Arts council aiming to rekindle book festival in Prescott
Published authors invited to November event
As part of its effort to make a comeback, the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council is putting together a book festival.
It’s going to be held in November, and the organization is looking to attract vendors, inviting anyone who has a published book to rent a table, said President Parker Anderson.
“Back in the old days of the PAAHC, I used to sponsor some various arts and humanities events and festivals around town,” Anderson said. “We’re trying to start that again.”
Cosponsored by Peregrine Book Company, the Thumb Butte Book Festival will be the first book festival the Prescott area has seen in years after the Sharlot Hall Museum stopped putting on their annual book festival about a decade ago, he said.
Putting on an event that hasn’t been around in that long has proved challenging, especially for an organization like PAAHC that is trying to remount itself and make a comeback, Anderson said.
“There have been some difficulties along the way and that’s why it’s taken us a little longer to get rolling than we’d hoped, but we’re still plugging along,” he said.
The difficulties that have arisen have been in trying to get participants, a location and lining up speakers, Anderson said. There are some authors lined up to do talks and presentations, including Prescott resident Alan Dean Foster as the keynote speaker along with Brad Courtney, Darlene Wilson, and Susan Lang, he said.
Lang said she is really excited for the festival and remembers when she worked with Richard Sims, former director for the Sharlot Hall Museum, when there was a festival at the museum.
“I was so thrilled when I heard that they were going to reanimate the old book festival,” she said.
Lang was the one who was able to get Foster as the keynote speaker, Anderson said. She’s known him forever and he is a community minded person, Lang said.
At the Saturday, Nov. 23, festival, she’ll be doing a reading from her new book as well as a workshop on breathing life into character.
Not only will the book festival provide a chance for the City of Prescott to celebrate literature, but it will also allow writers in the area to build a community, talking and listening to other authors and hearing what they have to say, Lang said.
“That is a real boon to all writers,” she said. “There’s nothing else like it.”
Book festivals are also quite popular, Anderson said. Flagstaff has one and Tucson is home to the biggest in the state, he said. This one isn’t going to be huge, but if it’s a success then PAAHC can build on it and make it an annual event, Anderson said.
Held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave, there is room for 18 tables of authors and a small number has been reserved already with the hope that other participants come, Anderson said. The organization is asking $40 per table, he said. It’s free for the public to attend.
“If you love books, if you love to read, come and see what the area has to offer,” Anderson said.
For more information about the Prescott Area Arts & Humanities Council or the upcoming book festival, visit www.facebook.com/Prescott-Area-Arts-and-Humanities-Council-166658493990107.