George Washington Carver National Monument (GWC) is pleased to share that their 79th annual Carver Day celebration is back as an all-day event on July 9, 2022 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm! Carver Day commemorates the establishment of the park on July 14, 1943 as the first National Park dedicated to an African American. The day also highlights Carver’s life and legacy, and is a celebration of the African American experience.
Typically, GWC hosts guest speakers for this event; in the past, we have hosted Carver historians, authors, scientists, and poets. This year, former Park Superintendent William Jackson will share his own insights into Carver’s life and significance, as well as his memories of the park. GWC is also pleased to welcome Dr. Edward Williamson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education and Child Development at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Williamson conducted research on Carver a few years ago, and he is a longtime park volunteer and friend. Dr. Williamson will share how he himself was inspired by Carver’s story.
Live music is always a favorite activity at Carver Day, and this year’s event features a compelling lineup. GWC is pleased to welcome back Oklahoma Blues Hall of Famer Lem Shepperd to perform blues, spirituals, jazz, and other American roots music from Carver’s lifetime. Expect to hear songs from the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Josh White, and WC Handy, among others, all delivered with Lem’s expressive guitar and vocals!
GWC also has an exciting new act joining the event this year! Sonic Safari African Drum and Dance Troupe from St. Louis, Missouri is a showcase of highly energetic West African and modern African American dancers. Comprised of traditional drummers and dancers in colorful costumes, the ensemble’s performances are often scripted from storylines that highlight and celebrate positive role models from the African American cultural experience. The performance is interactive and designed for multi-generation audience participation. Sonic Safari African Drum & Drum Troupe is a community outreach program of the Intercultural Music Initiative. Rounding out the music will be the dynamic and uplifting Sensational Wonders, who will perform the traditional gospel that has made them a Carver Day favorite for many years.
In addition, there will be exhibitors from community non-profits, kids’ activities, and food concessions provided by the Diamond Lions Club. Carver Day is supported by the Carver Birthplace Association, the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, and other community partners.
GWC hopes you, your family, and friends will join them for Carver Day on July 9. Please stay tuned to the park’s Facebook page for more information and details.
George Washington Carver National Monument