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George Washington Carver Impersonator Paxton Williams along with Luke & Sarah Foster

When Jun 16, 2018
from 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Kupka Cultural Center
Contact Name
Contact Phone 319/478-2180
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On Saturday, June 16 at 7:00pm  Paxton Williams will present "An Evening with George Washington Carver"  Luke and Sarah Foster will be playing music of the period.

An Afternoon with George Washington Carver
Born into slavery circa 1864 on a Southwest Missouri farm, George Washington Carver was one of the 20th Century’s preeminent botanists and scientists.  Most known for his 300+ uses for the lowly peanut, Dr. Carver was an equally-accomplished musician, painter, and humanitarian.  Today, he is equally regaled by the proponents of the local foods movement; regarded as a founder of the biotechnology movement; and considered a pioneer of inquiry-centered learning.
This is your opportunity to interact with one of the most enigmatic renaissance men of the 20th century.  As he explains how his childhood and his love of art influenced his work; describes his laboratory; and speaks of his experiences in Iowa, you will see the trials, tribulations, and ultimate triumph of the man known as “the Wizard of Tuskegee." 
You will learn of Dr. Carver’s relationships with such figures as Booker T. Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Mary McLeod Bethune, Will Rogers, the boll weevil, Joe Louis, Josef Stalin, and Mahatma Gandhi.  Above all, you will see the story of a humble, spirited man who did the best he could to serve humanity, and “fill the poor man’s empty dinner pail.”
Paxton Williams is a graduate of George Washington Carver’s alma mater, Iowa State University.  It was in an undergraduate honors seminar taught by Dr. Sande McNabb that he was inspired to research and then portray Carver.  Following extensive research and under the direction of Prof. Jane Cox, he first performed “Listening to the Still Small Voice: The Story of Dr. George Washington Carver” in the spring of 2000.  Paxton has since portrayed Carver more than 400 times in 24 U.S. States and England, before audiences that included elementary school children, at-risk youth, the incarcerated, governors, scientists, corporate and civic leaders, university presidents, and knights and dames.  From 2005-2009, Paxton was executive director of the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association, a 501 c-3 non-profit organization working to advance Carver’s historical, scientific and educational legacy through its support of the National Park Service at Carver National Monument and other programming.  Paxton holds degrees in political science, communication studies, and public policy from Iowa State, the University of Michigan, and the University of Birmingham in England, where he studied under the auspices of a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellowship.  While in England, he was on staff at The Drum, the UK’s largest arts centre devoted to the promotion of African, Afro-Caribbean, and Asian arts and culture.  In addition to his portrayal of George Washington Carver, Paxton has written a play on the life and works of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar that premiered in March 2014 in Chicago at The Poetry Foundation.  A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Paxton lives in Des Moines, Iowa, where he is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Iowa Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney Genera
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This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.