National Steinbeck Center Receives $20,000 Grant From The Community Foundation For Monterey County To Support 2011 Steinbeck Festival
SALINAS, CA (July 18, 2011) The National Steinbeck Center, located at One Main Street in Salinas, received a grant of $20,000 from the Community Foundation for Monterey County to support the 2011 Steinbeck Festival in a year of strategic expansion.
The Steinbeck Festival, in its 31st year, is the major annual cultural/literary event in Salinas. This four-day festival of over 45 talks, books and literary and performing arts events is one of the oldest cultural festivals in Monterey County and one of the oldest annual literary events on the West Coast. It attracts audiences from throughout the United States and the world to Salinas, birthplace of John Steinbeck and the site of many of his major works.
This literary legacy is a major aspirational opportunity for Salinas, a city struggling to re-forge its own identity in the face of significant challenges in the area of literacy, school retention rates and gang violence. Salinas is a place to which many people point as a city without a bookstore, but also the city that made international news when it rose up to save its library. The annual Festival plays a major role for Salinas, constantly refreshing and reinterpreting the relevance of Salinas’ most famous native son and the relevance and potential of his themes for the community today, and serving as a nationwide resource connecting Salinas to a wider world.
In 2011, the NSC seeks to dramatically expand and diversify the festival’s audiences and radically expand its reach—both throughout the local region, into the youth community, and internationally—
This year marks the beginning of a new phase in the history of the Steinbeck Festival. The support of the Community Foundation is critical in this bridge phase, as the NSC seeks to expand funding sources to allow this flagship program to expand and achieve its potential. Community Foundation support will allow the Festival to offer a wide variety of speakers, youth workshops, transportation to increase youth participation, and free admission on Sunday of the festival for residents of Monterey County. Festival 2011 will be framed in a way that reaches beyond Steinbeck into the wider world of arts and ideas: Our theme is “Friends and Foes”:
Join us as the Steinbeck Festival looks at friends, foes and accomplices of all stripes, in books, in arts and ideas, and in Steinbeck’s life and work. We’ll explore the creative fallout when ideas collide, the pleasure of partnership, the creative clash. This four-day festival of books, talks, food, tours and visual and performing arts will be based in Salinas, with International Fringe Fest events taking place in cities of letters throughout the world.
Instead of making Steinbeck the subject of all sessions as in the past, we will use Steinbeck’s life and themes to lead out to a wider world of culture, arts, literature and ideas. New topics will include programs on graphic novels—a significant onramp to reading for young people worldwide; the interactions between technology and literature; and the notion of the enemy and the ally in sports, in human cognition, and in war. All concluding with a lively Family Free Day.
Background on the National Steinbeck Center:
The National Steinbeck Center is located in Salinas, California, the birthplace of John Steinbeck. The National Steinbeck Center is a museum and cultural institution with a mission to engage people in the exploration of culture, issues and the arts relevant to our times. For more information about the National Steinbeck Center or past festivals, please visit the National Steinbeck Center’s website at www.steinbeck.org. Tickets are available for purchase at www.steinbeck.org or at (831) 775-4721. Full festival passport price of $150/135 members includes all events Friday through Sunday with the exception of lunches and events after 7 pm.
One Main Street
Salinas, CA 93901