Patrick Conroy said it perfectly, “I had a blast!” Over 11,000 Savannah Book Festival visitors had a blast enjoying over 40 authors and smashing all previous attendance records over the course of the 5-day event that marked the 5th anniversary of the Festival held February 15-19, 2012. Attendees packed author venues and book sales increased by 76% over 2011’s Festival with the total number of visitors nearly doubling those that attended the 3-day event last year.
Brad Thor kicked off bibliophile-thon 2012 at a dinner for 200 people on Wednesday, February 15. Walter Isaacson discussed Steve Jobs on Thursday filling 1,100 seats at the Trustees Theater and Pat Conroy dazzled 900 visitors to a packed Trinity Methodist Church and adjacent tent with his side-splitting keynote on Friday evening. On Saturday February18 – main Festival Day – over 40 authors from around the country spoke at six venues in Telfair Square. On Sunday, in the aftermath of a lightning and thunder storm, Stephen King thrilled a sold-out crowd with his warm, honest and richly informative talk—deliciously laced with humor.
It takes a village—and more—to deliver a spectacular Festival of this magnitude. The components in a partnership of creativity, excellence and execution for Savannah Book Festival 2012 included:
- Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors
- Executive Director Robin Gold
- Over 150 volunteers
- The City of Savannah
- The Telfair Museum
- Jepson Center for the Arts
- Trinity Methodist Church
- Sponsors and Supporters
- Media including Comcast’s C-SPAN/Book TV
- Blue Voyage Productions
Many others helped weave the Festival’s magic by managing the extensive logistics required to transport over 11,000 people to a place where they could surely lose themselves in books.
The artistically rich venues were the ideal place for the display of Mollie Wright’s original oil painting which encapsulated the Festival’s theme: a Southern gentleman in a suit and hat standing in front of Savannah’s gorgeous Forsyth Park Fountain with his nose in a book. This donated painting raised $1,600 at the silent auction and the artist’s generosity will help keep the Festival free and open to the public in future years.
Twenty of this year’s guest authors participated in the Festival’s community outreach program, SBF@School, sending these prominent authors into Savannah public and private high schools, colleges and universities to inspire students. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation donated funds to supply books for SBF@School.
Robin Gold, Executive Director said “Savannah has every reason to be proud of this remarkable event that enticed thousands of people to Lose Yourself in Books.” At the close of theFestival following Stephen King’s finale presentation, Festival President Stephanie Duttenhaver declared, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Savannah Book Festival has hit the big time.”
The Savannah Book Festival Inc. is an independent, non-profit corporation led by a volunteer board of directors. It is committed to remaining free and open to the public and the celebrating the written word. For more information, please contact Executive Director Robin Gold at (912) 598-4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit our website at www.savannahbookfestival.org, see our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.