Festival of Books and Arts at the JCC Indianapolis

Celebrate literary, film, visual, and performing arts at the Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts! For 25 years, the JCC has continued a tradition of connecting the Indianapolis and central Indiana community through internationally known authors, award-winning films, and performing arts events. Enjoy exciting content from a star-studded line-up featuring topics as varied as the authors themselves in fiction and non-fiction.

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2023 Festival

The date for the 2023 Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts are October 23-November 13. Individual events appear on the Calendar of Events. Please note to scroll through the different months to see all the events.

Celebrate 25 years of the Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts! The JCC’s 25th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts is a three-week festival featuring well-known authors, award-winning films and local visual and performing artists. This anniversary year, the festival kicks off with a conversation between a former neo-Nazi and a second-generation Holocaust survivor, followed by an evening with Chasten Buttigieg, LGBTQ+ activist and husband of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. Check out our line-up on the Events page and get ready to expand your mind and have some fun.

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

The JCC is committed to learning and hosts authors of books covering a wide range of topics throughout the year with Taste Of Ann Katz events. Those events also appear on the Events page.

See More, Pay Less with the Festival Pass!

If you’re planning to see multiple events, you can save by purchasing a Festival Pass. Save $10 by purchasing at the early bird price; the Festival Pass is $50 in September, $60 in October. Please note that the Festival Pass includes all events but does not include books.

Buy a Festival Pass

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts is made possible with funding from the Irwin and Ann Katz Cultural Arts and Education Endowment Fund and our major festival sponsors including Lilly Endowment Inc., The Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, The National Bank of Indianapolis, and Katz Sapper & Miller.

Support Our Authors

Purchase books of visiting authors at our pop-up bookstore and have the authors autograph them for you.

Past Events

  • 60 Minutes producer Ira Rosen, author of a behind-the-scenes look at the memorable and groundbreaking stories at America’s most iconic news show.
  • Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, introducing his novel The Next Person You Meet in Heaven.
  • Daniel Silva, one of the greatest American spy novelists ever, has visited multiple times to promote the release of a new novel.
  • Cooking demonstration and dinner with New York chef and restaurateur Einat Admony who debuted her cookbook, Balaboosta (from the Yiddish term for perfect housewife, homemaker, mother, cook & gracious hostess).
  • Music concert with Kenny Aronoff, world-renowned rock and roll drummer formerly with John Mellencamp.

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.

Friends of the Arts

Friends of the Arts 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 has funded a new top-of-the-line projector and screen and has raised more than $50,000 toward new more comfortable seating for the Laikin Auditorium.

To become a member of J Friends of the Arts, contact Camille Arnett at 317-715-9240 or carnett@JCCindy.org.

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 educate and inform and also to forge and strengthen 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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