Friday, June 3, 10 a.m.
Witness Stones Old Lyme Installation Ceremony: A Celebration of Music and Poetry
Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes (PGN) Library, 2 Library Lane, Old Lyme
The community is invited to gather on the lawn of the Old Lyme PGN Library to celebrate the second installation of Witness Stones on Lyme Street, extending this year to McCurdy Rd.
The program will include music, poetry, and words from community partners and guest speakers.
Frederick-Douglass Knowles II will read his poem Shoots of Plants Blooming in Spring at the ceremony. He joins guest speakers Dain Perry and Constance Perry.
World-renowned soprano Lisa Williamson and acclaimed saxophonist and U.S. Coast Guard Band conductor Richard Wyman will provide music.
Twelve members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) chorus, led by Laura Ventres, will also contribute to the program.
Seventh-grade students from the LOLMS will read biographical poems they wrote to tell the life stories of Harry Freeman and Margaret Crosley Lewia. Using primary documents, the students researched these two enslaved town residents, making the story of local slavery tangible, personal, and relevant to their own lives.
Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is an Educator and Activist fervent in achieving community augmentation through literary arts. He is a Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in his native city of Norwich, CT and the inaugural Poet Laureate of Hartford.
He is the recipient of the Nutmeg Poetry Award and the Connecticut of The Arts Fellow in Artist Excellence for Poetry/Creative Non-Fiction. Knowles is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of BlackRoseCity.
Constance R. Perry is a national consultant working in economically disadvantaged communities and specializing in workforce and community development. For more than 20 years, she managed, designed, and implemented programs for at-risk youth and adults at the municipal, state, and national level.
Born and raised in Boston, she is a descendant of enslaved laborers in North Carolina.
Dain Perry had a 30-year career as a Financial Representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network NMFN) in Boston. He is a past President of the Boston Estate Planning Council and was named Boston Estate Planner of the Year in 1999.
Prior to joining NMFN he was deputy director of the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction, and Acting Director of the Crime and Justice Foundation, both private non-profit community groups which promoted reform in the criminal justice system. He attended the U S Naval Academy.