Nora Guthrie and The Vanaver Caravan to speak/perform at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 1, 2006 – Nora Guthrie and the folk and music ensemble, The Vanaver Caravan, will perform and speak at the University of Rhode Island on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on the Kingston campus.

Their appearance concludes the semester-long series for the URI Honors Colloquium, Songs of Social Justice: The Rhetoric of Music, which explores music as a means of expression, persuasion, and mobilization. Although the event is free and open to the public, audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the event. These items will be collected by the colloquium staff and presented to the Johnny Cake Center as a holiday gift donation.

The group will present “Pastures of Plenty,” a tribute to Woody Guthrie. Guthrie is known for his musical message of hope and peace. Nora Guthrie, Woody’s daughter, is the director of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and will speak at the event.

The Vanaver Caravan, an inspiration for artist and musicians everywhere, was established in 1972 by musician/composer Bill Vanaver and dancer/choreographer Livia Drapkin Vanaver. The group’s music and dance showcases the world’s diverse cultures. It is committed to its art and peace among nations. Its performances vary from Appalachian clog dancing to Greek line dancing.

The Vanaver Caravan has traveled throughout the United States as well as Europe and North Africa. It also hosts imaginative workshops, a dance institute and summer dance classes.

Nora Guthrie will also present “HOLY GROUND: the Yiddish Connection” on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the URI University Club, 95 Upper College Rd. in Kingston.

In this fascinating multimedia presentation, Nora Guthrie will discuss the artistic implications of Woody Guthrie’s relationship with his Jewish mother in law (her grandmother), Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt. The program includes a presentation of photographs, music excerpts (from the Klezmatics’ new releases of Woody Guthrie material), writings and artwork that illuminate their personal and creative relationship, as well as never before seen Guthrie Family home movies. The program, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Hillel, the Jewish Student Center at URI, in conjunction with the Honors Colloquium.

Visit for the colloquium schedule and directions. For more information, contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2303 or

Major sponsors for the series are The Providence Journal, the URI Division of University Advancement, the URI Honors Program, the URI Office of the President and the URI Office of the Provost.