“Landscapes of the Heart: The Elizabeth Spencer Story” is a documentary film offering a window into an extraordinary author's life and work, viewed through the prism of her Southern lineage. It features archival photography and film clips, re-enactments, and interviews with many of today’s most important writers of the American South.
Three years before “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Spencer authored “The Voice at the Back Door,” one of the earliest novels recounting racial tension in the South. Recommended for a 1957 Pulitzer Prize that was never awarded, her early works are now viewed as among the most important literature from a female writer of the 1950s and 1960s. This film shares the story of a remarkable literary career and a courageous woman, still writing today, whose books and stories about race, class, gender and politics continue to inspire.
Inspiring a New Old is a free community forum, to be held on May 16, 2013 in Greensboro, starting with an introduction and preview of Anne Basting’s documentary, The Penelope Project. Following the film, Basting will lead a discussion on issues associated with aging, including societal views, memory loss, dementia, and ageism. This discussion is tied not only to the documentary, but also her two books, Forget Memory: Creating better lives for people with dementia and The Stages of Age: Performing Age in Contemporary American Culture.
Basting is an educator, scholar, and artist whose work focuses on the potential for the arts and humanities to improve our quality of life as communities and individuals. She is also author and/or producer of nearly a dozen plays and public performances, including Finding Penelope (2011), a play inspired by a year of intergenerational conversations about the myth of Penelope from Homer’s Odyssey, and professionally staged throughout Luther Manor, a long term care facility in Wisconsin.
Basting confronts issues of ageism and societal norms with thought provoking questions such as “When we think of aging, what images come to mind?”, “Where do those images come from?” She goes on to ask “Why is America obsessed with memory?”, “How did we come to view memory as the center of our identity?” and “Just what is it that we’re afraid of?” These questions will be posed to the audience to open up dialogue about the views, ideas, and concerns of the residents of North Carolina.
Through still photography and video, the Hair Do Project will explore subjects’ efforts to utilize their hairstyles so their outward appearances align with their inner aspirations. Understanding, controlling, and styling hair is as arbitrary as any social art form, but given the right tools, hair can be a platform for community and individual empowerment.
The project will present images taken during the hair-cutting process and the short documentary of participant interviews and stop-motion footage from the cutting, as an exhibit event to take place at the Interactive Resource Center, a day center for people experiencing homelessness. The event will feature the documentary and photograph series, a panel discussion featuring the scholars George Sheer, director of Elsewhere Art Collective, and public historian Erika Wilhite, interactive storytelling, and a live hairstyling performance.
Bladen Community College will host four guest speakers through the Writers Series in spring 2013. The Writers Series aims to enrich students' culture and interest in writing and reading. It allows the students a chance to meet award winning writers and listen to their experiences. Moreover, since Bladen Community College serves a very rural area where very few well-established authors would routinely visit, the college assumes an active role in engaging the community in its literary activities. The speakers are chosen very carefully to represent a diversity of genres and experiences.
Through lectures and performances at the Burnsville Town Center, this project examines the storytelling traditions put in practice by Lesley Riddle, a collector and conduit for traditional music of the region. Riddle represents the sometimes obscured African American contribution to country and mountain string music tradition. The festival, now is in its sixth year, will also examine story-telling as part of a long tradition that has transmitted cultural values in Appalachia.
Funding for this project encompasses the production of a series of digital videos of significant women in the history of Wake Forest for a museum exhibition, online access, and a panel presentation. Each of their lives bears witness to the crucial period when Wake Forest College left this community for Winston-Salem in 1956. The exhibition will be available in April.
This project encompasses a two-day symposium, curriculum development, and a traveling exhibition on the preliminary copy of the Emancipation Proclamation written by Abraham Lincoln in September 1862. The sesquicentennial celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation examines nationally, and more specifically in North Carolina, how this document set a new course toward freedom and a changed nation.
This project consists of three events. The first event is a Global Town Hall at the recently opened Nature Research Center in Raleigh with world-renowned entomologist Dr. E.O. Wilson. He will focus his remarks on the convergence of science and the humanities. The second event is a discussion of the book Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage with author Dr. Dianne Glave. The final event features a panel of scientists and historians discussing the latest use of autobiographies in the history and communication of science.
This project consists of two lectures/panel discussions on the production of the play THE PARCHMAN HOUR — Songs and Stories of the ’61 Freedom Writers at Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville. The first lecture will take place on Feburary 25, 2013, at Fayetteville State University and will focus on the Freedom Riders’ relevance to contemporary race relations. The second event will occur on March 9, 2013, at the Cape Fear Regional Theater. Prior to the presentation of the play, it will feature a lecture by Ekwueme Michael Thelwell and discussion with Dr. Tim Tyson and writer/director Mike Wiley about Freedom Riders’ place in Civil Rights history.
On December 8 and December 15, 2012, WUNC is trying something new. They call it the Pop-Up Music Club. It’s a mobile performance adventure, where they hit the road to hear from working North Carolina musicians — up-close and in their element. For the first installment, they are in Manteo, North Carolina. Listeners will hear impromptu performances in bars, churches, and even high atop the bridge tending station over the Alligator River. Listeners will also hear how the culture of the places they call home shapes their music. All of the work is informed by humanities scholar Barbara Garity-Blake who tags along with producer David Schulman.
The broadcast on Saturday December 8, 2012 at 10:40 a.m. features singer Tshombe Shelby. He's a remarkable young singer who found his voice in the church and on-stage at the Lost Colony.
The broadcast on Saturday December 15, 2012 at 10:40 a.m. features Kevin Roughton. He's a singer and guitarist who built a 30-year career on the growing tourist trade on the Outer Banks.
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