Nora Guthrie to open Penn State conference on Woody Guthrie legacy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Woody Guthrie's daughter, Nora Guthrie, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming conference: Woody@100, Woody's Legacy to Working Men and Women.

Woody Guthrie, the legendary American folk singer known for writing the patriotic song "This Land is Your Land," would have been 100 years old on July 14, 2012, had he lived.

His legacy is being celebrated this year with conferences and concerts at four universities, including Penn State, in partnership with The GRAMMY Museum, the College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State Altoona and the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. Penn State will host a conference Sept. 7–9 at various locations across the University Park campus.

Nora Guthrie is founder and director of the New York-based Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives and president of Woody Guthrie Publications Inc. She has worked with many artists in recent years, including Alison Krauss & Union Station, Jimmy LaFave, John Mellencamp and Joe Perry.

In addition to her opening remarks, filmmakers, educators and students will be making presentations at the conference.

Conference facilitator Jerry Zolten, an associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Altoona, will deliver a presentation on black gospel music with the Rev. Billy Wirtz, a blues musician, comedian and writer.

Robert Santelli, director of the GRAMMY Museum, who co-edited "Hard Travelin': The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie," will host a roundtable discussion with the conference’s concert performers.

Javy Brown, 14, a Cincinnati middle school student, will present, "Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Javy Brown … Or, What Could Woody Guthrie Possibly Mean to a Teenage Girl from Ohio in the Year 2012?"

Woody Guthrie, an Oklahoma native, died at the age of 55 in 1967 from Huntington's Disease. He wrote more than 1,000 songs advocating social change for the working class during his lifetime.

Registration is open to the public, with a special incentive for students. The registration fees are as follows:

— $195 – before Aug. 10
— $245 – after Aug. 10
— $145 for students – before Aug. 10
— $195 for student – after Aug. 10

Registration closes Aug. 24. For more information on the conference or to register, visit online.

The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration is one of the largest and most comprehensive centennial celebrations ever staged for an American music icon. For the most up-to-date information and a complete schedule of events for the entire Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration, visit online.

The GRAMMY Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the creative process; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the GRAMMY® Awards, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment.

Penn State Conferences plans and manages hundreds of programs each year which represent the diversity and strength of Penn State's academic colleges and provide opportunities for individuals to learn about the latest scholarship, research and developments in their fields or participate in enriching learning experiences. Penn State Conferences is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated August 07, 2012