28th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities Hosts Historic Eatonville @ Year 130 Celebration and Multi-Disciplinary Programming January 20-29

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ZORA! Festival Highlights Include National Conference on Communities of Color in 21st Century America, Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography benefit performance, Grammy Nominated Jazz, R&B and Gospel Artist Jonathan Butler, R&B Legends The Whispers and the Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute Band SFB on Center Stage and more.

Elizabeth VanDyke as Zora Neale Hurston

“This 28th Annual ZORA! Festival will be recognized as one of the most impressive for outstanding programming across a broad range of offerings.”

The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.), the 501(c)3 Florida-based historic preservation and cultural arts organization presents the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA!TM Festival) January 20-29, 2017. The Festival takes place throughout Orange County and will kick-off the celebration of Historic Eatonville @ Year 130. “This 28th Annual ZORA! Festival will be recognized as one of the most impressive for outstanding programming across a broad range of offerings. Whether it's the first-ever national conference on communities of color in 21st century America, or the superior offerings in arts, culture, heritage, and STEM for secondary school students, the Festival will be dynamic. This year is the inaugural ZORA! Golf Tournament as well as the Benefit Performance on behalf of the ZORA! Festival by the New York-based Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre. I believe we can expect our guests to be gushing with delight,” said N.Y. Nathiri, P.E.C. Executive Director.

ZORA! Festival Highlights
Festival headliners include scholars, distinguished elders, fine artists and legendary entertainers. Festival producers have put together an amalgam of educational programming, cultural presentations, artist’s talks, expert workshops, heritage talks and tours, theatrical performances, musical concerts, themed parties and special events.

Festival highlights include a first-ever national Communities Conference, a partnership with Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida. A two and a half (2 ½) day event, the Communities Conference: Civic Conversations Concerning 21st Century American Life in Communities of Color has been organized in recognition of the 130th anniversary of the Incorporation of Historic Eatonville, popularly known as “the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States” and will explore issues and concerns which occur, over and over, in communities of color as well as seek to determine ways of improving the quality of life for those persons who reside in them. Featured presenters include, Eleanor Traylor, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Howard University, Charles M. Blow, The New York Times, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ph.D., Professor of History, Race and Public Policy, Harvard University and Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

Another highlight will be the Benefit Performance by Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre of Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography starring Elizabeth Van Dyke and Joseph Lewis Edwards. This revival of the 1990s-era, award-winning production, is being funded in part by the Ford Foundation, with additional support by, Hollywood heavyweights, Pauletta & Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson & Samuel L. Jackson.

The Outdoor ZORA! Festival of the Arts January 27-29
Always the 2nd weekend of the 9-day event, the Outdoor ZORA! Festival of the Arts will present a strong array of arts, culture, and heritage as well as science and technology offerings for secondary school students along with fine arts, the master crafters lane, an authors’ row, an international marketplace and much more. Saturday R&B group, The Whispers will marquee Center Stage and the Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute Band SFB will perform. On Sunday, Grammy Award nominated Jazz, R&B and Gospel artist Jonathan Butler will headline Center Stage and Henry Turner, Jr. and Flavor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are guest performers.

Friday, January 20
Dinner Inspired by Zora
7:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Among ZORA! TM Festival highlighted programming is Dinner “Inspired by Zora,” a celebration of good student citizenry grades 4-12 at Holy Trinity Reception & Conference Center in Maitland, Florida. This event is based on a concept developed by Dr. Opie, Professor of History and Foodways at Babson College in Massachusetts and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Food Traditions, Food Systems, Elections, Movements, and Migrations.

Saturday, January 21
Back in the Day: Reflections of Historic Eatonville
6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Curator: Maye St. Julien
Opening Reception & Gallery Talk and Exhibition will feature the artifacts and memorabilia from the Early Eatonville Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts (The Hurston)
227 East Kennedy Boulevard
Eatonville, Florida 32751
Free & Open to the Public • Cash bar, optional

Sunday, January 22
Back Story: The ZORA! Education Day (ZED) Initiative
4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
227 East Kennedy Boulevard
Eatonville, Florida 32751
Free and Open to the Public – Limited Seating

Monday, January 23
In Conversation with Eatonville Elders: Mrs. Vera King & Mrs. Annie Peters
7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church
412 East Kennedy Boulevard
Eatonville, Florida 32751
Free and open to the public

Tuesday, January 24
Stir Crazy is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Sidney Poitier
9:30 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.
Enzian Theater, 1300 South Orlando Avenue
Maitland, Florida

Wednesday, January 25
Popular Zora’s Cosmos Mobile Tour
8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Visit historic sites in Eatonville and Maitland that inspired Zora Neale Hurston. Guests are treated to a traditional Southern lunch made from locally-sourced ingredients.

An evening of progressive programming presented by UCF Africana Studies Program
Professor Anthony Major, Director
7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816
Library & Other Locations TBD
Free & Open to the Public

Thursday - Saturday, January 26-28
Communities Conference: Civic Conversations Concerning 21st Century American Life in Communities of Color
Featured Conference Presenters:
Eleanor Traylor, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Charles M. Blow, The New York Times, New York City
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ph.D., Professor of History, Race and Public Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies
Multiple Venues:
Rollins College
1000 Holt Avenue Winter Park, Florida
St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church,
549 East Kennedy Boulevard Eatonville, FL 32751

Friday, January 27
ZORA! Golf Tournament
7:00 A.M. Breakfast, 8:00 A.M. Shotgun
MetroWest Golf Club
2100 S Hiawassee Rd, Orlando, FL 32835
Register at http://zoragolf.com/.
ZORA! Golf provides vital support and assistance to education programs that have served the Central Florida community for over 13 years while reaching over 3,500 students. Join us for a fun day of celebration and competition that will provide meaningful assistance and camaraderie.

The Outdoor Festival of the Arts, features interactive educational, arts, humanities and entertainment programming for youth to adults at 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville, Florida. Highlights include:
Creative workshops for high school students and a ZORA! STEM Conference for middle school students at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts Exhibition; Back in the Day: Reflections of Historic Eatonville, Curated by Maye St. Julien, President – Eatonville Historic Preservation Board; ZORA! Literacy Initiative: Book Give-Away (Hungerford Cafeteria); ZORA! STEM Demonstrations (Gymnasium) and In the Healthy Lifestyles Pavilion; Scheduled Tours, an International Marketplace, Center Stage Performances: Saturday Concerts begin at 1:00 PM; Special Book Program – Orange County Library System presents Author Sharon M. Draper; Fine Arts & Master Crafts Booths and an International Food Court.

Special Benefit Evening Performance
Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography
Starring Elizabeth Van Dyke
Written by Laurence Holder, co-starring Joseph Lewis Edwards and directed by Woodie King, Jr
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
155 East Anderson Street, Orlando
Tickets available at the box office of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and on their website

Saturday, January 28
ZORA! Festival Exclusive
On Saturday morning, the HATitude Party & Brunch
Maitland Civic Center
641 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland, FL

The Outdoor Festival of the Arts
Special Book Program – Orange County Library System presents Author Sharon M. Draper, Fine Arts & Master Crafts Booths and International Food Court.
Center Stage

Legendary R&B greats The Whispers will marquee Center Stage and the Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute Band SFB are slated to perform.
1:00 P.M.
227 East Kennedy Boulevard
Eatonville, Florida

Sunday, January 29
A traditional worship service will take place at St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church, 549 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville, FL 32751 followed by the International Marketplace.
Center Stage
Internationally-acclaimed Grammy Award nominated Jazz, R&B and Gospel artist Jonathan Butler will headline Center Stage and Henry Turner, Jr. and Flavor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are guest performers.
1:30 P.M.
227 East Kennedy Boulevard
Eatonville, Florida

For the full schedule of events, visit: https://zorafestival.org/events and for additional information on ZORA! TM Festival 2016 events visit http://www.zorafestival.org or call 407-647-3307.

Media Credentials
Approved media will have access to interview areas, and red carpet arrivals, for media that have RSVP’d in advance and received confirmation from Tina Spencer tinaospencer(at)gmail(dot)com. This includes media opportunities for the speakers and artist who are in town, as well as other ZORA! Festival events. All media must email Tina Spencer at tinaospencer(at)gmail(dot)com to request access to cover these opportunities. We will do our best to facilitate requests.

About ZORA! Festival
The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA! Festival) is produced in honor of writer, anthropologist and folklorist, Zora Neale Hurston every January in historic Eatonville, Maitland and Orange County Florida. ZORA! Festival is a multi-day, multi-disciplinary event that commemorates the life of 20th Century Renaissance woman Zora Neale Hurston, her hometown, Eatonville and the cultural contributions people of African ancestry have made to the United States and the world.

About the Association to Preservation the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.)
The mission of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.) is to enhance the resources of Eatonville, popularly known as “the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the U.S.” and the hometown of writer, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, to educate the public about Eatonville’s historic and cultural significance, and to use the community’s heritage and cultural vibrancy for its economic development.
P.E.C. is the nonprofit historic preservation group that organizes the ZORA! Festival and whose mission is to enhance the resources of Eatonville, to educate the public about the town’s historic and cultural significance, and to use the community’s heritage and cultural vibrancy for its economic development.

Contacts:
Terri Vismale-Morris    
Director of Marketing and Public Relations, 28th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival
tvmorris(at)new-ideas-images(dot)com

Tina O. Spencer
Manager of National Public Relations, 28th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival
tinaospencer(at)gmail(dot)com

Adrienne Noel
Manager of Regional and Local Public Relations, 28th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival
anoel(at)marketingmindsatwork(dot)com

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