The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia invites you to a reception at the Plaza Arts Center at 305 N Madison Ave. in Eatonton, Georgia, on the evening of Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m.

RSVP to Winnie Smith at

The reception is a benefit to raise matching funds for a $100,000 grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Willson Center and its partners for the community project “An American Literary Landscape: Life, History, and Memory in Putnam County, Georgia.” The support of the NEH recognizes the innovation and excellence of this nationally significant partnership with the Putnam County Charter School System and other local groups in collaboration with Georgia Humanities, the UGA Libraries and the UGA College of Education.

The NEH-supported program aims to expand the diversity of the voices and stories of Putnam residents through the collection of oral histories, the creation of related visual and performing arts, and the development of a robust K-12 curriculum that engages with those resources. Its core activities are rooted in the partnership between students and teachers in Putnam County and the Willson Center. The NEH previously awarded a grant to the Willson Center for “Sharing Our Stories,” a 2017 oral history project in partnership with Putnam County Schools, the Georgia Virtual History Project, and the Georgia Writers Museum.
“We are deeply honored that the NEH has now recognized, in back-to-back grants, the unique partnership between Putnam County Charter School System and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts,” said Eric Arena, Putnam County Schools superintendent. “This grant will allow us to continue the kind of work we have been doing together for years. It will impact the lives of community members across our county, and more importantly, thousands of students in our school system as we continue to transform both public humanities and public education in Georgia.”

To make a donation in support of this community partnership, please email Winnie Smith at


7:00-7:15 — Welcome

7:15-7:30 — Opening remarks
Nicholas Allen, Director, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
Eric Arena, Superintendent, Putnam County Charter School System

7:30-7:50 — Reading from The Sapelo Project by playwright Josiah Watts and Putnam County High School students
Presented by the Georgia Writers Museum

7:50-8:00 — Concluding remarks
Sachi Shastri, UGA CURO Research Honors Scholar; 2016 Valedictorian, Putnam County High School

8:00-9:00 — Reception featuring desserts, wine, and coffee