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In conjunction with the opening of Beautiful Blackbird: The Creative Spirit of Ashley Bryan, this symposium will bring together a range of speakers to reflect on Ashley Bryan's legacy as an artist, teacher, children's book author and illustrator, and citizen of the world, while looking at how his legacy is being moved forward by those inspired and mentored by him.

Thursday’s opening with begin with a tour of the exhibition with the curator, Lynne Farrington, followed with a showing of the Coretta Scott King Award Video Tribute to Ashley Bryan. The keynote (speaker TBA) will begin at 5:30 pm, and the exhibition will be open following the keynote.

The four panels on Friday will explore the following topics:

  • The work of contemporary Black artists, authors, and illustrators who knew and were influenced by Ashley Bryan;
  • The importance of storytelling through eye and ear;
  • Current efforts to create, publish, and disseminate inclusive children's literature in the 21st century;
  • Educating a new generation in diversity and cultural heritage. 

Confirmed speakers for the symposium include: Kirsten Cappy (Executive Director, I’m Your Neighbor Books); Caitlyn Dlouhy (Vice President & Editorial Director–Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers); Jan Spivey Gilchrist (artist, author, and illustrator); Jennifer Gross (curator, Colby College exhibition, Ashley Bryan / Paula WIlson: Take the World Into Your Arms); E.B. Lewis (Artistrator and Visual Mentor); Daniel Minter (artist and illustrator, co-founder of Indigo Arts Alliance); Alison Morris (Senior Director, Title Selection, First Book); Karyn Parsons (Founder and President, Sweet Blackberry Foundation); Sibylla Shekerdjiska-Benatova (Founder and Executive Director, A Book a Day); Dr.  Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (Associate Professor in the Joint Program in English and Education at the University of Michigan’s School of Education). 

Thursday, April 6, 2023
4:00pm - 8:00pm
Exhibit Opening, Kislak, Symposium
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Lynne Farrington
The Legacy of Ashley Bryan: A Symposium