Daphne humanities speakers series begins

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DAPHNE – Speakers from around the state and region will be discussing history and other issues during a 14-part lecture series sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Alliance now under way in Daphne.

The series began Tuesday, Jan. 11 and will continue through April 26, Tonja Young, Daphne library director, said.

“It’ll be a 14-part lecture series. Seven of the speakers have been engaged by the library and seven more are being engaged by the museum and they will all occur at 10 a.m. at the Willow Room in the Civic Center,” Young told Daphne City Council members Monday, Jan. 3. “I’m really excited. One of my heroes who wrote a book about the Federal Road in Alabama is one of our speakers, so you have to be there on April 8 to hear her speak.”

The series was scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 11 with a talk by Ashley Hudson, Daphne Special Collections librarian speaking on the Special Collections and archival materials.

On Jan. 18, Selena Vaughn, chair of the Village Point Park Foundation. The Park Preserve located in Daphne includes a variety of sites that have been part of local, national and world history, according to a city statement. The site has been occupied by American Indians as well as  Spanish, French and English colonists and early American settlers.

Other speakers in upcoming weeks include Kathryn Braund of Auburn University, author of multiple history research volumes; Frye Gaillard, University of South Alabama writer in residence and award-winning author; Susan Rouillier, local author, artist and photographer; Emily Blejwas, director of the Alabama Folklife Association; Greg McRae, webmaster of scenes of the Old Daphne Facebook page; John Jackson, director of the Foley Public Library and former Baldwin County archivist; Reagan Grimsley, University of Alabama at Huntsville archivist and others.

The series will be presented in the Willow Room at the Daphne Civic Center at 10:00 a.m. The program is sponsored by the Daphne Public Library and the Daphne History Museum.  Information and dates are available on the city of Daphne website calendar on the “Library,” “Community,” and other calendar pages at wwe.daphneal.com/calendar.  

The project is supported by a grant awarded to the Daphne Public Library from the Alabama Humanities Alliance, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the primary source of grants for public humanities programming in the state, according to a city statement.

“We’re honored to support cultural organizations that make Alabama a richer, smarter and more vibrant place to live and learn,” Chuck Holmes, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance, said. “Our grant recipients are community cornerstones and creative storytellers that explore what it means to be human. They help us better understand ourselves, our neighbors and the wider world around us.”