Pulitzer Prize Winner Alice Walker returns for 30th Zora Neale Hurston Festival

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    Eatonville/Orlando – Producers of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA! Festival) will pay tribute to Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize recipient, novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist during its 30th anniversary banquet Saturday, February 2, 2019, 6:00 pm at University of Central Florida Pegasus Ballroom.  Walker will be on festival grounds in Eatonville signing her new book ‘Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart’ on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 1:00 pm. 

    Walker became the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple in 1983. The novel was the inspiration for famed director Steven Spielberg’s 1985 Hollywood film and was adapted as a musical for the stage by Scott Sanders.  Her writings have been translated into more than two dozen languages, and her books have sold more than 10 million copies.

    “We are privileged to host Alice Walker during our 30th anniversary festival banquet,” said N.Y. Nathiri, executive director of the Association to preserve the Eatonville Community and the general manager of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. “Walker is a celebrated literary icon and her work is highly regarded by people globally. We are also grateful to our co-host, the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR), for making this evening possible.”

    The festival is slated to be a time of celebration, education, and collaboration as attendees gain insights from the work of Zora Neale Hurston and other influential individuals of her time period into the present. ZORA! Festival activities include those listed below.

    “We have a very limited number of tickets available to this event,” said Nathiri,  “and these tickets are  available only through our Festival Packages (either Full-Access or Weekender) and via the purchase of a corporate table (seating of ten).”


    Companion Exhibitions

    The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts (The Hurston) and Arts and History Museums in Maitland

    6:00 pm  –  7:15 pm at the Hurston Museum, 227 East Kennedy Boulevard in Eatonville

    7:30 pm  –  8:45 pm at the Arts and History Museums, 231 West Packwood in Maitland

    Free and Open to the Public


    Back Story: The Virtual Tour of the Historic Robert Hungerford Industrial and Normal School conducted by Zora Neale Hurston as a middle school student.

    4:00 pm – 5:30 pm at Orange Technical College, Mid Florida Campus, 2900 West Oak Ridge Road in Orlando (Free and Open to the Public)


    “Zora’s Cosmos” Mobile Tour

    8:00 am –  4:00 pm

    Special Garden-to-Table Lunch at DaJen Eats Cafe & Creamery in Eatonville.

    Tour includes stops at The Hurston Museum, the Gardens of the Yards & Gardens Club of Historic Eatonville, the Arts & History Museums  –  Maitland, and, in Winter Park, a windshield of the Hannibal Square Neighborhood

    Ticket required: $75

    TUESDAY  –  WEDNESDAY, January 29 – 30

    “Global Conversations” Round Tables

    A two–day conference at Rollins College that will explore the question of liberal arts, in a global context, or precisely, how education in a liberal arts ethos, can address present challenges facing democracy. Foci will also include information and technology transfer, economic empowerment and collaboration on a global stage.

    Rollins College Faculty and Students: No fees required

    Registration Required for Non–Rollins Faculty and Students

    Two–Day All – inclusive Registration: $150

    Student and Senior Citizen Two – Day Registration, excluding meals: $75

    One–Day All – inclusive Registration: $100

    Student and Senior Citizen One – Day Registration, excluding meals: $45


    “Summit” – Students as Change Agents

    8:00 am – 5:00 pm at Several Venues in Eatonville

    The Nexus between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Historic Black Towns and Settlements (HBTS) is an intensive training conference for student ambassadors selected from 50 HBCUs. Students will design projects to effect change in their partner communities. This conference is curated by Dr. Michelle Bachelor Robinson, Spelman College;  ZORA! Festival National Planner; Vice President for Educational Matters, Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance.

    Registration Required

    The Northwest Tap Connection featuring the Youth Dance Ensemble from Seattle, Washington

    7:30 pm – 9:00 pm at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater, 445 S. Magnolia Ave in Orlando

    Ticket required: $15


    ZORA! Education Programming featuring three concurrent programs to include:

    The Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) conference attendees celebrate Eatonville’s rich cultural heritage and the life of its most famous citizen.

    The day starts with a “Zora Neale Hurston Arts and Humanities” lecture by Landscape Architect; Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certified; and 2014 National Humanities Medalist Everett L. Fly. Attendees then enjoy Dr. Deborah Plant as she presents a lecture entitled “On Barracoon,” which is followed by the Reunion Panel of expert guests including Dr. Ruthe Sheffey, Dr. Trudier Harris, and Dr. Cheryl Wall. Afterwards, Dr. Irina Morozova, Profesor Marumi Nishigauchi, and Dr. Claudine Raynaud speak “On Zora Neale Hurston – An International Perspective.”

    The CAAR collaborative conference concludes the day with a Welcoming Reception in honor of 30th Annual ZORA! Festival, the Annual Meeting of the World Conference of Mayors, and the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance (HBTSA) Board Meeting at Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave. in Orlando

    Registration Required.

    All – inclusive Registration: $100

    Student and Senior Citizen One – Day Registration, excluding meals: $45

    Outdoor Festival of the Arts –featuring fine arts and crafts booths, student performances, an International Marketplace, creative writing workshops for middle and high school students, and more.

    Free and Open to the Public

    6th Annual ZORA! STEM Conference for Middle School Students at Orange Technical College, Mid Florida Campus, 2900 W. Oak Ridge Road, in Orlando

    Pre–Registration Required


    ZORA! Education Programming

    Outdoor Festival of the Arts (continued)

    Free for K – 12 Students with proof of school ID

    Adults – Early Bird, General Admission: $6 per day

    ZORA! Entertainment Programming

    Concert with Shirley Murdock, Holly Monroe, J Truth, and Tony White, ZEAL, and Camryn Levert, Daughter of late Gerald

    Closing Banquet Featuring Alice Walker, novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist.

    7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the University of Central Florida, Pegasus Ballroom

    Ticket Required: $75


    Traditional Sunday Morning Worship Service (Ecumenical)

    Alice Walker will be on festival grounds in Eatonville signing her new book Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart  at 1:00 pm

    Concert with Miles Jaye, “Motown Tribute Review Show.”

    ZORA! Festival 2019 is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program with additional underwriting being provided by the University of Central Florida – Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and by the College of Arts & Humanities, the Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies; Orlando Utilities Commission, Culture Builds Florida, Rollins College, and Duke Energy.

    For additional information on ZORA! Festival 2019 events visit www.zorafestival.org.