Southern theme highlights 2000-2001 WAIS

Release Date: 8/8/2000

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. ---"A Celebration of the South" will be the theme of the 2000-2001 Walton Arts & Ideas Series, the annual University of the Ozarks program that brings cultural events and entertainment to the campus.

This year's series will include five performances that celebrate the heritage, history, people and personalities that make the South truly unique, according to WAIS Director Ginny Myers.

"We've put together a good mix of Southern artists and thinkers that celebrates our past, while looking forward to a future filled with hope, tolerance, creativity and wisdom," Myers said. "We hope people join us for this celebration of who we are and where we are going."

The 2000-20001 WAIS will begin on Sept. 14 with a performance by Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band. "Hometown Saturday Night" is a recreation of an actual small town band from Lynchburg, Tenn., at the turn of the 19th Century. Those early musicians turned every local holiday and happening into a real foot-stomping, toe-tapping event.

The second event in the series is "The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Review," on Oct. 18. This musical show is a stylish, fanciful, hilarious biography of one of America's most beloved citizens --- the gum-chewing, rope-twirling, Oklahoma-born humorist and humanitarian Will Rogers. "The Will Rogers Follies," with its huge production numbers, dancing chorus girls, rope tricks and songs, received six Tony Awards in 1991 and enjoyed a successful run on Broadway.

Storyteller Frank Jones will continue the series on Nov. 21. Jones, a fourth-generation. storyteller who has lived his entire life in the Ozark Mountains, is part poet, part historian, part humorist and part entertainer. His tales from the hills and of unforgettable characters and strange happenings will make this an evening the entire family will not soon forget.

Jim Lucas will perform "Reflections: Dr. Martin Luther King Remembered," on Feb. 22, 2001. Lucas is nationally recognized for his stirring and dramatic recitations and readings portraying the life and times of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. His resemblance to and interpretation of Dr. King have been called "remarkable," "awe-inspiring," and "uncanny." "Reflections" showcases many of Dr. King's most famous and moving speeches, including, "I Have a Dream" and "I Have Been to the Mountaintop."

The 2000-20001 WAIS will conclude on March 8, 20001, with "An Evening With N. Scott Momaday." A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Momaday is also a poet, playwright , painter, storyteller and professor of English. Born a Kiowa in the Oklahoma Dustbowl, Momaday was raised on an Indian reservation. He has been called "the dean of American Indian writers."

All of the 2000-2001 WAIS events begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Tickets for individual performances are $10 each or season tickets for all five events can be purchased for $40. For more information on the WAIS, please call (501) 979-1346.