USC gears up to host LA Times Festival of Books

More than 150,000 are expected at the event, the largest literary and cultural festival in the country

April 05, 2016 Eddie North-Hager

More than 150,000 attendees are expected to converge on the USC University Park Campus this weekend for the 21st annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books — the largest literary and cultural festival in the country.

USC, in its sixth year of hosting the festival, is planning a number of activities that draw from its strengths in academics, literature, performing arts, health and civic engagement:

  • USC panels in Wallis Annenberg Hall include “To Live and Thrive: Insights into Living Long and Living Well,” “Are Presidential Primaries Good for Democracy?,” “State of Emergency: Homelessness in LA,” “Woody, Wilshire, and South L.A.: Selected Histories” and “Race, Justice, and Poetry: National Book Award Winner Robin Coste Lewis.”
  • Highlights from the USC Civic Engagement booth include readings and book giveaways, a coding and robot demonstration by Foshay Robotics, literacy strategies for pre-K children, and arts and crafts projects provided by the USC Pacific Asia Museum.
  • Highlights from the Keck Medicine of USC Health Pavilion include: free health screenings for blood pressure, glucose, vision, skin cancer, sleep apnea and oral health; “Talk to a Doc” hosted by the USC Institute of Urology; and health activities on weight and stress management courtesy of the Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.
  • The USC Stage will also feature musical performers, family programming and the USC Trojan Marching band.

The festival will include hundreds of authors and performers, including Luis Alfaro, Aimee Bender, Barbara Boxer, Nao Bustamante, Rob Corddry, Dana Gioia, Geoff Cowan, Michael Connelly, Jonathan Gold, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Pico Iyer, M.G. Lord, Scott Martelle, Patt Morrison, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jerry Stahl and Henry Winkler. A full schedule is online.

Admission to the festival is free, though some conversation panels require a $1 ticket that can be purchased online.

The festival will also feature two installments of the Ideas Exchange speaker series: On Sunday, in Bovard Auditorium, author, actress and musician Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Transparent) will discuss her recent memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl with Times writer Lorraine Ali, and Arianna Huffington (The Sleep Revolution, The Huffington Post) will appear in conversation with Times columnist Robin Abcarian. Tickets are $30-$100 for each of these events and include a signed copy of the author’s latest book; VIP ticketholders have the opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet.

The LA Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC and major sponsors Southern California Acura Dealers, McDonald’s and C-SPAN.