Submitted by Bonny Wise, Founding Member of JASNA-Greater Louisville Region & the Jane Austen Festival
I came to Jane Austen via the movie, Sense & Sensibility. It was featured in one of my favorite magazines, Victoria. It was love at first sight! Of course I had to find other adaptations and this led to Pride & Prejudice and the others.
About the same time I began my position at Locust Grove in 2006, I discovered that JASNA had regional groups all across North America and there were none in Kentucky. It seemed natural to me that Locust Grove should become the home of JASNA-Greater Louisville Region and it has worked out well.
My first JASNA AGM (Annual General Meeting) that I attended was 2007 Emma in Vancouver. I came back enthused to do a large scale event and thus the Jane Austen Festival was born.
The very first year we had a few vendors, a tea room, and special speaker, Joan Ray, past president of JASNA. 660 people attended from several states. We knew we were on to something good and decided to continue!
The festival has grown throughout the years until 2014 we had 2000+ attend from 25 states and Canada. It takes over 100 volunteers to produce the festival and for 2016 we have contracted with two interns who are interested in pursuing positions in history museums to help us.
In 2015 Greater Louisville held our own successful JASNA AGM, so the festival had to take a one-year hiatus. Now, we look forward to the 8th Annual Jane Austen Festival, July 15, 16 & 17 to be held at beautiful 1790s Locust Grove.