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Cash Festival to Continue “Memories of a Lifetime” Project


JONESBORO – “Memories of a Lifetime” will continue to be a part of the three-day 2018 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, and organizers are looking for submissions from people who were part of the Dyess Colony.

The “Memories of a Lifetime” project, which began last year during the inaugural festival, is a collection of videotaped interviews, photos and documents related to the colony. The project deepens the level of understanding of the historic site and the New Deal era.

“Hearing firsthand from those who lived in the colony provides insight that you could never find in a history book,” said Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of the Arkansas State University Heritage Sites, of which the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is a part. “The interviews we have collected thus far recount some amazing stories that many people today cannot even imagine.”

During the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, set for Oct. 18-20, photos and documents will be scanned and interviews will be videotaped Friday, Oct. 19, in the Dyess Administration Building, second floor, from 9 a.m. until noon and by appointment in the afternoon. Interview times can be set up by contacting the Dyess Colony Visitors Center, 870-764-CASH (2274).

Sixteen interviews were conducted during last year’s festival and another 14 at the Dyess Reunion during the summer. Some of the excerpts from last year’s festival interviews will be featured at the 1 p.m. panel on Friday. Moderators are Dr. Ed Salo and Dr. Mike Bowman from Arkansas State University, and Ben Manatt, director of the Bentonville High School EAST Initiative.

Scanned documents and photos will be returned to the owner immediately. Those sitting for interview sessions will have the opportunity to review a transcript of the interview before it is placed in the archives.

The festival schedule includes symposium presentations Thursday and Friday in the Dyess Colony Circle visitors center and food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and demonstrations throughout the three days. 

Also the KASU Music Nights returns with nine musical acts the evenings of Oct. 18-19 on stage at the Dyess Colony Circle. The festival will wrap up Saturday with a ticketed concert in the former cotton field adjacent to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home.

Saturday’s concert will feature Grammy Award-winning artist Alison Krauss and 11-time Grammy nominee and two-time winner for Song of the Year awards Jamey Johnson. Grammy Award-winning record producer, singer-songwriter and author John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash and grandson of Maybelle Carter, is the festival host.

Also performing is Ana Cristina Cash, an American singer-songwriter; Bill Miller, who performed at the first Johnny Cash Music Festival in 2011; and Shawn Camp, who won a Grammy in 2014 for Best Folk Album of the Year and who wrote songs for the ABC-TV show “Nashville.”

Available reserved seating tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 20, concert in the field adjacent to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess sell for $100 each, plus applicable fees, along with VIP parking passes at the field for $50. Parking passes must be purchased by calling or visiting the box office directly and cannot be purchased online.

General admission tickets are $35 each with applicable fees. General admission ticket holders should bring lawn chairs. With the exception of the field concert, admission to other festival events is free.

The festival is coordinated through Arkansas State University Heritage Sites and is licensed through the John R. Cash Revocable Trust. Presenting sponsors include the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and the Judd Hill Foundation. 

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