Janesville23.6°

Second chapter unfolds for Edgerton book, film fest

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Stacy Vogel
October 7, 2007
— It’s October once again, which means it’s time for the annual Edgerton Sterling North Book & Film Festival.

At least, that’s what organizers hope residents are thinking.


What started last year as a celebration of the 100th birthday of Edgerton’s favorite son has ballooned into an annual two-day festival drawing authors and filmmakers from around the state and even across the country.


This year’s event takes place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14.


Organizers certainly weren’t ready to think about a 2007 event when they finished last October’s fest, said Stacy Cadence Aegerter, this year’s chairwoman.


“Those of us who were on the committee last year were very tired,” she said.


But they quickly realized the community wanted more. They also saw that the 18 months of work toward the 2006 event had set up a framework that would make the process smoother for future events.


Aegerter said she received a call in February from Edgerton Reporter Publisher Diane Everson, one of the main organizers for last year’s book fest, asking her to serve as chairwoman, and the ball was rolling once again.


But Edgerton’s literary heritage stretches back much further than last year, said Kathy Citta, Edgerton Area Chamber of Commerce administrator and chairwoman of the book side of next year’s fest.


“Some people call us a hick town or want to call us a blue-collar town, and that is part of Edgerton,” she said. “But there’s this other part that really supports education.”


Edgerton residents passed referendums in the past decade authorizing a combined $14.3 million to school and library renovation, Citta noted.


“For some reason, there’s a unique support system for academics,” she said.


And, of course, Edgerton takes great pride in its status as childhood home of North, author of “Rascal” and several other children’s books.


“For a very long time he’s been our celebrity, until (professional golfer) Steve Stricker came along,” Aegerter said.


What’s on tap

Here’s what’s new at the second annual Edgerton Sterling North Book and Film Festival:


Adopt-an-author program

Organizers invited local groups to host speakers at their own venues to spread the festival throughout the Edgerton area, said organizer Kathy Citta. The program will feature five authors at four venues:


Mystery writer Deb Baker will speak at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Edgerton Depot.


Christian environmentalist Ed Brown will speak at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building, 414 Albion St.


Historians Ruby West Jackson and Walter T. McDonald will talk about their book, “Finding Freedom: The Untold Story of Joshua Glover, Runaway Slave,” at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Edgerton Depot.


Irina Miech will speak about metal clay for beaders at 12 p.m. Saturday at Grasshopper Crossing, 4 W. Fulton St.


Bob Wang, a musician and pastor, will offer a family concert called “Celebrate Earth Day Every Day” at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Congregational Church, 114 N. Henry St.


Expanded film fest

For the first time, independent filmmakers were invited to submit films to the “Got Film? Fest” for a chance to go to next year’s Beloit International Film Festival. The films involve Wisconsin themes or were created by people with Wisconsin ties, said festival Chairwoman Stacy Cadence Aegerter.


The festival will also be showing more films at more venues this year, Cadence Aegerter said. All films will be shown Sunday:


The Edgerton Public Library will show ecological-themed films, including “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Who Killed the Electric Car?” and a documentary about the influence of nature on Sterling North’s work.


In another area of the library, teens are invited to watch the works of Hayao Miyazaki, including “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.”


Miyazaki has a Sterling North connection, Cadence Aegerter said. He animated a weekly “Rascal” series in Japan.


The Edgerton Performing Arts Center will show family-friendly movies, including “Rascal,” “So Dear to My Heart” and “FernGully: The Last Rainforest.”


Independent film submissions will be shown at the Tri-County Community Center, 112 N. Swift St.


Theme

Many speakers and films fit this year’s theme, “responsible stewardship of the global and local community.” Highlights include:


Ben Logan, author of “The Land Remembers.” Logan will speak as part of a panel of scholars discussing renowned Wisconsin conservationist Aldo Leopold at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Edgerton Public Library.


Logan will also receive the Sterling North Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Edgerton Performing Arts Center.


Jonathan Waterman, author of “Where Mountains are Nameless,” will show his National Geographic documentary of the same name about Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Edgerton Public Library.


Professor Russell Veitch will speak about “The Psychology of the Environment and its Effect on Humans” at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Edgerton Public Library.


For a complete schedule, check out Thursday’s kicks or visit www.edgertonbookfestival.com.



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