Monday, October 18, 2010

Honors and Resolutions and Awards... oh, my!

So, this is how you write a blog... you squeeze it in between grant writing and answering emails and... well, you squeeze it in. I think Mark Twain would have been a GREAT blogger!

Did you know that his new, suppressed-for-one-hundred-years autobiography just came out? Well, actually it is just Volume 1 (there will be two more), and was well worth the wait! This is Twain's tale as he intended to tell it, and thanks to the great folks at The Mark Twain Project at UC-Berkeley for their tireless efforts.  Mark Twain wanted to "speak from the grave" - and this autobiography is doing just that 100 years after his death. It is already Amazon's Number One Bestseller (but please buy YOUR copy from our online store or our Museum gift shop!), and I predict it will land on the New York Times Bestseller List and stay there for quite some time. Imagine... he wanted to wait 100 years before the world could read this. And he got his wish!

In other Museum news, we found ourselves in the spotlight last week. The Museum won the Governor's 2010 Humanities Award for Exemplary Community Achievement; specific achievements included the young authors' workshops, teacher workshops, programs, "night at the museum" sleepovers, and our soon-to-be released CD telling Twain's life in spoken word and song.

(L-R) Eric Zahnd, Council Vice-Chair; Henry Sweets, Museum Curator;
Cindy Lovell, Museum Executive Director; Geoff Giglierano, Council Executive Director

Gladys Coggswell, the Museum's storyteller-in-residence, also won the Governor's Humanities Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement for her book, Stories From the Heart: Missouri's African American Heritage. We are so proud of Gladys's achievement and thrilled to have her on staff.

State Representative Rachel Bringer was on hand at the Governor's Humanities ceremony to present the Museum and Gladys with two separate Resolutions to honor the occasion. And as if that weren't enough hoopla for one week, imagine our surprise on Saturday night. I was attending the Hannibal NAACP annual banquet on Saturday night with curator Henry Sweets, Gladys, her husband Truman, and more than a hundred others, when president Annie Dixon announced that the Museum was to receive the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award! This was a real shock. I have worked with "Annie's kids" - Hannibal 6th graders - for two years now in an after-school program focusing on scientific inquiry, and it's been nothing but a joy. To receive an award for doing something you love is truly icing on the cake. These kids are great, and I enjoy helping them discover science in their world (psssssst... it's everywhere...). We work on the scientific method and emphasize communication skills. Scientists have to replicate; if they don't communicate clearly, they'll never cure paralysis, cancer, epilepsy, etc. Mark Twain was a truth-seeker and a truth-teller, and this is what science is all about: finding the truth. Mark Twain considered piloting a steamboat a science, and he gave us a great work of science fiction in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I like to think he'd be proud of these recognitions in his honor.

1 comment:

  1. Always a pleasure reading a new blog post from the Mark Twain Museum!