By Nina Kendall
2014 comes to a close, I think about the opportunities to enjoy the humanities
this year. This has truly been a year of fun engaging events. I have enjoyed
art, music, and history this year all supported by the Georgia Humanities Council.
As they work to fill their mission of making the humanities part of the life of
every Georgian, they support unique projects and events throughout the state. These events offer history, fun, and
fellowship for the citizens of the state.
Here are some of my favorites from this past year.
Freedom Singers Concert
The Freedoms Singers are artists dedicated to
continuing the tradition of singing rooted in the efforts of SNCC during the
Albany Movement. Led by original SNCC Freedom Singer Rutha Harris, these
performers share music and history with their audiences. Their performances
focus on songs that provided courage to movement participants. Once they
started singing the entire room was enveloped in song. Everyone sang along. I enjoyed their performance in Atlanta, but
you can find them performing the second Saturday of every month at the Albany
Civil Rights Institute. This group is a
Awards for the Arts & Humanities recipient and is definitely worth the trip
Inspired Georgia is a
collection of 28 works by Georgians. This traveling collection features
examples of folk art, abstract painting, realist painting, works on paper,
landscape photography, and people and place in photography. It was a chance to get to know the state art
collection which has no permanent home. In this exhibit, you find the
collective experience of the state, the traditions of rural Georgia and the modern
urban experience. In each work, you can find a little history of the state.
This collection will evoke your memories and touch your heart. For me it evoked
memories of childhood and glimpse into modern life in Atlanta.
KONGO across the WATERS
KONGO across the WATERS brought art and artifacts from the Royal Museum of Central
Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of
Art in Gainesville, Florida, and from collections across the
United States to Atlanta. This exhibit
fluidly combined art and history into an engaging experience. As you walked
through the exhibit, you got a chance to enjoy centuries of art ranging from 16th
century images to 20th century carvings and learn about the
evolution of the form in different regions of the world. This exhibit was a
walk down memory lane. Art forms and traditions common to the region displayed
with their cultural roots. Face jugs and funeral practices illustrated the deep
cultural connects between the southeastern United States and the Kongo peoples
of western Central Africa. Art and
artifacts revealed the influence of diverse cultures whose history in the
United States is not well preserved. I visited during an open house when
members of the community went from piece to piece sharing their stories and connecting
with the works.
Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine
Actor Ian Ruskin
performed the one man show, To Begin the
World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine. Ruskin brought to life
Revolutionary history while exploring the complex life of Thomas Paine. The audience
were both engaged and educated by the nuanced performance of Mr. Ruskin. His performance
helped make revealed many of the issues of the period and the revolutionary,
Thomas Paine. It is a rare treat to learn from and enjoy live drama.
are just a few of my favorite events from the past year supported by the
Georgia Humanities Council. Yet it represents a small portion of the work done
every year by this organization. From supporting teachers to encouraging literacy
across the state, the Georgia Humanities Council is touching all our lives. I encourage
you to check out their schedule in the coming months and make their work part
of your plans in 2015.