Posts Tagged 'BooksmART Festival'

BooksmART Festival – My Favorite Things

Well, it’s that time again! The second annual FREE BooksmART Festival at the Dallas Museum of Art is right around the corner. Mark your calendars now: Saturday, June 9, 2012, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Spend the entire day with authors, illustrators, musicians, and actors! Every member of the family is guaranteed to find something to enjoy–there is really something for everyone. The full lineup can be found on our website, but I thought I would go ahead and give you my “Top Ten” list of things you need to do at the festival.

My Top Ten List of Things To Do (And See) at the BooksmART Festival 

1. Get here early! The first events start at 11:00 a.m. and you won’t want to miss them. You know what they say,  “To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is unacceptable!”

2. Make sure you go to an author or illustrator presentation. Whether you read picture books, chapter books, young adult books, or comic books, we have an event for you.

3. Get as many autographs as humanly possible. If, by chance, you miss an author at their booksigning, you can politely ask them to sign a book for you if you attend their workshop.

4. Eat something from the food trucks! I pinky promise that you’ll be glad you did. We’ve invited all kinds of trucks to come to the festival, but I know you’ll be especially excited for snow cones and ice cream sandwiches as the hot Texas sun threatens to swallow you up. You are welcome.

5. Head over to the Crow Collection of Asian Art for paper and pop-up fun! I am dying to learn how to re-create the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry using only paper, scissors, and my own two hands. I tried, and Wingardium Leviosa doesn’t really work in the Muggle world.

6. Stop in for a workshop or performance by the Dallas Theater Center. I’m so curious–just what is an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? They don’t exactly sell them at the Gap.

7. Get your eyes checked! The Essilor Vision Foundation will be at the festival all day providing FREE vision screenings and glasses to kids ages 5-16. After you get your glasses, go meet Taye Diggs. I’m 99.9% positive he’ll be wearing his glasses too.

8. Grab a snack and re-hydrate in the Atrium while you listen to music. Food, water, and music–life’s essentials!

9. Drop in on the Center for Creative Connections (a.k.a. C3). Check out the Art Studio, where several illustrators will be giving workshops; stop by the Tech Lab and create a digital short film; or just hang out at the space bar and let your imagination run wild!

10. Buy your favorite author’s books in the Museum Store, and visit Half Price Books’ table in the Concourse. Sign up for their summer reading program so you can keep the BooksmART fun going all summer long.

And now, since your appetite has been whetted, I’m going to leave you with a little song I’ve written for the BooksmART Festival. Sing it over and over with your family and friends in anticipation. If, by chance, you happen to memorize it, come find me; I’ll have a special prize for the choristers who serenade me. I will be at Horchow Auditorium all day, so look for me.

My Favorite Things (BooksmART Remix)

To the tune of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things”

Readings and writings and workshops and classes
Joe wears a dreamcoat and new stylish glasses
Pablo Picasso and yum, Chocolate Me!
These are a few of my favorite things
Cartoons and funnies and writers of stories

Mice and amoebas and full Scrabble glory
Dramas and comedies and mysteries
These are a few of my favorite things

Papers that morph into pop-up creations
Aliens that go on extended vacations
Monkeys that bounce on a bed full of springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When I’m grounded
When the ship sinks
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

For more information about the 2nd annual BooksmART Festival, visit our website or call 214-922-1818.

Hayley Dyer is the Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming at the Dallas Museum of Art. Growing up, her favorite picture book was “A Bargain For Frances.”

Bookends

We’ll host our 1st Annual BooksmART festival on Saturday June 11th from 11am to 5pm. General admission to the Museum will be FREE with a fun-packed day of events and activities celebrating literacy and the arts for the young and young-at-heart. Our  stellar lineup of authors, illustrators and performers include Rick Riordan, Laurie Halse Anderson, Norton Juster, Jerry Pinkney, David Wiesner and many more!

One of the authors that I am especially excited to hear  is Cynthia Leitich Smith, a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author whose fictionfor young readers  is noted for its diversity, humor, lyricism, imaginativeness, compelling action, and mid-to-southwestern settings. And I got the chance recently to ask her a few questions.

Q: Why did you decide on a career writing for children and young adults?

As a child and teen, I was an avid reader and writer. I read all of the Newbery winners and everything by Judy Blume. I transitioned to spooky stories during adolescence. Along the way, I also read graphic-format books (which we used to call “comics”).  In sixth grade, I had a column, “Dear Gabby” in Mr. Rideout’s classroom newsletter, offering advice to the troubled and lovelorn.

I went on to become editor of my junior high and high school newspapers. From there, I earned a journalism degree and law degree, working summers for small-town and major metro newspapers (including the Dallas Morning News) and in law offices.

As a first-generation college graduate, I was mindful of pursuing writing jobs with relative security to them. But in my late 20s, after the Oklahoma City Bombing, I was reminded that life can be short, unpredictable, and precious–that we should follow our dreams and do our best to uplift others. I could imagine no pursuit closer to my heart than books for young readers, and from that point on, I’ve dedicated myself to that end.

Q:  You are a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.  How has your Native American heritage and identity influenced your writing?

The quintessential advice we give to new voices is: write what you know. For me, that meant realistic stories of lower middle class, mixed blood Native American families from the mid-to-southwest. It meant stories of daily life and intergenerational relationships and military service and loss and healing.

My first book, Jingle Dancer  is about a young girl who assembles her jingle dance regalia with the aid of women of every generation of her intertribal community and then dances to honor them at a powwow. My debut novel for tweens, Rain is Not My Indian Name, is about a girl who, after the unexpected death of her best friend, slowly reconnects to the important people in her life through the lens of a camera. Indian Shoes is a collection of humorous, touching short stories for middle grade readers. They’re about young Ray and his Grandpa Halfmoon.

I’ve continued writing about Native characters and themes in my short stories. In 2012, I look forward to the publication of a companion short story to one by noted Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac, which will appear in Girl Meets Boy. Our tales are a fun pairing, about two Native teens–one who’s a tall, formidable basketball-star girl and one who’s a short, scrawny boy into martial arts. It’s a love story–naturally.

 

Q: You shifted your emphasis to fantasy for your book TANTALIZE, the first in a series.  What made you want to tackle the fantasy/gothic fiction genre?

I occasionally joke that I’m in the thrall of the master, by which I mean Abraham Stoker. I was fascinated by Dracula, especially with regard to the timelessness of its themes for teen (and grown-up) readers today. The classic touches on gender and power, orientation, the “dark other” (which back in the day meant Eastern European), plague, invasion, and more. All of those topics are still very much with us today, and looking at the vampire mythology itself….

Q: What has been one of your most meaningful interactions with one of your readers?
A handful of teenage girls have written to tell me that they have left their abusive boyfriends because of Quincie, the hero of the Tantalize series. A girl has written to say that she felt differently–better about herself–after having been assaulted by someone she’d trusted.

Other kids have written to say that Rain is Not My Indian Name helped them to cope with the loss of a loved one, and an aunt told me that her niece wouldn’t speak of a friend’s death until she could do so by using the novel as a reference point.

Most recently, I’m reminded of a boy–about age 14–who came up to me on my recent book tour. I was in New York City, and he approached me with a well-loved and quite tattered copy of Tantalize. He said it was the first book he’d ever finished. “The first book?” I asked, and he nodded solemnly. “The first book ever,” he emphasized. “All the way through.”

Q: What are you most excited about for the BooksmART festival?  Can an art museum add something to the traditional book festival?

I’m excited to connect with folks who have a global love of the arts–visual, literary, and beyond. They’re people of imagination and possibilities–kindred souls and the very kind of heroes that I love to write about.  Austin may be my home now, but Dallas will always be dear to me. See y’all soon.

Cynthia Leitich Smith will be presenting on her young adult fiction, including her latest novel, Blessed, in Horchow Auditorium. 

She will also present on her books for younger readers that explore Native themes and characters in the DMA’s exhibition Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection

Katie Hutton is Interim Head of Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art


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