Maya Angelou

Poet Maya Angelou spent much of her youth living in Stamps.

The Celebrate! Maya Project has announced its Build A Better World Through the Arts & Literature lecture series will take place as an online program.

The series, produced in partnership with the Arkansas Humanities Council, begins September 10. All lectures will take place via teleconferencing platform Zoom.

The series will include a musician, artist, historian and writer, and poet from diverse arts and literary backgrounds whose life journeys and contributions closely mirror Maya Angelou’s philosophy of community building through arts and literature.

Featured in the series will be a lecture from poet Chris James on poetry and spoken word’s role in encouraging literacy and building a better community. Linda Holzer, professor in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Music, will present a recital and lecture in honor of Arkansas-born composers Florence Price and William Grant Still.

Celebrate! Maya Project president Janis F. Kearney will host a lecture and book discussion on Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in honor of its 50th anniversary. This lecture will include student readings from the memoir and words from Stamps Mayor Brenda Davis.

To close the series, Cutwell 4 Kids founder Anthony Tidwell will present a lecture on the role art plays in enhancing communities.

An overarching theme of each lecture will be Angelou’s blueprint for life: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” Each lecture will include a Q&A and discussion portion for attendees.

The Build A Better World Through the Arts & Literature lectures series will include the following dates:

September 10 -- Chris James on the role of poetry and spoken word in building better communities, 6 p.m.

October 1 -- Linda Holzer on the role of music in building better communities, 6 p.m.

October 29 -- Janis F. Kearney on the role of literature in building better communities, 6 p.m.

November 5 -- Anthony Tidwell on the role of art in building better communities, 6 p.m.

CLICK HERE to register for the lectures.

All lectures will be archived for use as lesson guides in Arkansas schools. All recorded documents will be saved to Celebrate! Maya Project and Arkansas Humanities Council archives and made available to the public. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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