Writing and Arts Festival Returns to JBU

Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 21, 2010) — Giving Voice: A Festival of Writing and the Arts will return to John Brown University Thursday, February 11, and Friday, February 12. The festival will headline Andrew Hudgins, Leif Enger, Sari Fordham and Traci Rae Letellier, a group of poets, writers and songwriters. “One festival goal is to engage high school students in writing and the arts,” said Dr. Gary Guinn, professor of English. “This festival is one of the few programs of its kind that targets the community as well as high school students.” Thursday’s JBU chapel service, featuring poet Andrew Hudgins, is open to the public and begins at 10:30 a.m. The Sager Creek Art Center in downtown Siloam Springs will host a public reading featuring the work of Hudgins, Enger, Fordham and Letellier on Thursday at 7 p.m. On Friday, JBU will welcome more than 200 students from area high schools for a workshop-filled day designed to encourage their creative skills. Workshops include choral music, poetry, fiction, readers theater, and visual art. JBU professors from the English, Art, Music and Drama departments will join the featured guests in leading the various workshops. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently awarded JBU a $10,000 grant to support Giving Voice. The grant is funding the top-notch speakers as well as workshop scholarships for underserved students in the area. JBU was one of nine organizations in Arkansas to receive an NEA grant for 2010. For more information on the event, call 524-7271.