Thank you for joining us at the 2017 Arts and Humanities Awards! NEPR recognized artist and illustrator Barry Moser, children’s book author, and literacy advocate Ty Allan Jackson, and the Northampton Jazz Workshop at the Log Cabin on May 24. NPR's arts correspondent Mandalit Del Barco opened the evening in conversation with NEPR reporter Jill Kaufman. See photos from the event in the slideshow above and view more photos from MassLive and photobooth images from CT Photos Unlimited.
2017 Arts & Humanities is sponsored by:
The selected 2017 Arts and Humanities Awardees are:
Born in Chattanooga Tennessee in 1940, Barry Moser has spent most of his adult life in the Pioneer Valley, where he is revered among his peers, beloved by his students and embraced by his community. He is an illustrator, printer, painter, printmaker, designer, author, essayist, and teacher. A member of the National Academy of Design, his work is in numerous collections, including The National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum and The British Museum. He is currently the Irwin and Pauline Alper Glass Professor of Art at Smith College and was a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. He has illustrated over 350 books including Moby-Dick and The Divine Comedy. His Pennyroyal Press published an acclaimed edition of the King James Bible in 1999. His edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland won the 1983 National Book Award. His memoir, We Were Brothers, was published in 2015, and describes his Jim Crow-era childhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee. NPR listed it among it “Great Reads of 2015.”
Ty Allan Jackson is a children’s book author, publisher, literacy advocate and motivational speaker living in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His literacy organization, Big Head Books, LLC was founded in 2009 to expose children to the joy of reading. By visiting schools, libraries, youth organizations and correctional facilities around the country and at home in western Massachusetts, Big Head Books entertains and empowers kids while sharing with adults the importance of reading in a fun, upbeat and contemporary way.
Mr. Jackson has been called one of the most important authors in America because of his message of inspiration and his ability to make the most reluctant young reader into a reading superhero. He has collaborated with organizations including The United Way, The YMCA, The Boys and Girls Club, Google for Entrepreneurs, Children of Promise, several financial institutions and countless public, private and charter schools. Mr. Jackson is the co-founder of the READ OR ELSE Movement that distributes books to children in homeless shelters across the county, and is also the co-founder of The F.U.L.L. Program, which helps incarcerated parents stay connected to their children and families by promoting literacy as a way to help sever the cycle of incarceration. Ty has been acknowledged and awarded by mayors, senators, governors and even First Lady Michelle Obama for his efforts to promote literacy.
Thanks to the Northampton Jazz Workshop, the Pioneer Valley has been swinging on Tuesday nights for the past seven years. The Workshop provides an important context for fostering community around jazz performance, and has galvanized area fans. Pianist Paul Arslanian and the late bassist Dave Shapiro satisfied a long overdue need in local jazz circles when they established the Workshop in 2010 at Green Street Café. Each week since then, the Green Street Trio, which includes Arslanian, bassist George Kaye, and drummer Jon Fisher, invites a guest soloist to join them for a one-hour set that mixes jazz standards and originals, and then the bandstand opens up for an organized jam session. At night’s end, the featured soloist returns to play with the assembled players on stage. The music is free for all, and the house (since 2015, the City Sports Grille) is packed every week. Scores of college students from the Five Colleges and beyond come to the club throughout the year for a chance to play their instruments or sing. It’s the spirit of this endeavor and its ongoing success that we honor with the Arts & Humanities Award.