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Carver Day Celebration
July 13 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
76th Carver Day Celebration
George Washington Carver National Monument is pleased to announce the park’s annual Carver Day celebration to be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the life of George Washington Carver and the establishment of the national monument in his honor. This year we are commemorating the 76th anniversary of Carver’s passing and the subsequent establishment of the National Park on July 14, 1943, the first one to honor an African American. The event is free of charge.
Guest speakers for this include Dana Chandler, Tuskegee University archivist and associate professor. Chandler is the co-author of To Raise Up the Man Farthest Down: Tuskegee University’s Advancement in Human Health, 1881-1987. He will share information into the extraordinary Carver archival collection at the university, including some very rare items that provide insight into the work of Carver. We also welcome Lucy Phelps, Fort Scott Community College adjunct history instructor. Phelps examines the experience of enslaved women through the lens of motherhood, discussing aspects of their life including the labor they performed, then care they provided their children, and the devastating effect of forced separation from their children. Phelps’ research contributes to the history of enslaved women as well as their experiences residing in Missouri.
Former Executive Director of the Carver Birthplace Association Paxton Williams will return to reprise his role as George Washington Carver in his original one-person show Listening to the Still Small Voice. Like Carver, Paxton is a graduate of Iowa State University, and he has performed as Carver hundreds of times, as well as Othello, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
Music is a huge part of the Carver Day fun. Musical performers this year include artist, actor and Delta blues powerhouse Clarence “King Clarentz” Brewer from Springfield, Missouri, who will play a rare solo set of roots classics from the likes of Son House, Bukka White and Duke Ellington, and provide background into the music. Also sharing the music stage will be multi-instrumentalist and gospel vocalist Arlecia Elkamil; and, gospel greats Sensational Wonders, and local band InCourage. Local choirs will also be performing.
Activities are scheduled throughout the day, including exhibitors, musical performances, guided tours, educational programs, children’s activities, Junior Ranger station, and much more. The Diamond Lions Club will provide a food concession.
This “Find Your Park” event invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place — it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide. Carver Day is co-sponsored by the Carver Birthplace Association, with support from the National Park Foundation’s African American Experience Fund and Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau.
National Park Service – George Washington Carver National Monument