Saturday, June 25 2022



Photo submitted

Inside the Eddie Mae Herron Center

Lauren Willette of Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts and Pat Johnson, director and founder of the Eddie Mae Herron Center in Pocahontas, Arkansas, will co-host a June 19 celebration beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, June 17. The event, which is free and open to the public, will have a virtual component for those unable to attend in person at the Rendezvous Event Center in downtown Pocahontas.

Attendees will celebrate cultural heritage by learning about Arkansas history from heritage scholars Shanita Sanders and Donna Shelton of Arkansas State University. Sanders will present the story of Juneteenth and tie that story directly to the Arkansas Delta. Shelton will share her work to preserve the history of the African American community in Garrett Grove, Arkansas, through oral history and other preservation projects.

The celebration will also include a multicultural fashion show featuring designs by Little Rock resident Marsha Vault and Islanders Marshall D. Heine and Stephanie Kisno. Vault is a retired education specialist who previously worked for The Centers for Youth and will showcase 10 of her original fashion designs. Heine and Kisno have been developing fashion for a few years here in Arkansas and will be bringing eight outfits for teens and kids to model.

Willette notes, “We are including fashion in our event to celebrate creativity and diversity in Arkansas and in hopes of bringing new people to our event where they will meet other people and find a place to gather. in their community.”

It is the mission of the Eddie Mae Herron Center to help individuals, communities, and organizations identify, protect, and preserve history and to foster widespread appreciation and respect for African American culture. The center preserves and displays some of nearly 200 years of African American history in Randolph County. The center regularly hosts events to bring people together for fun, fellowship and education.

Johnson says she is “excited to host this event and so happy to continue to work closely with the Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts Program.”

Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts and the Eddie Mae Herron Center is able to host this event due in part to contributions from the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections Division. Questions can be directed to Willette at 479-575-4664 or [email protected]

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