For “two epic weeks,” the Book Festival of the MJCCA featured 36 events and 50 authors covering a cross-section of interests and specialties. Although the number of attendees hadn’t been tabulated at press time, festival director Pam Morton cited “record crowds and a very enthusiastic, engaged audience. We were extremely pleased with the turnout” at every event, she said Tuesday, the day after the festival closed.
Morton believed it was the best festival lineup so far, with a diverse cast of authors speaking to large, receptive audiences with inspiring stories and very topical programs. To close, the festival had two “political luminaries” from either side of the political aisle, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with daughter Chelsea Clinton. Morton said the 1,550 in attendance each of those last nights “left very excited, happy and uplifted,” proving, “We can all believe different things and still be one community.”
These were the largest two gatherings the book festival ever hosted, Morton said.
The last question of the last evening was from a 16-year-old who told Hillary Clinton she was inspired to become an activist because of her. It’s moments such as these that demonstrate the book festival’s mission, Morton said, “To really touch people’s lives.”
Check out four of the headliners from this year’s book festival below:
Winkler on Fonzie, Dyslexia and Stardom, Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver on their book “Alien Superstar”
Combat Anti-Semitism with Jewish Pride, Bari Weiss on her book, “How to Fight Anti-Semitism”
Friendly Audience Greets Haley at Book Festival, Nikki Haley on her book, “With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace”
‘Gutsy’ Clinton Women Wow Supportive Audience, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton on their book, “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience”