The Raving Press' Book Festival at Speer Memorial Library held Saturday, February 25, 2017 was a complete and total success!
These are not our words. They are the words of the participating authors, artists, photographers, and event presenters. They are also the words of the library's own staff at all levels. AND they were also the words (or general sentiment) of the public in attendance at that mega festival.
Five (5) results stood out:
1)The local media (such as The Monitor newspaper, KVEO News, Televisa, Telemundo, Univision, KGBT, and In The Blink of an Eye radio show) all came out in support of our efforts. Everyone was surprised with what we were doing because it was completely free to all, and because the nature of the festival was simply unheard of.
2)The Speer Memorial Library staff noted that this event brought in many more people than they had ever had in previous efforts of any kind. ;)
3)Authors and artists who usually struggle to profit from selling their art enjoyed a sales bonanza at no cost for the space and no commission to the organizers nor the host institution. 100% profit to the artists and writers. NOTHING beats that!
4)The public got a full day of events for the entire family to consume at absolutely no cost to them for entry. They met artists and writers of all walks. Got signed books for the whole family. Attended a theater performance by Pedro Garcia, a Short Film hour with Maida Lee Saenz, a Poetry Reading with McAllen Poet Laureate Priscilla Celina Suarez, a Children's Book Reading headed by Christopher Rocha, and two totally FREE publishing seminars by Gabriel H. Sanchez (that's me!).
5)This event alone brought out some great talent that our community did not know of. The outcome of the entire effort and the response by the public convinced us that this must only mean that the demand for something like this to continue is huge. Therefore, we fully intend on holding more similar events throughout the year...on a rotating basis. That is, this was the first stop of The Raving Press' Book Carnival (or Traveling Book Fair, the title is still tentative).
If you would like to see this mega festival in your city, contact your library, city hall, school, or college and have them contact us to make arrangements for us to visit your area and bring the fun to you and your own home-grown artists and authors.
Gabriel H. Sanchez