Are you ready for some Arizona trivia? You probably know that Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, achieved statehood on February 14, 1912, the last of the 48 contiguous states to be admitted to the Union. Did you know that in 1917, Governor Thomas Campbell refused to sign the bill to adopt the state flag? The governor did not officially state his reasons for taking no action on the bill. The state flag was adopted on February 17, 1917, by the Third Arizona Legislature without the signature of the governor.
If you are interested in learning more about the colorful history of Arizona, plan to attend the Arizona Humanities program “The Ballad of Arizona,” on Monday, April 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 55 Rojo Drive in the Village of Oak Creek. Please note the change of venue from Sedona Winds. This program, sponsored by the Friends of the Sedona Library and made possible by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council, is free and appropriate for all ages. Donations are always welcome.
The multimedia presentation includes videos, songs, and stories that capture the special character of the Grand Canyon State. Intermixed with live music and documentary footage, “The Ballad of Arizona” features live radio-style newscasts to present important but often neglected events in Arizona history.
The show was created for the Arizona Centennial in 2012 by composer and scholar Jay Cravath and Arizona State University professor of English Dan Shilling. When developing this program, Cravath made it a point to find a diverse set of scholars who focused on various aspects of Arizona’s history.
The presenters are well-versed in the history of Arizona. Dr. Jay Cravath is a composer, writer, and scholar in the field of music and indigenous studies. He is currently the Cultural Director for the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe. Co-presenter Dr. Dan Shilling earned his PhD from Arizona State University. He joined the Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) in 1984. While serving as the executive director of the AHC, he developed several award-winning projects on environmental history and community building.
“Audiences can think of the program as a ‘Prairie Home Companion’ for Arizona. I’ve always been a big fan of this show, and I thought it would be a nice way to approach our show,” said Cravath. “Ours is more a scholarly variety show, with vignettes about various events in history, which are presented as co-anchored news reports.”
Dan Shilling will recount the tale of forester Aldo Leopold, who came to Arizona in 1909 and eventually wrote hundreds of essays that have helped shape modern environmentalism. “The mountains near Springerville,” says Shilling, “where Leopold realized that humans and nature are members of the same community, are as important in environmental history as Thoreau’s Walden Pond.”
For information please call Sedona Public Library in the Village at 928-284-1603 or view the events calendar on the library’s website at www.sedonalibrary.org.
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Village News appears monthly in The Villager and is also presented on Sedona Biz.
By Cheryl Yeatts
Cheryl Yeatts is Manager of Sedona Public Library in the Village.