ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Several local artists are coming together to partake in the 2024 Spring Writes Literary Festival at various locations in Downtown Ithaca. The annual festival is celebrating their 16th year. The kickoff began on Thursday, May 2nd and will continue holding live events through Sunday, May 5th but, the fun doesn't stop there.

Around 100 local and regional writers are collaborating with the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County to put on over 40 free literary-themed events for people to enjoy. Some of the events include panels, readings, workshops, and a variety of multimedia performances by artists to promote both established and emerging writers. Organizers from CAP are hoping that this programming fosters creativity and connection among attendees.

"Because it's a free event, I don't know how many people are gonna show up," said Robin Schwartz, Program and Grant Director of Community Arts Partnership. "So, the first event was a panel, there were 35 people there which was amazing, and they all talked about how grateful they were that this panel was happening and they were looking forward to it. Then we had an event, a multimedia event, there were over 100 people there, it was amazing and they're people I haven't seen before which is great. So, we're reaching out to all sorts of segments of the community."

The live events will all be held in Downtown Ithaca at the following locations. Buffalo Street Books, CAP ArtSpace in the Tompkins Center for History and Culture, Community School of Music and Arts, Deep Dive, The Downstairs, Ithaca Print Commons, Lot 10, and the Tompkins County Public Library. However, the festival and CAP programming does not stop once their 23 live events are over at the end of the weekend. After a 6 day break, 10 Zoom events will occur from Saturday, May 11th to Saturday, May 18th. Additionally, literary workshops will be held from June to August.

In a prepared statement, CAP organizers expressed that they hope the in-person/Zoom hybrid model of the festival will ensure accessibility and participation from all corners of the community and the book loving public to join them in a celebration of storytelling, dialogue, and artistic expression.

Schwartz said more information can be found on the Spring Writes website for all event schedulingZoom sessions, and additional workshops that are coming in the months to follow. All events are free but require online registration.