Published March 7, 2022

Hybrid /ˈhīˌbrid/: a thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture 

In its twenty-eighth year, the Virginia Festival of the Book is trying something new, presenting a mix of 75 in-person and virtual events leading up to and during the Festival’s five days, March 16-20. By now, many of us are familiar with hybridity in our work, home, and social life, this act of mixing traditional elements that results in tensions and new opportunities. Indeed, the Festival’s partnership with Bank of America has deepened in its third year through conversations on the impact of both in-person and virtual programming.  

For example, Bank of America recognizes the importance of the local economic impact the Virginia Festival of the Book has traditionally had in drawing in-person audiences exceeding 20,000 from more than forty states, while balancing the importance of keeping our community safe and sustaining access to authors and audiences only possible with virtual programming.  

“As excited as we are to offer a hybrid Festival, in all the ways it meets people where they are, our main focus is always high quality programming, offering direct connections between readers and authors regardless of medium. Investments from sponsors like Bank of America allow us to expand our capacity to achieve this goal during our most complicated year yet.”

Jane Kulow, director of the Festival of the Book  

Because in fact, hybridity is not just the simultaneous presence of two elements, it’s the mixture, the integration, as the definition suggests. It’s curbside pickup from your favorite local restaurant in the face of choosing whether to go out to eat or stay in and cook. In this way, the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book will be embracing hybridity by working behind the scenes to record and livestream in-person programs as much as possible, a pre-pandemic goal now greatly accelerated.  

“The enriching value of books cannot be quantified for an individual or a community,” said Carolyn Rainey Charlottesville Market Executive for Bank of America. “Our commitment to the Virginia Festival of the Book reflects our belief in how powerful and empowering books, and the experiences within their pages, can be for the reader.”  

We look forward to your participation in the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book, in whichever way works best. Check out the full schedule of events here.  

To learn more about how you can support the Festival, visit

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With generous support from Michelle and David Baldacci

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