Dateline: August 19, 2019, Decatur, AL – The Alabama Center for the Arts will be holding a tribute to Toni Morrison on Friday, August 23 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Building. Don Noble, an Alabama Distinguished Literary Scholar and host of Alabama Public Radio’s book review series “Bookmark,” will speak about his experiences interviewing Morrison and her connections to Alabama. Jennifer Horne, Poet Laureate of Alabama, will speak about Morrison’s influence on women writers. Audience members will have the opportunity to engage in discussion with these guests, as they reflect on the life, work, and influence of an acclaimed American writer. The event is free and open to the public.

Toni Morrison, an American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher, and professor emeritus at Princeton University, passed away on August 5, 2019. Her literary work centered on her examination of the black American experience (particularly black female experience) within the black community and how her characters sought to find themselves and their cultural identity. Morrison received many high honors and awards in her life, including but not limited to, receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, being selected for the Jefferson Lecture by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1996, and being presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2012.

This event is sponsored by Calhoun Community College Humanities and Social Sciences, Athens State University College of Arts and Sciences, and the Alabama Center for the Arts Foundation.

The Alabama Center for the Arts is the region’s premier art center and degree program. The project continues a long-standing collaborative academic effort between Athens State University and Calhoun Community College and serves as a model of academic institutional cooperation for the state. The Alabama Center for the Arts is a venue for cultural events and activities and will enhance an appreciation of art while promoting opportunities for creative expression for residents throughout the region.

Athens State University was founded in 1822, making it the oldest continuously-operated institute of higher learning in the state of Alabama. Offering over 50 undergraduate majors and degree options in addition to graduate programs, Athens State focuses on providing affordable, flexible, and high-quality options for all learners.