Published March 9, 2022

Inspiring deeper understanding: VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, and the Virginia Festival of the Book are natural partners.  

The Festival and VPM are both driven by a shared mission to foster connection and build empathy, but both also delight in nature. Do you remember the Festival’s now-former annual tradition, Wild About Reading? If so, you may recall that this popular program was presented in partnership with VPM (previously Community Idea Stations WVPT WHTJ PBS) at the Virginia Discovery Museum with the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary, inviting kids to engage in live demonstrations with wild animals and receive a free wildlife-themed book. 

Yet, just as the Virginia Festival of the Book has grown and adapted in recent years, VPM has done the same, responding to needs and opportunities across our state. One such example is the recent launch of VPM News Focal Point, a weekly news show exploring the most pressing issues in Virginia. “We see this show as a platform for telling underreported stories and inspiring a deeper understanding of Virginia and Virginians. We have seen the power of a good story firsthand at the Virginia Festival of the Book, so our 2022 partnership allows us to serve our core mission and join with others in the community to make more stories accessible to all,” said Benae Mosby, director of Marketing and Communications at VPM.

The Virginia Festival of the Book especially welcomes VPM’s sustained partnership now since the Festival has recently presented events examining connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism and an informed citizenry. This has also been a part of a program of Virginia Humanities, alongside 48 other statewide humanities councils, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “This work draws sharp focus to the symbiotic relationship between the humanities and journalism, and our team is eager to sustain that focus through relationships like those with VPM,” said Jane Kulow, director of the Festival of the Book. “VPM works everyday to provide relevant news, arts and culture to Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. As a sponsor of the 2022 Festival, they make possible highly anticipated programs like The Critical Role of Local Journalism, where issues of access to local news and the widening divide between rural and urban broadband access will be discussed.” 

Get involved in these conversations by checking out the first 26-minute episode of VPM News Focal Point available now, and by attending any of the upcoming Virginia Festival of the Book programs. You can see the full schedule here

About VPM

As Virginia’s home for public media, VPM connects nearly 2 million people across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley to insightful programming in arts and culture, history, science, news and education. VPM operates public television stations VPM PBS, VPM Plus, VPM PBS KIDS, lifestyle channel VPM Create and international program channel VPM WORLD, as well as Richmond NPR station VPM News (88.9 FM) and VPM Music (107.3 FM, 93.1 FM and 88.9-HD2). In the Northern Neck (89.1 FM) and Southside Virginia (90.1 FM), listeners receive a combination of news and music. Audiences can access VPM online at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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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