Indy celebrates a favorite son with the inaugural VonnegutFest city-wide celebration of renowned Hoosier author Saturday, Nov. 9. The inaugural VonnegutFest, hosted by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, is Saturday in venues in and near downtown Indianapolis.
VonnegutFest is a citywide celebration of the power of the arts and humanities to help us communicate. Created in honor of legendary author Kurt Vonnegut in his hometown, VonnegutFest educates the public about the author’s contributions to literature, humor, art and social consciousness, and explores how military veterans (like Vonnegut) use the arts and humanities to safely share their experiences with others while healing through the creative process.
“We intend for this festive and thought-provoking event to become an annual celebration on or around Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday, Nov. 11, which is also Veterans Day, or ‘Armistice Day’ as it was called in Vonnegut’s early years,” said Julia Whitehead, executive director of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, the only facility in the world dedicated to the author of Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions and more than a dozen other works.
This year’s Honorary Event Chair is Kelly Pfledderer, CEO of Apparatus.
Presenting sponsors for VonnegutFest are Lilly Endowment Inc., Apparatus, Chris and Ann Stack, the Producers of Vonnegut’s play “Make Up Your
Mind,” Amazon Publishing, Indiana Humanities, and Martin and Mary Jane Vonnegut.
VonnegutFest Schedule of Events:
Saturday, Nov. 9
Breakfast of Champions
Visitors are invited to read aloud from the novel Breakfast of Champions and compete in a Kurt Vonnegut Look-alike Contest. Judges are Dan Carpenter, Indianapolis Star columnist, Ben Asayskwee, Q Artistry artistic director, and Richard Vonnegut. The winner of the first-ever Vonnegut Look-alike Contest is returning to reclaim his crown. Free admission
Irvington Branch, Indianapolis Public Library
Patrons are invited to show their Lego creations of their favorite writers, literary characters or historic Irvington figure. Drop them off for display in the library now through Nov. 9. Prizes! No charge
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Traveling Vonnegut Library display
Traveling Vonnegut Library exhibit on display.
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
Views of Human Rights art exhibition by The Carter Center
Book signing by Benjamin Patton, youngest grandson of General George Patton and the author of “Growing Up Patton.”
Book signing by Tim O’Brien, National Book Award for Fiction winner and author of “The Things They Carried.”
Release of second annual Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library literary journal, “So It Goes.” Free admission
Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day
Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall, Herron School of Art
Steve Inskeep of NPR, authors Tim O’Brien and Benjamin Patton, ArtReach instructor/veteran Hugo Patrocinio, poet Jason Poudrier and U.S. Army Capt. Olivia Cobiskey discuss literary expression as a means of coping with PTSD. Includes an exhibit from the international Combat Paper Project, which showcases works made by paper created from soldiers’ own uniforms. Part of the Spirit & Place Festival (reserve your seat at spiritandplace.org) Free admission
Indy Reads Bookstore
In this one-man play (which is actually two plays written by Kurt Vonnegut), Glen Williamson plays every character. Free admission
The Tides will provide music while attendees enjoy dinner followed by comedian Gary Gulman of Last Comic Standing fame, for this event named after one of Vonnegut’s novels and the clambake that occurs therein. Tickets required. Order tickets: http://timequakeclambake13.eventbrite.com/
Anyone who attends three events during VonnegutFest and gets their program stamped will receive a free chocolate bar custom-made for the Vonnegut Library from Endangered Species Chocolate (while supplies last). Those who attend five events during VonnegutFest and get their official program stamped will receive a free black book bag with the library’s
logo (while supplies last) in addition to their chocolate bar.