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Atlanta Entertainment Icon Announced as Keynote for 2018 AJC Decatur Book Festival Labor Day Weekend

Keith Britt | Gumbo Marketing

ATLANTA, Ga. — Internationally acclaimed director and actor of stage, film and television, Kenny Leon is the 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (DBF) keynote speaker on Friday, August 31. This marks the 13th year for the festival.
The conversation kicks off the festival at 8 p.m. at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Distribution of free tickets will be announced at a later date. “We are truly thrilled and honored to have Kenny Leon,” said DBF executive director Julie Wilson. “His creativity and vision bring to life what we hope inspires our festival attendees. His work is true magic.

“Every year we have subtle themes, and this year we’re focused on unique creativity and storytelling. Everyone has a story to tell, and this year we’ll have new and old voices that will move us, challenge, inspire and make us laugh and cry.”

This year, Leon is releasing his first memoir Take You Wherever You Go – “he learned every step of the way from the most important people in his life-from his grandmother’s sagacious and encouraging motivations to the steady hand of his mother to the deep artistic and social influence of iconic American playwright August Wilson.”

Leon is a Tony Award winning Broadway director as well as a film and television director/producer. His Broadway credits include the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington – Tony Award Winner for Best Direction of a Play and Best Revival, The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Stick Fly produced by Alicia Keys, August Wilson’s Fences (which won three of the 10 Tony’s for which it was nominated which garnered ten Tony nominations and won three Tony Awards including Best Revival), the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun with Sean P. Diddy Combs, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf and the 2014 premiere of Holler if You Hear Me, a new musical created using the music of Tupac Shakur.

Leon is a graduate of Clark Atlanta and is an honorary Ph.D. recipient of Clark Atlanta and Roosevelt Universities. He is currently serving as the Denzel Washington Chair at Fordham University. Leon is the Artistic Director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in Atlanta. On Saturday and Sunday of the festival, stages throughout downtown Decatur will be filled with some of the biggest names in literature and arts. A sampling of highlights of the adult programming stages are attached.

Launched in 2006, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (DBF) brings more than 300 nationally and internationally known authors, children’s and young adult writers and illustrators, and tens of thousands of readers together for a weekend of fun and discovery. Held every Labor Day weekend in Downtown Decatur, the DBF is the largest independent book festival in the country. The DBF hosts author events throughout the year and sponsors The Decatur Writers Studio. For more information, visit decaturbookfestival.com, “like” Decatur Book Festival on Facebook or follow @DBookFestival on Twitter.