LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After attracting more than 100,000 attendees as well as hundreds of authors, poets, artists, and community leaders over the past 10 years, the 11th annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) is set to kick off on Saturday, August 19, 2017 in Los Angeles. The book fair will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the outdoor promenade of the historic Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHC), located at 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The family-oriented event will be held in the heart of Leimert Park -- the center of the African American arts/intellectual scene in LA. This year, the book fair welcomes actress, comedienne, and best-selling author Kim Coles ("Living Single"; Open Your G.I.F.T.S.) as its 2017 book fair ambassador!
This year's theme of "The Great Outdoors" recognizes the benefits of enjoying activities in California's beautiful weather, such as walking, running, camping, hiking, and surfing. Enjoying the Great Outdoors is also consistent with fostering a healthy lifestyle that yields many benefits, such as raising Vitamin D levels, maintaining physical fitness, improving concentration, accelerating recovery time, and, most importantly, fueling the mind, body, and soul.
In celebration of "The Great Outdoors," the book fair is planning a plethora of activities, programming, and interactive exhibits designed with everyone in mind. "In collaboration with our festival partners like the National Parks Association, Gateway to Nature Center – LA, and Adventure 16, we are bringing exhibits on hiking, rock climbing, camping, and more! We also have special exhibits on the Buffalo Soldiers and the black township of Allensworth, CA, which highlights contributions of African Americans to the history of the Old West, as well as outer space exploration," said Cynthia E. Exum, executive director of the Leimert Park Village Book Fair. "We are also very proud to honor Emmy-winning actor Glynn Turman with a Legacy Award not only because he is an all-around great actor, but also because he's a real cowboy and lover of 'The Great Outdoors,'" she added. TV journalist and "Entertainment Tonight" co-host, Kevin Frazier, joins us to present the Legacy Award and conduct a Q&A with Mr. Turman.
Attendees will enjoy celebrity sightings, speakers, author talks, poets, storytellers, as well as book-signings from your favorite fiction and non-fiction authors – and several publishing and writing panels coordinated by the Los Angeles Review of Books. This year, a Travel and Wellness stage featuring Celebrity Chef Darrell 'Das' Smith will also highlight this year's event. The day's celebration will end with a posthumous tribute to American treasure and Jazz Legend Ella Fitzgerald (in recognition of her Centennial) with special musical performances by jazz greats Eloise Laws, Elaine Gibbs Nicole Simms "The Velvet Voice", and the Harold Land, Jr. Quartet.
Voted one of LA's five best annual book festivals, the LPVBF has become a much-anticipated cultural tradition in the community. Book fair attendees will get a chance to meet some of L.A.'s best-selling authors like Pamela Samuels Young, Gary Phillips, Tananarive Due, and Steven Barnes. Our Children's Village Ambassador, actress Nay Nay Kirby will introduce celebrity readers, such as actor Sheldon Bailey of Nickelodeon's "Game Shakers" and former LA Dodger Dennis Powell, who will stop by the village to read stories and other children's literature to kids.
The LPVBF has humble beginnings. Exum, a book lover, was looking for a way to honor both her community and the woman who encouraged her to read – her beloved grandmother, Nellie Mary Horne. Along with financial commitments from a few friends, Exum used her own money to launch the inaugural book fair in 2007. Today, the LPVBF has become one of the nation's most revered literature gatherings, drawing authors, scholars, entertainers, and educators to the heart of the African American cultural center of Los Angeles. Along the way, the mission of the LPVBF has remained steadfast: to encourage, promote, and advocate literacy, education, and learning throughout the Los Angeles area.
Sponsors of the 2017 LPVBF include City National Bank, Sempra Energy/The Gas Company, Loyola Marymount University, ABC7-TV, KLCS-TV (PBS), philanthropists Dr. Bernard W. and Shirley Kinsey, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Los Angeles, and Capri Capital Partners/ Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
"We are pleased to continue our support for this important literary event in our community and host it here at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on our 70th Anniversary Celebration," said Rachel Freeman, general manager of BHC.
For more information about LPVBF, visit www.leimertparkbookfair.com.
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SOURCE Leimert Park Village Book Fair