Parks gains statewide book honors
Baldwin City resident, artist and author Ande Parks has been selected as one of 15 writers to be honored at the first-ever Kansas Book Festival Friday in Wichita.
Earlier this year Parks released "Capote in Kansas," which is a graphic novel based on historical events. He is excited to represent the arts side of Baldwin City at the festival.
"I am always interested in helping the arts in general in town," Parks said. "For me, the coolest part is getting a comic book out there in the literary world."
The thought of sharing his comic novel that isn't about a super hero really makes Parks excited.
"That's what makes me really proud, because I want to get the graphic novel out there," Parks said. "I think it's really cool that it has been chosen for the festival."
The 2006 Kansas Book Festival is the signature event of the Countdown to Kansas Statehood and is produced by the Governor's Cultural Affairs Council and the Kansas Center for the Book.
The festival is a two-day event that will be celebrating Kansas by exploring the books, arts, films and history of the state.
"Each title -- fiction or nonfiction, poetry, children's or young adult books -- speaks to the rich cultural heritage of Kansas," said Roy Bird, director of the Kansas Center for the Book. "The 2006 Kansas Notable Books List proves without a doubt that some of the greatest stories spring from the prairies of our state. It is an inaugural Notable Book List of which we can be proud."
The three stages will showcase continuous performances, readings and workshops. A special activities area will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and families. There will also be food vendors on site.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will kick off the festival at 10 a.m. Friday with Kansas poet laureate Jonathan Holden.
Parks will be honored at the Black, White and Read All Over Ball on Friday evening. The event will run from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
"I don't know what to expect at the ball, but it will be fun to meet all of the other authors," Parks said. "I will also be having a book signing at the festival."
Bird said the Kansas Notable Book authors, including Parks, will be honored at the ball. A special presentation of an antique gold colored medallion will be made to each author, along with a certificate from Sebelius. The guests at the ball will have an opportunity to meet, visit with and get autographs from the authors.
The Kansas Book Festival will culminate with a screening of the film about Capote, "Infamous."
For more information on the festival, visit the Web site at www.kansasbookfestival.ks.gov.