In the heart of downtown, Schlow library hosts Arts Fest events

Schlow Centre Region Library will host several events related to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
Schlow Centre Region Library will host several events related to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Photo provided

It’s nearly time for State College’s major summertime event — the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts! And since it’s right in the heart of downtown State College, Schlow Centre Region Library will once again host several events as part of the festival.

Already at the library is the festival’s juried art exhibition, "Images 2018." The show runs through July 31 in the Betsy Rodgers Gallery and Downsbrough Community Room, and an award reception will be held Thursday, July 12, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The reception is free to attend.

This year’s juror was Erin Coe, the new director of the Palmer Museum of Art.

"'Images' is a sometimes overlooked aspect of the festival, but it really shouldn’t be,” said Arts Fest executive director Rick Bryant. “There are lots of artists who do great work, but who don’t show in outdoor venues, like our Sidewalk Sale. Images provides a venue where our audience can see the work of those artists. Images has paintings, watercolors, photography and mixed-media pieces — and much of the work is for sale, too.”

Also on Thursday, July 12, Schlow hosts the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. The ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. in the Downsbrough Community Room. This year’s winner is Nikki Grimes, who will receive her award and read from her winning book, "One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance.”

In her book, Grimes shares poems from poets of the Harlem Renaissance as inspiration to create new poetic forms. She connects the struggles of the past with current challenges in the world today.

Grimes is a New York Times bestselling author and the recipient of the 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Among the award-winning books she has written for children and young adults include "Bronx Masquerade," "Talkin’ About Bessie" and "What Is Goodbye?" Her latest book, "Between the Lines," was published earlier this year and is a companion to "Bronx Masquerade."

Established in 1993, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award is presented annually to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of children’s poetry published in the previous calendar year. The award is a joint collaboration between the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Penn State University Libraries and Lee Bennett Hopkins.

The award ceremony is free to attend and is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Schlow Centre Region Library and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Finally, on Saturday, July 14, it’s the return of BookFest! BookFest PA 2018: Comics to Cozies takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Schlow Centre Region Library Parking Lot. More than 20 authors are attending and will have books to sell and sign.

“BookFest is bigger than ever,” said Maria Burchill, Schlow’s head of adult services. “We’ve got comics book artists and authors of young adult fiction, fantasy, romance and historical fiction. There’s something for everyone this year, even children’s books!

“BookFest rounds out the festival by including the written word among the artistic commodities on sale throughout the week. Cover art, storytelling, all requires imagination and creativity to produce. I think its popularity with festival-goers is evidence that people are eager to acknowledge the book as art.”

For more information on all the events at Schlow, visit schlowlibrary.org.

David Pencek is the communications manager at Schlow Centre Region Library.