LA Times Festival of Books

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LA Times Festival of Books
April 12-13 at USC campus

After 18 years of increasing popularity with attendance topping 150,000, this annual celebration of ideas, creativity, and the written word is expanding for its 19th event with an extraordinary array of new elements, including a “Festival After Dark” evening featuring Margaret Cho; a contest for comedians, musicians, photographers and poets to make the leap from audience to stage; and an “Artists Row” where a hand-selected group of artists will create installations live on site.  As always, the weekend also features authors, performers, readings, cooking demonstrations, film screenings and aisles of booksellers and exhibitors. Celebrity authors include Levar Burton, Alicia Silverstone, Marlo Thomas, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Mayim Bialik, Jackie Collins, and chefs Ben Ford, Alan Jackson, Roy Choi and Suzanne Goin.

New elements:

FESTIVAL AFTER DARK extends the Festival into the evening hours with a live performance of American Public Media’s Wits featuring special guests MARGARET CHO, SUPERCHUNK AND WILL SHEFF (of Okkervil River), who will join host John Moe for an evening of improv, sketch comedy, conversation and music as the popular public radio program is recorded for air.  Saturday, April 12, 8:00 p.m., Bovard Auditorium, USC.

For the first time ever, comedians, musicians, photographers and poets are invited to join The Times’ “INSPIRE US” CONTEST and upload their work for a chance to make the leap from audience to stage at this year’s event.

In a nod to the Southland’s thriving fine art community, the Festival will include ARTISTS’ ROW, a hand-selected group of artists from several genres creating installations live on site. And, they will be joined by one aspiring creator discovered through “Inspire Us.”

LA TIMES PHOTO POP-UP GALLERY: the award-winning Times visual storytelling team will be showcasing recent work, with a spot reserved for an “Inspire Us” shutterbug.

POP & HISS STAGE: in collaboration with Spaceland Presents, this year’s music stage will host a variety of emerging bands as well as an artist and emcee selected through the “Inspire Us” music and comedy submissions.

POETRY STAGE: one of literature’s oldest art forms and the Festival’s longest-running stages will get a hit of street style with an “Inspire Us”-picked performance poet.