The first ZORA! Festival was presented in 1990 by the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.), a small, non-profit, historic preservation/cultural arts organization which was doing everything in its power to protect Eatonville, Florida, known popularly as “the oldest incorporated African-American municipality in the United States“, from a community-busting road project. According to Nathiri, “When Alice Walker agreed to be the inaugural banquet speaker in 1990, her appearance elevated, not only the event, but also the organization’s mission. Walker’s return to the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities is indicative of the real-world significance of the ZORA! Festival. Today, more than ever, the arts and humanities have the ability to play a significant role in the well-being of the nation. As the ZORA! Festival continues to celebrate the life and work of its namesake; to celebrate the historic significance of her hometown; and to celebrate the cultural contributions of people of African ancestry, how important it is that Walker, an artist, known and respected for her activist spirit, would make the time to return to an event for which she did so much to establish its worth.”
On Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 1:00 pm, Walker will be on festival grounds in Eatonville signing her new book, TAKING THE ARROW OUT OF THE HEART. Walker became the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple in 1983. The novel was the inspiration for famed director Steven Spielberg’s 1985 Hollywood film and was adapted as a musical for the stage by Scott Sanders. Her writings have been translated into more than two dozen languages, and her books have sold more than 10 million copies.
For additional information on ZORA! Festival 2019 events visit www.zorafestival.org.