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A first-ever music and media festival is coming to Westport Library

Michael Jai White
Joel C. Ryan
Invision via AP
Actor Michael Jai White poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Dragged Across Concrete' at the 75th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.

This weekend, the Westport Library is hosting the first-ever VersoFest, an event that combines music and a media conference featuring a number of renowned artists and actors.

Bill Harmer, the executive director of the Westport Library, said he had a vision to give the local community and surrounding areas a cultural celebration everyone could enjoy.

“Prior to becoming a library director, I used to manage bands and got to experience going to some of these festivals,” said Harmer. “So, we thought that it’d be cool. You’d be hard-pressed to find any public library in the country that’s doing anything like this.”

It will also feature panels and workshops with Grammy winners, journalists and Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame member Chris Frantz from the band Talking Heads.

Harmer said Frantz’s appearance is critical to help draw attention to local artists that will be featured.

“Without having Chris to help us brand, it might be hard to attract, to bring the people in to come and want to see an emerging artist,” Harmer said.

Bridgeport native and famed actor Michael Jai White, who is known for roles in films such as “The Dark Knight,” will be the keynote speaker on Saturday.

He said he’s excited to speak about his experiences and success in Hollywood in front of a live audience once again.

“I think we’ve been losing a lot of that human-to-human contact,” said White. “It’s just been verbal and visual since that whole thing that was lost for so long when we had to have our faces covered. So it’s a joy to return to regular communication and people are even happier when you encounter them.”

The event runs through Sunday evening.

For ticket information, click here.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.