Author & Book Signings at the JCC Indianapolis

One of our signature events at JCC Indianapolis is our annual, month-long Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts. Relationships with authors and publishers built over decades of hosting the festival allow us to bring popular, well-known authors from around the country to Indianapolis and central Indiana. We also offer literary programming year-round through our Taste of Ann Katz.

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Upcoming Events

For upcoming events, visit our Events page.

We also send arts-only emails to those interested in arts events at the J. The emails are sent about twice a month. Visit our Stay Connected page to sign up for our emails.

Past Events Include:

  • Jon Meacham, author of His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope. John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”
  • Daniel Silva, one of the greatest American spy novelists ever, has visited multiple times to promote the release of his books.
  • Rabbi Sandy Sasso, Rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis (1977-2013) has visited multiple times. She is the author of many nationally acclaimed children’s books and two book for adults, Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks and Jewish Stories of Love and Marriage — Folktales, Legends and Letters, co-authored with Peninnah Schram. She currently is the director of the Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts Initiative of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.
  • About Irwin and Ann Katz

    The Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts is made possible with funding from the Irwin and Ann Katz Cultural Arts and Education Endowment Fund. Irwin “Irv” Katz was devoted to the JCC for more than 70 years, serving as president of the JCC board of directors at its old location from 1950-52 and again from 1958-61 during a pivotal time: its move and construction at its current location. The resulting 24,000-square-foot facility boasted meeting rooms, nursery school facilities, a gym, locker rooms, and outdoor space for summer camp.

    The annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts was transformed from a one-week book fair to a major cultural arts program in Indianapolis when, in the year 2000, Katz infused the festival with a significant annual contribution. At that time, the festival name was changed to honor the memory of his wife, Ann, an inveterate reader and lover of books and literature.

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    Friends of the Arts

    Friends of the Arts Logo at the JCC Indianapolis

    In addition to foundations and corporations, support for arts programs at the JCC comes from a group of active, engaged arts enthusiasts called J Friends of the Arts. As an example, the group provided more than $50,000 in funding toward the purchase of new, more comfortable seating for the Laikin Auditorium.

    To become a member of J Friends of the Arts, contact Lev Rothenberg at lrothenberg@JCCindy.org or (317) 715-9233.

    Lifelong Learning Is a Core Jewish Value

    The story of the Jewish people is one of freedom from tyranny and oppression. As a people, we believe that true freedom is experienced in a community’s ability to educate, to expand minds and perspectives, and to tolerate opposing ideas rooted in truth. The goal of JCC programs is to enrich, stimulate, educate, and inspire through a wide variety of experiences geared toward our membership and the wider community. We create a safe space in which to engage the arts, participate in meaningful conversation, and share diverse opinions. We are proud of our long history of being accessible and welcoming to all.

    In addition, we do outreach to other organizations and establish partnerships, e.g., The Unity Project whose mission is to build respect and understanding between various communities, especially the black and Jewish communities, through dialogue and the arts. Other partnerships include The Indy Jazz Foundation for our Jazz at the J series; Dance Kaleidoscope and Indiana Writers Center for Spirit & Place events; Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library for our Circle City Authors series and many others.

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