Acclaimed journalist Tom Rosenstiel and James Beard award-nominated chef Edward Lee are among the 10 featured authors at the inaugural Loudoun Book and Arts Festival, a joint venture of Loudoun County Public Library, the Loudoun Arts Council and the Brambleton Town Center.
The free festival will be held Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in and around the new state-of-the-art Brambleton Library, located in the heart of Brambleton Town Center. Along with bestselling and up-and-coming authors, there will be interactive displays with local artists and live music. The event is the first of its kind in Loudoun.
“We’re excited to bring to Loudoun’s doorstep the marvelous experience of being inspired, entertained and connected to the larger world by meeting top authors. Typically, people have to travel great distances for an event like this,” said the festival’s organizer, Lorraine Moffa, programming coordinator for Loudoun County Public Library.
The Loudoun Arts Council plans to create an immersive outdoor “art experience” surrounding Brambleton Library, featuring several chalk artists, a plein air “paint out” and various artist demonstrations and vendors. A “We Love Art” adult coloring book will be for sale, featuring designs created by Loudoun artists exclusively for the festival.
“The Loudoun Arts Council has been around since 1986,” said Jill Evans-Kavaldjian, president of the Arts Council. “Back then, Loudoun was much more rural, and most arts events were centered on Leesburg. In the past five years, we have been working to have more outreach and events in the eastern part of the County. We have also been looking for the opportunity to launch a large-scale home-grown arts event, and the Brambleton Town Center and Brambleton Library provide the perfect canvas.”
The 10 featured authors represent a wide range of writing, from jaw-dropping true stories set in far-off times and countries to psychedelic dystopian fiction and dark suburban drama. Notable authors include:
- Tom Rosenstiel, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room A, Brambleton Library, moderated by John DeDakis, former White House correspondent and CNN copywriter for Wolf Blitzer: Rosenstiel is one of America’s most recognized thinkers on journalism and the intersection of media and politics. The author of seven books of nonfiction before turning to crime fiction (The Good Lie and Shining City), he has written extensively about politics, Washington, ethics and media.
- Edward Lee, 3:30-4:30 p.m., AhSo Restaurant, moderated by adventure traveler John Daum: Lee is the chef and owner of six restaurants in the Washington metro area and Louisville, Ky. In his 2018 book Buttermilk Graffiti (winner of the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year), Lee documents his travels in search of America’s great melting-pot cuisine. He has appeared on the popular TV shows The Mind of a Chef and Top Chef.
- Robert Kurson, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Room A, Brambleton Library: An author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, Kurson’s latest book, Rocket Men, goes inside the stunning story of Apollo 8 and the astronauts who took on the near-impossible challenge of humankind’s first mission to orbit the Moon.
- Julie Langsdorf, 1:45-2:45 p.m., Room A, Brambleton Library, moderated by journalist Cari Shane: Langsdorf’s 2019 debut novel White Elephant entered the literary world with a bang, quickly landing on best-of lists from The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. White Elephant is an uproarious, tangled-web tale of neighbor hating neighbor, as newcomers and longtime residents clash in conflicting pursuits of the American Dream.
Additional authors include Douglas Grindle, war correspondent and author of How We Won and Lost the War in Afghanistan, who will appear from 3-4 p.m. at Lost Rhino Retreat, joined by a panel of Afghan War veterans for a Q&A session. Kicking off the festival is Adam Nemett, author of the genre-bending, pre-apocalyptic page-turner We Can Save Us All, in the Brambleton Library Makerspace from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Nemett will be joined by local comic-book illustrator Orion Zangara, who will give away an original piece of art inspired by the book.
Organizers of the event said the festival offers a unique opportunity to explore big ideas.
“Book festivals are just a lot of fun,” Moffa said. “We chose these authors because they are all tremendous speakers who challenge you to think differently about the world and our place in it. Even if you haven’t read their work, you’re guaranteed to walk away from this with something new.”
To view a complete festival schedule and learn more about the authors, visit library.loudoun.gov/LBAF.
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