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The DSM Book Festival has announced its schedule for 2021. The Festival will host several virtual and socially distanced in-person sessions, including hybrid hands-on workshops, book-themed happy hours and virtual children’s activities along with the previously announced virtual nationally acclaimed author speaker series. The Festival will occur over the course of four Saturdays in March and April, beginning March 27, with programs offered on four concurrent Saturdays. Masks will be required at all in-person events.

“We are so excited to bring some of The Festival’s programming back to Downtown Des Moines this year,” said Colleen Murphy, Downtown Events Director at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Although in-person activities and attendance will be limited, all of our events have been created to be equally enjoyed no matter where you tune in.”

Creatives of all specialties can bring their talents to the table during the free, interactive workshops — presented by the William C. Knapp Charitable Foundation. Event activities span from embroidery to gardening. Premium experiences may include a fee to cover the cost of the supplies. Writers can also sign up for the DMACC Writers’ Workshop, a series that brings published and inspiring authors together to discuss the writer’s journey and the publishing industry. All workshops will have limited in-person and virtual availability.

Literature and Libations — sponsored by BH Companies — will put a new twist on happy hour. In these evening events, readers will engage with classic literature in a fun and casual atmosphere where their favorite books are paired with a selection of alcoholic beverage samples. Participants can attend these events virtually or in-person. Online participants can purchase sampling kits from partnering businesses before the event for a full experience. Participants must be 21 or over to attend.

Younger attendees will also have a chance to join in on the fun with virtual activities specifically created for new readers. The Just for Kids activities — presented by Bankers Trust — will provide downloadable activity sheets and specialty themed kids’ kits for families to enjoy together. Interested parties can reserve kids’ kits online for pick-up at one of two drive-up events.

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Additionally, as previously announced, the Prairie Meadows Author Series will feature headlining authors each Saturday at 3 p.m.

  • March 27: Tayari Jones, Author of “The American Marriage” presented by the Des Moines Public Library’s Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series
  • April 3: Chuck Klosterman, Author of “But What If We’re Wrong?” presented by Kum & Go
  • April 10: Lara Prescott, Author of “The Secrets We Kept”
  • April 17: Taylor Jenkins Reid, Author of “Daisy Jones and the Six” presented by the Polk County Board of Supervisors.

“The DSM Book Festival provides an opportunity for patrons to gain insights from bestselling authors from across the country,” said Julie Stewart, Vice President of Community Relations at Prairie Meadows. “This event adds to the vibrancy of Greater Des Moines, even in this socially distanced and virtual format, and helps encourage people of all ages to read more.”

Learn more about each event series and how you can sign up by visiting DSMbookfestival.com.

The DSM Book Festival is sponsored by Prairie Meadows, John Ruan Foundation, Meredith Corporation, Kum & Go, Des Moines Public Library, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Bankers Trust, Don and Margo Blumenthal, BH Companies, Des Moines Area Community College and the William C. Knapp Charitable Foundation. The DSM Book Festival has received a grant award from Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Media sponsors for the event include WHO-TV Channel 13, KIOA 93.3, Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Radio. The DSM Book Festival is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more at DSMbookfestival.com.

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