Arts and Artistry from the New Deal and Beyond

Oct. 19-21, 2017

Johnny Cash on the Back Porch of the Boyhood Home
Johnny Cash on the Back Porch of the Boyhood Home


The symposium, Johnny Cash Heritage Festival:  Arts and Artistry from the New Deal and Beyond, will held in the Dyess Colony Circle, with presentations from noon Thursday through 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.  All sessions are open to the public.   There will be no admission fee, but participants will be asked to register for sessions in advance to assist in ensuring adequate space.  Presentations will focus on influences of Dyess on Johnny Cash and his music, federal efforts during the New Deal to get destitute people back on their feet, the music that grew out of the Eastern Arkansas Delta, and cultural programs associated with the New Deal.


Keynote speaker Friday afternoon is Bill McDowell McDowell, professor of art and art history at the University of Vermont in Burlington.  McDowell’s recently published book, Ground: A Reprise of Photographs from the Farm Security Administration (FSA), includes the printed lyrics to “Sunken Land” by Rosanne Cash, a nod to the hardships of life in Dyess.  Saturday morning events will include a talk by Michael Streissguth, professor of Mass Media and Communication at Le Moyne College.  He has authored three books on Johnny Cash, including Johnny Cash:  The Biography published in 2006.


JCHF Symposium Committee
c/o Dr. Gregory Hansen, Chair
Arkansas State University
Dept. of English and Philosophy
P.O. Box 1890
State University, AR 72467
Phone: 870-972-3043
Fax: 870-972-3045