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Ideastream Public Media to Share Original Film Featuring the 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Presented by the Cleveland Foundation


Calle Andrus, Communications Manager
216.916.6434 | calle.andrus@ideastream.org

Ideastream Public Media to Share Original Film Featuring the 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Presented by the Cleveland Foundation 
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Hosts “The 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards,” Premiering September 14 on WVIZ and Streaming September 30 with CIFF Streams

CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 9, 2021) — Ideastream Public Media, Ohio’s largest public media organization, is producing, distributing and broadcasting an original one-hour documentary, “The 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.” Hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., popular public television personality, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards jury chair, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic and institution builder, “The 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards” features visits to the hometowns of this year’s five honorees — historian Vincent Brown, poet Victoria Chang, novelist James McBride, poet/author Natasha Trethewey and science fiction writer Samuel R. Delaney, who received the lifetime achievement award. “The 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards” is presented by the Cleveland Foundation.

The honorees share readings of their award-winning works in the documentary. In addition, the film covers the inspiring history of the awards and its ties to Cleveland. The program also serves to amplify diverse voices and fosters dialogue about inclusivity that transcends the digital divide. During the current movement for racial equality, the necessity of these writings is as great as ever.

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. said, “Cleveland was the home of visionary philanthropist and poet Edith Anisfield-Wolf. Devoted to social justice, she believed the most critical issue plaguing the United States was racism — and that literature was uniquely able to tackle this entrenched problem. And so began ‘The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.’ Eighty-six years later, it remains the only American book award designed specifically to recognize works addressing issues of diversity, race and our appreciation of human cultures. Its mission is more crucial than ever — and it is still based in Edith’s hometown: Cleveland, Ohio.”

The broadcast premiere of the film takes place Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET on WVIZ. “The 86th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards” will also be available on ideastream.org for on-demand online viewing and offered to public television stations across the country. Additionally, a special presentation in partnership with the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will be available for free on the CIFF Streams platform on Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET.

At a time when hosting an in-person awards ceremony is not possible because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ideastream Public Media, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, the Cleveland Foundation and CIFF are partnering to offer this important film as an impactful, safe alternative. The special offers a unique opportunity to celebrate this year’s honorees and share significant literary works with the community in an accessible way.

“We are thrilled to renew our partnership with Ideastream Public Media to give lovers of the written word a fresh and timely documentary,” said Karen R. Long, who manages the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for the Cleveland Foundation. “In one remarkable and crisp hour, this special gives viewers entre into the insights of five unparalleled writers, who, in this era of global racial awakening, spark our humanity and help reforge our civic ties.”

Mark Rosenberger, Chief Content Officer at Ideastream Public Media said, “It's an honor to once again partner with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards to share this program with an expanded audience. The awards and the conversations around them are more relevant than ever. Congratulations to Ideastream’s Senior Producer Mary Fecteau and Community Engagement Specialist Shelli Reeves for their excellent work creating this program."

About the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and equity. Past winners have presented the extraordinary art and culture of peoples around the world, explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice. The Cleveland Foundation has administered the Anisfield-Wolf prize since 1963. Visit www.anisfield-wolf.org for more information.

About the Cleveland International Film Festival
Founded in 1977, the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) is a leader in helping the world discover the power of the film arts to educate, entertain, and celebrate an inclusive human experience. Drawing more than 100,000 film enthusiasts annually, CIFF is an Academy® qualified festival, and one of seven Resident Companies of Playhouse Square. For more information, please visit www.clevelandfilm.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Cleveland Foundation
Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.6 billion and 2019 grants of more than $114 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation’s program areas include arts and culture, economic and workforce development, education, environment, leadership development, neighborhoods, and youth development and social services. For more information, visit www.ClevelandFoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Ideastream Public Media
Ideastream Public Media serves the people of Northeast Ohio as a trusted and dynamic multimedia source for illuminating the world around us. Ideastream Public Media is the home of five public television stations (WVIZ, WVIZ OHIO, WVIZ WORLD, WVIZ CREATE and WVIZ KIDS); WCPN, Northeast Ohio’s NPR news and public affairs radio station; and WCLV, Northeast Ohio’s classical music radio station. Ideastream Public Media produces the award-winning children’s series “NewsDepth” and manages The Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio’s public broadcasting stations. Ideastream Public Media is indispensable and highly valued for its unique ability to strengthen our community. For more information about Ideastream Public Media’s rich legacy of innovation and credible content, visit ideastream.org.