Decatur Book Festival names new board chair to replace Judy Turner

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 7, 2016

Katie Strong (left) and April Weeks look at the schedule to decide where they are off to next during the Decatur Book Festival. File Photo: Jonathan Phillips

An Agnes Scott English professor has been named to succeed former Private Bank of Decatur President Judy Turner as the new Decatur Book Festival Board chair.

James Diedrick was previously the associate dean of the college and associate vice president for special programs. He has served on the board since 2011 and has served on the DBF planning committee.

According to a press release, Diedrick has, “Helped to create partnerships between Agnes Scott and DBF, including a concert series at the college’s Presser Hall. Diedrick and his wife LeeAnne Richardson, an English professor at Georgia State University, also have volunteered at DBF for years, serving as stage captains.”

“Judy Turner has left the festival in incredibly good hands, especially in terms of fiscal wisdom, and that’s important to me because I come more from the creative and artistic side of the world,” Diedrick said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get more deeply involved in the festival, which I’ve always thought of as one of the crown jewels of metro Atlanta. I’m honored that such a great staff asked me to serve and I’m looking forward to the work.”

The press release says Diedrick wants to promote quality and diversity of programming at the festival and make DBF a stronger part of Atlanta’s “cultural community.”

“Diedrick’s publications include the forthcoming biography of 19th century German-born English poet Mathilde Blind by the University of Virginia Press,” the press release says. “He also co-edited an anthology of essays on filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.”

The Decatur Book Festival is a free event held on Labor Day weekend in downtown Decatur. It draws thousands of people every year.

Turner, who was a founding board member of the Festival, retired from Private Bank of Decatur this year.

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