Celebrating literacy at the Leimert Park Village Book Fair

The annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair, the premier literary event in the Crenshaw District kicks off this year at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 30th at the Vision Theater back-lot, located at the intersection of 43rd Place and Degnan in Leimert Park. The book fair, which is celebrating its sixth year, will feature celebrity readings, book signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances, and musical acts. Presiding over the day’s festivities as this year’s ambassador will be actress and author Sheryl Lee Ralph, star of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, the hit television show Moesha, and who is currently touring the United States in the one-woman play, Sometimes I Cry.

For the past five years, the book fair has drawn over 200 authors, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, performers, literacy and educational exhibitors and an audience of over 5,000 people.

Founded in 2006 by Cynthia Ethusian Exum with the goal of promoting literacy and education in Los Angeles, the event was conceived after Ms. Exum partnered with Our Authors Study Club, Inc. to present ‘Festival of African-American Authors’ at Los Angeles Southwest College. The turnout of both participating authors and attendees inspired the idea of an annual literary event in the heart of the cultural and artistic center of the African-American community in Los Angeles.

In partnership with Helping One Another Progress, Inc. Eso Won Books, the Leimert Parks Merchants’ Association, city officials, and a planning committee of over 30 people from local schools, corporate businesses libraries, literacy non-profit local artists, poets and spoken word performers, the inaugural Leimert Park Book Fair was launched.

Today the Leimert Park Book Fair not only promotes literacy and education year after year but it has become the primer community event that has become a cultural tradition.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair is supported by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation, Community Build, Inc, and the Leimert Park Village Merchant’s Association, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Capri Capital Partners, Nestle U.S.A., Inc., Sempra Energy, Radio Station KPFK 90.7 FM, Xerox, Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, Time Warner Cable, KABC-Channel 7, and the United Parcel Service. For more information, visit: www.leimertparkbookfair.com.