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Mayor Cory Booker Welcomes The Harlem Book Fair and Declares 2012 the Year of Newark Literacy

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The Media Is Invited to a Press Conference with Mayor Cory Booker on April 9, at 9:30 a.m., Newark Public Library

New Jersey’s largest city already is home to arts and cultural venues, six universities and the Dodge Poetry Festival, and many of the state’s largest corporations.  Now, Newark will join an elite group of cities  -- New York; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.;  Boston; Los Angeles; Hempstead, NY; and Atlanta -- as partner to  the most lauded and well-attended African American literary events in the United States, the Harlem Book Fair. 

The Harlem Book Fair (HBF)-Newark launches on Friday and Saturday, April 27 - 28, 2012 as a dynamic multi-cultural community based literary festival that has as its theme “Let us Read.” The book fair will engage families, avid readers, aspiring writers and visitors to the city. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, an eloquent spokesperson for literacy and the HBF-Newark along with the Newark corporate community, has declared 2012 as the “Year of Newark Literacy,” and will bring remarks at the press conference on April 9 at 10 a. m.

Dr. Clement A. Price, Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, is chairperson of the Newark fair, while Wilma Grey, director of the Newark Public Library, is event director. A partial list of local participating authors include Benilde Little, Moody Holiday, Anasa Maat, Valerie Wilson Wesley, playwright Richard Wesley, and poet and essayist, Amiri Baraka.  The HBF-Newark, which will be held rain or shine, is free, expects to attract 5,000 people and will showcase up to 100 exhibitors. Most events will take place on the Rutgers-Newark Paul Robeson Center and outdoor plaza.

Friday’s event schedule, titled “Family Fun,” will run from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and target students, parents and educators in the following fun-filled activities:

§ Young Reader’s Alley, a world of reading and learning focused on children’s and young adult literature

§ Art to Books – a gallery display by book illustrators

§ Storytelling, teaching signing books

§ Book drive, used book sales

 

Saturday’s event schedule will run from 10 – 6 p.m. and will feature authors, poets, illustrators and entertainers in the following activities:

§ Flash Fiction – a short fiction reading contest

§ Special exhibits on various topics of literacy education, and events including

  • A look at Hip Hop literature
  • Screenings of literary themed films
  • Sound stage

 

A final schedule will be posted online at www.harlembookfair.com. Questions about participation in the fair should be directed to Max Rodriguez, 914-231-6778.

The HBF-Newark marks the first time the fair has been hosted in a university setting. Our community and cultural partners include the City of Newark; Rutgers University, Newark; the New Jersey Institute of Technology; Essex County College; Wells Fargo Bank; Newark Public Library, Newark Arts Council, Positive Community Magazine, and the Newark Alliance, the Newark-based business consortium. The Harlem Book Fair was founded by Max Rodriguez, publisher of QBR The Black Book Review (www.magcloud/browse/issue/350208) in 1998.

WHY IS THE HARLEM BOOK FAIR COMING TO NEWARK?

• NEWARK IS…a college town of 60,000 students at six colleges and universities, including four major public nationally recognized institutions: NJIT, Rutgers Newark, UMDNJ and Essex County College.  

• NEWARK IS…world class cultural institutions including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, WBGO Jazz Radio 88, Symphony Hall, Newark Museum, Newark Public Library, Branch Brook Park, art galleries, and other art and cultural centers.

• NEWARK IS…home to the 18,000 seat Prudential Center arena housing the NJ Devils, concerts and special events and the $30 million 6,200 seat stadium housing the Newark Bears minor league baseball team.

• NEWARK IS…the restored Penn Station, an art deco landmark used by over 70,000 commuters a day.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Carla Capizzi, 973/353-5262, capizzi@rutgers.edu