Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gwinnett Reads Kickoff Event June 28

Gwinnett Reads kickoff event features
Cherokee music, dance, and crafts on
June 28 on the Duluth Town Green
** This event is FREE and open to the public. **

Gwinnett Reads is a popular adult reading program of the Gwinnett County Public Library. This year, the program celebrates Indian culture with live music, storytelling, and art by members of the Cherokee Nation and other experts in five events throughout Gwinnett County.

These events highlight Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier, the bestselling author of Cold Mountain. In the finale event on July 12, Frazier will talk about how the people of the Cherokee Nation are working together to preserve their culture and traditions.

The Duluth Town Green will be the site of a colorful and entertaining display of Cherokee Indian song, dance, and art as the Gwinnett County Public Library's Gwinnett Reads kickoff event gets underway on Saturday, June 28 from noon until 4 p.m. The Duluth Historical Society is a library partner and co-sponsor of this year's kickoff activities.

This event is free and open to the public.

The program's kickoff is the first of five events culminating in a grand finale featuring bestselling author Charles Frazier on July 12 at Gwinnett Center. The final Gwinnett Reads event brings everything together with Frazier reading from his latest novel Thirteen Moons, answering questions, and presenting Cherokee music, singing, and readings. He will also sign books that are available at the event in English and Cherokee. The finale's $15 admission covers food and entertainment.

Some of the proceeds will benefit the cultural preservation efforts of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, which has honored Frazier for his dedication to helping preserve their language and traditions.

All other events are free and open to the public. The schedule of free community events and Frazier event tickets are available at all 14 Gwinnett County Public Library branches. For more information, visit or call (770) 978-5154. For complete Gwinnett County Public Library information, visit

Other Gwinnett Reads activities include Cherokee storytelling by Donna Delgadillo of The Plainsmen Drum and Dance Troupe, insights about Cherokee artifacts by Jeff Bishop of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, and the tragic tale of Cherokee leader Major Ridge by Claudia Oakes of the Chieftains Museum and Major Ridge home in Rome, Georgia. All events take place in Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett Reads participants will have an opportunity to hear Cherokee translator Myrtle Driver Johnson interpret some of the program's English language readings. Another highlight of the program will be the musical storytelling of Cherokee native John Grant, who plays a Native American flute and sings in English and Cherokee. The Chieftains Museum in Rome, Georgia will also host activities related to Cherokee culture.

"Growing up in western North Carolina," said Charles Frazier, "I never asked too closely how it came about that neighboring Cherokee people still persisted there in places like Snowbird and the town of Cherokee so long after the Trail of Tears. In large part, Thirteen Moons is my belated attempt to understand that movement of American history and to tell a part of the story of the southern Appalachians and its people at a moment of transformation."

As historical fiction, Thirteen Moons offers an opportunity to become absorbed in a compelling novel while learning about the transformation of a young, industrializing America, Cherokee Indian arts and language, and an Indian culture struggling to survive.

"In Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier takes us on an exciting adventure," said Nancy Stanbery-Kellam, executive director of the Gwinnett County Public Library. "At the same time, readers experience an enchanting journey through the Cherokee culture, which is also part of the fabric of our local history here in Gwinnett. Frazier's moving story describes the beauty, passion, and tragedy of a once-independent nation trying to survive within a new, emerging nation."

Gwinnett County Public Library lays claim to Georgia's highest book circulation numbers and ranks among the largest systems in the country. With its dynamic position of growth in the booming Atlanta region, Gwinnett County Public Library has been able to attract top authors for Gwinnett Reads since it began in 2003.

No comments: