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ZORA! Festival Director, “The Thing that Continues to Fascinate me is the Strength of her Voice and how it Resonates”


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The 30th annual ZORA! Festival celebrating the life and works of author Zora Neale Hurston begins this weekend and runs through February 3 in her hometown of Eatonville. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The 30th annual ZORA! Festival celebrating the life and works of author Zora Neale Hurston begins this weekend and runs through February 3 in her hometown of Eatonville. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The 30th annual ZORA! Festival celebrating the life and works of author Zora Neale Hurston begins this weekend and runs through February 3 in her hometown of Eatonville. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Alice Walker will headline this year’s events.

Festival Planning Committee Member N.Y. Nathiri says 150 people have signed up to take a new virtual tour of Zora Neale Hurston’s grade school the opening weekend of the Zora festival.

“The thing that continues to fascinate me is the strength of her voice and how it resonates. It’s 2019, but the kind of interest! And even among young people.”

She says this kind of interest-almost six times the number they had initially planned on-is a testament to how Hurston’s novels and folks tales continue to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds.

“They tap into a kind of humanity that transcends whether I come from Apopka or whether I come from Afghanistan. That is the power of Zora Neale Hurston’s voice. The stories that she tells are part of the human condition.”

The tour will take place at the Orange Technical College, Mid Florida on Sunday from 4-5:30.

A new art exhibit featuring historical photos and fine art posters from three decades of the festival will also open this weekend at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts Museum on Saturday. Alice Walker will be the featured speaker at a closing banquet on February 2.

Click here for a calendar of events for the festival or for ticket information. 

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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