics, the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab and more.
Health enthusiasts can visit The University of Arizona Medical Center's partnership with Diamond Children's and partake in interactive health presentations, including specific health risk factors for heart disease and compression only CPR training, and children can partake in a medical dress-up and medical play area, safety and health coloring books and story time and reading area.
The UA BookStores is offering three children's' learning events, the ever-popular Children's Storybook Character Breakfast, the return of the American Girl ® Tea Time and the introduction of the Judy Moody & Stink Fest featuring author and creator Megan McDonald.
Tickets for the UA BookStores three events are $15 for adults and $15 for children and reservations are recommended.
Festival attendees are encouraged to explore the unique event opportunities during the festival including the Human Library, to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 10, and on March 11, volunteers will serve as human books and help interested readers better understand people of different backgrounds and cultures.
The books in the Human Library are people who represent groups frequently confronted with prejudices and stereotypes and who often are victims of discrimination or social exclusion.
Volunteers still are needed for the Tucson Festival of Books. Event founder Brenda Viner said the festival typically relies on between 1,600-1,700 volunteers. "The event simply wouldn't be possible without the help of the Tucson community and the volunteers," said Viner.
Volunteers are needed for festival set-up, clean-up and event monitoring. Set-up entails hanging festival signs, clean-up entails taking signs down and event monitoring entails helping to accommodate the needs of the author or authors and general public during a particular session.
Volunteers are asked to dedicate 3.5 hours to cover assigned shifts.
Event parking is free, and all UA garages and service lots will be open with the exception of the Second Street Garage, which will be reserved for authors and moderators.
Festival enthusiasts can become Friends of the Festival by supporting the Tucson Festival of Books' efforts to promote literacy in Southern Arizona with a tax-deductible donation.