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Book It to Book Fest

March 8, 2023

Dear Tulane community,

Tomorrow we will kick off the New Orleans festival season with the second annual New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University.

I hope you will be able to take a break from work or studies to join us at some of the exciting — and free — events that are planned over the next three days. For those of you on the uptown campus, these events are steps away from your office, residence hall, or classrooms; if you’re downtown they’re just a quick shuttle ride away on the Commons Green Line. And if you’re at the Primate Research Center, I promise it will be worth the trip.

The Book Fest opens tomorrow at noon with a session featuring author, philanthropist, and investor David Rubenstein, in conversation with media veteran Gary Ginsberg. I recommend arriving early to secure a seat. Reservations for the Thursday evening keynote featuring Eric Holder and Bill Gates are already full, but you’ll find no shortage of star power on the Friday and Saturday schedules.

There are no fewer than seven sessions scheduled for the noon lunch hour on Friday, including a food tasting and culinary symposium with iconic chefs Kevin Belton, Molly Kimball, Alon Shaya, and Susan Spicer, moderated by national news anchor Arthel Neville. Or perhaps you will prefer to hear legendary journalists Ken Auletta and Carl Bernstein discuss how the #MeToo movement ended a culture of silence around sexual assault in Hollywood? Or attend a special Fridays at Newcomb event to hear author, activist, runner, and PBS show host Allison Mariella Désir, interviewed by Newcomb Institute’s Lauren Wethers about her new book Running While Black: Finding Freedom in a Sport That Wasn’t Built For Us?

I could go on and on about the unbelievable lineup of speakers, but I encourage you to peruse the schedule yourself and map out a plan. Also, watch your email this afternoon for a special edition of Tulane Today that will include all the details you need to plan your Book Fest experience. I hope you will take advantage of this incredible opportunity to hear from some of the greatest authors and thinkers of our time, all gathered here at Tulane. See you at the Fest!

Mike Fitts