Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts - by Mario Morone
posted: Oct. 18, 2019
The Jewish Community Center's 21st annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts is October 23 to November 13, 2019. It is presented by the Herbert Simon Family Foundation with generous annual support from the Irwin and Ann Katz Cultural Arts and Education Endowment Fund
Hanna Fogel, who is a Content Creator and Editor at the JCC, said, "Ann Katz was the wife of Irwin (Irv) Katz (1919-2015). Irv was a founding partner of the law firm Katz, Sapper & Miller and was devoted to the JCC for more than 70 years. He was the only board president to serve two consecutive terms, leading the JCC at a pivotal time after World War II when the organization was raising funds to purchase land and construct the current facility. Irv also led the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (1972-75). This is the 21st Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts, which means the first one would have been in 1998, but it transformed from a one-week book fair to a major three-week cultural arts event when in 2000, Irv made a significant commitment to an annual contribution over a 15-year time period. During his lifetime, Irv also financially supported the growth of adult continuing education programs at the JCC. In 2017, Irv and Ann Katz's children established the Irwin and Ann Katz Cultural Arts and Education Endowment Fund (representing the largest-ever endowment gift given to the JCC), which will provide funding of about $35,000 every year to support JCC arts programming. Ann Katz herself was a lover of books and the arts."
The JCC's Tiny House Roadshow, a Fiddler on the Roof-themed jazz concert and a visit from diplomat Dennis Ross highlight the JCC's 21st annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts, with three weeks of events featuring authors, films, performing artists and fine artists. Among this year's appearances are an expert in sustainable living (Melissa Rappaport Schifman), a professional organizer/home stylist (Kristyn Ivey) certified Platinum in the KonMari™ Method, a local rabbi (Sandy Sasso) who is also a nationally recognized children's author and an original Saturday Night Live writer, Alan Zweibel. Details on the dates and times of these events and more are at:
Most events are $10 per person unless noted otherwise. Attendees may also purchase a $60 Festival Pass, which is good for general admission to all events. The Festival Pass does not include Tiny House events, Fiddler on the Roof jazz concert or VIP programs, however.
The Fiddler on the Roof Jazz Concert featuring Rob Dixon (see below) is Saturday, November 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Local saxophone virtuoso Rob Dixon leads a group of musicians in a jazz concert featuring music from the well-loved musical. A Jazz at the JCC Unity Project program, is a partnership with Indy Jazz Fest and the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation for this event. The JCC's Unity Project program's mission is to build respect and understanding between various communities, with a particular focus on the Black and Jewish communities, through the arts and intentional dialogue.
American diplomat and author Dennis Ross will speak on Thursday, November 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission and $65 for a VIP reception. Ross has served under President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. He is a world-renowned expert on Middle East politics. His newest book, Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel's Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, was released September 3rd. He will speak at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation at 6501 N. Meridian Street.
Writers include Edward Berenson, author of The Accusation, Rabbi Sandy Sasso, who wrote Through the Looking Glass: Writing for Kids on Spiritual Matters and Ronald Balson, author of The Girl from Berlin, which won a 2018 National Jewish Book Award for the Book Club category. Balson is a trial attorney, educator and writer whose work and travels have taken him across the globe. Berenson is a Professor of History at New York University and Rabbi Sasso has authored several nationally acclaimed children's books, including God's Paintbrush, Adam and Eve's First Sunset and In God's Name. She formerly served as Rabbi of Congregation Beth-EL Zedeck, Indianapolis from 1977 to 2013.
Broad Ripple area artist Forrest Formsma (
) Laundered Symbol JCC Art Gallery exhibit opening and reception is free on Wednesday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. Laundered Symbol explores the dynamic interplay between written communication and visual form. Forrest said, "I am an artist living and working in Indianapolis. I have exhibited, as well as won best of show, in multiple state and national art competitions. I work in an impressionist style that often pushes to abstraction. My paintings are poetic expressions that transcend what I see and feel. I create a visual representation of the moment and subject that is as much about the paint and process as the subject itself."
A celebration of the life and memory of Eva Kor is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. with a screening of Eva A-7063 in partnership with Ted Green Films, WFYI and CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
According to their website,
"For the past 100 years, the JCC has been a neighborhood and community resource in Indianapolis. From its start in 1914 at 23rd and Meridian to its current location on Hoover Road, the JCC has been dedicated to serving the Indianapolis community and responsive to its needs through programming and resource availability. For the past century, the JCC has created a multi-generational, inclusive environment where all people can live, learn, play and connect. One hundred years after its modest beginnings, the JCC continues to serve the community with its holistic approach to wellness - optimal healthy living for the mind, body and spirit. The JCC of Indianapolis, guided by Jewish values and traditions, provides inclusive experiences that lead to personal growth and community building. Together, we inspire all people to become the best versions of themselves. Established in Indianapolis in 1914, the JCC is located on the north side of Indianapolis at Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Road. It is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis and United Way of Central Indiana, and an affiliate member of the JCC Association of North America."
The JCC's annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts celebrates their rich heritage and culture with the local community.