Building Community Through the Arts

A Huge Thank You!

After a 2 year hiatus, the 17th Annual Festival of Books was a magnificent community event with more books and more shoppers of all ages than ever before. We were so happy to open our doors to welcome you back.

We wish to thank those who donated and shopped, authors who spoke, attendees who listened and especially the scores of volunteers who received, arranged, sorted, hauled, shuttled, cooked, served, baked and welcomed hundreds of guests over Labor Day Weekend.

A very special thank you to our generous sponsors who helped to Get the Festival off the Ground! We couldn’t do it without all of you and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Upcoming Events And Activities

Painting of four men playing musical instruments

Annual Regional Juried Art Show

Saturdays & Sundays, 1:00-5:00pm
October 8-November 6

Deeper than the Skin. Thought provoking work in various media by over 20 regional artists. (Image credit: Joel Schiller) Learn more.

The Gallery
May The Door Be Open- Rae Gilson

Opening Reception:
Deeper Than The Skin

Sunday, October 9, 4:00-6:00pm

Meet the artists of this thought provoking work. (Image credit: Rae Gilson) Learn more.

The Gallery
Reggie Harris & Greg Greenway

Reggie Harris & Greg Greenway: Deeper Than The Skin

October 9, 2:00pm

A musical presentation on race performed by two talented musicians. Admission is free, registration required. Learn more.

Music category label

The Witching Hour

October 15, 7:30pm

Join us for an evening of seasonally spooky tales. Learn more.

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All Write Columbia graphic

Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference

October 19-23

A five-day intensive writing conference focused on both the craft and the business of writing essays, biography, memoir, and narrative nonfiction. Learn more.

Writing Workshop category label
Christine Gardiner holding a bouquet of flowers

Poetry & the Art of Paying Attention

6 Tuesdays: Oct. 25-Nov. 29

This workshop will explore the practice of poetry as a form of attentive presence. Participants will read and write poems that elevate the ordinary and render the inherent beauty in the fabric of daily life. Learn more.

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Young Writers' Contest

Young Writers Contest Winners

Six prize winners were chosen from 22 entries to the 2022 competition. See the winners and read their work.

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COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

To protect yourself and fellow attendees, please take note of the safety protocols for any event you are attending by visiting the event listing on this website.

The Academy has installed multiple Blueair HealthProtect 7470 air purifiers, and we have limited seating in our auditorium. We closely monitor the situation in Columbia County, as well as recommendations from health authorities, and will adjust our protocols as necessary.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Watch and Listen to PAST Programming

Rishi Reddi and Dexter Palmer

Dexter Palmer & Rishi Reddi

Discuss their works of historical fiction with Daphne Kalotay. Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

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Author Peter Sis and his book cover for Nicky & Vera

Peter Sis

Discusses his book Nicky and Vera- A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued, with Carl Atkins. Watch the video.

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Book cover "Kaffeehaus" and author Rick Rodgers

Rick Rogers

Learn how to make Almas Pite, a delicious Hungarian apple pie. In conversation with Madaline Sparks. Watch the interview.

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Ayad Akhtar

Discusses Homeland Elegies and his fascinating career with Julie DeLisle. On our YouTube channel.

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Russell Shorto

In conversation with David Highfill on his book Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob. Watch the interview.

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Book covers of Sonia Purnell's A Woman of No Importance" and Clare Mulley's "The Spy Who Loved"

Clare Mulley & Sonia Purnell

Two historians and authors whose books focus on remarkable women and their roles in WWII, will discuss their works with David Highfill, Festival co-chair. On our YouTube Channel.

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Author Peter Sis and his book cover for Nicky & Vera

"Nicky and Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued"

Reading and discussion of Peter Sis' book with Ann Gainer, storyteller & former librarian. On YouTube.

Festival of Books category label
Michael Kupperman and his book "All the Answers"

Michael Kupperman Discusses "All The Answers"

A graphic novel and moving memoir about his father. Brian Heater, a comics and tech writer-podcaster, joins the author in conversation. On YouTube.

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