UKIAH – Children are invited to a special interactive workshop planned for this year’s Literary Festival at Mendocino College, organizers have announced. Elizabeth Haze Vega, author of “The Laughing River: A Folktale for Peace,” will conduct the workshop during LitFest 2010 on Saturday, April 24, at Mendocino College, 1000 Hensley Creek Road.
LitFest 2010 will feature workshops, readings, and talks by more than 20 local writers and poets, starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 5 p.m. that day.
Admission to LitFest and the included workshops is free, and the event is open to the public. Food will be available with selections from Taqueria Michoacan between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The one-day festival is sponsored by the Mendocino College Foundation and its affiliate organization, Friends of the Mendocino College Library, as well as other various supporters.
In addition to LitFest, several other events will be taking place on campus the same day. They include a College open house, K-12 science fair, ceramics workshop sponsored by the Mendocino College Ceramics Club, and a PowWow.
Additional information is available on the College website, www.mendocino.edu.
Vega’s workshop will be one of several planned.for the festival. Topics include the importance of rewriting, creating a writers’ group, writing poetry, and building good story lines. Pre-registration is urged by festival organizers. Descriptions of the workshops and registration is available on the event website, www.mendocino.edu/litfest2010. Interested individuals may also call 707-468-3051.
A musician, author, and fifth-grade teacher in Healdsburg, Vega plans to provide materials for young attendees to make their own drums and then participate in the reading of “The Laughing River,” her book about conflict resolution.
Describing the workshop as “accessible, exploratory, and engaging,” Vega said the story’s music is derived from an African folk song. “It’s a read-along, sing-along, dance-along,drum-along story.” Pre-schoolers through adults, and especially children age 6 through 12, will enjoy the workshop, according to the author.
The educator uses the Carl Orff approach for her instruction and workshops. Orff, a 20th Century German composer, is known for the music education methods he developed. Vega will incorporate Orff instrumentation and simple themes that the children will be able to play along with, she said. “Music carries the story.”
Vega, who says music is her first passion, said,“Part of its charm is that music is a common language. When you combine spoken words with other art forms, it opens the mind and heart.”
Throughout the day, LitFest attendees will have an opportunity to hear readings and talks by many contemporary authors and poetic artists who reside in the Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma county areas. They include fiction writers Marc Bojanowski and Tara Sufiana, and poets Dan Barth, Blake More, Robin Rule, Ethel Mays, Armand Brint, Mary Norbert Korte, and Sandra Wade.